THE PATH OF BUDDHISM
DAY TRIP TO WAT BANG RIAN page 22
christmas KAYAKING FROM AONANG A BRILLIANT OUTDOOR ACTIVITY page 24
in thailand page - 24
KOH LANTA MANGROVE WAY caves of krabi A TOUR OF TUNG YEE PENG limestone wonders page - 26
PHI PHI SUNSET
a highlight yacht tour page - 43
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
Ton Company Ltd. 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
Call us 075 695 633 Krabi most experienced villa manager 10 holiday pool villas for rent in Ao Nang Top ranking websites available in many languages Secure payment online (Visa / MC / PayPal) 12 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
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
JANUARY 2012– ISSUE 73 EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Thomas Gennaro email@example.com - 089 9085990 SUB- EDITOR: Paul Stretton ART GROUP
Creative Director: Nattapat Sunthonphuriwat [Ton®] firstname.lastname@example.org - 089 7727858 Graphic Designers: Dayton Designs® Andy Dayton - Shuric Galkin - www.dayton-designs.com
CONTRIBUTING WRITERS & PHOTOGRAPHERS
Thomas Gennaro – Nattapat Sunthonphuriwat Paul Stretton - Daniel C. Docto – Christian Burmester Marina Ognibene – Stefano Bonasini – Giovanni Sangiorgi Ton Company - Vishal Pawa – Toby Mellin Norm Flach – Ian Owens – The Lanta Retreat
DISTRIBUTION AO NANG – KOH LANTA KOH PHI PHI – KRABI TOWN - KOH JUM KitDee Media & Design – 075 637459 DISTRIBUTION KOH SAMUI - PHUKET BANGKOK - CHIANG MAI - PATTAYA Bookazine - AsiaBooks Bangkok MARKETING Thomas Gennaro - 089 9085990 KitDee Media & Design Company Limited 247/13 Moo 5, Ao Nang, Krabi 81000 Tel: 075 661144 - 075 637459 - Fax: 075 637460 E-mail: email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Welcome to Krabi Krabi 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 worldclass 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. This month, we have a veritable smorgasbord of articles and tidbits to whet your appetite for our little corner of paradise. Around Ao Nang, read all about a day out kayaking around the stunning limestone karsts, as well as a piece all about these iconic guardians of the Krabi waters. Keep the blood pumping by reading all about the national sport of Muay Thai by local ex-pat resident and champion fighter Daniel “Doc” Docto, or take a trip to the famous Phi Phi islands for a trek up to a stunning viewpoint that is hard to beat. The abundance of flora and fauna around the Krabi region is of endless fascination, and the omnipresent and almost indestructible Pandanus tree is the focus of this month, along with the incredibly intelligent mangrove. Dipping beneath the surface, the marine life around Krabi is one of the richest you will find anywhere, and one of the most important links in the ecosystem is the often-misunderstood shark. Read the truth about these majestic creatures in a piece written by one of our experienced Divemasters. Children are the future in any culture, and none more than here in Thailand. So much so that we celebrate the younger generation during “Wan Dek, or the National Children’s Day. Get and insight into how important the kids are to Thais and you will soon see why they are always smiling! If you are planning on staying here for a little longer than the standard holiday, then our regular real estate section is just for you. Get all the latest info on retiring to paradise, how to get your foot in the door when looking to buy property, and practical advice on how to keep those bugs and mozzies at bay when you move in. Ever-popular Krabi Magazine is consolidating its new fresh graphic cut and it is successfully distributed all over Thailand in most Asia Books/Bookazine stores, including at the main Thai airports. This helps tourists plan their trip to this province in advance, it makes Krabi an interesting option for potential visitors to the area, and it gives our sponsors a much wider exposure.
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.
Krabi Magazine is massively available to visitors to Krabi and Islands during high season, helping you with your search for the best eats, nightlife, activities, events; an endless array of information to make your stay reasonably organized from Kitdee Media & Design. Find Krabi Magazine in your hotel lounge, in restaurants and pubs, at airports and boat piers or in your favourite local travel agency. 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 your reading, and above all enjoy your time in sunny and pristine Krabi!
Executive Editor: Thomas Gennaro Sub- Editor: Paul Stretton - email@example.com Cover designed by: Dayton Designs
february 2012, issue 73
A Window on Krabi.....................11 Highlights of this amazing province: town to temples, beaches to Islands, natural hotspots to cultural places.
top 10 activities...........................14 Krabi Province is a haven for sun worshippers and pleasure seekers and is also one of the world’s best destinations for activities such as rock-climbing, scuba diving and kayaking.
