|Krabi is a
southern province on Thailand's Andaman seaboard with perhaps the country's
oldest history of continued settlement. After dating stone tools, ancient
coloured pictures, beads, pottery and skeletal remains found in the province's
many cliffs and caves, it is thought that Krabi has been home to homo
sapiens since the period 25,000 - 35,000 B.C. In recorded times it was
called the 'Ban Thai Samor', and was one of twelve towns that used, before
people were widely literate, the monkey for their standard. At that time,
c. 1200 A.D., Krabi was tributary to the Kingdom of Ligor, a city on the
Kra Peninsula's east coast better known today as Nakhon Si Thammarat.
At the start of the Rattanakosin
period, about 200 years ago, when the capital was finally settled at
Bangkok, an elephant kraal was established in Krabi by order of Chao
Phraya Nakorn (Noi), the governor of Nakhon Si Thammarat, which was
by then a part of the Thai Kingdom. He sent his vizier, the Phra Palad,
to oversee this task, which was to ensure a regular supply of elephants
for the larger town. So followers many emigrated in the steps of the
Phra Palad that soon Krabi had a large community in three different
boroughs : Pakasai, Khlong Pon, and Pak Lao. In 1872, King Chulalongkorn
graciously elevated these to town status, called Krabi, a word that
preserves in its meaning the monkey symbolism of the old standard. The
town's first governor was Luang Thep Sena, though it continued a while
as a dependency of Nakhon Si Thammarat. This was changed in 1875, when
Krabi was raised to a fourth-level town in the old system of Thai government.
Administrators then reported directly to the central government in Bangkok,
and Krabi's history as a unique entity separated from the other provinces,
During the present reign, the corps of
civil servants, the merchants, and the population generally of Krabi
and nearby provinces have together organized construction of a royal
residence at Laem Hang Nak Cape for presentation to His Majesty the
King. This lies thirty kilometers to the west of Krabi Town on the Andaman
Muang (Krabi Town)
Khao Khanap Nam
These two hills, roughly 100 meters tall, flank the Krabi River running
between them to form a distinctive vista and the town's most prominent
To visit them, take a long-tail boat from Chao Fa Pier. Travel time is
just 15 minutes. From there take stairs leading up to caves with stalactites
and stalagmites. A large number of human skeletons have been found here.
It is theorized that they and the remains of people who came and established
a home at Kanab Nam, but were cut off by an inundation and quickly perished.
or "Tiger Cave" is located about 3 kilometres
from Krabi Town. Inside the cave there are what appear to be tiger paw
prints in the stone. The surrounding area is covered with large trees
hundreds of years old, particularly in the Khiriwong Valley. Mountains
are on all sides and there are smallers caves in great number. Aside from
being the site of a meditation center, it is also a places of archaeological
and historical interest. Stone tools, pottery remains, and the mold for
making Buddha footprints have been found in excavations.
is located at Ban Nong Kok, Tambon Sai Thai, 7 kilometres from the town
on Highway No. 4034. It is a beautiful cave with stalactites and stalagmites.
In 1909 the future King Rama VI visited the cave here, earning it the
title "Sadet" indicating the presence of royalty.
composed of eight small natural swamps in a vast valley of Tambon Khao
Thong. This forms part of a which is being turned into recreational
area. Sa Kaeo is accessible by the Krabi-Nai Sa route (Highway No. 4034),
a distance of 28 kilometres.
Susan Hoi (Fossil Shell Beach)
The shell graveyard at Ban Laem Pho was once a large freshwater swamp,
home to a kind of snail. Over eons dating from the Tertiary Age, about
40 million years ago, these snails lived and died by the million, to
the extent that the dead snails formed a layer upon which existed the
living. Eventually, weather changes precipitated the swamp's disappearance,
but by then the layer of fossilized snail shells was forty centimeters
thick, resting on ten centimeters of lignite below which is the subsoil.
Because of geographic upheaval, this Shelly limestone is now distributed
in great broken sheets of impressive magnitude on the seashore at Laem
Hat Noppharat Thara - Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park
This 2 kilometer long beach is about 18 kilometers north-west of Krabi.
It is a scenic beach lined with casuarina trees and is popular among
locals especially at weekend. Accommodation at the beach is available.
Reservation should be made in advance at the Forestry Department in
Bangkok, Tel. (02) 5797223, 5795734 or at the Hat Noppharat Thara National
Park, P.O.Box 23, Amphoe Muang, Krabi 81000, Tel. (075) 6347436.
Ao Nang is a large bay with scenic beaches and 83 small islands. Its
famous beaches include East Rai Le, West Rai Le, Tham Phra Nang which
stretch to the foot of a conspicuously prominent limestone range. Accommodation
and other facilities including diving shops, boats for rent and sightseeing
by canoe are available. From Ao Nang tourist may hire boats to visit
nearby islands of Poda, Thap and Mo which have white sandy beaches,
clear water and colorful fishes and coral.
