Krabi, in southern Thailand, has the distinction of being the country’s oldest continually inhabited settlement, while Thailand itself, has the distinction of being the only Southeast Asian country that was never colonized. The residents of Krabi, like the rest of the country, are descended from the Chinese, who migrated there in the first century A.D.
Recorded history designates Krabi as part of the Kingdom of Ligor, a major city-state of the Siamese Kingdom. The city was originally a group of three communities that provided elephants for the capital city of Bangkok. As these communities grew, they were combined and eventually given the status of a town.
Subject to King Rama the fifth, Krabi was under the direct jurisdiction of a governor. Its status was eventually raised to a “fourth-level city” and from then on, Krabi was as distinct as the other Thailand provinces.
Today for the most part, the elephants are gone, replaced by tourists who plod the streets and stroll the beaches along the Andaman Sea and are awed by the high, limestone cliffs of Krabi.
Krabi Taxis and Rental Cars:
Once upon a time in Krabi Town, a person would holler, or whistle, or maybe stomp his feet, and an elephant would come lumbering toward him, the driver astride his neck. Mr. Elephant would kneel on his front legs and the passenger would climb aboard and off they would go at the sub-breakneck speed of two miles an hour. Things have changed.
Today, you can still ride on an elephant, but taxis and rental cars will get you to your destination faster – river taxis, too. Taxis come in the form of cars, trucks, and motorcycles, so it’s your choice how you want to go… for a ride, that is. Fares are reasonably priced according to your destination.
Being a port town, Krabi also has “longtail” boat river taxis available at the Chao Fah Pier. They serve the islands and beaches. There are also ferry services that serve farther island destinations. A number of these river taxi services do not operate during monsoon season, which runs from May to October. In their stead, a combined bus/longtail boat service can be utilized. Private ferry transfers are also available.
Several car rental services (also called car hire or self-drive) are available. Reserve your car beforehand and save money and time.
Fun things to do in Krabi for a day of non-fishing:
“What is there to do in Krabi?” There are a crazy lot of adventures and fun that Krabi offers travellers of all ages. Krabi has much more to offer to visitors than any other place in the kingdom, and one might even add than in most places in Southeast Asia. With a good combination of adventure, relaxing, shopping and food, you will not find yourself lacking great activities. Plus, the newly built Krabi International Airport is wonderfully clean and efficient. Read on to find out more about just a few of the many things that Krabi offers the traveller:
- Scuba Diving – Undoubtedly Krabi is the gateway to the Andaman Sea of Thailand. From Krabi, you can launch off into the various dive locations: Phi Phi, Similans, Phuket, Hin Daeng and Hin Muang and Lanta. Apart from colourful marine life, sightings of whale sharks, mantas, leopard sharks and stingrays, also expect to have some fun weaving through the caves and caverns which make Krabi and its surrounding areas such a great adventure. The dive operators have of course the full range of dive courses for you to choose from.
- Snorkeling – Untainted hard and soft corals are found just off the shorelines of Krabi, making it the perfect residence of marine fish life. Some of the best snorkeling in Thailand is found just off Krabi.
- Rock Climbing – Krabi is enveloped by many limestone and hard rock mountains, making its terrain ideal for both experienced rock-climbers and those who want to try out this sport. Afraid of heights? Don’t worry, there are many levels of rocks and the operator can help you book your rock climbing lessons with a reputable and reliable instructor.
- Sea Kayaking and Canoeing – Amidst the many rock islands that surround Krabi are many waterways which twine through water pools that are perfect for kayaking. Even those who have not tried it before will easily do so under the guidance of your experienced leader. Take half a day out and explore the ravines that surround the Krabi region.
- Jungle Trekking – Krabi region is surrounded by fabulous mountains and hills that make your holiday a complete adventure.
- Elephant Trekking – What a novelty! Imagine mounting one of these gentle giants, and let them take you on an hour-long trek through the jungles of Krabi.
- Emerald Pool and Crystal Pool – Believe it or not, there are some natural water pools filled with cool spring waters from the surrounding mountains tucked in the middle of the forests in Krabi.
- Spas and Massage – You cannot visit Thailand without going for one of the local Thai massages. Choose between an oil massage and non-oil, and let the skilful hands of the experienced masseuse rub away all your aches and pains. Wonderful, especially after a day of diving or trekking. Something that everyone gets pretty hooked on!