Thursday, May 6, 2010


When travellers talk about the amazing Andaman, they are probably talking about Krabi, with its trademark karst formations curving along the coast like a giant limestone fortress. Rock climbers will find their nirvana in Railay, while castaway wannabes should head to Ko Lanta, Ko Phi-Phi or any of the other 150 islands swimming off the bleach-blonde shores.

KRABI TOWN (กระบี่)

Most travellers just breeze through Krabi’s gridiron of travel agencies, optical shops and knickknack shacks, using the provincial capital as a jumping-off point for wonderful surrounding destinations – Ko Lanta to the south, Ko Phi-Phi to the southwest and Railay to the west. The town sits on the western bank of Mae Nam Krabi, about 1,000 km from Bangkok and 180 km from Phuket. The eastern bank of the river is covered in dense mangroves and north of town are the twin limestone massifs of Khao Khanap Nam, which emerge from the water like breaching whales. The population is mainly Taoist-Confucian and Muslim, and Krabi is an important transport hub for ferries to the islands along the coast.

Orientation & Information

Th Utarakit is the main road into and out of Krabi and most places of interest are on the soi that branch off it. Ferries to Ko Phi-Phi and Ko Lanta leave from a passenger jetty at Khlong Chilat, about 5 km north of town. Krabi’s bus terminal is north of the centre at Talat Kao, near the junction of Th Utarakit. The airport is 17km south. Many of Krabi’s guesthouses and restaurants offer internet access for 40B to 60B per hour. There are numerous banks and ATMs.

Sights & Activities

Thailand has a lot of wát, but Wat Tham Seua (Tiger Cave Temple), in the forest 8 km northeast of Krabi, is unique. The main hall is built

into a long, shallow limestone cave. On either side of the cave, dozens of gùđì (monks’ cells) are built into various cliffs and caves. The large cave features portraits of Ajahn Jamnien Silasettho (the wát’s abbot, who had quite a cult following) and close-up pictures of human entrails and internal organs, which are meant to remind guests of the impermanence of the body. Skulls and skeletons scattered around the grounds are meant to serve the same educational purpose. Troops of hungry monkeys liven the awkward silences. Private taxis to the wát from Krabi cost 250B each way; túk-túks charge about 200B.