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www.krabi-magazine.com

AUGUST /SEPTEMBER 2011 ISSUE 68

MAGIC MORAKOT

•TRAVEL•CULTURE•AO NANG•LANTA•LEISURE•NATURE•


Ton Company Ltd. (since 2000)

318 Moo.2, Ao Nang, Krabi 81000 Thailand Tel. 075 695 633, Email: info@TonCompany.com Website: www.TonCompany.com

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Architecture, Construction and Engineering Project Management 11 years of experience in Krabi 60 completed projects in Krabi, Trang & Lanta Full time licensed architects & engineers Offices in Ao Nang Website: www.TonCompany.com Email: info@TonCompany.com

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Krabi most experienced villa manager 7 luxury pool villas for rent in Ao Nang Top ranking websites Secure payment online (Visa / MC) 11 years of experience in Krabi 25 years of experience in hospitality industry Top ranking manager on TripAdvisor.com We speak French, English, German and Thai

KRABI VILLA

www.KrabiVilla.com Krabi Villas by Ton Company Ltd.

Ao Nang beach, Krabi, Thailand Tel: 075 695633 Mobile: 084 1540808 Email: info@KrabiVilla.com Website: www.KrabiVilla.com


Editorial

Welcome to Krabi August / September 2011– ISSUE 68 EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Thomas Gennaro krabimagazine@gmail.com 089 9085990 ART GROUP Creative Director: Nattapat Sunthonphuriwat [Ton®] tonidesign@gmail.com - 089 7727858 Graphic Designers: Bandit Kanjanavarodom [Lim] CONTRIBUTING WRITERS & PHOTOGRAPHERS Thomas Gennaro – Nattapat Sunthonphuriwat Stefano Gonella – Gidi Mevissen - Ton Company DISTRIBUTION AO NANG – KOH LANTA KOH PHI PHI – KRABI TOWN KitDee Media & Design – 075 637459 MARKETING Vanee Ruchipong (Ying) – 089 1627409

KitDee Media & Design Company Limited 247/13 Moo 5, Ao Nang, Krabi 81000 Tel: 075 661144 - 075 637459 - Fax: 075 637460 E-mail: krabimagazine@gmail.com www.facebook.com/krabimagazine

Krabi Magazine is published and produced by KitDee Media & Design Company Limited and is protected by Copyright. No parts of this publication can be used or reproduced in any form – printed, electronic, photocopy or otherwise – without the written permission of the publishers. The publisher reserves the right to refuse to publish adverts, texts or advertising features. Advertising terms and conditions are to be obtained at krabimagazine@gmail.com Please send submissions to krabimagazine@gmail.com DISCLAIMER While great care has been taken in the receipt and handling of material, production and accuracy in this magazine, the publisher will not accept any responsibility for any errors, loss or omissions which may occur. The information and stories published are those of the writers and contributors, and do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher or the editor. The description of properties, the contents, whereabouts and price are given in this magazine as a guide only. Please request further details from the advertiser and seek legal advice before entering into any contract to purchase. All information and prices were correct at the time of going to press.

K

rabi Province is considered to be one of the most beautiful regions in a beautiful country. Krabi has it all, from the limestone karsts that characterize the region to world-class beaches, islands, temples, markets, nightlife and shopping, the list is seemingly endless. Gastronomes will find Krabi a sanctuary of fine dining and lovers of the great outdoors will find plenty to keep them occupied - waterfalls, hot springs, national parks, elephant treks are all on offer and Krabi is also one of the world’s premier destinations for rock climbing and scuba diving. The coral reefs of the Andaman Sea are among the world’s best and the Railay Peninsula attracts climbers from all over the world. Let’s admit it: Krabi in green season is not that bad. For a start, tropical rainstorms happen but are rare and can be avoided under a roadside shack; most of the times the skies are blue, the sun shines every day, and forests and parks smell of earth and are alive with nature. And then it’s cheap; in a time when we all watch the pennies, hotel rooms, restaurant meals, tours and Thai massages are a good deal in this time of the year. Activities are plenty, and this issue is all about visiting natural wonders in Krabi’s lowland rainforest, enjoying sleepy yet exciting Krabi Town, and more. And once you get bored of activities, just lye on the uncrowded (some empty) beaches. And finally, as there are not many tourists around, it’s nearly all yours! It pays sometimes not to follow the crowds. Our ever-popular magazine is being successfully distributed all over Thailand in most Asia Books/Bookazine stores, including at the main Thai airports, and Krabi is being given the attention it deserves. This will help tourists plan their trip to our province in advance, it will make Krabi an interesting option for potential visitors to the area, and it will give our sponsors a much wider exposure. It does not end there! Watch out for our extremely popular Krabi 81000 Miniguides and Maps that will be massively available to visitors to Krabi and Islands during green season, complementing the magazine and helping you with your search for the best eats, nightlife, activities, boats and buses timetables, doctors and banks, events; an endless array of information to make your stay reasonably organized from Kitdee Media & Design. Find the above products in your hotel lounge, in restaurants and pubs, at airports and boat piers or in your favourite local travel agency. Browse them avidly and make use of our local expertise. Look out for our logos, and BEWARE OF IMITATIONS! We hope you find Krabi Magazine inspirational and helpful whether you come to Krabi to eat, drink and relax on the beach or participate in any of the numerous activities on offer here in Thailand. And if you are not in Krabi yet, what are you waiting for? Find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/krabimagazine or read us online at www.issuu.com and search for Krabi Magazine - Enjoy the magazine, enjoy our printed products, and above all enjoy your holiday in Krabi!

Thomas Gennaro Executive Editor

MAGIC MORAKOT Cover picture courtesy of:ton®


CONTENTS

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August/September 2011, issue 68

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A Window on Krabi

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Cover Story

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Destination

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Event

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Flood Relief

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Highlights of this amazing province: town to temples, beaches to Islands, natural hotspots to cultural places.

Exploring Sa Morakot and the last significant area of lowland rainforest in Thailand can mean a day of relaxation and enjoyment.

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Krabi Town is usually a transport hub for travelers on their way to places, yet there is so much to visit to spare a few days there. PLUS: Factfile: All about Krabi Town

KARE: The Annual Charity Event by Sheraton Krabi Beach Resort

A journey to the flood-affected area in Krabi to deliver money and goods. Part 3.


OPEN ALL YEAR


CONTENTS

August/September 2011, issue 68

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Getting Around

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Cultural

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Geographica

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Koh Lanta

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Krabi’s local ways of transport, from tuk tuks to sonthaews.

To wai or not to wai?

Rubber and Palm Oil, Krabi’s main agricultural productions

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Get the most out of Koh Lanta. Highlights, maps, reviews and articles: Koh Lanta Highlights: Lanta Features At a Glance: Charming Koh Lanta

Real Estate

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Purchasing and making real estate investments made simple with Krabi Magazine.

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Architect Tips: Record year for Villa Rentals Property News: Thailand Property Values Versus the Aussie Dollar Land Matters: What to look for when Buying Land Lifestyle: Need a Pool? Look at the right place Property Guru: Distant Real Estate Properties

Directory

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Media Kit and Businesses listed in the Krabi Magazine

MARINA

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Ao Nang Beach

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AO NANG BRAND NEW

CENTERPO NT Kr Bar & Pub

Oldest established in Ao Nang Newly refurbished bar with original design and features Real fishpond, waterfall and lots of traditional woodwork. Friendly staff and good value drinks.

The Airport

Getting into the mile-high club has never been so easy! Real scale 1:10 Boeing 767 hanging from the ceiling. Staff dressed up as pilots and air stewardesses. Former Apollo Bar

The Cave

A full bar that boasts a cavernous interior. Beers, wine and cocktails - exceptionally friendly staff.