Mu Ko Phi Phi
An archipelago of six islands consists of Ko Phi Phi Don and Ko Phi
Phi Le as the major islands. The superb scenery of the islands includes
high hills with jutting clifts surrounded by marvelous beaches and emerald
sea, hiding underneath a bank of coral reefs and colorful marine life.
Places to visit of Mu Ko Phi Phi include
Ko Phi Phi Don
covers a total area of 28 square kilometers. An outstanding attraction
is Ao Ton Sai, a vast bay with a curving white sandy beach stretching
to a mountain range which reaches into the sea. Beside Ao Ton Sai, there
are also othe scenic beaches and bays around the island which can be
reached by boat. At the north end of the island is Laem Tong where a
sea gypsy village is located and which is renowned for its underwater
natural beauty. Day trip around the island by boat is recommended.
Ko Phi Phi Le
An island of steep cliffs, covers a total area of 6.6 square kilometers.
Phi Phi Le has several beautiful bays such as Pi Le which reaches into
a valley and gives a lake-like scenery. This part of the sea is almost
encircled by steep cliffs. To the south of Pi Le is a small bay called
Lo Sa Ma which hides in a fold of a steep rock and provides a good spot
for snorkeling. Another attraction is Tham Viking, a huge vast and airy
cave which is home to a large number of swallows. On the cave wall are
ancient paintings of sailing ships similar to those used by ancient
Vikings. It takes about 30 minutes to get to Phi Phi Le by boat from
Phi Phi Don.
lies to the north of Phi Phi Don. There are lovely beaches on the north
and east sides, and coral gardens spreading to the south.
also lies to the north of Phi Phi Don. There is a rocky beach on the
eastern side, a small beach in a fold of the hill and perfectly preserved
Amphoe Ao Luk
Than Bokkhorani National Park
covers 37.5 rai (1 rai = 160 square meters) in Tambon Ao Leuk Tai, one
kilometer from the Tambon Ao Leuk Neua Market intersection on the Ao
Luk Sak road. The park is shady and forested by many different species
of trees growing around the attractive pool after which the park is
named, the Sa Bokkhorani.
Species include the wild gardenia, asoka, and Apocynaceae. The Sah Bohk
Koranii flows through a winding passage in the mountain. At the north
end of the pool is a footprint of the Buddha carved in wood and a shrine
of Chao PhoTo Yuan - To Chong.
Tham Lod Nua - Tham Lod Tai
can be reached by taking the Ao Luk-Laem Sak route for about two kilometers.
Then take a right turn to the Bo Tho Pier then transfer to a rental
boat along the Ta Prang canel. About ten minutes after passing a mangrove
swamp will be the Tham Lod Tai, which is a cave beneath a limestone
hill with a stream flowing through narrow passages. The main attractions
are beatiful stalactites and stalagmites. The Tham Lod Nua is a large
cavern with meandering passages longer than at the Tham Lod Tai. They
are navigable only during low tide.
Tham Phi Hua To or Tham Hua Kalok
is located in Amphoe Ao Luk on Phi Hua To Mountains, which are surrounded
by mangrove swamps. The cave is accessible by the same route as Tham
Lod Tai with its entrance not far beyond the canel to Tham Lod Tai.
From the entrance, the cave divides into 2 routes, the left one leading
to a vast chamber pierced by a shaft of light, while the right routeleads
to a hall believed by archaeologists to have been once a shelter for
prehistoric people. Rock paintings can be seen within the cave. The
paintings, 70 of them, are painted in red and black and portray people
as well as animals. The cave was named Phi Hua To or Big-headed Ghost
owing to the unusually large skulls discovered there. A large pile of
shells were also found in the cave.
is 3 kilometers from the intersection at Ao Luk Nua market. In front
is enshrined an image of Buddha. The name of this cave "Phet"
means diamond, and indeed sparking stone casts beautiful reflections
on the cave wall. The best way to get there is to first contact the
National Park Office at Than Bokkhorani for guide.
Tham Chao Le
is a beautiful cave on the west side of Laem Sak. Inside, there are
stalactites and stalagmites as well as prehistoric cave paintings of
people, animals and various geometrical shapes.
Mu Ko Hong
comprises a number of large and small limestone islands. Ko Hong itself
is the largest island. These limestone island have a beach and coral
reefs in both deep and shallow water levels. Boats leave for Ko Hong
from Ao Nang and the trip takes about one hour. A canoe trip to Ko Hong
organised by some travel agents at Ao Nang is a popular activity among
Amphoe Khao Phanom
Kao Phanom Bencha National Park
is 20 kilometers from Krabi along Talat Kao-Ban Huai To Road. It covers
a total area of 50 square kilometers including some parts of Amphoe
Ao Luk, Amphoe Khao Phanom , and Amphoe Muang.
Khao Phanom Bencha National Park had thick forest on its highest peaks.
Its marvellous scenery is enhanced by strems, waterfalls, and wild animals.
The park's major attractions are follows:
Namtok Huai To
located some 500 meters from the park's office, has as its source Phanhom
Bencha Mountains. The waterfall itself runs down over rocks onto 11
huge pools, each with its own name such as Wang Thewada, Wang Sok, Wang
Namtok Huai Sa-de
runs down over a high cliff. The waterfall is about 1.2 kilometers from
the park's office.