Hotel PR News...............................17 Brand, product and services from our sponsoring hotels.
ACTIVITY...........................................20 If you fancy a game of golf in Krabi, head to Sofitel Krabi Phokeethra
DESTINATION...................................22 A day trip to Wat Bang Rian, on the border between Krabi and Phang Nga provinces, unveils to our writers the forging of the path of Buddhism.
DAY TRIPPER....................................24 One of the best things about living in Thailand has got to be the availability and sheer ease of doing outdoor activities. Kayaking is one of these.
SPORT...............................................26 Welcome to Ao Nang, Krabi South Thailand’s largest fight stadium!!
UNDERWATER WORLD.....................28 Spotting little critters such as seahorses, nudibranchs and cleaner shrimps is normal in the Andaman Sea; we are also fortunate enough to come across sharks on a fairly regular basis.
THAILAND FESTIVALS.......................30 Wan Dek, the National children’s day in Thailand, takes place on every second Saturday of the year. Projects Abroad was invited to join and co-host the day at Baan Nong Thale School.
PHOTOGRAPHY................................33 Local Thai Kid’s are adorable, so photogenic. Phototgrapher Gil Kreslavsky delights us with a series of pictures of Krabi kids.
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.
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
A full bar that boasts a cavernous interior. Beers, wine and cocktails - exceptionally friendly staff.
MAP CENTER POINT Top Charoen Optic
The Airport The Cave KR pub
contents GEOGRAPHICA.................................34 Krabi is part of what was once a huge coral reef. Its islands and rocks were formed by the movements of massive slabs of earth called plates, and lifted out of the seas. Karst is indeed a local topography.
ON TOUR .........................................36
Phi Phi Sunset Cruise & Private Sunset Cocktail on Tup Island by Krabi Spesialisten.
ON TOUR..........................................38 Koh Phi Phi: An approximation to tropical paradise
TREK TIME........................................39 Phi Phi viewpoint is one of the highlights of a visit to Phi Phi Don.
DESTINATION...................................43 Rugged, relatively new, unspoiled; it’s Koh Jum, also known as Koh Pu, named after the 420 meter high mountain in the island’s north. PLUS: Nature Series: You can chop it up, throw a typhoon at it, let it be rolled over in a tsunami or run over it with a truck and it won’t die. It is the Indestructible Pandanus
KOH LANTA.......................................47 Get the most out of Koh Lanta. Highlights, maps, reviews and articles:
Koh Lanta Highlights: Lanta Features Nature Trails: Mangrove ways at Tung Yee Peng Health & Living: Meditation increases mental strength and focus
REAL ESTATE.....................................57 Purchasing and making real estate investments made simple with Krabi Magazine. Architect Tips: A spectacular property in a secluded corner of Krabi! Pools: Thinking of a swimming pool? Think Desjoyaux Property Guru: Getting IN on the ground floor Property Review: Nong Thale River Residence by Kamalot Property News: The Pelican Krabi concept Know the Law: Retirement in Thailand Business: Krabi Mobile connecting businesses to visitors
Home Issues: Pest control - Termites
Media Kit, specs.............................70 dates and advertising rates
The Longtailboat located at seafood street, offering spectacular views over the bay of Ao-nang. We’re dedicated to providing our guests with brilliant times in a chic and relaxed setting with our good service, here you will find a superb dining experience and great memories. Our experienced chefs proudly present you our authentic Thai and European cuisine. Fresh seafood is a must with great quality from the fisherman boat at reasonable price.
Menu sample :
Contact: 075 638 093
01. our "The princess of ao nang" signature experience of Assorted seafood deep fried with sweet plum sauce.
Average cost per person: 500 Bt.
02. " Stir fried snapper fish with black pepper sauce" with garlic butter fried rice
House wine per bottle: 900 - 1,800 Bt.