MAP CENTER POINT Top Charoen Optic Soi Seafood

Burger King

Aonang Beach

The Airport The Cave KR pub


A window on Krabi

THE BEACHES Ao Nang, at 20km from Krabi Town, is the most developed of Krabi’s beaches, a long stretch of white sandy beach with limestone mountains as a backdrop. It has a wide range of accommodation and services and the main shopping street features restaurants, bars, pubs, souvenir shops, dive centers and tour agencies, massage centers and spas. This is the hub from which to plan your trip at sea and to the nearby islands on a typical longtail boat. Noppharat Thara beach, just around the corner from Ao Nang, is 3km long yet still undeveloped, with only a few resorts and bars. Attractive because of its natural setting, this is where local youngsters and families gather at sunset and at weekends. Savour some local Muslim snacks at the beach stalls, or fill yourself with seafood in the local restaurants at the very end of the beach, near the Noppharat Thara National Park headquarters. At low tide, walk out together with millions of small crabs on the sandy pathways to the small islands near the beach. Railay beaches are split and separated from Krabi and Ao Nang by monumental limestone mountains. Railay has two sides, east and west, and its settings are simply marvelous: crystal clear waters, pure sandy beaches, lush mountains, rocky islands emerging from the sea. Railay can only be reached by boat, a 15 minutes ride from Ao Nang or 30 minutes from Krabi Town. Enjoy a cocktail in one of the beach bars, visit the Phranang Cave, challenge yourself on a rock climbing course, hike the limestone massif to a lagoon and a viewpoint, or simply chill out. Neighbouring Tonsai lies at the base of a cliff which divides it form Railay West. Tonsai has a shallow beach with slow gradients out to sea which is profoundly affected by the tide. Klong Muang beach is a further 20km away from Ao Nang; it is the up-market side of Krabi, the place to be if you are after a peaceful holiday. Catering to families and couples, it is here that you really get the so deserved repose, surrounded by pristine nature. Tubkaek beach is another real place to hide away; long, clean and peaceful, the area has breathtaking views over Koh Hong islands archipelago, and charming sunsets. From there you can venture inside the National Park and try a walking trail to a viewpoint and a waterfall. Koh Lanta beaches have a wide selection of resorts for all tastes and pockets. Lanta Yai island has long stretches of gleaming white sandy beaches and shallow emerald waters. Lined with tropical vegetation, a private spot is never more than a short walk away on a southern beach at Lanta Yai.

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NATURAL HOTSPOTS Limestone mountains or karsts, characterize most of the inland Krabi area, the most spectacular being the massifs of Sai Tai. Susaan Hoi is a 40 million year-old seashell cemetery; once a large swamp where freshwater crustaceans proliferated, today home to 40 centimeter thick, shell encrusted limestone slabs, a geological uniqueness not far from Ao Nang. One must find a broken edge to see the shells clearly, since all of those on the upper surface have been walked on and worn down by the elements and are hard to identify. Khao Phanom Bencha National Park, at 20km from Krabi Town, comprises waterfalls, streams, lush forests and caves. It is home to all kind of flora and wildlife and to the highest mountain in the region from which it takes the name. One of the features of the park is Huay Toh Waterfall where water runs down onto several huge pools. Tarnbok Khoranee National Park, in the north of the region, consists of limestone mountains, verdant tropical forest, caves and beautiful islands. It is well-known for its different species of trees growing around a large natural crystal clear pool, and for the hundreds of birds’ species. Phi Hua Toh Cave, in the nearby Bor Thor area, surrounded by mangrove swamps and reachable by boat or kayak, is where to see pre-historic rock paintings depicting animals and humans. Sa Morakot, the Emerald Pool, is a natural wonder: a pond of turquoise water with an average temperature of 30-40C, fed by a hot spring in the middle of the jungle. Hot Springs of Klong Thom, natural Jacuzzis in which to lift away tensions and relieve body and mind with the mineralenriched waters falling into rocky ponds.

THE ISLANDS

Hop on or hire a longtail, the local wooden boats with their picturesque prows. Sail away to Koh Poda, surrounded by turquoise waters, or to Koh Kai, shaped as a chicken and therefore called the Chicken Island, from where a walk on a sandy pathway connects it to Koh Tub. Make a longtail boat or speedboat trip to the Koh Hong archipelago, a group of limestone islands with hidden caves and lagoons perfect for kayaking or snorkeling. Join an organized tour to amazing Koh Phi Phi islands, full of marvelous bays, limestone cliffs, waters rich in marine life, caves where swallow nests are harvested, and much more. Visit Koh Jum and Koh Siboya, small, unspoiled tropical hide-away that have a unique atmosphere. These islands give visitors the time to relax and re-charge their batteries. Or venture out on Koh Lanta, the developing island at the southern end of the province home to sea gypsies communities, where you will meet nature and tradition. A National Park area that comprises many different islands surrounded by coral reefs, such as Koh Ngai and remote Koh Rok.

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THE CULTURE Ban Natin, on the way from Ao Nang to Klong Muang, is the place to experience the peaceful lifestyle of the local Muslim community. Home accommodation is available, or you can simply make a stopover and see the production of handmade products such as batik paintings, pineapple-fiber paper and coconut shell carving. Wat Klong Thom Museum features various kinds of beads, stone tools, and stone and earthen ornaments in animal shapes of approximately 5,000 years old, uncovered during archeological excavations. Fire dancing, part of the beach culture, is a popular evening activity on the beaches of Koh Lanta and Koh Phi Phi, performed by acrobatic boys who swing burning torches around their bodies, creating sparkling artistic pictures. Ban Sang-Ka-U is a sea gypsy’s settlement in south-east Lanta Yai. It is there that an old clan of traditional Chao Ley try to preserve a disappearing way of life in this fast-developing island.


THE TOWN Small, charming, silent at times, nice for a day’s walking tour. Krabi Town is full of old buildings, bars and restaurants, local exotic marketplaces and food stalls at the old Chao Fa pier where to sample the local food. The Krabi motto is: “lively town, lovely people”; Krabi’s simple people are definitely proud of their town and of their warm and generous character. Hop on a longtail boat at Chao Fa pier and visit Khao Kanab Nam, the unique pair of hills facing each other on the opposite banks of the Krabi River, symbols of the town; or embark on a journey to Koh Klang, an island next to town on the mouth of the river, where you will experience lives lived by the local fishing communities; or charter a boatman for a visit to the mangrove backwaters.

THE TEMPLE Located just 9 km from Krabi Town the Wat Tham Seua, or Tiger Cave Monastery, is one of south Thailand’s most famous and interesting forest temples, as the monks live, meditate and worship within a maze of natural caves in an overgrown jungle valley. Many Thai women live out their old-age there as nuns. Explore the inner cave used by monks for meditation. Climb the 1,237 steps up a limestone tower to see the statue of the Buddha and the “footprint of the Buddha” embedded in the rock, and to enjoy one of the best viewpoints of the area. Take the circular walk through Krabi’s rarest of all features, a pocket of primary lowland forest, a circular rocky basin enclosed by high cliffs. Here, along a pathway used by monks to meditate and amongst a number of magnificent trees you can be amazed in front of the largest flared root base of any tree remaining in Thailand.

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Cover Story

Story by : Thomas Gennaro l Photos by : Nattapat Sunthornphuriwat

Sa Morakot The Magic of an Emerald Pond

Exploring the last significant area of lowland rain forest in Thailand can mean a day of relaxation and enjoyment. Forecast a bit of swimming, a nice lunch and maybe some light trekking.

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a Morakot is otherwise known as ‘The Crystal Pool’ at Khao Nor Chu Chi Lowland Forest nature Reserve. I remember one moment on this trip very vividly, when my friend, a first time visitor to the area, and I stood gazing out across one of the many pools, our cameras slung over our shoulders. We stared into the middle distance, were silent for a few minutes, and he eventually said, in a sudden contemplative and slightly melancholic tone: ‘It’s so beautiful’. It is moments like this when I realize just how fortunate I am for living on such a beautifully diverse and dynamic province. It’s easy to forget the beauty that surrounds us, only taking notice of Mother Nature’s awesome destructive power, especially in the wake of natural disasters, and forget about the beauty that surrounds us every day of our lives.

