Amphoe Muang (Krabi Town)
With its outstanding landscape, the provincial capital boasts a prominent landmark Khao Khanap Nam and verdant mangrove forests, where visitors can enjoy canoeing or exercising. They can also take a long walk in the afternoon breeze, or dine at the night bazaar. Chao Fa Pier and the bazaar on Maha Rat Road also feature authentic cuisine; rice noodles in curried fish sauce, chili paste, Southern-style fish curry, and fried chicken. Tourists can use the ferry service or hire a boat from Chao Fa Pier to various beaches and islands such as Hat Rai Le, Ao Nang and Ko Poda.
These two hills, roughly 100 meters high, flank the Krabi River running between them to form a distinctive vista and the town's most prominent landmark. They are accessible within 15 minutes by long-tail boat from Chao Fa Pier. Apart from admiring these hills from the boat and visiting the local mangrove forests, Khao Khanap Nam has a beautiful cave with amazing stalagmites worth exploring. From the boat, one climbs the stairs leading up to the cave. A large number of human skeletons have been found here but are currently gone. It is theorized that they were those who came and established a home at Khanap Nam, but were cut off by an inundation of water and quickly perished. This is an ideal place for canoeing lovers because it is fringed by mangrove forests and the water is quite still.
Not far from Khao Khanap Nam is the local community of Ko Klang. This island features a museum, as well as, handicraft centre housing numerous folk tools and utensils, and souvenirs (Hua Thong boat). Tourists can enjoy the local way of life, cotton weaving, or breeding of fish in the floating baskets. It is accessible within 20 minutes by rental boats (300 Baht) from Krabi Municipal Pier situated around the Khao Khanap Nam area.
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. Firstly, moist evergreen forests are found on the high steep mountains of Khao Hang Nak and Khao Ao Nang. Secondly, mangrove forests are found in Khlong Hang, which is within the area of the national park’s headquarters, as well as, around Khlong Yan Saba and Susan Hoi or the 40-million-year fossil shell beach (situated to the northeast). Thirdly, peat swamp forests comprise of an outstanding plant society of pure samet or cajuput forest. Numerous species of fauna include frigatebird, brahminy kite, white-bellied sea-eagle, edible-nest swiftlet, common wild pig, monkey, and langur. The national park provides accommodation of 8 houses at the rate of Baht 800 – 4,000. The best time to visit is between November – March. Major attractions include:
Situated 17 km from the provincial town of Krabi, Hat Noppharat Thara (Noppharat Thara Beach) is a famous 3-km long sandy beach lined with dense casuarinas. The beach, paved with tiny seashells, was formerly called Hat Khlong Haeng, which means dried canal beach, because when the tide ebbs the stream flowing from the northern mountains almost disappears. The area, hence, turns into a long beach and stretches all the way to the island of Ko Khao Pak Khlong. It is also possible at low tide to walk from the beach to various small islands within the bay. Accommodation is available; Tel. 0 7563 7200, 0 7566 1145. Alternatively, to the west of the afore-mentioned lodging, various bungalows are available at tourists’ disposal. This beach is popular among those who prefer serene and tranquil surroundings.
Located 17 km from the provincial capital, within Ban Laem Pho, Susan Hoi is accessible via the same route as Hat Noppharat Thara. A road sign to this shell cemetery is visible when one reaches Ban Sai Thai. 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 Beach, is Krabi's most developed beach. Fringed by palms. From Ao Nang, tourists may hire boats to nearby attractions on the west such as the white sandy beach of Hat Rai Le or explore the stalactites and stalagmites, as well as, enjoy rock climbing at Hat Tham Phra Nang. 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 beautiful beaches and colourful coral reefs. They are ideal islands for diving and snorkelling.
Boat travelling times and fares from Ao Nang to various beaches and islands are as follows:
A night trip from Ao Nang to Rai Le costs 100 baht. All boats are available from 7.00 a.m. - 7.00 p.m. Tourists may take the local Songthaew (passenger pick-up vehicle from Krabi Town to Ao Nang. The fare is 50 baht and takes 45 minutes. Alternatively, one can proceed directly to Hat Rai Le by boat service at Chao Fa Pier. The fare costs 150 baht and takes 45 minutes.
This area has limestone scenery, which dominates the entire region offering a fascinating network of cave systems, both inland and along the coastline. Phra Nang Beach (Princess Cave Beach) is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. This is evidenced by the number of Hollywood movies shot in the area. The huge cave which shades some of the beach, the nicest part, is awesome. It is believed by local fishermen to be the home of a mythical sea princess. There is a collection of strange phallic symbols, offerings and objects believed to help with fertility inside the cave.
The best way to reach Prah Nang Beach is by a taking a short boat trip across a secluded section of sand that costs around 20B. Otherwise, just go on foot.