03. " Massaman Tiger prawns" served with Roti bread
Credit Cards: Visa, Master
04. Barbecued "Jumbo prawns" with vegetable and sweet sour sauce served with steamed rice
Service & Tax: No Charge Popular dish: "Guarantee fresh Seafood"
delivery every day from the fisherman boat
01. Lasagna classica bolognese
(most fishing from Ao nang sea)
02. Pizza "Quattro Formaggi"
Open from: 13:00 last order 22:30
03. Cozze al vino bianco - new zealand mussels in our creamy white wine sauce . A traditional Italian recipe
facebook page: Thelongtailboat restaurant,Krabi
04. Australian Angus "Tenderlion" with red wine sauce served with baked potato and grilled vegetable
05. Grilled Fillet of Sea Bass with White Wine cream Sauce - served with fresh salad and garlic bread
For taxi: รานอาหารเดอะ ลองเทลโบท อยูในซอยอาวนางซีฟูด ริมทะเลหาดอาวนาง
* Vegetarian Selection
Window on krabi
the beaches Ao Nang, at 20km from Krabi Town, is the most developed of Krabiâ€™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 that 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.
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 birdsâ€™ 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 mineral enriched waters falling into rocky ponds.
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 hideaway 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.
THE CULTURE 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
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 gypsyâ€™s settlement in south-east Lanta Yai. It is there that an old clan of traditional v 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: “lovely 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.
Rock climbing and Railay Beach Combine a trip to Railay Beach with some rock climbing and serious beach time and then sample some of the local nightlife. Krabi is among the World’s best destinations for climbing. The Railay peninsular is home to the local climbing scene and is considered a mecca for the sport. There are hundreds of bolted routes in the Railay area as well as rockclimbing schools that can provide guides and equipment. Railay, once the sole preserve of backpackers has become a favourite holiday destination, combining 2 world class beaches, excellent dining and some funky after hours haunts to down a few bottles of local brew.
Krabi Province is a haven for sun worshippers and pleasure seekers and is also one of the world’s best destinations for activities such as rock-climbing, scuba diving and kayaking. Krabi Magazine gives you our top 10 list of activities to try here in Krabi: Kayaking This is a hugely popular activity in Krabi. The mangroves, caves and of course the beaches, provide plenty of great opportunities for kayaking. The Ao Nang/Railay area is popular as it’s close and convenient but if you’re feeling a little more adventurous, book yourself on a tour to Ao Thalane or Bor Thor in Tarn Boke Koranee National Park. The caves, grottoes and lagoons make for a great day of fun and adventure. Wat Tham Suea A hike to Wat Tham Seua or Tiger Cave Temple is exhausting, exhilarating and ultimately hugely rewarding. Once you’ve climbed the 1,257 steps that lead to the hilltop temple you’ll be met by stunning views over the surrounding countryside. The glorious Thai countryside having transformed into swathes of lush greenery by the monsoon rain. Combine the temple with trips to other destinations like Sa Morakot or visit as a separate Krabi Town day trip and combine with trips to the market. Sunset stroll along Ao Nang esplanade/Noppharat Thara Beach Sunsets over Ao Nang and Nopharrat Thara are probably some of the best you are ever likely to see. The monsoon rain brings storm clouds that hang ominously over the bay creating dynamic sunsets that bathe the bay in sumptuous light. Walk along the esplanade to get some great views of the longtail boats bobbing on the water or just sit on a bench and watch as the sky transforms. Evening in the Last Fisherman Bar/Sea Food Restaurants at Noppharat Thara and Ao nang After a sunset stroll there’s no better way to finish off your evening than chatting over a cocktail or two or indulging in some great seafood. If you finish your walk in Ao Nang continue along the road by the police box until you come to the Last Fisherman Bar, one of Ao Nang’s best night-spots. It’s the perfect place to relax and enjoy a drink by the ocean. The seafood restaurants at the other side of Ao Nang Beach or by the very end of Noppharat Thara beach are a must for a local fish fare.