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Southern Thailand is home to a rich diversity of flora, fauna and ecosystems. The whole kingdom is famed for its beaches, but there’s a lot more on offer here than a few stretches of white sand. Rain forests abound as do coral reef systems, and once you venture out into the vast open countryside there’s a wealth of national parks, waterfalls, hot springs, swamps, mangroves and other natural wonders to be discovered. The Khao Nor Chu Chi Lowland Forest Nature Reserve comprises two forest communities that contribute to this unique eco-system: swamp forest and moist evergreen forest. The stream which leads away from the crystal pool also provides the source of what is known as the ‘stream eco-system’ in which birds such as various king-fisher species, fire algae and the water itself all contribute to a very delicately balanced bionetwork in which all the organisms rely equally on each other for survival. Twitchers will be interested to know that the swamp is also home to the rare Pitta Gurney, not seen in the wild for almost fifty years until rediscovered here in 1986.


Swamp forest hosts a diversity of plant and tree species that have adapted over thousands of years to tolerate soggy soil conditions. Such species are the Chompuu Nam and the Satieo or Garnua an indicator species of swamp forest having a unique looped root system which enables it to breathe and provides it with stability in wet, low nutrient soil conditions. It also provides food for flying foxes that feast on the outerflesh of the fruit of the tree, the discarded stones of which are then collected by locals to make a type of oil used in cooking. The carnivorous Nepenthes, another indicator species of poor soil habitat, is another fascinating plant – an insectivorous species whose modified leaves called ‘pitchers’ are filled with fluid that trap and digests insects.

As we made our way along the 1.4 km long boardwalk which leads to the crystal pool, our guide explained about the various plants as we spotted different species of butterflies and lizards while armies of ants marched across the path and up tree trunks in their never-ending food quest. Sa Morakot is the only pool in which it’s possible to swim, and it’s a perfect place to do so. At approximately 22m in diameter and 1.5m deep, its clean, ambient waters are comes from the spring upstream flows over a smooth rock-face which makes a great slide or even, if you sit underneath it, a cool neck and shoulder massage. Eight natural pools dot the area - Nam Lod (Water Passing Through), Cherng Kao (Vallery), Jorakeh Khao (White Crocodile), Nam Tip (Heavenly Waters), Nam Krahm (Indigo Water), Hun Kaeo (Barking Deer), Noy (Small) and Morakot (Emerald), which gives the area its common name. Construction of is already underway and may be completed by the time you read this, but It is possible to reach the source of the crystal pool by following a new board-walk that leads there, as well as through one of the trails, although they are poorly marked. Here it is possible to see spring water bubbling up from the ground in a huge deep-blue coloured pool – a truly remarkable sight.

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FACT FILE

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a Morakot can be visited at any time of the year and is best during weekdays, when it’s less busy. To reach Sa Morakot from Krabi, drive about 40 km south to the small market town of Klong Thom on the Krabi– Trang (Phetkasam) Road. Turn left on the road towards Thung Yai and follow the signposts to the Khao Pra Bang Khram No-Hunting Area headquarters, in the village of Baan Bang Tieo, approx 16 km further. Alternatively, it’s possible to take a motorcycle taxi from Klong Thom for around 60 Baht. By far the best way to visit is by organized tour. Any agent in Krabi Town or Ao Nang or your hotel can book a tour for you, which includes lunch and optional visits to other attractions.

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Story by : Thomas Gennaro l Photos by : Nattapat Sunthornphuriwat

Destination

City Tales

Early morning in Krabi Town. I patiently await the departure of a longtail boat under a pavilion in the Chao Fa old pier amongst locals Muslim. The ladies wear veils and chatter about the morning chores. Men laboriously load longtail boats to the islands off the Krabi coast with merchandise from the city: ice, meat, onions, bottled beverages, fruits and vegetables, and all kind of goods from the market…

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he sun is already heating the air while I am whisked away from town. From the boat, Khao Phanom Bencha, Krabi highest mountain, is clearly visible and has a single puffy cloud towering above it. The waters of the estuary of the Krabi River are calm, the perfect day for a tour of the mangroves; boats from the other direction are full of people from the island that commute daily to town for the day, shopping, working, socializing. It is for this and for several other reasons that I love Krabi. The town in itself might not be a particularly attractive one in the conventional sense, but it is a real rough diamond that tourists use as a base for visiting the major attractions and save time, hassle and money. This picturesque city is usually a transport hub for travelers on their way to places such as Ao Nang, Koh Lanta, Phi Phi and other destinations in the South of Thailand. The main bus station is located here, and you will undoubtedly pass through Krabi Town on your way to anywhere you want to go. It is a charming town, with a more ‘local’ feel to it than the tourist areas. There are good restaurants and bars, but they might not be as obvious to come across. The accommodation in Krabi will be cheaper, as will the food, especially if you eat at the

local markets. The people are genuinely friendly and helpful and with the new addition of maps located on prominent stands on the pavement, it is easier to find your way around. The best way to explore the town is to just walk and see what you can find. Sooner or later, I always seem to end up back where I started! In the town itself there aren’t a lot of activities apart from shopping and eating. You can take longtail boats from Chao Fa pier to do some sightseeing along the river; navigating upriver the boat will take you through the impressive mangrove forests and you will come to Khao Kanab Nam. Very much the symbol of Krabi, the two towering peaks of Khao Kanab Nam are part of a national conservation area of 4 million square meters home to different species of fish, monkeys and birds. These two dog-ear shaped rocks, about 100 meters high, are separated by the Krabi River and form the town’s most prominent landmark. Skeletons of human descent were discovered in Krabi, dating back some 43,000 years, making them some of the oldest ever found. Get off the boat and climb the towers via a staircase for some truly spectacular views. These are caves that are worth exploring, with impressive stalactite formations.

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If you are up for shopping, there are loads of interesting places to spend a few baht take some time out and wander aimlessly throughout the smaller side streets off Maharaj central road and you will be amazed at what you may come across. Traditional, handmade jewelry and crafts, beautiful silk garments tailor made for you, gems, pottery, antiques, wonderful wooden furniture and plants can all be found here, usually in a non descript shop with the craftsperson working away. Soi number 8 off Maharaj Road is now designated as a pedestrian walking street during 5 to 10 pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The zone is a great place for local premium quality local products such as souvenirs, food and beverage, herbal products, antiques plus many more. Visitors take advantage of Krabi’s fantastic night and day markets at various sites around the town and indulge in the magnificent views to be enjoyed from the riverbanks. Eating places are everywhere and are open day and night. Some of the best authentic Thai food can be found at the local markets. Chao Fa Pier night market is a good bet, as well as the larger night markets that take over whole streets from dusk. This is the best ‘fast food’ you will ever have, and is usually served at the same time you take your seat. Try a few things and remember they will be cooked the local way, spicy! If you are missing the flavor of your home country and need a little comfort food, there are a few restaurants in the town that offer western food. These are usually owned and run by ex pats so the food is pretty good. During the day, there are plenty of noodles and chicken stalls on street corners to keep you going throughout the day, as well as fast food chains like KFC, Dairy Queen and Dunkin Donuts all located in the Vogue shopping centre. If you have a craving for some ice cream, pay a visit to Swenson’s, located here as well! And if you are going out by night, around the Maharaj Road are some well-known places for some late night fun and games in the town. Expect loud music, DJ’s and good times fuelled by lots of local whiskey. Elsewhere, the nightlife scene here is relatively subdued. There is more of an openair restaurant vibe to the place. You will see small groups of locals gathered outside small grocery stores, sharing bottles of the local beer and playing checkers with bottle caps; you will see couples, backpackers and families here and there is a relaxed atmosphere around the place.

