KRABI THAILAND TRAVEL REPORT
FUN THINGS TO DO IN KRABI
My girl friend who is now my wife and I decided to take a small little vacation so I booked a flight to Krabi. “Krabi is a southern province of Thailand and evidence establishes Krabi as having a very ancient history. Stone and bone tools, drawings and paintings from pre-historic times, have been found in great numbers. Pottery remains have been discovered and dated to an era 27,000 to 37,000 years old. It is suggested Krabi is therefore the most ancient settled community in Thailand, having existed from pre-history to present.” I had been to Krabi and Koh Phi Phi many times before but this was my girl friends first trip.
Air Asia was about 5,500 Round trip for both of us and it was very exciting for my girl friend as this was her first flight. We left for the airport from Pattaya the morning of the 3rd with a friend of mine and his girl friend. We arrived at the airport in about an hour and a half where I met Tik. The flight was smooth and Tik loved it but I think my friend’s girl might have had a different experience. After about an hour we landed and found the Krabi Airport small but modern. We shared a 600 baht taxi to Ao Nang Beach which was about a 25 minute ride. After checking into our hotel Tik and I rented a motor bike for 200 baht a day and then we went exploring. We found the Ao Nang beach area very clean and full of tourists. There are many shops facing the water like in Pattaya but they are much cleaner. We had lunch and then got two tickets for the long boat to take us to Railay Beach. It was only about a 15 minute journey but the sightseeing was wonderful. When we got to the beach I did a fast photo shoot and then we went swimming. It was Tik’s first time swimming in salt water and she was amazed at how clear the water was. We spent about 3 hours there and then hired a long boat to take us around to a few of the smaller islands. It was getting late so we headed back by boat to our motor bike and returned to our hotel. The hotel was called The Somkiet Buri Resort and Spa and was wonderful but expensive at about 4,000 per night. The resort was only a few minutes from the beach and central to everything. The next day we rented a motor bike and went exploring and spent most of the day on the beaches. We found a long stretch of beach closed to motor bike traffic which means you can stroll the road without be troubled by traffic. The beach was full of half naked sexy western girls. Tik kept pointing out the girls who were not wearing their top. Along this stretch of road you can find many resorts which offer the best in beach front rooms. The ones we stopped in were all fully booked and very expensive. That night we walked around the main beach town of Ao Nang and found many interesting places which included a large string of bars off the main road which were full of cute little Thai girls. We found mostly western people walking around and from time to time we would run into a Thai. Even Tik asked me where all the Thai people were. The beach strip is very nice at night and it was very interesting walking the entire length while stopping and exploring the many beach side shops. We found the beach road in very good condition and they kept the area very clean. Tik bought a lot of souvenirs for her family and friends. Further down the beach I found a lot of new construction going. The hotels were crowded and for the most part the resorts were fully booked. We could only book our resort for 2 nights as it was full so we went searching for another resort in the morning. We found a new hotel up the road away from the beach which had just opened. It was called The Cozy Inn. It was a wonderful place and the bed was huge. There was an LCD TV mounted on the wall and of course everything was new. Since we did not spend a lot of time in the room anyway we will choose this option next time over an expensive resort. The Cozy Inn was around 1200 baht a night. All in all I give this destination a good recommendation as we had a great time and the scenery is beautiful.
Click here for more info on the Cozy Place Hotel
"It's estimated that the Krabi coastline contains over 200 limestone and jungle covered islands. Many are uninhabited outcrops rising from the sea with tiny patches of pristine white sandy beaches.
Much of Krabi's coastline is dotted with little coves and mangroves which form a unique eco-system and serve as a natural breeding ground for diverse aquatic life. Krabi's beaches are gradually opening out to tourism, although care is being taken to ensure management of the environment.
Development is being kept low rise with many hotels designed to blend in with the surroundings. There are few deckchairs and building directly on the beach has been kept to a minimum in most resort areas.
Fishing is widely carried out along the coastline and on most larger islands, and although traditional methods are still in use, modern trawling techniques are threatening numbers and the industry. Shrimp and cockle farming has been a high growth industry since the early 1990's, and there is also a flourishing grouper farming industry. " Snorkeling trips can be found everywhere and they are a lot of fun.
FUN THINGS TO DO IN KRABI
Thale Waek (Separated sea), the amazing phernomenon happens when there is a low tide and water level is down till, is situated along Koh (island or islets) Dam Hok and Koh Dam Kwan. These two, each of which offers one spectacular beach, are surrounded by about ten smaller, all-rock islands that have no real beaches.
As for the magic of the Miracle Beach, Koh Dam Kwan , in only a moment while you are watching strange-shaped Dam Khwan Islet and other small islets nearby, the tide can go out unnoticeably, a line of raised sand eventually appears forming a bridge between the islets, allowing visitors to walk between them.