Markets Experiencing the hustle and bustle of a local market is great fun. Krabi and Ao Nang are blessed with some great markets and (Krabi town boasts the biggest covered market in southern Thailand) There’s a market operating on any given day of the week selling everything from fruit and vegetables, household items, clothes and shoes, snacks, BBQ meat, Muslim curries and more. Try the Thursday market or Saturday markets in Klong Haeng. Sa Morakot A trip to Sa Morakot or the ‘Crystal Pool’ can be combined with trips to other beauty spots such as the hot springs. The so called ‘Emerald Pool’ is fed by a natural spring and gets its name from the glorious colour of its water. Perfect for swimming, it makes a great day out and a nice break from the beach. The rainy season is a great time to go; more water and less people. The best way to visit is on a tour, making it easy to combine it with a trip to nature’s own hot tub – the namtok ron (hot springs) a series of splash pools fed by a natural thermal spring. Koh Hong Archipelago No trip to Krabi or Ao Nang is complete without a trip to Koh Hong, the stunning group of islands lying off the Krabi coast. The beaches of Kong Hong never cease to amaze visitors with their crystal clear water and stunning white sand. The beaches in Ao Nang can become rough and windy in the wet season but the beaches on the islands lying in the Andaman Sea remain calm and good for swimming. Koh Hong has two glorious beaches a lagoon and national park land – a real island paradise. Local Nightlife If drinking prodigious amounts of local brew is on your agenda then seek out one of Krabi Town or Ao Nang’s more lively night
spots. In Ao Nang, Luna Bar is a popular joint for movers who want to bust some shapes on the dancefloor. Vodka or whiskey buckets are usually the order of the day. If you want to party Thai style then head to Centerpoint in Ao Nang or Kansas Saloon in Krabi Town. Air-con ad non, with lots of whiskey on ice flowing, these places are an experience. Live music, dj sets and semi-clad dancing girls are what you can expect. For a less salubrious
night out, try Soi Salai opposite McDonald’s in Ao Nang. This clusters of neon-lit ‘beerbars’ are often friendly and good fun and many have cable TV and free pool on offer. The next place for entertainment are the bamboo huts opposite Siam Commercial Bank for a relaxed chillout evening. Longtail boat mangroves
The mangroves that fringe the coastline of the various islands divided by the maze of canals are thick and impenetrable. A nature longtail boat tour of the Krabi mangrovespopulated canals, with great views of local wildlife and scenery, will enhance your Krabi experience. Charter a boat driver at Chaofa old pier for the longtail trip, usually lasting 3 hours.
Phuket - Aonang Phuket - Aonang Phuket - Railay (pass Ao nang) Phuket - Railay (pass Ao nang) Phuket - Lanta (pass Ao nang , Railay) Phuket - Phi Phi
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Ao Nang - Phi Phi Ao Nang - Lanta Ao Nang - Phuket Ao Nang - Phuket
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Railay - Phi Phi Railay - Lanta Railay - Phuket Railay - Phuket
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Phi Phi - Phuket Phi Phi - Railay Phi Phi - Ao Nang
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Lanta - Railay Lanta - Ao Nang Lanta - Phuket (pass Railay,AoNang)
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Depart. Arrive. 08.30 - 10.15 am. 13.30 - 15.30 pm. 08.30 - 10.45 am. 13.30 - 15.45 pm. 08.30 - 12.45 pm. 08.30 - 09.30 am. Depart. Arrive. 09.00 - 11.00 am. 10.30 - 12.45 pm. 10.30 - 12.30 pm. 15.30 - 17.30 pm. Depart. Arrive. 09.15 - 11.00 am. 10.45 - 12.45 am. 10.30 - 12.30 pm. 15.15 - 17.30 pm. Depart. Arrive. 14.30 - 16.00 pm. 15.30 - 16.45 pm. 15.30 - 17.00 pm. Depart. Arrive. 13.30 - 15.15 pm. 13.30 - 15.30 pm. 13.30 - 17.30 pm.
243 Moo 2, Ao Nang Beach, A. Muang, Krabi 81000 Tel: (66) 075-637152/3, 075-637730 Fax: 075-637153 60/57 Moo 3, T. Rassada, A. Muang, Phuket 83000 Tel: (66) 076-353211-2 Fax: 76-353212
Hotel PR News
THE ACCOLADES & AWARDS SHELVES ARE FULL. We are running our of space… Pimalai Resort & Spa, a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, recently received confirmation of its continued recognition as a 5-star***** beach resort. This Hotels & Resorts rating is the initiative of the Thailand Tourism Authority, the Thai Hotels Association, the Association of Thai Travel agents and the Minister of Tourism and Sports of Thailand. The star-rating appraisal started back in 2005. Each year, a panel of 6 members of the above associations visits, inspects and evaluates designated hotels and makes valuable recommendations as to what aspects of the hotel need to either be improved or implemented. Having successfully applied and passed all of the panel’s criteria, Pimalai Resort & Spa is to-date the only resort on the island of Koh Lanta, in Thailand’s Krabi province, that carries an official 5-star ***** rating, and this since 2007. This new recognition will nicely complement the one received at the recent World Travel Awards. And plans are now being considered to expand the Awards shelves, as there is no more space left… Pimalai, a stunning beach resort property, and a pioneer of deluxe hospitality on the island of Lanta in Krabi province, is set on 25 hectares of lush tropical land with direct access to 900 meters of unspoiled beach. It boasts exceptional facilities, including Deluxe rooms, Suites and Pool Villas, several restaurants & bars, conference facilities, a spa, a PADI scuba diving center and a wide range of recreational facilities.