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Fact File HISTORY: Pronounced ‘Gra-bee’, this small town is located 900 kilometers and 90 minutes by air from Bangkok. There are 132 pristine and untouched islands of all shapes and sizes surrounding Krabi. Historically speaking, at the start of the Rattanakosin period, about 200 years ago, when the Thai capital was finally settled at Bangkok, elephants roamed wild in the Krabi area and an elephant kraal was established in Krabi by order of the then Rajah and Governor of Nakhon Si Thammarat, which was by then a part of the Thai Kingdom. He sent his vizier, the Phra Palad, to oversee his task, which was to ensure a regular supply of elephants for the larger town. So many emigrated in the steps of the Phra Palad and settled down here that soon Krabi had a large community divided in three different boroughs: Pakasai, Klong Pon, and Pak Lao.

THE NAME: As for the origins of the name Krabi, two legends co-exist; according to one of them, Krabi would derive from the name of the local tree Lumphi. The Malay and Chinese merchants pronounced it incorrectly Ka-lu-bi or Kholo-bi, which finally turned the name into Krabi.

SLEEPOVER: Krabi is pleasant enough to spend a night or two. Most accommodations are located alongside Chaofa Road, a prolongation of the old Chaofa Pier. Hotels range from simple and inexpensive guesthouses to nice boutiquelike resorts. There is also a choice of hotels in the city center along Maharat Road and also on the riverside near the Thara Park area.

HEALTH: If you fall ill whilst in Krabi, the local Krabi Hospital is not far from the town center - 075 611202, 611210, 611220. The closest international hospital is in Phuket – some 2 or 3 hours drive away. Ruam Phaet private hospital in Talat Kao is a good alternative. If your problem is not an emergency you can walk into any of the pharmacies you will find everywhere and they can offer free advice and even dispense prescription medication.

INFO: The main post office in Krabi is to be found on Uttarakit Road in Krabi Town, near the police and immigration office. From Monday to Saturday the post office is open from 8.30am to 15.30pm. Tel: 075 611050. Emergency services include Police 075 611222 or 191, Fire brigade 075 611111 or 199, and Search & Rescue 075 622581.

TRAVEL: The bus station is located from where you can get cheap transportation to most of the rest of Thailand is located in Thalat Kao, about 4 km outside the centre, any tuk tuk driver will know the way. Also, the local sowngthaew pickup busses (basically a covered van with a couple of benches inside) continually roam the towns of Krabi beeping their horns will take stop off there as part of their route.

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Event

Story by : Stefano Gonella l Photos by : Nattapat Sunthornphuriwat

KARE

The Annual Charity Event by Sheraton Krabi Beach Resort

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fter the success of last year KARE event, where over THB 250,000 were raised for the children of Baan Klong Muang School in Nong Thale sub-district, on August 6th Sheraton Krabi Beach Resort cordially hosted the 2nd consecutive KARE event on Saturday with the theme: The Divas, GREEN HEART Charity Concert. Last year money went towards the remodeling of the school’s playground, ceiling fans in the classrooms, sport equipment and a scholarship program. The whole Krabi community acknowledged Sheraton efforts, and Krabi Major thanked Sheraton personally for the relief and support provided. This year, the stage is set for a Post Relief operation for the families of the Khao Panom district of Krabi. The landslides in March destroyed countless homes and families. Long after several rescue efforts, there is still a lot more to be done and this area in Krabi is in desperate need of support from individual people. This is the reason why Sheraton party hosted two infamous Divas, KAM and Silvy from the stage of ‘’The Star’’ Competition. The Divas, Green Heart Charity Concert which gathered more than 400 people, started with a cocktail reception on the green lawn by the beach, followed by a sumptuous buffet dinner.

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The event was opened by a special guess from TAT Thailand with a speech, thanking all guests for coming; this was followed by Sheraton General manager Khun Chatchawan who conduced a raffle where seven different Sheraton holiday packages in seven different locations were at stake. But best of all was the rod game, painting game, and Sheraton holiday packages all over the world. Thanks to Sheraton management, and to Krabi people hearts, the night made over 500,000 THB. A great charity success beyond belief, and a great friendly Sheraton night.


Flood Relief

Text & Photos by : Gidi Mevissen

Visit Krabi flooding victims Chapter 3

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is is an account of the third (and last) visit to the flooding affected area. Initially Svein and I looked at Google Earth to find for a location which we thought could have been hit by the severe storms, and eventually decided to head to the small village of Khian Sa, located in Surrathani province, about 100 km from Ao Nang. We left at 10 a.m. from my house and picked up more goods at Chandee Guesthouse. The caravan was composed of only 2 cars so we had limited seats. After arriving at the place we immediately realized we had come to the right spot. Though many houses where cleaned up already, we heard about a few houses that got hit pretty bad. All the lodgings next to the river had 3-4 meters high water in, and the riverbank was still a big pile of rubbish. Near to the first stop there were about 5 houses that still had a lot of damage, one of which was totally destroyed. A family that used to make a small living from growing and selling fish was living in a tent with just a little protection against the elements. This family had lost all their livestock and their entire house was swept away. We donated about 8 sets of food, blankets, mosquito nets, T-shirts, rice, rice-cookers and water-boilers. The area of the second stop, 500 meters from the river, had been hit badly with houses flooded with more than 3 meters high waters. An old man and his wife told us the water came and stayed for more than 10 days. They told us that though they had lost a lot, they thought there were people who had lost more. We then left food and blankets behind and moved further down the road where a family was sitting outside by all their belongings, damaged beyond repair. Again we emptied the trucks donating more goods. On the way back we saw some houses in a valley that looked badly damaged; walking down the slippery road, a young lady who was keeping cattle and about 40 ducks came out of her house. She guided us to an older lady that had her entire house washed away. We still had some goods in the back of our cars, and asked if the young farmer if we had missed some other places. She directed us to stop number 3, where we had some shocking views: it was as bad as the 2004 tsunami memories. An old lady came up to me wailing, crying and sometimes screaming. Her small house was gone, but so where all the other houses on this road; more than 12 houses had been damaged, most of them where completely gone. She

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had apparently lost her mind after the flooding, and kept clinging to me and trying to talk a Thai I did not understand. We tried to assess what we could do with the ittle left in our tracks; we drove through a dirt road with 10-15 cm of sticky mud with the old lady sitting in the back of my car, and managed to get of the road in a 30mt high mud plain. The sky looked clear, all present started pushing and pulling the car, and in a sudden it started raining, and we were forced into one of the makeshift tents. We took advantage and unloaded the items in the truck, and walked. We realized there were too many houses in need and not enough goods to give; we started rationing our sets, with the old lady still babbling at me. We finally reached her house, or at least the place where her house had been. Se had nothing left but the clothes she wore, but once she calmed down she told us that she did not want anything since her children and grandchildren lived in a house in the city of Suratthani, and she was going to live there. We donated some money and goods to people in the area and decided to head back since driving forward would have been foolish. The scenes became stronger, with some trees that had been ripped and landed on electric lines, downing them to the ground. 3 houses were completely demolished; one car was buried underneath one of the collapsed houses. We stood silent for some time. Still we had some of the cash kindly donated by the Krabi people left and we donated it there. On our way back to the car the local Mayor, a very friendly guy, came to us screaming with joy to these people who had come from Krabi to help the inhabitants of his little village. This area still had no electricity after almost 2 weeks. Driving back, we felt good; it is so rewarding to help people in need. This was our last scheduled trip, yet after seeing all we saw, we are faced with a problem and can’t let these people sit there like the way they are. There are still some more gifts coming in from all over the world, and more trips are needed, from us and from others. There is a need for hammers, nails, saws, electric wires, water-pipes and anything that may help rebuilding. If you can think of a way to help these unlucky people, or you or anyone you know have any cash or items to spare, contact me. If you have already helped, thanks for your efforts and donations, which have gone to the right place. And if you are religious, God will pay it back somehow since you have showed that human race is not selfish after all… Sayaan, Noi, Svein, Watt, Bas, Gidi and all the people you helped. For those of you who still would like to make donations, please feel free to do so; your money will be spend for a good cause. We all want to thank you so much for the help you will give to these people. Thank you! For those connected to Facebook, all 50+ pictures will be there soon – Facebook type Gidi Mevissen. Email me at gididoesit@hotmail.com


Cultural

To Wai or not to Wai?