Klong Muang is Krabi's most recent beach destination aimed at offering only 5-star location. This beach may not be the most impressive in the area but it is quiet. Dozens of tiny islands lie dotted on the horizon and to the south. At Laem Hang Nak, is a Royal residence of the Crown Prince.
Situated south of Ao Nang, 8 km offshore, Mu Ko Poda (Poda Islands) are fringed by clear waters and white sandy beaches, as well as pristine coral reefs. They are a year-round attraction; an excellent place for fishing because they are not affected so much by the monsoon. Mu Ko Poda can be reached within 25 minutes by boat from Ao Nang. Many noteworthy islands like Ko Thap, Ko Mo, Ko Hua Khwan, and Ko Kai are situated nearby. A beautiful sandy beach, connecting these islands, is visible at low tide.
During the lowest tide of the day, the sea is gradually separated by the white sand and limestone beach that will appear to amazingly connect two islands. The best time to visit is 5 days before and after the full moon from December to the beginning of May.
To Get There: From the provincial town of Krabi, proceed along Highway No. 4034, then turn left and follow Highway No. 4202 to Ao Nang. Rental boats with a maximum of 8 - 10 passengers are available at a rate of 2,000 – 2,500 baht.
Located 42 kilometres from the provincial town of Krabi, Mu Ko Phi Phi (Phi Phi Islands) are an archipelago, formerly called Pulao Piah Pi. Pulao is the Malay word for island and Piah Pi refers to the cassia and mangrove wood found there. The name previously sounded something like Pi Pi and later the p was pronounced with a stronger aspiration and the name became Phi Phi as we know today. Exceptionally clear waters teem with a rich variety of underwater anemones, coral reefs, and colourful marine life, Phi Phi Islands is a popular destination for snorkelling. Mu Ko Phi Phi, an archipelago of six islands located at an equal distance from Krabi and Pkuket, consist of Ko Phi Phi Le, Ko Phi Phi Don, Ko Yung, Ko Mai Phai, Ko Bida Nok, and Ko Bida Nai. These islands are renowned for their marvellous beaches and crystalline water.
Interesting Attractions of Mu Ko Phi Phi:
Ko Phi Phi Don (Phi Phi Don Island) covers an area of 28 square km. Outstanding attractions are the twin bays with curving white sandy beaches of Ao Ton Sai and Ao Lo Da Lam. Ko Phi Phi Pier, accommodation, and restaurants are situated at Ao Ton Sai. Visitors can walk from this bay uphill to the scenic spot where the visibility of the twin bays is generally excellent. Besides Ao Ton Sai, there are also other attractive beaches and bays around the island. A number of accommodation is available at Hat Laem Hin, Hat Yao, and Ao Lo Bakao. At the northern end of the island is Laem Tong, renowned for its underwater natural beauty with lodging available. A huddle of fisherman’s huts (15 – 20 families) is located here. Most of them have previously migrated from Ko Li Pe of Tarutao National Park, Satun province.
A day trip by boat or snorkelling spectacular coral shallows around Ko Phi Phi Don and Ko Phi Phi Le is recommended.
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 offers superb scenic 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. The cave was renamed Tham Phaya Nak or Naga Serpent Cave by HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej because of a stone resembling the mythical creature, which he saw when he paid a visit there in 1972.
The cave is considered sacred to locals who come here to collect swallow nests. Inside the eastern and southern parts of the cave are ancient rock paintings of elephants and various types of boats, including a European sailboat, an Arabian sailboat, a sampan, a Chinese junk, a waterwheel sailing boat, and a steamboat. It is believed the paintings were the works of sea merchants or pirates because the study of west-to-east ship routes indicates that this area may have been a stopover for boats seeking shelter from storms, transferring cargo or making repairs.
Ko Yung (Yung Island) is north of Ko Phi Phi Don. The island has a stone beach in the east and small sandy beaches at the foot of the hills. It is teeming with various kinds of colourful coral reefs.
Ko Mai Phai(Mai Phai Island) is north of Ko Phi Phi Don and not far from Ko Yung. Marvellous beaches are in the north and east of the island. The bank of coral reefs with staghorn corals, in particular, stretches from north to south of the island.
How to Get to Ko Phi Phi It is accessible from both Krabi and Phuket. From Krabi, take the Songthaew service (15 baht) from the provincial town of Krabi to Pak Khlong Jilard Pier. From there, ferries depart for Ko Phi Phi twice daily at 10.00 a.m. and 3.00 p.m. On return, the ferries leave Ko Phi Phi at 9.00 a.m. and 2.00 p.m. The 2-hour trip costs 450 baht per person (price for one way ticket). For further details, contact Phi Phi family Co., Ltd., Tel. 0 7561 2463, Chao Ko Co., Ltd., Tel. 0 7563 1823. Alternatively, a one-day trip on a speedboat is available at Ao Nang. Departure time is 9.00 a.m. On return, it reaches Ao Nang at 5.00 p.m. Contact Ao Nang Travel and Tour Co., Ltd. for more information, Tel. 0 7563 7152 - 3 The trip costs 1,500 baht per person with lunch included.