RED ALERT @ THE HOUBEN It’s not a real-time strategy computer game, or a Starfleet alert state in the Star Trek fiction. It’s the signature restaurant of The Houben Resort in Ba Kantiang, Koh Lanta. Enjoy a special dinner there. Sit and marvel at The Houben’s impressive pool; beyond, the horizon line dotted with lights form a dozen fishing boats in the distance. Inside, art surrounds you: featured lampshades hanging from the high ceiling, abstract oil paintings on walls, huge ceramic objects of different shapes dotted the floor. The bar area looks modern and cool, with ceramic art applied on walls for a glassy futuristic look. Wait for Shana, the Belgian restaurant manager, to welcomes you and suggest some special dishes. From the kitchen, noises of spoons mixing ingredients in a pan, and a lovely smell of food. Pastry rolls stuffed with ground shrimps and sesame oil, and served with a sweet plum sauce called Toong Thong, or ‘money bags’ - spring roll veggies, tasty and full of goods, and chicken satay, grilled to perfection and served with a tasty peanuts sauce - chunks of fresh Tasmanian salmon topped with Dijon and gravy mustard sauce on a bed of sauté spinach and mashed potatoes and served with hydroponic salad - ‘specials of the day’ like a blue cheese salad, grilled lamb, beef tenderloin – all washed down with a selected list of good wines from Australia, Chile, France, Italy and Spain. Red Alert love to support local and eco-friendly products, they chose the best rice from the local farmers, purchase the catch of the day directly fro a sea gypsy fisherman, veggies and fruits are from organic farms.
GM Franck de Lestapis, Miss Pimalai “Fah” and some of the staff displaying some of the awards and accolades received the past years. About Pimalai Resort & Spa Peace, Serenity, Solitude… These are the words that come to mind for award winning Pimalai Resort & Spa. Add to that elegance, nature and genuine friendly service. Be it for a honeymoon or a break from it all, Pimalai nestled in a lush tropical forest, is the destination to set your sights on. The resort combines all the right ingredients – subtle five star comforts, natural beauty, far from the crowds, with no noise except the sound of the waves sliding in and out and slowly breaking onto a pristine sandy beach. For more information visit www.pimalai.com
ABOUT THE HOUBEN
The Houben is a private family run villa-style hotel comprising 15 sea view rooms graciously perched on a cliff. The hotel overlooks a striking panoramic view of the Andaman Sea, just few steps to Kantiang Bay the best hideaway sandy beach on Lanta Island. The Houben concept combines modern style living with a touch of Thai, creating a simply irresistible experience. Our design is thoughtful, minimalist, relaxing, inspiring and yet eco-friendly. The Houben is the ideal place to escape from city life and for anyone who loves to pamper themselves in a natural environment. The Houben is where comfort meets style; where the sun dives into the tranquil horizon; where your vacation feels like home. We can’t wait to see you there.
Hotel PR News
STARWOOD GASTRONOMIC BOOK oh la-yana Layana Resort & Spa recently welcomed the brand new Layana 2 passenger boat at the shore of resort. The new boat, with a capacity for 20 passengers and 250 horsepower engines, will ensure an even smoother and elegant transfer from the Hua Hin Pier to the beach front of Layana Resort & Spa. The transfer will take not longer than 20 minutes after a 45 minutes ride with one of the luxury minivans of the resort from the Krabi International Airport to the Hua Hin Pier.
About Layana Resort & Spa Layana Resort & Spa is an exclusive boutique resort facing a fine white sandy beach and set against a picturesque backdrop of foresred hills. Laid out amid tropical gardens and designed to harmonize perfectly with its natural surroundings, the resort comprises low-rise, contemporary the style building that combine spaciousness with an open, cool and natural ambience. The quests have the opportunity to appreciate an idyllic island world far from the pressures of the city. As an exclusive haven of luxury, Layana Resort & Spa aims to offer the ultimate in individualized service. Throughout, guests appreciate the hospitality that is unobtrusive to preserve privacy, and yet attentive to give a sense of privilege and to fulfill every wish.