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o ‘Wai’ is to put your hands together on your chest and bow your head a little towards the tips of your fingers. There are different reasons to Wai in Thailand. It is used as a greeting, a thank you, to say goodbye, and to apologize and to pray to Buddha. Thais don’t wai everyone. It is usually used as a sign of respect to someone who is older or wiser, possibly such as a Monk. You shouldn’t wai a younger person but you should return the wai if they wai you. Likewise you wouldn’t wai every shop owner when you make a purchase or a maid when she cleans you room. As a tourist you’ll hear many people tell you not to wai because you aren’t Thai, but I think that’s an ignorant way to think. This is a Thai custom that has meaning and feeling in it, and as long as you wai in the right circumstance you will be sure to make a Thai smile. Even if you do it wrong or it seemed awkward, the Thai people love to see someone try to understand aspects of their culture.

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A THAI POINT OF VIEW As you now know, we ‘Wai’ by putting both of your hands on our chest and bend our head a little bit towards the hands. A ‘Wai’ is for Greeting, Thanking, Saying Good Bye, Apologizing, Praying to the Buddha and Begging But Thais don’t ‘Wai’ to everyone. Thai people pay respect to someone who is older as senior, and we also ‘Wai’ to respect the boss in a service business. So, please don’t ‘Wai’ to anyone who is younger than you. Younger people won’t feel comfortable to get your ‘Wai’ first. But if they do to you first, you’ll have to accept it and ‘Wai’ back to them. You don’t need to ‘Wai’ to anyone you don’t know. For example, if you buy something in a shop, you don’t have to ‘Wai’ to the owner as you’re the customer, unless they invite you to stay over or to join their food with them. ‘Wai’ must contain feelings or meanings for that person. Whether you do it right or wrong, Thai people are still happy to see you ‘Wai’ because we like the fact that you try adopt our customs.


Getting Around

Local Transport

LOCAL buses, or songthaew, run throughout the day and are an excellent way of making a day trip into or out of Krabi Town. There are regular stops, but you can hop on or off almost anywhere. Similarly, if you’re not close to a bus stop, you can stand by the side of the road and flag one down, like a taxi. The price from Ao Nang to Krabi Town is 60 baht per journey. Motorcycle taxis can also be found in Krabi Town and are a fast, if hair-raising, way to get around. The drivers will take you anywhere - for a price, which is best to negotiate before you get on. In Ao Nang beach, there are small minivans (tuk-tuks) and motorbike sidecar taxis (samlor) everywhere, which will take you most places in the local vicinity for 20/40 baht per person. Because they charge per person, it is wise not to load too many people into the sidecar as they are not very stable - for more than 4 passengers, take 2 taxis, even if the driver insists it is ok. There are also regular taxis, which people often hire as a ‘car and driver/guide’ on a daily basis for around 2500 baht, depending on where you wish to go. They will also take you from Ao Nang to the airport for 600 baht, to Krabi Town for 500 baht and to Phuket for around 2500 baht. Prices for many other destinations can be seen on the board outside Haagen-Dazs on the Beach Road. If you’re planning a day out at sea, the traditional wooden longtail boats found on all mainland beaches are your best option for independent island-hopping. There are also frequent ‘taxi boats’ running from Ao Nang to Ton Sai and Railay Beach. These wait until they have enough passengers (in theory 8, but in high season they usually hold out for 10 or more) to depart. In the green season these may be limited. Buy coupons for the boats at the booths on both corners of the beach road. Prices for trips are fixed by the boatmen’s club (i.e. are not able to be bargained down) and displayed on a board outside the ticket office. The prices are the same all year round and children under 12 should travel free.

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Geographica

Story by : Thomas Gennaro l Photos by : Nattapat Sunthornphuriwat

Rubber and Palm Oil Krabi’s main agricultural productions

Krabi province, with its natural attractions such as tropical islands, palm fringed beaches, forest waterfalls and limestone cliffs, in recent years has earned its popularity worldly amongst sun seeking and adventure-bound tourists. However, did you know that Krabi is predominantly an agricultural based area, and that its main produces are respectively, rubber and palm oil?

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arious agricultural produce can be seen all around Krabi Province, but rubber and palm plantations predominate in the extraordinary countryside scenery, and most noticeably these two produce are the main cash crop sustaining Krabi’s growing economy. Here are few curiosities and facts that I discovered about these two produces:

RUBBER Originally, rubber was collected in balls of various rubber producing plants and wild trees in South America by its native population, such as the Aztecs or earlier Mesoamericans and South American tribes that had discovered its water proofing and elastic properties. Nowadays, 90% of rubber production comes from plantations of rubber trees in Southeast Asia, and South Thailand has its own share. Many plants produce latex, which oozes from cuts and injuries as a milky sap. Rubber plantation owners and rubber collectors are predominantly Muslim. The rubber trees are tapped during the night, and the white latex collected at dawn. Driving around the province at 6am will give you the chance to observe laborers working inside the ordered lines of old rubber trees. They skillfully practice careful incisions on the tree trunks, as many as 3 per tree, and wait as the milky-looking juice descends and lands into halved coconut husks attached to the trunk, filling them with the sticky substance at a slow pace. Farmers usually cover themselves head to toe in order to protect from mosquitoes in these humid forests. The sight of newly rolled sheets of rubber hanging out to dry is common down every side road. Most rubber tapping families are pleased to show visitors how they turn the latex into sheets. But you have to turn up early.

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PALM OIL Palm oil is a form of edible vegetable oil from the fruit of the oil palm. Previously the second-most widely produced edible oil, after soybean oil, it may have now surpassed soybean oil as the most widely produced vegetable oil in the world. Palm oil itself is reddish because it contains a high amount of beta-carotene. It is used as cooking oil, to make margarine and is a component of many processed foods. Palm oil is one of the few vegetable oils relatively high in saturated fats (such as coconut oil). Among the touted health benefits of palm oil, most notably red palm oil, are: rich in beta carotenes, especially red palm oil (crude palm oil is considered the richest natural source of carotenoids about 15 times more than in carrots) it is used by the human body as Vitamin A which enhances eye health and a biological antioxidants (protecting cells and tissues from the damaging effect of free radicals, which could cause cancer); it is an excellent dietary energy source; it is a very rich source of Vitamin A and E. Other advantages to be considered in using palm oil are that it is a stable oil in high temperatures (good for frying) and that it is a cheap vegetable oil (due to the oil palm’s high productivity). Controversy does exist to the relation between palm oil consumption and blood cholesterol health issue. However, since all excess are notoriously negative, you can enjoy your pancake of choice fried in red palm oil while in Krabi province. And why not, have it in you kitchen back home too. So now that you know a little bit more about your holiday destination, look around for the rubber and palm plantations that patch its countryside and ask your tour operator if they can arrange a visit to a rubber or palm oil plantation.

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Seafood Street

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Best Terrace Hotel


Koh Lanta

Koh Lanta Highlights

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oh Lanta is situated in the southernmost tip of the Krabi province. It consists of two islands, Koh Lanta Noi and Koh Lanta Yai. Koh Lanta Noi is the smaller of the two islands and does not have tourist facilities. Visitors traveling by road from the main land pass through the smaller island on the way to Koh Lanta Yai, the center of the tourist operations. Ban Sala Dan village, in the north of the island, is Lanta Yai’s commercial center, and the pier where visitors arrive on the island. It is a row of shops, seafood restaurants on stilts, dive shops, tour operators, banks and guest houses that cater for new comers on the island. The bulk of the Lanta beaches lie along the west coast of the island and can all be reached by road: Khao Kwang, Khlong Dao and Phra Ae all have long stretches of white sand facing the Andaman sea, while Khlong Khong, Khlong Nin and Ba Kan Tiang and other smaller bays are all nice to relax and swim. The east coast of Koh Lanta Yay is flat and has many local villages scattered along its coastline. Koh Lanta has a very diverse cultural mix of people who have lived on the island in harmony for hundreds of years: Thai-Muslim, Thai-Chinese and the original sea gypsies still inhabit the place in harmony. The biggest town on the island is Lanta Old town. Boat trips to Koh Lanta are available during the monsoon free period from October to April. May to November see the closure of some of the island businesses and of the boat passenger services due to rough seas. A minibus service is the alternative way to reach the island via land. For boat schedule to/from Koh Lanta consult our Krabi Miniguide 81000.

