Krabi : Lovely Town, Lovely People
Krabi offers one of Thailand’s most beautiful coast line, unusual limestone formations which cast extraordinary silhouettes, reaching far out into the Andaman Sea. Why not choose Krabi for your next vacation or just for a marvellous weekend journey. lf you like sun, the sea and a change from your every day routine, Krabi is the place to go. An enchanting place, all tightly packed into one tiny province.
Krabi located approximately 814 kilometers from Bangkok is Krabi Province, one of most attractive destinations in southern Thailand. Encompassing an area of 4,708 square kilometers, the western border of Krabi is the Andaman Sea, the northern borders are Surat Thani and Phang-nga Provinces, the southern borders are Trang Province and the Andaman Sea and the eastern borders are Nakhon Si Thammarat and Trang Provinces.
Krabi is an ideal getaway destination teeming with natural attractions including white sandy beaches, fascinating coral reefs, numerous large and small islands and verdant forests with caves and waterfalls. Krabi’s topography is mostly mountains and highlands separated by plains in some parts. Flowing through Krabi City to the Andaman Sea at Pak Nam Sub-district is Maenam Krabi which is 5 kilometers in length.
In addition, there are several canals originating from the province’s highest mountain range, Khao Phanom Bencha including Khlong Pakasai, Khlong Krabi Yai and Khlong Krabi Noi. Lush mangrove forests line the canals and the banks of Maenam Krabi particularly before it empties into the Andaman Sea. The provinces sandy soil conditions are suitable for growing various agricultural products, particularly rubber trees, palms, coconuts, cashew nuts and coffee.
Due to the influence of the tropical monsoon, there are only two seasons in Krabi; the hot season from January to April and the rainy season from May to December. Temperatures range between 17 °C and 37 °C. Krabi is administratively divided into 8 Amphoes (Districts): Amphoe Mueang, Khao Phanom, Khlong Thom, Plai Phraya, Ko Lanta, Ao Luek, Lam Thap, and Nuea Khlong. The provinces jurisdiction covers not only in-land districts and sub-districts, but also extends to more than 130 large and small islands including the world famous Phi Phi Islands.
In addition, Krabi is the location of two world class beaches Ao Nang and Hat Rai Le which offer numerous diving trips, restaurants, shops etc. Additional attractions in the province are stunning limestone cliffs and rock formations which make it a heaven for rock climbers and a National Park located approximately 40 kilometers outside of town with lakes, caves and spectacular natural scenery.
History of Krabi
Some archeologists claim that Krabi City is one of the older settlements in the country as there is archaeological evidence indicating that this area had been home to homosapiens during the prehistoric times or between 25,000 – 35,000 B. C. The assumption has been strongly supported by the discovery of stone tools, ancient colored pictures, beads, pottery and skeletal remains in the provinces cliffs and caves.
In 1200 A.D., the area was known as Ban Thai Samo, one of 12 royal cities that had a monkey as the town symbol. During this period of time, Krabi was under the rule of the Kingdom of Ligor, a city better known today as Nakhon Si Thammarat. During the reign of King Rama V (1868-1910), the community was known as Pakasai Sub-county and remained under the direct jurisdiction of Nakhon Si Thammarat province. Around 1872, King Rama V elevated Pakasai Sub-county to Krabi Province with the provincial administration office situated at Krabi-yai Sub-county (currently, the office is located near the estuary at Pak Nam Sub-district) and in 1875, ordered the separation of Krabi Province from Nakhon Si Thammarat Province.
During the present reign, the corps of civil servants, merchants, and the people of Krabi and nearby provinces have collectively organized the construction of a royal residence at Laem Hang Nak Cape which is thirty kilometers west of Krabi Town on the Andaman coast to be presented to His Majesty the King.
Origin of the name Krabi
There are two legends concerning the origin of the name “Krabi”. The first is that villagers presented a large ancient sword (or krabi) that was discovered by chance to the governor. Later when a smaller, on discovering a smaller one, it was also presented to the governor. Regarded as sacred and auspicious, the governor decided to keep them in the province. As the process for the establishment of the province was still in progress, the swords were placed crossing each other in Khao Khanap Nam cave. Since then, the crossed swords have remained a part of the provincial seal.
The second legend is that “Krabi” was derived from the name of a local tree known as “Lumphi”. The Malay and Chinese merchants mispronunciation of the name to “Ka-lu-bi” or “Kho-lo-bi” finally resulted in “Krabi” (or sword).
Getting to Krabi
How to get there by car, bus, train, boat or plane
Krabi by Car or Bus
Daily bus services leave from the new southern bus terminal in Puthamonthon Saiy II, Bangkok.