Bernd Lippert is a renowned German food photographer who will take you on a culinary journey of Starwood Hotels & Resorts form around South East Asian region. He has brought his extraordinary eye to this project to showcase the creativity, imagination and culinary prowess of Starwood’s best chefs throughout the region. All food in the book is shot on location at Starwood’s outstanding hotels and resorts with their talented chefs, with a special mentioning to Sheraton Krabi Beach Resort Executive Chef Frederic Moline. All chefs hope readers enjoy this creative look into their culinary world. For a look at the online version, browse www.hotelscuisine.com
About Sheraton Hotels & Resorts
Sheraton helps guests make connections at more than 400 hotels in 70 countries around the world and recently completed a $6 billion global revitalization and is now in the midst of a $5 billion global expansion over the next three years. Sheraton is owned by and is the largest and most global brand of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 1,058 properties in 100 countries and territories with 145,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, and the recently launched Aloft®, and Element SM. The company boasts one of the industry’s leading loyalty programs, Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG®), allowing members to earn and redeem points for room stays, room upgrades and flights, with no blackout dates. Starwood Hotels also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com
AMARI WINNER OF TRIP ADVISOR CONTESt TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel website, reveals Amari Vogue Krabi was chosen as a winner in the category Relation & Spa by TripAdvisor in its 2012 Travelers’ Choice® awards. Now in its tenth year, the annual TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice awards honor the world’s best hotels, earning their distinction from those who know them best – real travelers. Unlike any other hotel honors, TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice winners are based on millions of valuable reviews and opinions from travelers around the world. “With the help of millions of travelers around the globe, TripAdvisor is thrilled to recognize the world’s most outstanding hotels for the tenth year of the Travelers’ Choice Awards,” said Christine Petersen, president, TripAdvisor for Business. “From the best bargain hotels to best luxury hotels, remarkable service, value and quality are the hallmarks of our Travelers’ Choice winners.” Amari Vogue Krabi is very proud to receive this award for its first time.
About Amari Amari is the centerpiece of the ONYX portfolio of hotel brands reflecting modern Asian hospitality, a down to earth vibe and embodying Asian flair. ONYX Hospitality Group operates four diverse yet complementary hotel brands – Saffron, Amari, Shama and Ozo - each catering to the distinctive requirements of today’s business and leisure travellers. ONYX reaches beyond its Thai roots to offer innovative management solutions across the Indian Ocean, Arabian Gulf and Asia-Pacific regions. Visit www. onyx-hospitality.com.
Fancy a game of golf in Krabi?
ook no further than the newly refurbished Phokeethra Golf course right on the grounds of luxury hotel Sofitel Krabi Phokeethra. This 9-hole course couldnâ€™t have a better location, nestled between the luscious, green Naga Mountain
and the Andaman Sea, the sweeping views are something else. With newly renovated faculties including a fully fenced perimeter, extra landscaping of the immaculate grounds and even caddies, the course is all set to take on new members.
We spoke to resort General Manger and avid golf fan, Mr. Robin Deb, to get his insider info.
So what’s new for players at Phokeethra Golf then? Well, let me tell we are moving fast in upgrading our golf course for the pleasure of true passionate players. Really? Such as? As well as the renovations and upgraded facilities we are starting to offer a couple of new annual memberships to our players including a GOLF only membership which is 12’000THB per person – paying 100THB per 9 holes for the holder with up to 3 partners paying 50% of published rate. The really special one is called PHOKEETHRA at only 33’000THB for a full year membership with limitless play for the holder with up to 3 partners paying 50% of published rates, this also includes access to our resort facilities such as pool, gym, sauna and a 10% discount on all food and beverage and our So Spa treatments! Sounds great! Robin, what’s your handicap then? Haha I’m not telling! You will have to come and challenge me to a game to find out! I will tell you our course not only has the appropriate terrain for the pro golfers but also for beginners and we have a golf pro ready to instruct you. Come play a game, enjoy the views and finish off with a luxurious spa treatment or tasty lunch at Koh Poda, our poolside restaurant. Plans are also afoot for pro golfing brand Honma to be located inside the Boutique of the resort with a complete selection of their professional products and equipment as well as locker and changing facilities for players.