An old sea man mentioned that there was an emerald sea hiding next to the blue one and that only those knowing the rhythm of the tide would see a strip of white powdery sand connecting two islands amidst the sea. This seems to point out that in one beauty, there hides another beauty, which can be seen only at a specific moment. The secrets of nature will solely reveal themselves to those who are in the right place and at the righ Separated seat time.
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, you should proceed on Highway No. 4034 from the city of Krabi, then turn left and follow Highway No. 4202 to Ao Nang.
Tonsai Beach, the more secluded beach on this tip of Krabi, has amazing cliff-side views and rock-climbing sites, white coarse sand, great coves and bays, pristine waters -- moderately accessible on foot from Phranang Cave Beach around the rocks at low tide and through the jungle from West Railay Beach any time, a leisurely 45-minute walk, depending on your speed or intention. Tonsai Beach is most recommended for chilling and lazing in the sun, a little peace and quiet, even late afternoon naps and all-day drinks.
Rai Ley Beach
Railay Beach is one of Thailand's most sought-after beach areas. Just south of Ao Nang Beach, around a rocky headland and accessible only by boat, Railay presents a tranquil and extraordinary world.
In just one small peninsula you'll find gorgeous white sand beaches, soaring limestone cliffs, viewpoints, caves and a lagoon hidden inside the cliffs, shaped and fed by the changing tides. All within walking distance!
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.
Rock Climbing Railay Beach- Krabi Thailand
The Rock around Railay Beach
The rock is all limestone and is part of the worlds largest coral reef, stretching from China down to Papua New Guinea. The routes are all bolted sport climbing routes. The French grading system is used. With over 700 routes ranging from beginner 5a's to classic multipitch 6a's right up to the extremes of 8c there's enough here to keep any climber busy for years.
Railay, also known as Raileh, Reilay and Railey is the name of a small peninsula just south of Ao Nang. Though Railay Beach, Krabi is a part of the mainland, but it is cut off from the highway by the majestic towering cliffs and is hence inaccessible by road. It is due to this inaccessibility, that the Railay Beach gets a special 'island feel', which, with the spectacular scenery, draws many visitors every year.
Railay Beach is probably the most popular place in Krabi to spend Christmas and New Year. However, those who do plan to spend their vacation here must do advance booking as the limited number of rooms here fill up around six months in advance.
For a photographer, Railay Beach is pure delight as its gorgeous landscape has already featured on tourist posters of Thailand and in endless postcard pictures. Still every shutterbug enthusiast tries to cover this beauty from a novel angle, playing with the sunlight at different times of the day.
There is a small cave at the far end of Phra Nang beach, with a shrine notable for its phallic statues. The shrine is dedicated to a deity known locally as Sri Kunlathewi who, according to legend, was apparently an Indian princess wrecked on this coast in the 3rd century BC and has been called upon by fishermen ever since to provide them with a good catch.
Night scene in Railay is not too loud, though there are a few small beach bar and some lively rasta-style bars on the east side, which stay open late and often have live music and fire shows.
Wat Tham Seua
This Tiger Cave Temple is located about 8 km north of Krabi. It consists of a few caves and a small comunity of Buddhist monks. But the best part is the temple on top of a 600 m high karst peak. The climb up there (1237 steps!) is truly arduous and don't forget to bring lots of water. You'll notice that you can never have anough of that stuff. This has been one of the most tiring experiences in my life, but very rewarding: on the top waits a huge buddhist statue and supurb views. Really impressive. So if you feel fit enough: go check it out.
I got there by one of the taxi-bikes.
if you do wish to a very unique experience, elephant trekking can be a very enjoyable activity.
But do note that there is no fix path to follow and the elephants pretty much just go where they want to go. Just enjoy the experience and oh yeah, bring along a hat, sunscreen, and maybe a bottle of water - it's hot out there!
Prutiew Hot Spring
In the south of Krabi province (around 70km from town and near the Khao Nor Chu Chi forest), are nature's own hot-tub jacuzzis. The water here comes from thermal springs, originating deep underground in volcanic chambers. Located in the jungle, this site features naturally hollowed-out 'bathtubs' in the smooth stone, filled to the brim with running spring water at a pleasant 35-40C. The mineral salts contained in the water are said to ease a number of ailments, including rheumatism, sciatica and skin complaints. Although these medical claims are unproven, the effect of simply lazing in hot water up to your chin, watching the clouds go by, certainly has positive health benefits. Tours to the hot springs are available from many agents, or you can rent a car and go it alone.
Diamond cave is located near East Rai Leh beach. The cave itself houses some amazing limestone waterfalls and the highlight being the golden quartz waterfall, which sparkles in the lights. A path leads you around the cave which isn't very big. The thing that struck me when we first got in there is the squeeking bats hanging on the ceiling of the cave! Legend has is that Diamond Cave is the grand palace of the sea princess, said to be an Indian princess who died at sea near Rai Leh. Princess Cave is her summer palace.
The cave isn't well signposted and took us a good half hour wondering around and asking locals for directions until we found it. Head north up the beach into the little village find signs to the Diamond Bungalows and resort and head in that direction, rather than going into the resort head left through a gate and follow the path round to the cave. The path looks like it hasn't been used for years but persevere and you'll get there.