Ba Kantiang Beach Spectacular crystal–clear seawater and soft white sand, romantic sunsets in utmost privacy, this is why Ba Kantiang has come to symbolize an hideaway in Lanta for relaxing in natural surroundings.

Lighthouse on Lanta Located in Tanod Cape, on the southernmost tip of the island, the lighthouse tower of Lanta is the perfect symbol of solitude. It is the place where immaculate nature still survives as it is rarely reached by tourists due to the rugged road conditions.

Koh Lanta National Park The park covers a marine area dotted with several small sandy islands surrounded by coral reefs. The headquarters is located on the island’s southern extremity.

Ban San-ka-u A sea gypsy’s settlement in south-east Lanta Yai. It is there that an old clan of traditional Chao Ley try to preserve a disappearing way of life in this fast-developing island.

Eco-tours These are run all year round from the east coast of Lanta Yai, not affected by the low season rough seas. Make your way to Thung Yee Pheng village for a trip with a local community - www.tungyeepeng.com, or book a tour with friendly and experienced Sun Tours - www.lantalongtail.com

Nature Lanta Old Town It was once called Ban Si Raya and was the commercial port for Chinese and Arabic trading boats that sailed between the ports of Phuket, Penang and Singapore. Today it is a village with a few rows of stilted shop houses home to an ancient community that was established on the island long ago. It is a picturesque place with, these Chinese timer shop-houses date back 100 years, from the old days of sea trading. Near the shacks along the coast, local fishermen dock their longtail boats giving the whole scene a very Thai look.

Because of its bio-diversity and richness of natural resources, Lanta is a good place for trekking. Explore limestone cave chambers and passageways in the Lanta caves, or walk upstream to the spring water waterfall, where to swim in cool rock pools.

Fire Dancing This is definitely one interesting part of the Lanta beach culture. A fire dancing show is usually performed by young boys performing twisting acrobatics swinging burning torches and ropes lit on fire around their muscular bodies. A distinguishing show that sparkles in the dark.

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At a Glance

Charming Koh Lanta

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oh Lanta’s scenic beauty may not quite compete with some other areas in the province. However, if you’re looking for complete peace and quiet away from the bustling tourist areas, with a few home comforts, head there! Low-key development and unspoiled nature are Lanta’s main attractions. Mountainous and rugged in some areas, especially near the southern tip, its green forested hills, gravel and sand beaches, pretty coral reefs, clear emerald water and traditional lifestyle, provide a charming retreat from modern life. Only 20,000 people live on Lanta including a clan of Chao Ley, or Sea Gypsies. This distinct ethnic group still follows their traditional customs and culture. Along with the Muslim and Chinese locals they give the island its unique ambiance. Although more and more locals are becoming involved in the tourism industry, some remain unaffected by tourism, still earning their living from rubber, prawn farming and fishing. Traditional houses and friendly faces still remain. The west coast of Koh Lanta is one long beachfront that really gives you the feeling of being isolated from civilization without the inconveniences associated with being miles away from human habitation. Even during the December to March peak season it is easy to find a quiet part of beach, or if you are prepared to walk a little further, a private beach to yourself. Although there are resorts all along the 25-km west coast, most of those in the central and southern beaches are largely made from natural materials and blend right in with their surroundings. Koh Lanta never really gets that busy like the islands of Koh Phi Phi and Koh Samui.

The Koh Lanta archipelago consists of several islands including the largest, Koh Lanta Yai. It’s located approximately 70 kilometres south of Krabi Town.

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There are two main roads, one running parallel to the beaches on the western side and the other along the east coast, with two main roads connecting them at various points of the island. Tourists generally stay on the west coast where the beaches are located and the sunsets are magnificent. Here too you will find most of the restaurants, shops and services. Getting around on the island is easy, as you can hail local taxis and tuk tuks on the main road, or hire a motorbike or car to explore the island.


The two northernmost beaches of Koh Lanta are the closest to the ferries and Baan Saladan the main town is the most populated area with the widest range of resorts, restaurants and shops. Of course ‘populated’ by Koh Lanta standards is still pretty quiet, but it does mean most modern conveniences (supermarkets, petrol stations, doctors, dentists, banks and post offices) are only a few minutes away. As you move down to the middle of the island the accommodation becomes a little more basic and these areas tend to attract the younger set. Further down still, more boutique resorts pop up; many in beautifully secluded locations on beaches that make you feel like you are the only one there. Klong Nin and Kantiang Bay are popular with European families wanting high-standard accommodation so these areas also have quite a variety of high-end restaurants. At the far southern end of the island, near Moo Koh Lanta National Park, you hit real seclusion.

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KOH LANTA YAI NORTH

Passenger Post Office Ferry Car Ferry to Lanta Noi & mainland

KAW KWANG BEACH Kaw Kwang Resort Blue Planet Divers

Lanta Diver Lanta Sailing Ko Lanta Diving Center Blue Planet Divers The Frog

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Minivan Station

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KOH LANTA

Klong Dao Main Road Beside PT Petrol Station For Reservations Contact Khun Supavadee [Azmi] : 086 8840052 - Mr. Markus : 083 1066606 www.eden-restaurant-lanta.com, e-mail : mail@eden-restaurant-lanta.com

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Is a Non - Profit organization. We help keep the Island safe for you by conducting Sterilization & Rabies vaccine programs. We give first aid to injured & abused animals. DOGGIE WALKING at 5 PM ! ! 30 shelter dogs would be truly grateful to get your love & affection. You can adopt as well! Volunteers & donations are greatly appreciated and NEEDED. PLEASE HELP US TO CONTINUE THIS WORK www.lantaanimalwelfare.com 084 304 4331, 089 967 5017


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Visit our web for availability calendar


Story : Pierre-Yves Loriers

REAL ESTATE - Architect Tips

Renting Galore

Record year for holiday pool villa occupancy in Krabi

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on Company Ltd, Krabi’s leader in the design, construction and management of holiday pool villas, has announced 2010-2011 as its most successful season for villa rental since its opening some ten years ago. Pierre-Yves Loriers, managing director of the company, attributes the figures to a concerted effort by the company to break into new markets worldwide. “This year, we have really focused on online marketing of our properties, and expanded our ‘Krabi Villa’ brand into Russia, France, Germany and Scandinavia, with dedicated websites in the local language and also new reservations staff based in each area. This allows us to handle enquiries with native speakers, as well as market the new websites in various social media outlets. “These factors, alongside our pro-active offline marketing strategy, have led to clear results for us.” But, says Loriers, there is still room to expand. “Demand at peak periods in Krabi for private villas far outstrips the supply, which includes not just our properties, but those of our competitors. There is still a lot of room for growth in this sector.” Ton Company itself is about to take on 3 new holiday homes starting in November 2011, all located within the popular tourist centre of Ao Nang, and is always on the lookout for more. “Strange as it may seem in the current economic climate, our best selling villas are those which are the biggest and most luxurious,” says Loriers, “so owners should not worry about being able to achieve good rental returns during the downturn. A significant percentage of our guests are looking to stay in a ‘dream home’, something out of the ordinary.”