Remarks: Boat fares are subject to change without notice.
Visitors travelling from Phuket can contact tour operators in Phuket’s provincial city for a one-day trip to Ko Phi Phi. On arrival to Ao Ton Sai in Ko Phi Phi Don, trips to the surrounding islands can be made by long-tail boat.
This is part of the National Park. To get there, proceed along Highway No. 4200 onto the Khlong Chilat Intersection. Take a left turn onto Highway No. 4034 towards Ban Nong Thale. Take another left turn towards Ban Khlong Muang and then a right turn to the Ranger Station. This route is 38km. Thap Khaek boasts numerous species of flora and fauna and offers a lookout point or Ngon Nak point for a bird's eye view of Krabi’s sea. The natural forest trail of Thap Khaek has a total length of about 3.7km. A guide is necessary.
This cave is located at Ban Nong Kok, Tambon Sai Thai, 7 km from the provincial town of Krabi. The villagers named it to mark the visit (Thai language, visit = “sadet”) of King Rama VI (before he ascended to the throne) in 1909. The cave features marvellous stalactite and stalagmite formations.
This temple complex not only serves as a religious site for the monks who live and worship there, but also features a maze of natural caves in an overgrown jungle valley where stone tools, pottery remains and the mold for making Buddha footprints have been excavated.
This cave is located at Ban Tham Suea, Tambon Krabi Noi, 9km from the provincial town of Krabi via Phetchakasem Road (Highway No. 4) and turning left onto Ratsadon Phatthana Road (Highway No. 4037). Tham Suea means tiger cave because the cave in front of Ao Luk Thanu Range or Khao Kaeo features natural rock impressions of tiger paws and real tigers once roamed this area. The surrounding area is covered with lush forest and enormous trees hundreds of years old, particularly in the Khiri Wong Valley. Mountains are on all sides and there are smaller caves in great numbers such as Tham Khonthan, Tham Lot, Tham Chang Kaeo, Tham Luk Thanu, and Tham Phra. Aside 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. In addition to this, there are trekking routes, and a trail of 1,272 steps leading to the lookout point for a bird's eye view of the place.
Situated at Mu 1, Phetchakasem Road, Tambon Khao Khram, the Krabi Horticultural Centre is 20 km from the provincial town of Krabi. To get there, proceed via the Krabi – Ao Luek route. The centre houses a variety of local plants, as well as demonstrative research plant plots (local and foreign plants) for distribution to local farmers. Such collection of plants include sealing wax palm, torch ginger, lady palm, heliconia, coconut, orchids, as well as, a breeding ground of more than 60 kinds of colourful anthurium. Their brilliant colours range from green (Midori), pure white (Maunakea white), and soft pink (Twingo) to purple (Royal Flush). The centre is open from Monday – Friday during 8.30 a.m. – 4.30 p.m., except public holidays. For more information, please contact Tel. 0 7561 2913.
Sa Kaeo is in the forest garden of Tambon Khao Thong, a distance of 28 km from the provincial town of Krabi, and is accessible by the Krabi – Nai Sa route. It is composed of eight small natural ponds forming part of a recreational area such as Sa Nam Lot, Sa Choeng Khao, Sa Chorakhe khao, Sa Nam Thip, Sa Nam Khram, Sa Morakot, Sa Hun Kaeng, and Sa Noi.
This forest is located at Ban Nong Chik, Mu 2, Tambon Khao Khram, a distance of 34 km from the provincial town of Krabi. To get there, proceed along Highway No. 4 (Krabi - Ao Luek route) onto Km. 126 and take a left turn for another 5 km. 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. Wooden chairs are located at certain points for nature lovers to conveniently admire the view of the place. Admission fees for adults and children are 50 and 30 Baht, respectively. For more details, contact the Khao Khram Sub-district Administration Organization, Tel. 0 7569 4165, 0 7569 4198.
Amphoe Khao Phanom
Covering a total area of 31,325 rai, including parts of Amphoe Mueang, Amphoe Ao Luek, and Amphoe Khao Phanom, Khao Phanom Bencha National Park is Krabi’s only on land National Park. It offers pristine, lush forest with mountain ranges running north to south. Khao Phanom Bencha, the highest elevation of Krabi, stands at 1,397 meters above sea level. Its marvellous scenery is enhanced by streams, waterfalls, caves, and wild animals such as Asian tapir, Sumatran serow, Asiatic black bear, and Fishing cat. In addition to this, it boasts more than 218 species of birds such as eagles, hornbills, and woodpeckers. Other attractions include:
Originating from Khao Phanom Bencha, this waterfall is composed of 5 cascades, each with its own name, such as Wang Sam Hap, Wang Chong Loi, Wang Doi Prong, Wang Thewada, and Wang Ton Phrio. Namtok Huai To eventually flows to Khlong Krabi Yai in Amphoe Mueang, Krabi.
