Krabi and the province of Krabi is located at the shore to the Andaman Sea
and is an area of outstanding natural beauty.
Most notable are the solitary limestone hills, both on the land and in the sea as islands.
Rock climbers from all over the world travel to Ton Sai Beach and Railay Beach to climb.
These beaches form part of Krabi's Phra Nang Peninsula. Of about 154 islands belonging to the province,
Ko Phi Phi Leh is perhaps the most famous, as it was the set of the movie The Beach.
The coast of the province was badly damaged by the tsunami on December 26 2004.
Other islands include: Ko Phi Phi Don, part of the Phi Phi Islands, and Ko Lanta, a larger island to the south.
The limestone hills contain many caves, most having beautiful stalactites and stalagmites.
Tham Chao Le and Tham Phi Hua To, both in Ao Luek district, contain prehistoric rock-painting depicting humans,
animals as well as geometrical shapes.
In Lang Rong Rien cave in 1986 archaeologists found 40,000 year old human artifacts - stone tools,
pottery as well as bones. It is one of the oldest traces of human occupation in all South-East Asia.
The caves of Krabi are also one of the main sources of nests of the Edible-nest Swiftlet, used to create bird's nest soup.
Krabi is subdivided into 8 districts (amphoe),
which are further divided into 53 communes (tambon) and 374 villages (muban).
1. Mueang Krabi
2. Khao Phanom
3. Ko Lanta
4. Khlong Thom
5. Ao Luek
6. Plai Phraya
7. Lam Thap
8. Nuea Khlong
Neighboring provinces are (from north clockwise) Phang Nga, Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat and Trang.
The Phuket province to the west is also neighboring, but without any land boundary.
The capital of the region is the city of Krabi
The seal of the province shows two crossed ancient swords (Krabi is also the name of an ancient Siamese sword)
in front of the Indian Ocean and the Phanom Bencha mountain, with 1397 m above sea level the highest mountain
of the province. The provincial tree is the Thung-Fa or Alstonia macrophylla.
The first human remains in the province date back to 25,000 - 35,000 B.C.,
but the first recorded history dates back to Kingdom of Ligor in 1200,
when the city Ban Thai Samor was part of this kingdom.
In modern Thailand, Krabi was administered from Nakhon Si Thammarat,
even after 1872 when king Chulalongkorn gave Krabi the status of a town.
In 1875 it was made a direct subordinate of Bangkok, thus becoming what is now a province.
In 1900 the governor moved the center of the province from Ban Talad Kao to its present location at the mouth of the Krabi river.
It is believed that this town may have taken its name after the meaning of Krabi, which means sword.
This may have stemmed from a legend that an ancient sword was unearthed prior to the city’s founding.
Traditional Cuisine / Food;
In general, Southern Thai food is renowned for its spiciness.
Much of the cuisine has its origins in Malay, Indonesian and Indian food.
Favourite dishes from the south include Indian-style Muslim curry (massaman),
rice noodles in fish curry sauce (Khanom Jeen) and chicken birayani.
As for Krabi, seafood is obviously what most tourists long for when visiting a coastal province like Krabi.
In this connection, the wing shell is Krabi’s famous cuisine.
In addition, stirred fried Spotted Babylon is found in mangrove forests with chilies and basil; it is also famous.
Many foreign tourists regard Krabi Town as having one of the best food Night Markets in Thailand.
• Hat Noppharat Thara – Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park Covering the areas of Tambon Nong Thale,
Tambon Sai Thai, Tambon Ao Nang and Tambon Pak Nam, Amphoe Mueang,
Hat Noppharat Thara – Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park has an area of 242,437 rai in which 200,849 rai is water.
There are 3 distinctive kinds of forest here: moist evergreen forests, mangrove forests and peat swamp forests.
• Mu Ko Phi Phi Located 42 kilometres from the provincial town of Krabi, Mu Ko Phi Phi (Phi Phi Islands)
are an archipelago, formerly called Pulao Piah Pi.
The surrounding sea is home to a variety of underwater anemones,
coral reefs, and colourful marine life. The area is also a popular destination for snorkelling.
Attractions of Mu Ko Phi Phi: Ko Phi Phi Don (Phi Phi Don Island) covers an area of 28 square km.
Popular attractions are the twin bays with curving beaches of Ao Ton Sai and Ao Lo Da Lam.
Ko Phi Phi Le Covering an area of only 6.6 square kilometres, Phi Phi Le Island is surrounded by limestone mountains
and sheer cliffs plunging hundreds of metres to the sea.
The sea is 20 meters deep and the deepest point in the south of the island is around 34 meters.
Ko Phi Phi Le has bays such as Ao Pi Le, Ao Maya, and Ao Lo Sa Ma. In the north-east of the island is a large cave called Tham Viking.
Hat Noppharat Thara Situated 17 km from the provincial town of Krabi, Hat Noppharat Thara (Noppharat Thara Beach)
is a 3-km long sandy beach lined with dense casuarinas.