DESTINATION Story by : Marina Ognibene Photos by : Stefano Bonasini & Giovanni Sangiorgi
Forging the path of Buddhism A day trip to Wat Bang Rian, on the border between Krabi and Phang Nga provinces
tâ€™s an early start so we can make the most of every minute of daylight on this beautiful morning. The plan is to visit to a compound of temples situated on a hilltop, and take in a walk in a forest as well. After a 45 minutes drive towards the north of the Krabi province along the motorway 4 in the direction of Phuket, we reach the temple grounds. The car struggles to negotiate the long and steep hilly road that takes us to the base of a serpent-sided staircase. We can tell straight away that Wat Bang Rian is a temple of remarkable importance. And exquisite example of refined, Thai architecture enriched with several statues of symbolic animals. At its external sides, several terraces give way to panoramas that offer up breathtaking views of the hills underneath. An amazing, endless expanse of green: rubber and palm oil plantations, ancient trees, and flowers. A first welcome breath of an atmosphere that engulfs us more and more, step after step. From the temple top, amongst monks who sweep the patios, the path we are to follow appears to us. In front of us a huge statue of the Chinese divinity Kuan Yin, an enormous statue of
a sitting Buddha and, hidden behind the trees, the white stupa of a far away temple. We descend an imposing staircase, which takes us to the pond that reflects the image of the Kuan Yin statue, and we are not alone. Several monks wearing traditional robes and carrying their simple their alms bowls walk towards us on the same path. They are happy to stop and chat with us and after we tell them where we come from, they inform us they
are a group of 65 itinerant monks who have travelled different temples and have just spent a few nights there, in the forest dwellings. We will see them again when we return, and leave them waiting in line for their last meal of the day, pleased to know about the curiosity that has guided these strangers along their forest paths. We soon approach the Kuan Yin statue admiring its white grandeur reflected in the pond at her feet. Around the garden, many more varieties of flowers carpet the area in a swathe of colour. A few steps further on, the wide tarmac lane continues and slowly enters a forest, marking out the line of an ancient path with varying degrees of inclines and descents. We proceed only to find not too far a huge statue of a golden Buddha sitting on the Naga seven-headed snake that protects him. This sight and the impressiveness of the work leave us breathless. We ask ourselves how long it must have taken to build and how much labour must have gone in its making, but the road continues and we are more curious to know what lies further into the forest. We pass a small lodging cared for by a monk, where there is water to quench our thirst, and a bench shadowed by an umbrella of leaves â€“ a Buddhist oasis where we can catch our breath. From there the road starts to narrow and becomes covered with leaves and tree branches that interweave above our heads. The air we breathe is humid and smells of the earth and the brightly coloured flowers, and we hear the rustling of small animals that scuttle into the undergrowth as we approach. We are enveloped in a feeling of intense peace, as well as an urge to know what lies ahead, despite the path becoming steeper. We reach a white temple, its stupa pointed towards the sky with the tip stretching up even higher than the trees around it. The old man that sweeps the surroundings here tells us just to keep going forward. The road that started out as wide, flat tarmac before narrowing to a pebbly path has now finally tapered into a dirt track! As we walk, I ask myself the meaning of what I am seeing. At the sides of the path there are little houses for the monks, built on stilts and over many years. They are the fruit of the devoteesâ€™ donations: bricks, roof tiles, cement, etc. so that, with patience, the path of their faith does not come to a halt. It is through this
path that monks and devotees have brought along everything necessary to forge the path of Buddhism, step by step in a continuous forward movement amongst the hills. A path that, to us who are walking it, feels narrow and harsh, yet so inspiring in its reason for being here. Submerged in the spirituality of Buddhism and faced with the tangible proof of its relentless, borderless development, we understand how men have been able to face harsh physical and spiritual challenges with patience and perseverance. Creating paths through the thick foliage in order to meet one other and build their humble houses and their temples. Each of these gestures bound to a sole purpose, each action carried out in unison with a sole aim: so that Buddhaâ€™s word may spread out to all. We are touched by this revelation, in such a peaceful and enchanting setting. We would like to continue walking along this seemingly endless path to keep this feeling alive, but it is time for us to retrace our steps back to the car. We are disappointed at not being able to continue, but promise ourselves to return one day. We slowly walk back, saying farewell to the monk that religiously sweeps the leaves off of the patio. We accept the water offered and thank him for the joy he has contributed to our wonderful day out to Wat Bang Rian, the temple in the clouds.