Located some 300 meters from the park's office, this waterfall is composed of 3 cascades with a crystal clear pool. It eventually flows to Khlong Ton and Khlong Krabi Yai. Trekking to the peak of the Khao Phanom Bencha is another highlight. Two routes are available.
First route: This route takes 4 days and 3 nights starting from Namtok Huai To, which is located 300 meters from the park’s office. Visitors climb 5 cascades and at the top walk further towards the stream. Take a left turn at the large dipterocarpus Yang tree and stay overnight at Khao Luk Chang. The next morning continue walking and stay overnight at Khuan Namkhang. Then, keep trekking towards the foot of Khao Phanom Bencha. The next day, visitors can trek to its peak and stay one more night. Second route: Commute by car towards Bang San Operational Base. This route is 60 km and takes 3 days and 2 nights. Trekking starts by walking from the said base heading for Khao Phanom Bencha’s peak; this takes the whole day. Stay overnight. Proceed downhill the following day and stay at Khuan Namkhang. Trekking continues the next morning towards the park's office.
Either route, tourists will experience the beauty of flora and fauna, caves, cliffs, waterfalls, streams, sea of fog, panoramic view of Krabi, and cool weather all year- round. Getting the necessary information beforehand is recommended.
Rental tents are available (2 – 8 people) at a rate of baht 150 – 600/night. Alternatively, tourists may bring their own and pay a fee of baht 30/tent/night. Contact Khao Phanom Bencha National Park, P.O. Box 26, Amphoe Mueang, Krabi, 81000, Tel. 0 7662 9013, 08 9893 6455. In addition to this, contact the Department of National Park, Wild Life, and Flora, Tel. 0 2579 7223, 0 2579 5734 or visit www.dnp.go.th, e-mail: [email protected] To get there from the provincial town of Krabi, proceed along Phetchakasem Road for 1 km towards Ban Talat Kao T-junction. Take a left turn onto the Talat Kao – Ban Huai To route. The total distance to the National Park is 20 km.
Amphoe Ao Luek
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. Two natural trails are available. Firstly, a 1km path within the National Park. Secondly, a trail of some 3 - 4 km from the park to the mangrove forest. Admission for adults and children is 200 and 100 baht, respectively. No accommodation is available. For more information, Tel. 0 7568 1071, 075-682058
Other attractions include:
Located near the park’s office, Than Bokkhorani is a stream formerly known as Than Asok, where Asoka or Asok trees in Thai were grown. Its topography sees various flowing streams on their journey to numerous pools of different cascades among a shady forested area.
To the north of Than Bokkhorani sees a replica of the Lord Buddha’s footprint carved from wood. It is situated near the shrine of Chaopho To Yuan – To Chong.
They are located 6 km from the park. To get there, proceed from Amphoe Ao Luek via Ao Luek - Laem Sak route for 2 km. Turn right for Bo Tho Pier. Take a 15-minute long-tail boat ride along Khlong Tha Prang, which passes through the mangrove forests.
Tham Lot is a tunnel under a limestone mountain where stalactite and stalagmite formations are found. Tham Phi Hua To or Tham Hua Kalok is 500 meters from Tham Lot. Oversized human skulls had been discovered in the cave, thus giving the cave its present name. The prehistoric paintings of men and animals, as well as, a pile of numerous seashells on the floor can be seen in the cave. Tourists can enjoy the serene view of the mangrove forests by canoes. Rental including lunch costs 1,200 baht per/person. A canoe rental service is available at the Bo Tho Pier.
Located to the west of Laem Sak, Tham Chao Le is a cave that sits within the bay, where mountains and picturesque islands surround it. The prehistoric paintings of men, animals, and geometric symbols, as well as, stalactite and stalagmite formations are found. It is assumed that the paintings may have been painted after those of Tham Phi Hua To. Canoeing near the cave is possible. Tham Chao Le is accessible by a boat service or rental boat from Laem Sak. The trip takes 10 to 15 minutes.
It is situated to the east of the end of Laem Sak. Canoeing is possible.
With its white sandy beach stretching 25 metres, Ko Dang offers a cave measuring 70 metres wide and 20 metres high, and a diving spot for coral reefs.