Investing in people: team training and expansion garner awards for Ton Company Large luxury villas are notoriously difficult to clean: add a dusty climate, a beach in close proximity and 10 guests or more and the task becomes even harder. This is why Ton Company Ltd, Krabi’s foremost villa rental and Management Company, asked a leading cleaning consultant from Bangkok to hold a specially commissioned workshop in July 2011, with the aim of training its housekeeping staff. “Cleaning is actually one of the most important services we provide,” admits Pierre-Yves Loriers, managing director of the company. “It’s vital to guest experience and it’s an area that can always be improved on. This type of staff training also fits with our company ethos of investing in people, so that both we and our clients benefit.” The training program covered areas such as products, equipment, techniques and the various approaches to cleaning a large area. The consultant, who has worked in 5 star hotels across the country, went through the step-by-step process of cleaning individual rooms, and also gave advice on troublesome areas such as stain removal. “The workshop was a great success. Our housekeeping staff enjoyed it, and hopefully our guests will also

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Pierre-Yves Loriers - Biography Pierre-Yves Loriers, affectionately known as ‘Ton’ to his friends, family and colleagues, is the Managing Director of Ton Company Ltd, a leading architecture, property development and exclusive holiday villa company in Thailand.

appreciate their new organizational and technical skills on the job,” says Loriers. Villa guests and owners will also receive increased support from Ton Company’s new hires: an additional driver for the recently purchased tuk-tuk (which takes the number of serviced vehicles at guests’ disposal to three); and a full-time maintenance manager, who will be charged with the regular upkeep of, as well as any unscheduled repairs to, paintwork, plumbing, electrical and security systems. These types of investments, along with an outstanding record in customer care, have led to Ton Company Ltd being awarded two prestigious titles this year. Firstly, the Flipkey “Top Vacation Rental Service in Ao Nang”, for 2011; and secondly an “Excellent” rating from the entirely customer-review-based website, Trip Advisor. “We are thrilled with the recognition these awards bring,” says Pierre-Yves Loriers. “We hope to improve on our own high standards by offering more choice and even better service to our guests in the future.”

Villa design and construction still a growth area in Krabi In addition to villa management and rental, Ton Company Ltd in Krabi, Thailand, also provides an in-house design and construction service for private and corporate clients. This year they have successfully completed the Thalane Bay Village Resort, a prestigious development of four luxury pool villas on the waterfront in Ao Thalane; and will soon start construction of a new villa project known as Krabi Riviera, overlooking the islands next to the Railay Peninsula at Ao Nui. This development will consist of six sea view villas, a clubhouse, spa and beachfront restaurant.

Despite the success of his company, Ton has kept his feet firmly on the ground and prides himself on remaining very hands-on, taking an active role in all of Ton and Company’s operations. Ton energetically participates in all aspects of each and every project, including management and production and his leadership is an inspiration to a 20 strong team of highly professional and dedicated staff. A Frenchman, Ton kick-started his business career in Paris with a sought after course at the acclaimed ‘EDC Ecole des Dirigeants & Createurs d’Enterprise’. In 1988 he set out for California to learn more about the American approach to business. With a comprehensive background in the hospitality industry, he cut his teeth in one of the most prestigious hotels in LA, the luxurious Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills. This was an exciting opportunity to learn the ropes of a demanding industry in a world class environment and it was here that his passion for providing outstanding customer service was set alight.

“Increasing investor confidence in Thailand means we are now seeing a lot of movement in both the land and property sectors”, says Pierre-Yves Loriers, managing director of the company. “We have recently been commissioned to design and build villas for private individuals in Trang and Koh Lanta, as well as the larger commercial ventures we have undertaken. It’s a good sign for Krabi and Thailand in general.”

After a brief exploration of Vietnam, Ton’s taste for adventure eventually led him to Thailand and he finally settled in the beautiful province of Krabi. In 2000 he founded his company, ‘Ton Company Ltd’ and has never looked back! With inherent industry knowledge and a profound understanding of what makes a truly satisfied and happy client, he has devoted himself to creating a successful and highly respected organization in challenging economic times.

To cope with the increasing demand, Ton Company has hired a new architect, Somphong Yeabsul, a specialist in building and environmental technology, with nine years of experience working with international clients. “He will work alongside our landscape architect and in-house engineer; his grasp of English and technical knowledge means he will be a valuable asset in making the design process smoother for our clients,” says Loriers.

In addition to managing his business Ton generously donates his time to community activities and is justly proud of his special responsibility as ‘Chef d’ilot pour la province de Krabi’, representing the French embassy in times of crisis in Thailand.

For more information on the comprehensive villa design, construction and management services offered by Ton Company Ltd, please contact 075 695-633 or by email at: Ton@TonCompany.com. www.KrabiArchitect.com - www.TonCompany.com - www.KrabiVilla.com

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Property News

Thailand Property Values Versus the Aussie Dollar

W

ith the increasing arrival of Australian tourists to Thailand this year as a result of low airfares and an extraordinarily high Aussie dollar, it comes as no surprise that some are entering the local real estate market. This is important for Australians right now but also for people holding large amounts of Euros, given the unfolding banking crises in the European Union. The primary question of property investors is, should I buy (or sell) now, or should I wait? Experienced currency traders, real estate investors and investment advisors have noted the tendency of unsophisticated investors to hold out for lower property prices. Or worse, they hold out in hopes of stronger currency values. The consequence is that often they miss the boat completely because the market continues moving up without them. At the same time, the currency retreats to a lower price, which is often simply its fair value, aka, the equilibrium. It’s a classic scenario. Who knows where the Aussie dollar and the Euro are headed? No one! Not your banker, not your financial advisor. But the highest likelihood is that the Australian currency will soon fall relative to the US dollar. Could the Aussie dollar spike briefly to new highs instead? Absolutely! But is it likely? It’s possible, but improbable.

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The Aussie dollar has made two major rallies up to the US$ 1.00 range in the past fifteen years. The last spike was in 2008 and it lasted a month at most. As many naive investors sat around watching, hoping, and praying for it to continue on to 1.10, it plummeted back to its fair value instead. More prudent investors deployed their funds at around parity with the US dollar while most simply sat on their hands, watching on horror as the Aussie dollar tanked. Already, in recent weeks, it has fallen from its record high easily, and quickly, fall like a stone just as it did in spring of 2008. The 200-month moving average, clearly demonstrates that the average price for the Aussie over the past 15 years or so is around 72 cents US. So, what to do? If you are cash heavy in Aussie dollars and want to own property here, now is the correct time to buy before further price declines reduce your purchasing power. Remember, what goes up like a rocket is likely to come down like a rocket. Don’t get greedy looking for a higher Aussie dollar. Book profits now by buying the Thailand property appropriate for your investment and personal interests.

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Land Matters

What to Look for When Buying Land Are you moving to Krabi or plan to move to Krabi?

W

hen buying land to build a house on, you need to first look at your ideal location, but be sure it is truly ideal. If you have kids and you intend to stay there until the children are grown up, does it have good educational facilities nearby? If you don’t want to drive your children for miles every day to take them to school or you don’t want to send them to boarding school in Phuket, then it makes no sense to buy a block of land in isolated areas, even if you love it there. Make a list of all the facilities that you need both now and in the future. Transport and proximity to the workplace may be important - only you can decide. You also need to look at other amenities such as doctors and dentists. Find out if the land has electricity, water and sewerage connected and how much it will cost, if not. If there is no telephone, find out if there is mobile coverage. Another important factor is the slope of the land. Steep can mean expensive when building. It can also make access awkward for construction equipment, as well as yourself. What about flood zones? Being in a flood zone will increase your insurance at the least. You also need to check out building and zoning regulations. A convenient option is to have both a house and land package.

This article is provided to you by Exotiq Real Estate Brokers. With offices in Ao Nang, Krabi, Koh Lanta and other destinations in Bali and Thailand, they offer the largest selection of villas and land for sale in the area, with access to an impressive online database. Visit www.exotiqproperty.com or contact 089 9085990 (EN-FR-IT) or 089 7727858 (TH) for Ao Nang, Krabi and Koh Lanta enquiries. You can also email Thomas@exotiqproperty.com for enquiries and advice related to real estate.