Tickets are available from almost any travel agent and at hotel tour desks in the city.
The journey takes about 13 hours.
About 3 – 4 hours depending on transport, car can be quicker than 3 hours.
Hire a car, or take a minibus or local bus from Phuket’s southern bus terminal.
Buses leave from Phuket daily. Information regarding bus timetables,
taxi or min-van shuttle services can be obtained at hotels, travel agents or Phuket Airport.
Buses, taxis or mini-vans can be arranged easily at agencies in the town. Journey time to Krabi about 4 -5 hrs.
Krabi by Boat
There are no direct regular ferries from Phuket to Krabi although it is possible to charter a speedboat or similar.
Daily ferries operate between Phuket and Krabi via Phi Phi Island. (This often involves changing boats at Phi Phi island) Private charter from Phuket (speedboat) is available which gets you there in around 3 hours (not recommended in low season as the sea is too choppy). Details from your local travel agent or the airport at Krabi and Phuket.
From Phuket – Phi Phi Island
The regular ferry trip takes approximately 2 hrs. During high season there are 2 scheduled trips to Phi Phi and return (early morning and lunchtime)
From Phi Phi Island – Krabi
The regular ferry trip takes 1.5 – 2 hrs, with 2 services running daily – year round.
(Schedules are organised so you can travel from Phuket to Phi-Phi to Krabi in one day).
Details from your local travel agent or the airport at Krabi and Phuket.
Krabi by Train
There are no direct services from Bangkok to Krabi.
Instead, catch a train from Hualomphong Station (Bangkok) to one of the following stations: Suratthani, Trang, or Tung Song (Nakorn Sri Thammarat Province) and catch a bus from any of these places to Krabi. Travelling overnight to Trang by train is the best option from Bangkok. Journey time approximately 12 hours.
Krabi by Plane
Direct flights from Bangkok to Krabi Airport are available but schedules are subject to seasonal changes.
There are 2 airline which operate this route: Air Asia and Thai Airways
From Ko Samui
Bangkok Airway operates flights between Ko Samui and Krabi (flight time 45 minutes).
KRABI : TRAVEL PLACES
Ao Nang Beach
Ao Nang is Krabi’s vibrant tourist centre. It has the relaxed vibe of a small town, the beauty of a beach resort, the modern comforts of home, and the friendliness that sets Thailand apart.
The town itself is small; a 30 minutes-long stroll takes you from one end to the other. Given that floating buildings are impractical and sheer cliffs don’t readily lend themselves to development,
this paradise won’t be paved over anytime soon.
By road, Ao Nang is just minutes from Krabi Town and Klong Muang Beach and more seconds to Noppharat Thara Beach. Via the sea, Railay’s beaches – including Ton Sai – and a grab bag of small, intimate islands are nearby. Pick a direction and give your waterborne taxi thirty minutes. A world of adventure waits.
Ao Nang beach is a scenic bay – white sandy beach stretches to the foot of a conspicuously prominent limestone range. Set in lush tropical gardens and surrounded by coconut trees, the Ao Nang beach offers some of the most dramatic coastal scenery in the world – sandy beaches, abundant marine life, live coral and great underwater visibility nearby.
From Ao Nang beach, tourists may hire boats to visit nearby attractions such as Hat Rai Lay, Tham Phra Nang, Sa Phranang located on land to the east of Ao Nang beach, which are ideal sites for swimming, snorkeling or scuba-diving.
Noppharat Thara Beach
Located 6 kilometers from Ao Nang is a famous 3-kilometer long white sandy beach lined with dense casuarinas and coconut groves. The beach, paved with tiny seashells, was formerly called “Hat Khlong Haeng”, which means dried canal beach by locals, because the canal dries up during low tide and the area turns into a long beach.
Railay (Railay Beach)
This beach is generally divided into two sections, east and west. West Railay provides visitors with peace and quiet as it is a broad sandy beach with fewer facilities than Ao Nang.
East Railay which lies across the peninsula from West Railay is different from other beaches in the area as it could actually be classified as a mud flat, especially during low tide. In addition to remarkable views and mangrove forests to the north of the beach, the main attraction for visitors to Railay is the adrenaline pumping activity of cliff climbing. The limestone cliffs on the huge headland between Railay East and Tham Phra Nang, as well as other nearby islands provide world-class rock climbing facilities against a stunning backdrop of the sea with approximately 700 sport routes of mid to high difficulty ratings.
At Railay there are no roads; only footpaths. No buses, no cars, just longtail boats. Although it’s actually connected to the mainland, the spectacular Phra Nang Peninsular is effectively cut off from the rest of Krabi by limestone headlands and steep jungle valleys; the only access is by sea. The very picture of tropical paradise, with no roads and no hassle, Railay offers lazy days, adventure forays and chilled-out evenings.