Tiger Cave Temple
One of Southern Thailand's most famous caves is about 5km from Krabi. It is officially Wat Tham Seua but called Tiger Cave Temple.
The best part of the temple grounds is the steep climb of 1272 steps to the top of a karst with a buddha shrine and great views.
We traveled by long boat to many of Krabi's Beaches and found the coastline just stunning. Cliffs just jet up out of the sea to form landscapes I have just never seen before. The shoreline is filled with these enormous vertical outcrops of limestone, as high as 800 m. Truly amazing and not seen in that many other places on earth. A must do while your in Krabi is to travel the Coastline and take a million photos.
If you happen to be going out to the sea, do bring along some bread to feed the fishes. It is surprisingly how a simple activitity like this can be so enjoyable.
You do not have to worry about polluting the environment if you are just using plain bread because there are enough fish to eat any amount you can feed up....
I took along a young Thai girl who had never experienced this before. After seeding the water with bread it was only seconds before she was surrounded by hundreds of small fish which tickled her as they tried to feed. It made the trip for her.
Scuba Diving and Snorkelling in Krabi
WITH around 160 kilometres of coastline meeting the emerald Andaman Sea, as well as its myriad islands, Krabi boasts more than 32 dive sites and countless more snorkeling spots. If you are fascinated by life underwater, Krabi offers a rich marine environment, with superb corals, pinnacles, underwater caves and rock formations. Leopard sharks, turtles, and even dolphins are regularly spotted.
The majority of dive locations are shallow and thus suitable for all levels of divers, from beginner to pro. Any number of PADI-certified dive schools exist to teach newbies (see below for details), either on a day-long 'Discover Scuba Diving' trip, or a more serious Open Water course, upon completion of which you will receive an internationally valid diving licence. Courses are taught in most major European languages, plus Japanese and Thai.
Those who are already qualified can go on 'fun dives' with knowledgeable, locally-based guides, or further their existing skills with the full range of PADI courses and specialities, right up to Instructor level. Two world class dive sites, Hin Daeng and Hin Muang - which at 70m is the deepest drop-off in Thai waters - are a big draw for serious divers.
Krabi is considered a good place to base a diving holiday as, unlike many of the smaller islands on the east coast of Thailand, it offers a wide variety of other activities for non-diving companions.
Cycling tours of Krabi
If you are brave enough to attempt it cycling through the Krabi countryside is a richly rewarding experience. Most tourists will only ever see local people who live by the side of the main road - and that usually through the minibus window as it speeds past.
A mountain bike, available for rent in Krabi Town and in Ao Nang, will allow you to go 'off-road' and explore the network of dirt tracks that go back for miles behind the highways. You will come across astonishing landscapes, small farming communities - and no doubt a whole host of memorable encounters with friendly and welcoming local people.
The main highway network is also fairly cycle-friendly. The roads are generally not very busy and on the majority of them there is a hard shoulder. Local car drivers are also very used to motorcyclists, so other two-wheeled road users - although fairly uncommon - pose no problem for them.
As yet there is no company offering guided cycling tours of Krabi; however a good local map (and a good sense of direction) is often all you need. It is very hard to get lost, even off-road, as all dirt tracks eventually lead out to a named highway. A must for adventurous spirits.
FOOD in Krabi is cheap, plentiful and available 24 hours a day. Thai people love to eat and you'll find tasty street food, or hawker stalls on every corner, selling everything from pancakes to fried chicken. Hygiene standards are high here, so there is very little risk involved in eating in the road.
Seafood is probably Krabi's biggest attraction, food-wise: the province's coastal location means supply is fresh and inexpensive. Preparation tends to be simple: whether steamed, barbecued or fried in garlic, the crabs, lobster, whole seaperch and king prawns taste fantastic. Shellfish is also readily available - you'll find giant oysters, as well as the Krabi native hawy chakteen, famous in Thailand.
In the tourist centre of Ao Nang, many expats have set up shop and there is a pretty good variety of restaurants on offer: Italian, Japanese, Tex-Mex, steakhouses, Swiss, German, Indian and even English pub grub. Prices are higher than Thai food, but still much cheaper - and often better - than the equivalent back home.
The influx of 'foreign food' has meant, though, that the Thai food has suffered somewhat and it is increasingly hard to find good quality and good value Thai cuisine in the restaurants on the main beach road. For a real taste of Thailand, you must take a trip to a local market, or to Krabi Town, a real foodie's paradise.
Krabi Town boasts the region's best Thai restaurants (the exquisite Ruen Mai, Ruen Tip and Jao Sua), as well as countless small, cheap local eateries, food stands and the famous night market. It is also home to two Krabi expat institutions: Viva Ristorante, with arguably the best pizza in the province; and Cafe Europa, a Scandinavian restaurant, which doubles as a friendly meeting point and mine of (free) tourist information from the owners.