Located on southern Thailand’s east coast, 800 kilometres south of Bangkok, Krabi province is an area of outstanding natural beauty. Classic virgin beaches fringed with towering limestone formations, is an understatement to describe this stunningly beautiful area of Thailand. The Krabi coastline is dotted with rarely visited tropical islands, palm fringed beaches, waterfalls, caves, and strange rock formations.
Relatively new to tourism, the area is being carefully developed with no real high rise hotels and a wide range of places to stay from small bungalows to the five star prestigious, but relaxing Sheraton Rayavadee Resort. Most accommodation is located around the beach areas of Ao Nang, Rai Ley and Phra Nang with some small local hotels in the provincial capital, Krabi town.
Krabi is a great place to relax. The pace is unhurried and many beaches can only be reached by boat, keeping development to a minimum. Much of the province has been designated national park. The Hat Noppharat Thara-Ko Phi Phi National Park incorporates many of the mainland beaches, over 80 smaller islands and the Phi Phi islands – made famous as the idyllic location for the Hollywood film ‘the Beach” and popular with yachtsmen, scuba-divers, snorkellers and day-trippers from Phuket.
The Ko Lanta National Park, also in Krabi province, includes several coral-fringed islands, prime diving sites, and comparative solitude. The largest island, Ko Lanta Yai, is the site of park headquarters, and is also home to Chao Le, or sea gypsies who sustain themselves largely through fishing. The islands are best visited during the non-monsoon months of October through April.
As well as beautiful and relaxing scenery, Krabi offers an adventure playground for those who like to get “out and about.” Kayaking, sailing, birdwatching, snorkelling, island hopping and sightseeing are just a few. In the interior, two predominantly mainland national parks, Khao Phanom Bencha and Than Bokk-horani, offer inland scenic attractions including waterfalls and caves, and opportunities for trekking, birdwatching and eco-tours.
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Covering an area of approximately 4709sq km, Krabi province is bounded by Phang Nga and Surathani provinces from the north, Trang province and the Andaman Sea from the south, Trang and Nakorn Si Thammarat provinces from the east and Phang Nga province and the Andaman Sea from the west. Krabi’s landscape is undulating and dotted with hills and mountains, the highest of which is Khao Phanom Bencha at 1,350m. Along the 160km coastline of Krabi are alternately bays and capes – which viewed from the air reveal a jagged outline with outcrops of limestone mountains rising up from the sea waters.
Much of the coastal area is covered by mangrove forest which serves as a natural breeding ground for Krabi’s diverse aquatic life. Inland, Krabi’s extensive deciduous forest area are mainly reserved and feature high flora and fauna biodiversity.
Krabi has a tropical monsoon climate. It’s warm all year ’round, but the two periods of April-May and September-October are the hottest.
The September-October period is also the wettest.
The best time to visit Krabi is during the cool NE monsoon season, from November though March, when it isn’t so humid, and the cool breezes keep things comfortable.
The average temperature is around 75?F to 89?F (24?C to 32?C). The hottest time is from April through May, with temperatures ranging from 80?F to 95?F (27?C to 36?C). There are frequent short heavy thundery showers, offering welcome relief from the temperature and humidity.
The Thai New Year occurs on April 13th and everyone sprinkles (or throws) cool water on each other.
Locals enjoy June, July and August, since the weather is usually fine and favourite haunts remain uncrowded. The usual pattern is brief but heavy showers, with plenty of sunshine between downpours. Everything is a little less expensive at this time of year, as well. Temperatures range between 70?F and 90?F (20?C to 33?C).
During September and early October we start to remember our umbrellas. This makes an ideal time to visit abroad. One consolation for those who remain is that the beaches, outdoor restaurants and streets are relatively uncluttered by visitors.
And even at this time, we still get long intervals of sunshine between the heavy showers. Anyway, plenty of lowseason activities, both water- and land-based, still offer themselves in Krabi during this wettest part of the summer season.