Tham Khao Phung (Khao Phung Cave)
is located some 3 kilometers from the park's office. Another 5 caves
are in the area nearby. The cave's beauty is enhanced by countless stalagmites
and stalactites of various shapes. Some are like mushrooms, other pagodas
and curtains. The walls are white and glitter brightly.
Namtok Khlong Haeng
It is about 500 meters high and springs from Khao Thep Bencha which
is the tallest mountain in Krabi and is 10 kilometers from Amphoe Khao
For accommodation within the park please
contact the Khao Phanom Bencha National Park, Tambon Thap Prik, Amphoe
Muang, Krabi 81000.
Amphoe Klong Tom District
Wat Khlong Thom Museum
is situated within the precincts of Wat Khlong Thom between Km.69-70
on Phetchakasem Highway, one kilometer from the District office, the
museum features various kinds of artifacts discovered during excavations
within an area called "Khuan Luk Pat" or a bead mound behind
Wat Khlong Thom. The discoveries include stone tools, stone and eathen
ornaments in the shapes of animals and particularly beads from some
5,000 years ago.
Namtok Hin Phoeng
is located at Mu 8, Ban Hin Phoeng, Tambon Khlong Phon, a distance of
25 kilometres from the District Office. This is accessible via Phetchakasem
Highway, (Krabi-Trang route) turning left at Khlong Phon and travelling
a further 8 kilometres. To reach the waterfall which runs down over
a steep rock, one has to take a 400-meter walk along the hillside.
Thung Teao Forest
is located in the area of Khao Pra-Bang Khram no-hunting zone next to
the Bang Teao Village, 18 kilometres from Amphoe Khlong Thom. It is
a virgin forest with natural ponds, rare floral and species of birds.
A 2.7-kilometre nature trail offers opportunity to study the environment.
Information can be obtained from the no-hunitng zone office at Ban Bang
is located in the forest within Tambon Khlong Tom Nua, about 12 kilometres
from the district town. The source of this fall is from underground
thermal water, hence the high temperature of the water.
Amphoe Koh Lanta
Mu Koh Lanta National Park
comprises of many different-sized is lands, some of which are surround
by beautiful coral reefs such as Ko Ha, Ko Rok and Ko Hai. The main
island in the park is
Ko Lanta Yai, where both the District Headquarters and National Park
Office are located. The island itself is generally rugged and mountainous.
There are beaches both gravelly and sandy toward the south. The suitable
time to visit Ko Lanta is from November to April.
Ko Lanta Yai is also home to "Chao
Le" or sea gypsies. They still maintain their old way
of life and have peculiar traditions, such as setting a boat a drift
to drive out evil and bring good luck. This is done during the full
moon in June and in November.
Travel to Koh Lanta
Boat depart from downtown Krabi to Ko Lanta
Yai daily. The journey takes 2 and a half hours. Boat tickets are available
at Chaofa Pier. Tourist may take a minibus from Krabi Town to Bo Muang
Pier in Amphoe Khlong Thom, 80 kilometres away. Few boats depart from
Bo Muang Pier to Ko Phi Phi daily. The trip take about 45 minutes.
From Bangkok take Route 4, passing Phetchaburi, Prachuap
Khirikhan, Chumphon, Ranong, and Phangnga Provinces before reaching
Krabi a total distance of 946 kilometers. An alternate route is to take
Route 4 to Chumphon and then turn onto Route 41. This leads through
Lang Suan and Chaiya Districts of Chumphon to Wieng Sa District of Surat
Thani from there follow Route 4035, passing Ao Luk District of Krabi,
back onto Route 4, and down to Krabi Town. This shortcut is just 814
kilometers, and is followed by the bus services.
From Phuket, there is
an air-conditioned bus operating from Phuket Bus Terminal (on Phang-Nga
Road) to Krabi. It operates from 06:00-18:30 hrs. daily. Trip takes
about 3 hours and fare is Baht 117 per person per way. Telephone number
of Phuket Bus Terminal is 076-211-977.
Buses leave Bangkok for Krabi daily in the evening. The journey takes
about 12 hours. The fare for 24 seats air-conditioned bus is about 655
baht, and 446 and 421 baht for 40 seat air-conditioned bus and 234 baht
for non air-conditioned bus. Contact Bangkok Southern Bus Terminal (Borommaratchonnani
Road) at Tel.(02) 435-1199, 435-5061 (air-conditioned bus) and (02)
4345557 (non air-conditioned bus).
From Bangkok Railway Station take the train to one of the following
stations : Trang, Phun Pin in Surat Thani Province, or Thung Song in
Nakhon Si Thammarat Province. From any of these places a bus may be
taken onward to Krabi. Regarding train schedules and costs, contact
Bangkok Railway Station , Tel.(02)223-7010, 223-7020.
Thai Airways International operates daily flights from Bangkok to Krabi.
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