The Phi Phi Islands
Located in Krabi Province is the group of six islands that make up the incredibly beautiful Phi Phi Islands the supreme tropical escape. The islands shot to fame when the breath taking PHI Phi Leh Island was used as the location for the popular film “The Beach”. There is also the strangely named “Viking Cave “which is home to a flourishing Birds nest soup business. This small fishing community has grown quickly over recent times into a global resort area with five star hotels, dive schools and an energetic restaurant and bar scene. Despite this rapid development it’s still possible to find secluded spots to enjoy the outstanding scenery and touches of the earlier carefree lifestyles that used to be more typical of the Islands. The main island of the group “Ko Phi Phi Don” was devastated by the 2004 Giant Tsunami which affectively destroyed the main tourist area. Following a huge effort by the government and volunteer forces the infrastructure has been returned to pre-disaster levels and once again is a fabulous place to visit. Undoubtedly this group of islands are amongst the most stunning Thailand has to offer with incredible beaches, unbelievable rock formations and spectacular azure crystal clear waters swarming with colourful marine creatures. Life doesn’t get much better than this it’s a near perfect paradise.
Koh Lanta Island
Made up of fifty small islands is the “koh Lanta” archipelago although only three of them are inhabited and “koh LantaYai” is by far the most popular one visited by tourists. This beautiful island rises to a height of 500 metres on a mountain range which is covered with pristine rain forest. The main attraction is undeniably the nine superb beaches which extend for 30 km around the island. Some of the finest beaches on the islands can be found on the spectacular West Coast with its warm clear sea and remarkable sunsets. Even during mid-season it’s not uncommon to walk for miles and only pass a few pockets of tourists. This is an ideal place to simply lay back enjoy the sea, sand and sun, beach life just doesn’t get much better than this.
Scattered along the kilometres of wonderful beaches are more than 30 purpose built resorts, far enough away from each other to give you that special feeling of privacy and seclusion yearned by many wishing to escape from today’s hectic lifestyle. Despite the Island increased popularity the island maintains its relaxing and tranquil atmosphere and tourists can enjoy a wide range of accommodation for all budgets including simple backpacker hostels, luxury hotels and expensive boutique resorts. The inhabitants of Koh Lanta are made up of an incredible ethic mix of the indigenous Sea Gypsies, Muslims, Thai and Thai Chinese. This mixture of peoples and culture come together in the delightful variety of cuisine of offer. It’s a fabulous place to spend a unforgettable family holiday it would be difficult to surpass all the wonderful things Koh Lanta has to offer.
Klong Thom Hot Springs
Situated in the jungle south of Krabi you find naturally occurring smooth stone “Hot Tubs” over flowing with warm spring waters from thermal springs which have originated from deep underground volcanic cavities. These warm volcanic waters tumble down the springs covering you with naturally occurring mineral salts which are reputed to have a number of healing properties including skin disorders sciatica and rheumatism. The setting is wonderful, hidden in shade it’s temping to spend more than the recommended 30 minutes in the healing waters. The “Hot Tubs” are
located above a stream that is ideal for cooling off in before having additional soaks. There is a small fee payable on entrance to the springs but well worth it for the enjoyable experience. Due to its close location to the “Crystal Pool “attraction many operators combine the two attractions on a single tour, a great advantage if time is short.
Krabi Province is known for being an area of exceptional beauty and the “Crystal Lagoon” located in the “Thung Teao Forest Natural Park” is a remarkable lowland forested area with a wealth of bio diversity. The pristine forest is full of ancient trees reaching up to grab the available sunlight, unique forest creatures and stunning limestone scenery that opens up to the spectacular green coloured pool. There is a small nominal charge for adults but it is well worth it for the delights that await you. This gleaming pool changes its shade of colour from a greenish blue hue when the pool temperature is high to a pale green hue when the temperature falls, so the best time to view the emerald coloured lagoon is in the early part of the day. The perimeter of the pool can be slippery due to the high natural content of the calcium carbonate dissolved in the water so take care. There are two smaller pools in the area but undeniably the star attraction is the Crystal Lagoon. As mentioned above this tour is frequently combined with the “Klong Thom Hot Springs” tour.
WAT THAM SUA “Tiger Cave”
Situated close to Krabi Town is the attraction known as “Tiger Cave” temple, inside there are prints reputedly those of a tiger imprinted in the stone. The temple is situated at the bottom of huge limestone peak with many surrounding buildings for laypeople and monks. It is an interesting temple complex supporting 80 monks living at the bottom and a further 8 monks worshipping and living inside a natural maze of caves. For those who want to be a little more adventurous there is a steep climb to the summit of the limestone peak which supports the most interesting and spectacular feature of the temple complex. It’s a tough climb of approximately 40 minutes for the fit and healthy and slightly longer than one hour for the less fit. On route you will find there are three steep portions and over 1,200 steps to tolerate before you eventually arrive at this most spectacular and breathtaking of places. At the top you will be greeted buy a huge golden Buddhist Monument of Buddha himself. The cool breeze at this altitude is both welcoming and refreshing after the exertion of the climb; it is well worth the time and effort because you are rewarded with stupendous panoramic views Krabi, the surrounding countryside and the beautiful Andaman Sea.
This endangered animal is seen as a representation of the Thai people’s character but many suffer terribly at the hands of unscrupulous logging camps that work the elephants in a cruel and uncaring manner. There are many elephant trekking tours available for tourist to enjoy these magnificent creatures up close. It’s a fun filled experience that begins with climbing on board these gentle giants from a raised platform and onto a specially constructed sedan chair that’s fits securely on the elephants back. The treks normally involve a leisurely walk through some wonderful countryside taking in plantations of rubber crossing rivers and streams and fabulous tropical jungle. The treks are normally one hour long and it is a wonderful experience, don’t forget your camera your guide will be only too pleased to take your photograph for you and your friendly giant.
KhaoPhanomBencha Mountain & Thailand National Park
Covering some 50 kilometres square and located just 20 kms from Krabi Town is the thickly forested “KhaoPhanomBencha National Park”. It is a wild and wondrous beauty spot with some amazing scenery and ideal for the more adventurous tourist. The park is full of many waterfalls, streams and a varied selection of wildlife including Clouded Leopards, Wild Boar Tapirs and Peacocks to name but a few. There is pristine forest and mountain chain running throughout the park along its North, South axis with the highest peak within Krabi Province of 1.397 metres. Trekking to the top of this peak is not an easy challenge and various routes are available to shorten or lengthen the route according to your ability and stamina. It is recommended to use one of the local guides for your own safety because it is jungle terrain that makes you feel like a true explorer and pioneer. There are of course less strenuous options available but are equally just as rewarding with some fantastic and amazing scenery on route.
What a fantastic eco friendly tourist pursuit, it’s the ideal way to silently explore this amazing world of limestone cliffs, caverns known locally as “Hongs” canyons and mangroves. The kayaks allow easy access to these remote settings and at low tide many of the hidden hongs can be entered which sometimes open up to reveal amazing lagoons with high sided cliffs. To make sure you don’t miss out on what’s available it’s advisable to go on an organised tour as they know all the best places and tide information, this makes the best use of any available time you have at your disposal. It’s suitable for total novices to the sport with instructions given and easier routes followed. Be warned although its all taken at a leisurely pass if you have not done it before you can expect to be aching the next day but its well worth it. It’s a brilliant experience that’s allows you to silently approach creatures that would otherwise take flight enabling you to view crab eating macaque, monkeys, a varied selection of colourful tropical fish to name but a few.