Mu Ko Hong is a group of islands including Ko Lao or Ko Saka, Ko Lao Riam, Ko Pakka and Ko Lao Lading. Ko Hong or Ko Lao Pile is the biggest island in the south. Most of them are limestone islands with crystal clear water, fine beaches, coral reefs in both deep and shallow water, most suited for diving and fishing. There is a 400-meter hiking trail around Ko Hong. This area is also suitable for sea-canoeing. The park’s entrance fees for adults and children are 200 and 100 baht, respectively. In addition, the park charges 20 baht for camping on the island. Visitors must bring their own tents. Mu Ko Hong is accessible by long-tail boat from Ao Nang. The trip takes about an hour. To get there: Located 46 km from the provincial town of Krabi, Mu Ko Hong is situated at Than Bokkhorani, Tambon Ao Luek Tai, a distance from the Talat Ao Luek Intersection. Proceed along the Ao Luek - Laem Sak route for 1 km. Alternatively, take the local taxi or Song Thaeo ride (Krabi – Ao Luek Neua – Tai) from Amphoe Mueang and get off at the park’s entrance.
Amphoe Khlong Thom
This local museum in a temple compound is located 1 km from Khlong Thom District Office, between Km. 71 and Km. 72 along Phetchakasem Road. The museum features various kinds of artefacts that were discovered within an archaeological site called "Khuan Luk Pat" or a bead mound behind the temple. The discoveries include stone tools, stone and earthen ornaments, and figurines in the shapes of animals. The beads, in particular, are about 5,000 years old. Operating hours are during 8.30 – 11.00 a.m. and 1.00 – 5.00 p.m. Admission is free of charge.
This waterfall is situated at Mu 8, Ban Hin Phoeng, Tambon Khlong Phon, which is about 25 km from Amphoe Khlong Thom. Proceed along Phetchakasem Road (Krabi – Trang route), turn left for 8 km at Tambon Khlong Phon. On arrival to a lower basin, visitors must walk along the edge of a mountain for 400 meters to see the waterfall running down a steep cliff.
This hot spring is situated at Ban Bang Khram – Ban Bang Tiao, which is some 45 kilometers from the provincial town of Krabi along Phetchakasem Road (Krabi – Trang route). At the Khlong Thom District Office, proceed onto Sukhaphiban 2 Road for 12 kilometers. The area is full of hot springs in a shady forest. The temperature is not too hot at 40-50°C. The hot springs and cool streams converge on a slope to form lovely cascades with warm water. Admission is 90 baht per person. For further details, contact the Khlong Thom Nuea Sub-district Administration Organization, Tel. 0 7562 2713, 0 7562 2624.
This is located at Ban Bang Tiao, Tambon Khlong Thom Nuea. Proceed along the same route as Namtok Ron Khlong Thom along Highway No. 4038. Before reaching Talat Khlong Thom, proceed onto Ban Bang Tiao for 17 km. Comprising lowland forest, this area features the Emerald Pool or Sa Morakot, which are 3 hot springs with a temperature of 30 - 50°C. The forest is home to numerous flora and rare birds like Gurney's Pitta, Rufous-collared Kingfisher, and Black Hornbill.
There is 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. In remembrance of Tina, Thung Tiao is part of the lowland forest close to Ban Bang Tiao, Tambon Khlong Thom Nuea, Amphoe Khlong Thom, Krabi. The nature trail is equipped with signboards explaining the special features of this area. The trail starts 800 meters before the Emerald Pool running through the last piece of the lowland rainforest in southern Thailand. This is home to Gurney's Pitta, a rare colourful bird found close to the forest ground where they feed. Because of its rarity and specific habitat, Khao Pra - Bang Khram Wildlife Sanctuary was initiated. In addition to this, there are more than 300 species of birds, which is the largest number ever recorded in any conservation area in the southern part of Thailand. In addition to this, more than 100 species were found along this nature trail. Some of the birds found are thick-billed pigeon, lineated barbet, Asian fairy-bluebird, bulbul, sunbird, spiderhunter, and squirrels.
Accommodation is available. There is also a camping site, where visitors must bring their own tents. For further details, contact the office of Khao Pra - Bang Khram Wildlife Sanctuary; Mu 2, Ban Bang Tiao, Tambon Khlong Thom Nuea, Amphoe Khlong Thom, Krabi.
Amphoe Ko Lanta
Covering a total area of 152 square kilometres, Mu Ko Lanta National Park is 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.
Attractions within the National Park
Ko Lanta Noi was the former settlement of the Ko Lanta community, where a district office, school, as well as, traditional lifestyle, and houses are still currently available.
Ko Lanta Yai’s topography is long and narrow. Sala Dan Pier is where tour operators, shops and banks are situated. Several beautiful beaches are in the west such as Hat Kho Kwang, Hat Lo Bara, Ao Phra Ae, Hat Khlong Khong, and Hat Khlong Nin. A paved road runs along the beaches all the way from the northern part of the island to the headquarters of the Mu Ko Lanta National Park in the south. The landscape is dominated by a series of mountains covered with virgin rainforest. To the east features an old community. The district office was previously here and later relocated to Ko Lanta Noi. Most people on the island are Muslim. The communities of Ban Sang Ka-u still maintain their traditional Loi Ruea Ceremony. Not far from the headquarters, Laem Tanot features a lighthouse, where visitors can enjoy the panoramic view of a pebble beach merging with a white sandy beach. At the end of the cape features Ko Mo, an ideal diving spot. Besides Laem Tanot, tourists can enjoy the Andaman Sea’s spectacular view from many hilltop restaurants located in the central part of the island.