The beach, paved with tiny seashells, was formerly called Hat Khlong Haeng.
The area is a long beach and stretches all the way to the island of Ko Khao Pak Khlong.
• Su-san Hoi (Shell Cemetery) Once a large freshwater swamp, the habitat of diverse mollusks of about 2 cm in size, Su-san 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. 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 centimetres thick known as Shelley Limestone. With geographical upheavals, the limestone layer is now distributed in great broken sheets of impressive magnitude on the seashore.
• Ao Nang (Ao Nang Beach), is Krabi's most developed beach. Fringed by palms, the long beach is backed by a wide range of accommodation including resorts, bungalows and guesthouses. There are more than 83 offshore islands, which some of them are shaped like a boot, junk, or parrot’s head. Ko Poda, Ko Mo and Ko Thap are popular destinations among tourists for their beaches and coral reefs. They are popular islands for diving and snorkelling.
• Hat Rai Le (Rai Le Beach East/West) Hat Rai Le is surrounded from both sides by breathtaking towering limestone cliffs, thus making the area isolated from the mainland – only accessible by boat. Rai Le or Railay West has a world class white sand beach and is the longest of the beaches in this area. It goes without saying this is also the beach that most tourists flock to. Railey East is popular ‘hippy’ hang-out and offers cheaper accommodation than the West side. Unlike Railey West, Railey East beach is severely affected by the tides and has mangroves. R.East has its own beauty but the mainstream tourist would choose Railey West for beach quality.
• Pra Nang Beach (Princess Cave Beach) next door to Railay, has a much comparable if not better beach to Railay West and is the home to the 5 star Rayavadee Resort and Spa. Krabi's beaches are all public domain so the guests at Rayavadee have to share the beach with the day-trippers from Railay and Ao-Nang. This is not so bad but this also attracts a multitude of T-shirt, trinket and food sellers.
• Hat Ton Sai (TonSai Beach) Neighboring Rai Le (Railay) West but vastly different in terms of beach and tourist scene. The hard core backpackers all hang out here as it is one of the best areas for climbing and the accommodation can be around a tenth of the price of Railay. This beach also has one of the best nightlife scenes of the whole Krabi area! As of late this beach seems to be attracting more of the "flash packer" crowd who don't necessarily want the cheapest accommodation but just want the "Ton Sai experience".
• Thale Waek or Separated Sea During the lowest tide of the day, the sea is gradually separated by the white sand and limestone beach that will appear to connect two islands. From being the site of a meditation centre, it is also a place of archaeological interest, dating from the prehistoric into proto-historic times. Stone tools, potsherds, and unbaked clay votive tablets have been found.
• Than Bokkhorani National Park The park covers an area of 121 square km. The landscape is dominated by a series of limestone mountains, evergreen forests, mangrove forests, and numerous islands. The main flora is evergreen forest, peat swamp forest, strand forest, and mangrove forest, as well as, various types of marine flora. Other attractions include: Than Bokkhorani which is home to various flowing streams and numerous pools of different cascades among a shady forested area and two caves Tham Lot and Tham Phi Hua To.
• Namtok Ron Khlong Thom This area is full of hot springs in a shady forest. The temperature is not too hot at 40-50 degrees Celsius. The hot springs and cool streams converge on a slope to form lovely cascades with warm water.
• Khao Pra - Bang Khram Wildlife Sanctuary This is located at Tambon Khlong Thom Nuea. Comprising lowland forest, this area features the Emerald Pool or Sa Morakot, which are 3 hot springs with a temperature of 30 - 50 degrees Celsius. The forest is home to numerous flora and rare birds like Gurney's Pitta, Rufous-collared Kingfisher, and Black Hornbill. There is also a 2.7-km nature trail known as the Tina Jollife (Thung Tiao) Trail, named after an English activist wanting to conserve this batch of rainforest.
• Mu Ko Lanta National Park Covering a total area of 152 square kilometres, Mu Ko Lanta National Park is located in Amphoe Ko Lanta and consists of many islands. Some major islands are Ko Lanta Yai, Ko Lanta Noi, Ko Taleng Beng, as well as, other surrounding islands like Mu Ko Ha, Mu Ko Rok, and Ko Ngai.
• Pa Phru Tha Pom Khlong Song Nam Pa Phru or peat swamp forest of the canal of Tha Pom features a number of water sources, which originate from the Chong Phra Kaeo pool. Tha Pom is called Khlong Song Nam by the locals, which in Thai literally means "two water canal", because of its special feature location where crystal clear freshwater, which the pool’s floor and the roots of Lumphi palm (Eleiodoxa conferta) are virtually visible, meets seawater from the mangrove forest. Tha Pom features a natural trail made of lath.
