By Angela Fairhurst
Krabi is situated on southern Thailand’s west coast set on the eponymously named river. Krabi is noted for its gorgeous karst landscape of sheer limestone cliffs, dense mangrove forests, and more than 80 tiny islands which seemingly float in the Andaman Sea.
The area is a lot larger, but far less known than touristy Phuket and boasts a friendly and charming town, loaded with numerous cafes, shops and two night markets.
Krabi town has a number of dynamic bronze sea life sculptures along the shoreline, including a large crab and sea eagle.
Major intersection traffic lights are attractions in and of themselves, as they feature animal sculptures of elephants, eagles, saber tooth tigers and even a caveman carrying a suitcase.
The riverside pier links travelers with ferries and longboats to the best snorkeling, scuba diving, rock climbing and white sand beaches on the coast. Underwater, there are congregations of zebra fish, parrot fish and needle nose fish.
Some of the most popular beach destinations are accessible only by boat due to the high limestone cliffs cutting off mainland access. Railay, a large peninsula between the cities of Krabi and Ao Nang in Thailand is one of those places. These cliffs attract rock climbers from all over the world, but the area is also popular due to its beautiful beaches and quiet relaxing atmosphere.
We took a boat ride to the east side of Railay Beach to Phra Nang, or Princess Cave Beach. The cave has stalactites and stalagmites.
Since ancient times, Princess Cave has been where fishermen have made offerings to a mythical Sea Princess, Phallus of Shiva, before going out to sea. The fisherman believe their offerings will bring them success in fishing and protect them from danger.
Our boat also took us to Ko Kang Kao or Bat Island, the biggest and most popular local island, with white sand beaches and clear water. Here visitors can buy drinks and Thai dishes.
Thailand is a very spiritual country, with houses of worship everywhere. Buddhist shrines still used by local monks are tucked into the chambers of the town’s top attraction, Tiger Cave or Wat Tham Suea.
Here there are a series of temples that includes a stunning Buddha statue at the top of a whopping 1,247 steps up to the summit of a mountain.
One can’t visit the temple without running into its 1000 resident monkeys. It’s a sight to watch them making mischief with each other as well tourists and locals.