Accommodation is available. High season is from November to May. Camping in the Mu Ko Lanta National Park is allowed but must notify the park in advance at No. 5, Tambon Ko Lanta Yai, Amphoe Ko Lanta, Krabi, 81150, Tel. 0 7562 9018 - 9. Alternatively, contact the Department of National Park, Wildlife and Flora, Tel. 0 2562 0760 or visit . To Get There By Car: This is served by a car ferry from Ban Hua Hin to Ko Lanta Noi. Then, proceed by the second car ferry to Ko Lanta Yai. Ferries operate between 8.00 a.m. - 6.30 p.m.
Ferry Fares and Departure Times Ban Hua Hin – Ko Lanta Noi Departs Ban Hua Hin: 7.00 a.m. – 10.00 p.m. Departs Ko Lanta Noi at Klong Mark pier: 6.00 a.m. – 10.00 p.m. Travelling time: 15 – 20 minutes Fares: car is 70 baht/motorcycle is 10 baht
Ko Lanta Noi – Ko Lanta Yai Departs Ko Lanta Noi at Lang Sod pier: 6.00 a.m. – 8.00 p.m. Departs Ko Lanta Yai at Sala Dan pier: 6.00 a.m. – 10.00 p.m. Travelling time: 15 – 20 minutes Fares: car is 50 baht/motorcycle is 10 baht
Ferries operate between 7.00 a.m. – 8.00 p.m.
Remarks: Fares are subject to change without notice.
To Get to Ban Hua Hin Pier: From Krabi Town, proceed along Highway No. 4 towards Amphoe Khlong Thom (the route to the province of Trang). Take a right turn at Ban Huai Nam Khao Intersection onto Highway No. 4206 for another 27km. Air-conditioned Vans: Take the hourly Krabi - Ko Lanta Yai air-conditioned vans from Krabi Town, which operate between 8.30 a.m. – 4.30 p.m. The fare is 250 baht per person. The trip takes 2 hours. On return, the vans depart Ko Lanta Yai between 8.30 a.m. – 4.30 p.m. as well. For more information, contact Krabi Lanta Tour in Amphoe Mueang, Tel. 0 75-622197. Sala Dan, Tel. 0 75 697053. Alternatively, take the hourly air-conditioned vans from Trang, which operate between 8.30 a.m. – 4.30 p.m. On return, the vans depart at 8.00 a.m., 10.00 a.m., 12.00 a.m., 1.30 p.m., and 3.00 p.m. The trip takes 2 hours. For further details, contact K K Tour, which is in front of the train station, Tel. 0 7521 1198, 0 7522 3664, Fax. 0 7521 1441.
Commuting from Trang to Krabi: Take the ordinary local bus leaving Trang bus station between 6.00 a.m – 5.00 p.m. The fare is 80 baht per person. The trip takes 2 hours. Alternatively, take the air-conditioned buses which leave Trang Bus Station between 6.00 a.m – 5.00 p.m. as well. The fare is 113 baht per person. The trip takes 2 hours. Ferry Service during the High Season (November – May): Ferry departs daily from Pak Klong Jilard Pier in Amphoe Mueang at 11.00 a.m. The trip takes about 2 hours to reach Sala Dan Pier on Ko Lanta Yai. For more information, contact Pak Klong Jilard Pier, Tel 0 7562 0052, Lanta Super Concord Co., Ltd. Tel 0 7563 0178.
From Ko Lanta to Other Islands Private companies on Ko Lanta operate boat services to many destinations. Ko Lanta – Ko Phi Phi: 11.00 a.m., 300 baht Ko Lanta – Krabi: 8.00 a.m., 350 baht Ko Lanta – Ko Phi Phi – Phuket: 11.30 a.m., 700 baht Lanta Super Concord Co., Ltd. (Tel 0 7563 0178) operates boat services from Ko Lanta to Krabi via Ko Cham. Ferry departs daily at 8.00 a.m. The fare ranges from 300 - 350 baht per person. In addition, boat services operate from Ko Lanta Yai to Ko Ngai and Ko Kradan, which costs 450 baht per person, as well as, to Ko Rok, which only offers speed boats (return tickets) costing 1,600 baht. Contact any travel agent on Ko Lanta.
Situated between Bo Muang Pier and Ko Lanta, Ko Talabeng is a limestone island that is similar to Ko Phi Phi Le. It consists of small lovely beaches and grottoes which become visible during low tide. Some swallows can be seen on the island. To the north features Ko Phi which is an ideal spot for canoeing.