Apart from its natural attractions, Krabi is also a popular place for scuba diving and snorkelling, kayaking, rock climbing, and jungle treks by foot, mountain bike or elephant. Famous spots for kayaking include Ko Hong, Ko Karot, Ko Phak Bia, Ko Ku Du, and Tha Len, while Tham Phra Nang and Hat Rai Le are a mecca for climbers from all over the world. Abseiling has currently become another popular sport in Krabi.
Located 35 kilometres from the provincial town, Ban Tha Len, abounds with mangrove forests and ghost crabs.
Tham Khangkhao or the bat cave has impressive stalactites and stalagmites. There is a panoramic view of Krabi’s sea, offshore islands, and mangrove forests are visible.
• Diving & Snorkeling Diving in Krabi is one of the favorite pastimes of tourists because the waters are home to the likes of friendly leopard and whale sharks, turtles, moray eels and dolphins.
• Rock Climbing in Krabi has grown very popular over recent years.
• Sea Kayaking With a coastline composed of mangroves, limestone, small coves, caves and islands, and an interior with rivers lined with cave systems. Krabi provides a popular environment for kayaking.
• Bird Watching There are many hard-to-find birds such as: Gurneys, Finfoots, Bigwinged Brown Kingfishers, Egrets, Bitterns and Herons etc.
• Sailing & Cruising Krabi has plenty of anchorages but usually deserted.
• Fishing Fishers catch the likes of marlin, sailfish barracuda and tuna.
• Jungle Trekking Krabi’s forests with attractive flora and fauna are popular for trekking. The Khao Phanom Bencha National Park and the Khao Pra-Bang Khram are regarded as the two of the favorites among trekkers.
• Golf Krabi has one 18-hole golf course to the south of Krabi town with a new development currently underway by an international group including Colin Montgomery.
• Spa There are plenty of spas located in the major hotels and resorts. The treatment normally includes both traditional remedies and modern techniques.
• Thai Massage Traditional Thai massage, characterized by its holistic approach to health is aimed at enhancing not only one’s physical and emotional state but also to allow one to grow spiritually. Massage parlors can be found at all major hotels and outside at private enterprises.
Events and Festivals;
Owing to the varied ethnic and religious backgrounds present in Krabi, the local people are always celebrating some religious festival, whether part of Thai Buddhist, Thai-Chinese or Thai-Islamic tradition. Visitors can also enjoy the annual boat-launching ceremonies of the sea gypsies and various long-tail boat races.
• Krabi Boek Fa Andaman Festival This is annually held in November to inaugurate the province’s tourist season. Water sports competitions, cultural shows, and good-natured fun are the schedule.
• Laanta Lanta Festival The festival is usually held in March every year at the Old Community in Ko Lanta called Lanta Old Town, which has a very old history of more than 100 years. Ancient Chinese style houses can still be seen here. In this festival, tourists can see the traditional culture, previously unseen ceremonial demonstrations, Southern local performances, folk games, water sports competitions and enjoy the tastes from various kinds of food booths which are provided by prestigious hotels on the island.
• Sat Duean Sip Festival or Festival of the Tenth Lunar Month This is the southern traditional merit making occasion to honour one's ancestors. Food offerings such as Khanom La, Khanom Chohu, Khanom Phong, Khanom Ba, and Khanom Kong or Khai Pla, are made offer to Buddhist monks.
• Chak Phra Festival The original waterborne procession, where Buddha images are put on elaborately decorated pulpits on boats are pulled along on the river, has been replaced by a land procession. The festival was formerly accompanied with a performance of traditional boat songs. However, the traditional waterborne songs have since disappeared.
• Loi Ruea Chao Le Festival This old ritualistic tradition takes place on Ko Lanta during the full moon of the sixth and eleventh month in the lunar calendar. This is a religious rite performed by the sea gypsies of Ko Lanta, as well as, from other neighbouring areas, who gather on the beach near Sala Dan Village. They dance their famous "rong ngeng" round the boats of misfortune to be set adrift. Ceremonies feature singing and dancing. This festival is expected to bring prosperity and happiness to the participants.
Geography and Climate
The Malay peninsula of Southern Thailand offers some of Southeast Asia’s most striking natural scenery.
Bordered to the north by Central Thailand, to the south by Malaysia, to the east by the Gulf, and to the west by the Andaman Sea,
it offers all the appeals of tropical paradises. It’s an exhilarating fusion of white sandy beaches, amazing karst formations,
mountains covered with lush rain forest, and hundred of idyllic islands.
Such various environments create the perfect terrain for serious off-road adventure that stretches through the opportunity of dry and rainy season riding. The rainy season runs roughly from May-June to November, while the dry and relatively cool season from December to February. March and April are hot and occasionally refreshed by tropical storms. The Southern weather however is under the influence of equatorial patterns that translates into the possibility of downpours and floods any time of the year. Nevertheless, the shiny sun is always behind the storm to once again enhance the surroundings that make this corner of the world so gorgeously attractive.