In a series of weekly features, City Plus looks at destinations for weekend breaks out of Hong Kong and gives you a handy guide on what to expect, what to do and what to pay. In this final instalment, it's Krabi in Thailand. Why Krabi? While it might be true that everyone loves a beach holiday in Thailand, not everyone is suited to a break in the hustle and bustle of Phuket, Koh Samui or Pattaya. Some people like a destination that holds more mystery and romance, somewhere a little harder to reach that will remind them of their backpacking days - and Krabi is that kind of place. Krabi, a province stretching along the Andaman Sea 1,000km south of Bangkok, is more laid-back than other Thai destinations, but has some of its best beaches and islands. It is the province where, on Phi-Phi Island about 40km from Krabi Town, The Beach, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, was filmed. You will be lucky to find the idyllic white-sand beaches as deserted as they appeared to be in that film - visitor numbers to Phi-Phi Leh (where it was filmed) soared after the film was released - but you may be surprised by the relative privacy you get. Phi-Phi was once the most popular tourist destination on the Andaman, but was devastated by the 2004 tsunami, suffering more damage than anywhere in Thailand other than Khoa Lak and Bang Niang. It is recovering, but like many tsunami-affected areas it is not, and never will be, the place it once was. A less spectacular but popular and even more relaxed alternative destination is Koh Lanta, a one-time hippy hangout which is gradually moving upmarket with the steady development of pricier resorts to replace the HK$30-a-night bungalows. Koh Lanta is two hours by boat from Krabi Town. What's there to see and do? Krabi and Phi-Phi, with their stunning, translucent green seas, are outstanding diving spots for experienced scuba divers or learners who want to combine a holiday with an open-water certification course. The three-day courses, which include one day in the classroom, cost about HK$2,200. Tour companies in the area offer a range of snorkelling and sea-kayaking tours. A note of caution, though - the seas can be choppy and difficult in this area, even if there is only a little wind. On anything less than perfect days, you might want to settle for the beaches, bars, sunshine and the Thai food. Where should I stay? Decide whether you want to stay in Krabi Town or one of the islands. Going to Phi-Phi or Koh Lanta will add an extra boat journey to the weekend, but the trip is worth it if you can afford the time. Package deals will place you in resort hotels in or around Krabi, usually for a much better price than if you bought a flight and room separately. If you travel independently, there is a good selection of accommodation in Ao Nang, a lively beach strip about 17km from Krabi Town. A good mid-range option in Ao Nang is the friendly and exotically decorated Phra Nang Inn ( www.phrananginn.com ), where a room with seashells lining the walls overlooking a tropical swimming pool costs about HK$400 a night upwards. The newer Somkiet Buri Resort ( www.somkietburi.com ) is also highly recommended by those who have stayed there. What advice would you give a first-timer? Do not take on too much if you are only there for two or three nights. Sign up for too many activities on a short break and you will miss the real beauty of going to Krabi - the opportunity to relax, eat and drink at leisure in a place where the pace of life is several beats slower than it is in Hong Kong. What will a weekend there cost me? American Express Travel ( www.amextravel.com.hk ) offers two-night Thai Airways packages to Krabi, starting from HK$2,990 per person, excluding tax, for the Marine Park and Spa Resort in Krabi Town, to HK$4,790 for the Tubkaak Krabi on Tubkaak Beach. Similar deals are available from www.4thetravel.com , which has a range of resorts rising to HK$6,550 per person non-inclusive for the Rayavadee Resort ( www.rayavadee.com ). Westminster Travel ( www.westminstertravel.com ) offers three-night breaks with non-inclusive prices ranging from HK$2,790 per person at the Krabi Heritage to HK$8,090 at the Rayavadee Resort. All flights are with Thai Airways and change planes in Bangkok. Alternatively, get a cheap return fare to Bangkok through www.zuji.com and catch one of the three daily return flights to Krabi for about HK$550 each way. You can book a hotel in advance on www.asiahotels.com .