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Krabi Magazine


Lifestyle

Need a Pool? Look at the right place

D

esjoyaux Pools is the leading manufacturing company specialized in in-ground pools and pool accessories that started in 1966 and is currently shipping over 15,000 pools per year in 75 countries worldwide. Desjoyaux Pools provide a lifetime of enjoyment and savings because they are built like no other pool in the world. At the heart of every Desjoyaux Pool is a revolutionary pipe-free filtration system and a unique concrete wall structure offering incredible benefits: peace of mind, operating savings, strength, comfort and family fun. Desjoyaux Pools Krabi is moving from their long time address along the Krabi Road into town to a more convenient location near the Sri Krabi shop, past the Sai Thai temple if you are coming from town. Their new address is 444/2-3 Moo4, Sai Thai Road, and their contact details are 081 4776561; you can also contact them via email at desjoyauxkrabi@gmail.com

Ao Nang Exclusive apartments in the center of Ao Nang

lLocation: Ao Nang – Krabi - Thailand l Bedrooms: Studio, 1 and 2 bedroomsl lFeatures: Air-con, lift, terraces, private entrance l Price: From 3,000,000 Thai Bahtl For more information contact:

EN: Thomas +66 (0) 89 9085990 TH: Ton +66 (0) 89 7727858 Web: www.exotiqproperty.com Email: thomas@exotiqproperty.com

Krabi Magazine

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Italian Home Furnishings

MAP

PHUKET

Krabi Rd. Krabi Town

Maharad Rd.

TT&T Office

RIVER

KRABI AIRPORT

Phokha Temple

Uttarakit Rd.

Kitchen, bedroom, living room & office furniture made in Italy KRABI TOWN

083 525 1978 info@mdhouseware.com www.mdhouseware.com


Property Guru

Distant Real Estate Properties

Find it, buy it: a tricky task for the novice. Let a Real Estate Agent help you. Below, Exotiq property guru offers tips buying a home in the tropics, doing preliminary homework from a distance.

N

ew statistics show that the average homeowner doesn’t move very far when they move for the first time. This isn’t always the case however, as the figures also reveal that when it’s time to re-settle later in life, the destinations are more ambitious and usually continents away. The prospective purchaser can find themselves with a simple problem: finding and purchasing Real Estate in a distant land. It can be a little tricky for the novice. Before too much research is done, you must find a targeted spot in which you would like to obtain property. This doesn’t have to be a specific area, but rather a generalized region in which the prospective homeowner believes a new home would be ideal. And if you are reading this, chances are you have already set your eyes on Krabi as the candidate destination for your home in the sun. The next step would be to search more specific locations whether by an actual tour or by going online and searching Real Estate listings. Most listings will also include photographs of the surrounding land, home, and any significant factors on or around the land. This can help narrow down a search even before leaving the front door.

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Calling or E-mailing a Real Estate agent is the next logical step. The agent will be able to setup a physical visit for one or more properties listed, and will also be more than happy to give out more information for any properties. Once the proper contacts have been made, a homeowner should make a trip to the area. At this point the homeowner should have a list of properties to investigate, preferably around 5 or more. Investigate as many locations as possible as this will. When the buyer decides they like one property in particular, the next part is pretty straightforward for a reputable Estate Agent. Getting the agent to sit down and meet with the sellers and working out a deal is actually an easy process considering what is being transferred. If delays come along, most of the work can be transferred via mail if a trip back to the region isn’t possible for some time afterwards.

For further tips on real estate, the Property Guru can be contacted through www.exotiqproperty.com , a chain of Real Estate Brokers operating in Thailand, Indonesia and Australia. Grab your copy of Exotiq Magazine with the best properties in South East Asia in Thailand’s best bookstores.

SUTIN & FRIENDS INTERNATIONAL LAW OFFICE Legal Consultation Litigation through the Kingdom Business Registration Contract Making Legal Services for Alien Family and Estate Law 171/80-82 Krabi Rd, Paknam, Muang, Krabi 81000 Tel. +66 (0) 7561 2259, +66 (0) 7562 0250 Fax. +66 (0) 7562 0249 E-mail. sutinlaw@hotmail.com, sutinlaw@yahoo.com

Labor Law General Legal Services Real Estate Business Translation and Notary Public Work Permit Accounting Services www.sutinlawkrabi.com


COCONUT BAY Resort & Estates

IS PROUD TO INTRODUCE

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3 stunning seaview houses already built 4 independent and private plots left stunning views on the sunrise coast natural settings, on a green belt area self enclosed gated community of exclusive owners plots from 1 million baht, houses from 3 million baht land freehold with separate chanote title each plot benefit from the freedom of designing your own house building time 8 to 12 months with progressive payments C

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‘Coconut Bay Resort & Estates' is a bespoke boutique resort development that is offering residents and guests a stylish and opulent accommodation in a picturesque beach front location.

EXOTIQ KRABI REAL ESTATE Tel +66 (0)75 637459 Mob +66 (0)89 9085990 krabi@exotiqproperty.com

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The unique tropical properties are located on a sandy stretch of a secluded private beach on Koh Lanta. The properties will compliment the turquoise waters gently lapping the picturesque cliffs enclosing the palm fringed bay. Established developer. Interest free financing is available. Unique investor program. 0898 398 255 relax@coconutbayresort.net www.coconutbayresort.net


Directory

Businesses in this magazine

www.krabi-magazine.com

.BZ

*446&

DEVELOPMENTS Thalane Bay Village Sunrise Creek Villa Rattana Nong Thale River Residence The Lai Tai Attico Ao Nang Coconut Bay Lanta DIVERS Lanta Diver Blue Planet Divers

THA POM

ENTERTAINMENT Ao Nang Centerpoint The Irish Rover Crazy Gringos

r53"7&-r$6-563&r"0/"/(r-"/5"r-&*463&r/"563&r

HOTELS & RESORTS Sabai Resort & Residence Layana Resort & Spa VisitLanta.com Lanta Island Resort Lanta Castaway Resort Escape Cabins Lanta Amari Vogue Krabi Krabi Resort Sheraton Krabi Beach

RESTAURANTS Carnivore Steak & Grill Time for Lime Eden Bar & Drink The Irish Rover Paddys Klong Muang Aning Restaurant Aning Seafood Crazy Gringos The Rooftop Bar SERVICES Marina Yoga Lanta Animal Welfare The Lanta Retreat Mike Collection Tailor NewspaperDirect Krabi Newspaperdirect Koh Lanta Lanta Car Rental TOURS & ACTI VITIES Sea Kayak Krabi VILLAS Koh Jum Beach Villas Krabi Villa

LAWYERS Sutin & Friends Thanee Law REAL ESTATE Exotiq Property Attico Condominium LYG Construction Krabi Ton Company MD Houseware Desjoyaux Pools Krabi Consultants

www.krabi-magazine.com www.facebook.com/krabimagazine

THANEE ATTORNEY & COUNSELOR AT LAW

E-mail: info@thaneelaw.com www.thaneelaw.com

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Krabi Magazine

INTERNATIONAL LAW OFFICE STANDARDS YOU CAN TRUST

- Legal advisory - Project management - Company formation - Work permits - Visa and immigration - Business contracts and licenses - Wills and testaments

- Tax and accounting - Real estate expertise - Litigation and dispute resolution - Notary public - Marriages and divorces - Insurances - Mortgages


Nong Thale River Residence Custom designed villas & holiday rentals

NT RR

Modern minimalistic Villa Ao Nang “baan Will”

Nong Thale River Residence

Experience the difference www.kamalot-ltd.com

Kamalot

Your custom built luxury tropical home within the benefit of a community Surrounded by beautiful mountains and a lovely river, just 10 minutes from Ao Nang beach For personal experience make an appointment to visit this unique project T. 0818940675

Wat Klong Son

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T. +66 818940675

l l l l l l l l l l

Quiet and spacious residential area Near Ao Nang beach and entertainment Krabi International Airport 25 kilometer Spacious plots 1100-1600m2 Custom built villas Quality materials Environment aware construction Project management and rental service Good accessibility for seniors Opportunity to experience on site before buying

4034 Krabi

300

350 m

6024 Klong Muang

www.kamalot-ltd.com

Co. Ltd. Land & Development

บรีษัท กมล๊อต จำกัต


OPEN ALL YEAR

Krabi Magazine August 2011  

Krabi Magazine

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