Hat Tham Phra Nang
Accessible only by boat, this stunning, pristine beach has fine-grained white sand and crystalline waters as well as magnificent jagged karsts. This is a highly secluded picture perfect beach that attracts thousands of visitors year round but is able to maintain its flawless appearance and relaxing ambience.
Named after the strange rock formation which looks like the head and neck of an ostrich, chicken or similar member of the fowl family.Named after the strange rock formation which looks like the head and neck of an ostrich, chicken or similar member of the fowl family. One end of the island consists of steep cliffs, while the other end has beautiful beaches along a peninsula. At high tide, this peninsula gets flooded, creating a small island. There is no accommodation on Hua Khwan island. Excellent snorkeling opportunities in warm and clear water, rich in coral life.
Koh Gai can be visited all year round. (Not affected by the monsoon – May – October)
This hot spring originates from a warm stream in the lowland forest of Khao Nor Juji which is supposedly Thailand’s last piece of virgin and fertile forest. The intensity of the pools turquoise colored water varies according to the light and time of the day so visitors determined to see the real emerald color should plan to visit at dawn or early in the morning. The pool, which can be visited all year round, charges and entrance fee of 20 baht. To get there, take Highway No. 4 to Khlong Thom District, then turn left to Route No. 4038 to Lam Hap Sub-district. The Emerald pool is located along the way,with clear signs posted.
Namtok Ron Khlong Thom (Hot Spring Waterfall)
The waterfall, located quite near to the Emerald pool, is in a shady forest area with numerous hot springs. The hot springs and cool streams converge on a slope to form lovely cascades of warm water with a temperature of 40-50 degrees Celsius. The best time to visit is from 7.00 a.m. to 8.00 a.m. and from 4.00 p.m. to 5.00 p.m. To reach the waterfall visitors should travel 45 kilometers from town to Amphoe Khlong Thom, then take Sukhaphiban 2 Road for another 12 kilometers. The admission fee is 10 baht per person.
Khao Khanap Nam
Regarded as the symbol of Krabi, Khao Khanap Nam are two mountains that are roughly 100 meters tall, separated by Maenam Krabi and located at the entrance to Krabi city. Khao Khanap Nam has beautiful caves with amazing stalactites and stalagmites worth exploring. In addition to natural attractions, a large number of human skeletons have been found here. It is theorized that they are the remains of people who came and established a home at Kanab Nam, but were cut off by an inundation and quickly perished. The mountains can be reached by taking a 15-minute long tail boat ride from Chao Fa Pier. For visitors interested in a more extensive excursion, it is possible to tent a boat can berented at 300 baht per trip to visit Khao Khanap Nam, mangrove forests and Ko Klang fishing village.
About 30 minutes from the resort. Poda island has fine sandy beach and clear blue water where friendly fish will accept food and swim with you.
It is also an excellent spot for snorkeling. Unfortunately, we do not take a reservation off the website.
The resort is available for walk-in guests only.
Thale Waek (Separated Sea)
One of Thailand’s unseen highlights, Thale Waek is situated along Ko Dam Khwan. As the tide recedes, the sea is gradually separated by the white sand and limestone beach that will appear
to amazingly connect the two islands at low tide. The best time to visit Thale Waek is 5 days before and after the full moon from December to beginning of May. To visit Thale Waek, proceed on Highway No. 4034 from the city, then turn left and follow Highway No. 4202 to Ao Nang.
Wat Tham Suea
Wat Tham Suea, which literally means tiger cave temple, is located in the Khiriwong Valley amidst lush forests and mountainswith large trees over a hundred years old approximately 9 kilometers northeast of Krabi Town. Aside from being the site of a meditation center, the compound is also a place of archaeological and historical interest as excavations have uncovered stone tools, pottery remains and Buddha footprint crafting molds. In addition, a cave in the compound has what appears to be tiger paw prints in the stone.
Susan Hoi or Fossils Shell Beach
Susan Hoi features a slab formed from a huge number of embedded various types of mollusks which can be dated to approximately 40 million years ago. This shell graveyard at Ban Laem Pho was once a large freshwater swamp, the habitat of diverse mollusks. With changes on the surface of the earth, seawater flooded the freshwater swamp and the limestone elements in the seawater enveloped the submerged mollusks resulting in a homogenous layer of fossilized mollusk shells forty centimeters thick known as Shelley Limestone. With geographical upheavals, the limestone layer is now distributed in great broken sheets of impressive magnitude on the seashore. The site is located 17 kilometers from the town.