This is where the Mu Ko Lanta National Park’s Ranger Station is located. Ko Rok Nai is an island that is mostly steep cliffs. To the east, it offers a beach and unspoiled coral reefs among rocks. Laem Thong and Ao San Chao are to the north. Ko Rok Nai offers white sandy beaches, crystal clear water, and is still very intact. Nature trails are available, where tourists can enjoy the exercise and various species of plants. A camping ground is available. Contact Mu Ko Lanta National Park, Tel. 0 7562 9018 – 9, Fax. 0 7568 4153.
Ko Rok Nok is full of soft white sandy beaches and coral reefs in shallow water in the southeast and the south. Hat Thalu and Ao Man Sai are situated at the end of the island. To get there: Rent a boat from Pak Meng Pier, which takes about 3 - 4 hours. Alternatively, take the speed boat from Ko Lanta. Contact tour operators, resorts or bungalows on Ko Lanta Yai. Remarks: Since Ko Rok is very far, almost on the edge of international waters, trips by long-tail boat, at any time of the year are absolutely not recommended.
Ko Ngai is a small island with a long sandy beach in the east and unspoiled coral reefs in shallow water at the beachfront, which is an ideal snorkelling spot. It is accessible by a chartered boat from Pak Meng Pier, Trang province.
Hin Daeng or submerged red rock lies on the outer edge of the Andaman Sea. It offers various kinds of coral reefs making it a superb diving spot
Ko Ha is an archipelago of five islands. The sail-shaped Ko Ha Yai is where coral reefs are found in shallow water. Ko Kai (Chicken Island) Chicken Island is named after the strange rock formation which looks like the head and neck of a chicken. Steep clicks are located at one end of the island and a nice beach at the other. As it is very small, there is no accommodation on the island.
Ko Talu is another small island. It has strange rock formations and is home to a large number of swifts which provide the nests essential for the Chinese delicacy, Bird's Nest Soup.
Apart from its world renowned natural attractions, Krabi is also an ideal place for canoeing, kayaking, rock climbing, and abseiling. Famous spots for canoeing and kayaking include Ko Hong, Ko Karot, Ko Phak Bia, Ko Ku Du, and Tha Len, while Tham Phra Nang and Hat Rai Le have attracted many climbers. Abseiling has currently become another popular sport in Krabi.
Located 35km off the provincial town, tourists can enjoy kayaking in Ban Tha Len, which abounds with mangrove forests and ghost crabs. Not far from the kayaking spot features Tham Khangkhao or the bat cave with amazing stalactites and stalagmites. Through the cave offers an ideal spot for abseiling, where the panoramic view of Krabi’s sea, offshore islands, and mangrove forests are visible. For more information, contact Sea Canoe (Krabi), Tel. 0 7563 7170, Sea Land and Trek 0 7563 7364, Sea Kayak Krabi 0 7563 0270, 0 7562 3395 – 6
Sounds obvious, but there are literally hundreds of brilliant places to relax and take in the scenery. Sit back on a beautiful beach with a cold beer and chill out.
Railay Bay  (also known as Rai Leh) has the atmopshere of a remote Thai island, though it's very easy to get to from Krabi. There's no road traffic here and the bay is completely hemmed in by giant limestone cliffs. From the beach at Krabi it's a 10 minute crossing by longtail boat to Railay where you'll be greeted by a crescent-shaped bay with a sparkling white beach. Towering rock formations stand guard at the entrance to the bay. The beach is lined by dozens of little resorts and restaurants. There are no shops or busy nightlife here, instead you'll find a low-key, laid-back atmopshere.
This activity in Krabi has grown immensely popular with over 600 different routes now. Routes include high quality limestone, steep, pocketed walls, overhangs and hanging stalactites, with some accessed by boat belay, others involving jungle walk approaches or abseils into the sea.
Scuba Diving & Snorkeling
Krabi with its crystal clear water, stunning coral and diversity of marine life makes it a fantastic location for scuba diving and snorkeling.
Diving in Krabi is one of the favorite pastimes of the tourists in this small southern province of Thailand. Diving in Krabi is both varied and fertile with over 200 types of fish and 80 species of coral structure. The tropical waters are also home to the likes of friendly leopard and whale sharks, turtles, moray eels and dolphins. The major dive sites are centred around the Phi Phi Islands and to the south of Koh Lanta; all are accessible on day excursions from the mainland, by regular dive boat, or speedboat.
As diving in Krabi is run by international staff, the standards are the same as one would find in the West. The best time of the year for diving in December to march.
Popular diving sites are Ko Yamasan, Ko See and Ko Haa. Depths of the water range from 5 – 20 meters, the currents are weak and take about 30 – 45 minutes to get to.
