For rock climbers, beach lovers, adventurers, and low-budget backpackers around the world, Krabi is paradise on earth. Krabi is a large town located on the western coast of southern Thailand near the mouth of the Krabi River and at the edge of Phangnga Bay. It is the capital of the Krabi province and district. With its pristine beaches, high limestone cliffs, and verdant forests just within a stone’s throw from each other, it is not difficult to see why Krabi is a major tourist spot in Thailand.
In the late 18th century, Chao Phraya Nakorn, Nakhon Si Thammarat’s governor, ordered the construction an elephant krall (hub point) in Krabi after legislation named Bankok the capital of Thailand. His vizier, the Phra Palad, was tasked to supervise the task of ensuring a regular supply of elephants for Bangkok. Many of the Phra Palad’s followers went with him to find better working opportunities, specifically, handling the elephants. The migration of workers continued until Krabi officially became a town in 1875.
Tourism in Krabi
Krabi’s tropical climate, pristine beaches, karst formations, verdant jungles, friendly people, and comfortable conveniences make the place a tourist hotspot. As of present, modern facilities such as an airport, international hospitals, and business chains such as HomePro, Tesco, and Bigh Chain have slowly moved in to the idyllic hotspot, which will soon help the region achieve a good balance of modernity and rustic charms. In addition, real estate companies have begun to cater to the flow of foreign residents who wish to stay in Krabi or establish a vacation home there.
The Krabi province is host to a number of protected national parks where tourists can hike, camp, and engage in outdoor adventures. Ko Phi Phi National Park, Ao Nang, and Hat Noppharat Thara are the most popular national parks. Marine parks such as the Lanta Islands, Phi Phi Islands, or Koh Lanta are favorites for marine adventurers, snorkelers, scuba divers, and yachtsmen around the world.
Another favorite haven of marine adventurers is Ko Lanta National Park. This is where some of the best diving sites in Thailand are located. Ko Lanta Yai, the largest island, is where the park’s headquarters is located. The island also hosts Chao Le, or sea gypsies, who are still engaged in traditional fishing for survival and business.
Considering that Krabi is near the sea, marine-related activities are popular. Kayaking, sailing, windsurfing, scuba diving, and snorkeling are some of the well-loved sporting activities in the area. White-sand beaches that are protected by tall cliffs offer beach lovers and swimmers with an ideal place to relax. At night, the beaches come alive with a vibrant nightlife that is catered by numerous bars, pubs, and discos.
In the interior, the national parks have several waterfalls, hills, caves, ravines, and other scenic attractions that will delight any outdoorsmen. These parks are ideal for trekking, spelunking, river hiking, birdwatching, and eco-tours.
Rock climbers have considered Krabi to be one of the best climbing sites in the world thanks to numerous sturdy, massive limestone cliffs that are a stone’s throw away from the beach. Many of these cliffs are extensively bolted, which makes them perfect for sport climbing. In fact, international rock climbing events are held here. For beginners, there are several rock climbing schools and outfitters, especially at Railay Beach, to help them out.