Sunday, 10 August 2008

Visiting Krabi Thailand – Top 10 Attractions

In the far south of Thailand, Krabi is the poster child for Thailand's natural coastal beauty. It’s also near Phuket. The scenery is overflowing with remarkable outcroppings of limestone that produce framing cliffs and peculiar formations. In the resort area, the pace is much slower than in other Thai hotspots, with a market that caters more for relaxed travellers and families who would prefer to stay away from the party scene of some of Thailand’s beaches.

Daytrip to Wat Tham Seua

If the heat and humidity aren't too overwhelming, a trip to Wat Tham Seua, or Tiger Cave Temple, is a must. In fact, in spite of the heat, you may want to venture out to see this site in order to explore the cool maze of caves in which Buddhist monks live and worship. A climb up this Ao Luk Thanu limestone mountain to the summit affords a look at the pagoda, 'Buddha's footprint' and spectacular vistas of the countryside.

Rock climbing

The rock climbing scene at Krabi is fit for all skill levels, with something for everyone. Climbers come from all over the world for the unique karst structures and limestone cliffs, many of which are well marked and bolted for climbers. One of the most popular sites is at Ton Sai Beach, but it’s possible to go climbing at any number of places around Krabi, especially when collaborating with a local rock climbing company. If you're not sure of your abilities, don’t be too shy to enrol in one of the instructional classes offered.

Koh Lanta Marine National Park

Pristine rainforests and more lovely Krabi beach options can be found on the island of Koh Lanta, which is also a marine national park. The most striking aspect of this island is that it's home to the nomadic tribe of Chae Leh, also called sea gypsies, who have practiced their own distinct religion and spoken their unique language for centuries. There are plenty of relaxed bungalow settings for those who want to stay a while. Visitors from as far away as Phuket come to visit.

Than Bok Khoranie National Park

Taking a day to check out Than Bok Khorani National Park is a worthwhile endeavour, especially if you're interested in the diversity of plant life here, from small gardenias to towering trees. The highlight of the park is the green-hued pond that is the namesake for the park. Beyond the pond is the area's standard fare of limestone formations, caves and mangrove trees. While the park does not offer accommodation, camping is permitted if you bring your own equipment. It’s also an easy drive to and from Phuket.

Shell Fossil Cemetery

A few miles out of Krabi Town, you'll find the archaeological site known as the Shell Fossil Cemetery. This marvel has been under construction for the past 35 million years and has grown into a huge slab of fossilised snail remains more than 15 inches thick. The site of this former swamp can be found at Ban Laem Pho Cape, which is located about 10 miles from Krabi Town.

Exploring the archipelago

An organised tour of the archipelago is a wonderful way to spend a day, and with your itinerary in the hands of a local tour guide, you can be sure to find wonderful scenery and some great secluded Krabi beach choices. Another way to explore the islands close to Ao Nang Beach is to hire a sea kayak and paddle out to them yourself. This is a good way to get away from the crowds in the resort area and catch some peace along with spectacular scenery.

Scuba diving

If you're a certified diver, you'll probably want to jump right in as soon as you arrive in Krabi. The reputation of the nearby Andaman Islands and the wealth of coral reefs fuel much enthusiasm in this area, and there's no shortage of diving companies to take divers on day and longer trips. Snorkelling is also worthwhile, and those wishing to pick up a diving certificate can enrol in a four-day course. Many of the Phuket dive trips end up here.

Railay Beach

Longtail boats can be hired to take passengers out to Railay Beach, which is barred from the mainland by massive cliffs that make it only accessible by sea. There are a few resorts set up along these beautiful beaches, and Phra Nang, a sacred cave, is one of the area's principle attractions.


Cycling is a wonderful way to open up the inland countryside, and a 15 or 20 mile loop out of Ao Nang will take you into coconut groves, past quiet villages and in and around the karst outcroppings of rock before bringing you back to the resort. Bicycles can be rented for the whole day at Ao Nang beach in Krabi.

Krabi nightlife

Visitors don't generally come to Krabi for the nightlife; instead they're either here for the stunning geological landscape or the chance to relax in a quieter environment that is more conducive to families. Krabi Town itself has very few tourist establishments, with most of the action confined to a mile-long stretch of beach at the Ao Nang resort area. While there aren't any discos or wild parties, there are plenty of nice restaurants with good seafood and a relaxed atmosphere. The bars in the busiest sector of this beach stay open past midnight.

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