I can say without question that while the scenery was extraordinary, the hotels luxurious, and the food beyond compare, it was the guides who made this trip beyond memorable for us.
One of the oldest, continually inhabited places in Thailand, Krabi is thought to have been home to homo sapiens since 25,000 to 35,000 B.C. While the area suffered considerable damage during the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004, Krabi has since recovered - though tsunami evacuation signs are a common sight throughout its streets.
Today, Krabi is best known for its surreal, finger-like limestone karst formations that sit on the edge of the cerulean Andaman Sea, alongside mangrove forests, coral, outlying islands, and lovely beaches. This natural wealth draws kayakers, adventurous rock climbers looking for an outdoor challenge, and travelers curious about the strange, otherworldly topography of the region.
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Krabi is an ideal location for outdoor adventures: rock climbing on the surrounding limestone cliffs, snorkeling and diving in the Andaman Sea, hiking, and sea canoeing or kayaking around the outlying islands and in remote mangrove channels.
Kao Kanab Nam
Hop on a longtail boat and pass by Kao Kanab Nam, the most famous mountain in Krabi. During World War II, it is believed that Japanese soldiers hid weapons inside the mountain.
Continue cruising through the Andaman Sea through magnificent mangrove forests and a fish farm. Arrive at Middle Island, or Koh Klang, and chat with the villagers here who live in this idyllic atmosphere; most work as mini-longtail boat builders or rice field farmers. On this island and at other stops on this afternoon excursion, you might see monkeys, lizards, kingfishers, red-arm crab and other native wildlife.
Take a canoe on a private tour into some of the caves and interior rooms of Krabi’s limestone formations, called hongs in Thai. Coral formations, in shallow and deep water, offer great snorkeling, and of course, the quiet, unobtrusive approach of the sea canoe is ideal for spotting some of the seabirds and wildlife to be found here.
Known for having some of the world’s most breathtaking beaches – the South of Thailand is home to endless white-sand beaches, vibrant corals and turquoise waters. Stay in the most luxurious of hotels as you beach hop and even enjoy a private aerial tour of some of the world’s least explored tropical islands.
Situated between Railay and Phranang beaches in Krabi Province, the luxurious Rayavadee is accessible only by boat from Krabi pier, for the ultimate secluded and peaceful getaway. Framed with dramatic limestone cliffs, with access to both stretches of sands and views of sunrise and sunset, there is perhaps no more beautiful setting in Thailand. Guest will find themselves ensconced in elegantly-appointed Thai-style pavilions, some of which boast a private pool, or suites, in which they are served by a personal butler. The cuisine ranges from international favorites to carefully-crafted Thai delicacies, in restaurants overlooking the ocean or hidden in a cavernous grotto. There is no better way to enjoy the stunning scenery and world-class service than by lounging by the freeform infinity pool, or with indulgent treatments at the internationally-renowned spa.
Ritz Carlton Phulay Bay
Phulay Bay offers a total of 54 spacious, well-appointed one-bedroom villas or pavilions with contemporary Thai décor and either a private tropical garden or ocean view. All accommodations feature distinctive touches such as flat screen televisions, large indoor baths, spacious walk-in wardrobes and delightful verandas furnished with lounge beds. The villas have enhanced amenities, including private outdoor baths and plunge pools. The resort’s spa, part of the renowned ESPA spa group, has 11 treatment rooms designed to accommodate both individual or couples’ treatments. Phulay Bay has four restaurants offering both casual and formal dining. Guests can also design their own culinary adventures beyond traditional restaurant settings, such as a beach barbecue, a sunset dinner, or a picnic on the beach. The resort also features a fitness center and shopping boutiques. Finally, to ensure that all your needs are met, a personal butler is available 24 hours a day. Phulay Bay is 40 minutes from Krabi International Airport.
Six Senses Yao Noi
This Six Senses property is spread over almost 24 acres of Yao Noi Island amidst the dramatic limestone pinnacles of Thailand’s stunning Phang Nga Bay. All villas have infinity pools with sundecks, with sea-view villas overlooking the bay and mountain-view villas nestled in the island’s tropical forests. As with all Six Senses properties, the spa is world-class, offering a range wellness treatments and high-end natural products. The Dining Room restaurant offers fine-dining with an emphasis on Italian cuisine, as well as the special Chef’s Table private dining experience (maximum eight guests). The Living Room, meanwhile, presents a range of international dishes, specializing in Thai and including tandoori ovens for Indian fare. Six Senses Koh Yao Noi is situated half way between Phuket and Krabi and accessible from either airport. From Phuket, it is a 20-minute drive followed by a 45-minute speedboat ride; from Krabi, it is a 45-minute drive followed by a 20-minute speedboat ride.