Popular sites include: Koh Poda, Koh Hong, Koh Yung, Koh Phi Phi Lae, Hin Muang and Hin Dang Reefs, Koh Rok and Koh Ngai.Many companies cater to divers of every level and pocket, most are located at Ao Nang, Krabi Town, Phi Phi Don Island and Koh Lanta.
With a coastline composed of mangroves, limestone, small coves, caves and islands, and an interior with rivers lined with fascinating cave systems, Krabi provides a perfect environment for kayaking. Just watch out for any snatching monkeys!
The best time of the year for bird watching has to be from January to April. Many rare birds are to be seen there: Gurneys, Finfoots, Bigwinged Brown Kingfishers, Egrets, Bitterns, Herons and more.
Sailing & Cruising
Krabi has plenty of anchorages, usually deserted and all so beautiful. There are many charter sailing boats available and some even offer "join-in" day trips for two or more people. You can also take some day trips which take you to several beautiful islands, where aside from the beautiful scenery you'll also enjoy swimming and snorkeling:
Wanna-be fishers can catch the likes of marlin, sailfish barracuda and tuna.
Krabi’s pristine virgin forests with the finest flora and fauna are ideal for trekking. Elephant riding can be arranged. Krabi and Ao Nang's islands are very suitable for hiking and jungle trekking. The Khao Phanom Bencha National Park and the Khao Pra-Bang Khram are regarded as the two of the favorites among trekkers.
With breath-taking scenery and lovely tropical weather, Krabi should be on every golfer’s itinerary in Thailand. The province now has the world-class Pakasai Country Club which is located 40km south of Krabi Town. Golfers enjoy the challenge of its tricky fairways and fast undulating greens, in slightly hilly terrain.
Spas in Krabi offer luxurious treatment which suits every budget. The treatment includes both traditional remedies and modern techniques. Facilities at spas in Krabi may also include a Jacuzzi and steam bath. Over the past few years these spas have become leaders in Thailand Many Spas in Krabi also offer traditional Thai healing arts as form of treatment. There is also alternative treatment such as Rishi. Resorts offer many detox programs. The most popular treatments are chi organ massage, karsai genital detox massage, deeper skin detox and herbal skin detox.
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.
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, reasonable priced and tasty seafood is obviously what most tourists long for when visiting a coastal province like Krabi. In this connection, the wing shell (หอยชักตีน) is Krabi’s famous cuisine. In addition, stirred fried Spotted Babylon (หอยหวาน), which is found in mangrove forests, with chilies and basil is also famous. This cuisine is common in Krabi’s restaurants. Another great Krabi taste is, of course, seafood. The Krabi beach areas have several restaurants with the 'catch of the day' displayed on ice outside. One can find all kinds of fish; juicy crabs and langoustines; shellfish, including giant oysters; as well as squid and lobsters. Many foreign tourists regard Krabi Town as having one of the best food Night Markets in Thailand. There is plenty on offer and the prices are exteremly reasonable; much cheaper than any of the beach areas.
Krabi with its specific landscape is ideal for learning rock climbing, there are lots of different courses for beginners – advanced. The courses available range from just half a day to three whole days in length. All instructors are properly qualified and well-experienced especially on Railey and Princess Cave beaches. There are at least ten rock climbing schools in Railay and Ton Sai, and several more in Ko Phi Phi.
In regards to advanced rock climbing - over the years, many Thai and foreign rock climbing experts have blazed routes up the many rock faces both on the mainland and Koh Phi Phi. There are now more than 600 routes.
With its crystal clear water, colourful coral and huge diversity of marine life, Krabi is a must-go for all those interested in diving. There are courses for anyone, regardless to whether they are near-on experts or complete beginners. PADI Open Water courses take around three to four days to complete and their instructors are a totally world-class standard.
Souvenirs of Krabi include turtle-dove cages, Toei Panan mats made from pandanus plants, shrimp paste, dried fish, and dried shrimp. They are sold in shops on Uttarakit Road. Most of the goods sold to tourists in Krabi are just the same as what is found in Bangkok, such as: Thai silk scarves, carved wooden objects, silver jewellery, sarongs, leather goods etc. Only the prices in Krabi are relatively more expensive than the markets in Bangkok. It is recommended therefore to save shopping for Bangkok. For those needing to shop in Krabi though, the best prices and discounts are to be found in Krabi town and especially at one of the two night markets. Thai handicrafts can also be purchased.
For those who love nothing more than a decent night then Krabi’s tourist and Thai-Thai areas offer some of the funkiest nightlife. Types of Nightlife available include:
There are three main hospitals in Krabi: Krabi Hospital, Koh Lanta Hospital and Ao Lak Hospital. Besides those, there are plenty of clinics and pharmacies scattered all over the place
--globe-trotter 18:07, 5 February 2010 (EST)