Koh Lanta, Krabi Thailand

Krabi and beyound

A visit to Krabi will leave you well placed to explore some other delightful Thai provinces, each with a unique character all of their own. Krabi is bordered by Phang Nga to the north west, Surat Thani to the north east, Nakhon Si Thammarat to the east and Trang to the south and, although it shares no land boundary, Phuket is just two hours west.

For a quick introduction to Krabi’s closest neighbours, read on!

Phuket

Phuket, a mountainous province, is the largest of Thailand’s islands – it is also a holiday destination to rival Krabi, with a number of popular beach resorts along its west and southern coasts. These include the big and brash Patong with its sweeping beach and buzzing nightlife and the more upmarket resorts of Kata, Karon, Kata Noi, Nai Harn and Rawai. The vibrant provincial capital, Phuket Town, is also well worth a visit – you can reach it by taking one of the Songthaew buses that run from Krabi Town. Phuket Town is a melting pot of contemporary and traditional Thai culture and boasts a number of bustling markets, a good range of shops, interesting museums and some great Thai restaurants. A visit to the Old Town will afford a fascinating glimpse into Phuket’s past, whilst downtown is the centre of a lively nightlife.

Nature lovers will especially enjoy the Khao Phra Thaeo Wildlife Park and its Conservation Development and Extension Centre that focuses on preserving the natural environment. This impressive park covers a vast area of rainforest and protects a variety of rare animals.

Phang Nga

This delightful province is situated to the north west of Krabi and borders the Andaman Sea. Its boundaries incorporate the picturesque Ao Phang-Nga National Park and a number of scenic islands, the most well known being James Bond Island – a needle shaped rock that featured in The Man with the Golden Gun. The Similian Islands are a fashionable Phang Nga diving destination and a stiff competitor to Krabi in this respect.

Another key draw is Ko Panyi, a Muslim fishing village built on stilts and made famous by the local youths who built a floating football pitch there. They became one of the most successful youth teams in the country and a source of inspiration around the globe.

Surat Thani

The biggest province in southern Thailand, Surat Thani borders the Gulf of Thailand and includes the favoured holiday island and top dive location, Ko Samui. There is a large selection of magnificent National Parks that deserve extensive exploration such as the Ko Ang Thong Marine National Park, the dense forests of the Khao Sok National Park (a favourite with bird watchers), the mountains of Tai Rom Yen National Park, the Khlong Phanom National Park with its limestone cliffs and glittering waterfalls, the hot springs of the Kaeng Krung National park and finally, the lovely Khao Tha Phet Nature and Wildlife Study Centre with its breathtaking views of Surat Thani Town.

Other major attractions include the intriguing ‘Monkey Schools’ where visitors can watch monkeys harvesting coconuts and the acclaimed Oyster Farms which don’t showcase performing oysters, but do produce the delicious molluscs that are the province emblem and a delicacy that you simply have to try!

Nakhon Si Thammarat

Also hugging the Gulf of Thailand coastline, is this rugged, mountainous province that is home to the Khao Luang – at over 6,000 feet, easily the highest peak in the south of Thailand. You will find this imposing range, with the age old village of Ban Kiri Wong nestled at its foot, in the Khao Luang National Park.

In addition to a startling array of pristine beaches, there are an infinite number of visitor attractions in Nakhon Si Thammarat. Highlights of any trip to this diverse province will include a visit to one of the many dazzling temples or Buddhist monasteries, the charming village of Bang Pu where you can pick up some lovely pottery and the Muslim village of Ban Nai Thung where visitors can purchase local handicrafts. Tourists can also enjoy rafting on the mighty Khlong Klai river or watching the ancient sport of Cow Fighting at weekly contests held throughout the province.

Trang

To the south lies Trang province, similar to Krabi in that it shares its border with the Andaman, but unlike its neighbour in that it is not a well known tourist destination, at least not outside Thailand. Thailand’s best kept secret is, however, extremely popular with Thais who flock to Ko Ngai, an exotic island on the devastatingly beautiful Trang Archipelago, and a collection of other incredibly picturesque islands.

Trang is also a favourite for savvy divers who particularly covet the coral filled waters of Chaomai National Park, whilst trekkers in the know, enjoy exploring vast swathes of tropical forest crammed with exotic wildlife, without being bothered by crowds of tourists.

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