DAY TRIPPER Story and Photos by : Paul Stretton
Kayaking from One of the best things about living in Thailand has got to be the availability and sheer ease of doing outdoor activities. During the months of November and March, the weather is nearly always warm and sunny - the sky blue and the sea flat and calm. Unlike in countries in the west, many things are available right on your doorstep, and you can just walk right up and do it.
ne such activity was something we had tried on several occasions before, and as today was the first day of unbroken sunshine we had had in a while since coming out of the monsoon season, we decided it was the perfect excuse to do it again! Kayaking is a lot of fun, cheap to do, and a great way to explore the beaches, caves and cliffs all around the Ao Nang coastline. You can do it by yourself in a single seater or with a partner in a twin kayak. We headed on down to the beach and towards the end of the east side. Based right at ‘The Last Bar’, there is a man who rents them out by the hour. We took a nice, bright green kayak, grabbed our paddles, and dragged it on down to the shore. If you are a complete beginner to kayaking, he will show you how to use the paddles correctly, as well as supplying you with a live vest if you want it. We threw caution to the wind, stripped down to our swimming gear, and pushed off with our paddles in the direction of Railay. It was still relatively early in the morning - around 9am - so the sky was clear and the sun full and warm, but not yet at it’s full strength. We took a few moments to get into our rhythm without bashing our paddles together, set a good pace out over Ao Nang bay and returned the waves and smiles of the people on the taxi boats that chugged passed us. We took time to paddle languidly around sheltered bays and stop now and again to investigate the nooks and crannies in the towering limestone cliffs that dwarfed us. This is one of the biggest advantages to taking a kayak around the area - you have the freedom to go wherever you want, and into a lot of places a larger longtail boat could not manage. There are hundreds of little caves, under-hangs and rocks around here that are begging to be explored. It took us just 30 minutes to reach the picture-postcard beach of Phra Nang Bay, where we hissed to a stop on the powderwhite sands and rather inelegantly fell out headfirst into the warm blue water, much to the amusement of a passing couple. It’s not as easy as it looks! We dragged the kayak up onto the beach and surveyed the scene around us. We were fairly hot and sweaty from the journey, and so our first port of call was to throw ourselves, on purpose this time, into the sea to cool off a little. It’s immediately obvious how different the water clarity is here, as Phra Nang bay is smaller and perhaps more sheltered
than the mainland, which may account for the crystal clear water and white, powdery sand. After a while, we decided to explore a little further, and so dragged our kayak back into the water and pushed off again. We slowly headed around the large outcropping of rock that stands guard just outside of the main bay, and discovered a tiny beach around one side that looked untouched by mankind. Looking closer at the rock, we could see dozens of blue-legged crabs scuttling around, just above the high water mark. They were under the watchful eye of a few grey Pacific Reef Egrets, that are fairly common around the Krabi coastline and make short work of devouring these tasty treats! We left them to it and continued on round the coastline, hugging the bottom of the cliffs so as to peer into the caves and seemingly endless myriad of black holes that perforate them. We rounded the next turn and were presented with the stunning vista of Tonsai and Railay West bays, glaring white in the sunlight. There is another small ‘secret’ beach here on the left, which is only about 10 meters in length and disappears into the jungle for those adventurous enough to explore. All of this land is just as nature intended it, so there will be creepy crawlies of various proportions lurking in here, as well as monkeys swinging from tree to tree. It’s a fantastic way to
experience a taste of the natural jungle environment that covered this whole area a mere 15 years ago before the resorts and restaurants began to appear. We set off again to Railay bay, and spent a very lazy couple of hours lying on the beach and doing not much at all. We were feeling well fed and cooked from the midday sun, so we reapplied some strong sunscreen, drank some water, and decided to head back slowly to Ao Nang. We reached the beach
and were greeted by the friendly kayak rental man who kindly came down to pull it up for us. We paid him for our time and he even gave us a discount without even having to ask, which is always a nice surprise. Saying our farewells, we squelched back towards the motorbike as, ironically, we could see black thunderclouds gathering on the horizon. So we fired up the engine and pulled away, tired, sun kissed and glad that we had spent the day exploring and being lazy at the same time - and all for just a few hundred Baht between us.
If you are looking to explore some of the local area, why not consider renting a kayak and getting to Railay under your own steam instead of using a longtail boat. You can even go all the way to Poda or Chicken Island if you are feeling more adventurous. Exploring more at your own pace - itâ€™s what life here is all about.
Story & Photos by : Daniel C. Docto
Welcome to Ao Nang, Krabi… the Paradise of Thailand Ao Nang, Krabi Stadium’s owner, Adjan Pisut Pumipamorn, opened it on the night of 21st January 2000, considered a “Lucky Day” on the Chinese calendar. This day was preferred to 17th March, which is Thailand’s national Muay Thai day in honor of Nai Kanomtom, an honorable royal Muay Thai father and fighter of the 1700’s. On the opening day, a very large crowd came to celebrate: the Governor and Major of Krabi and several Bangkok people attended, for what was an historical day for the province of Krabi. The year 2000 was a great year to open the Stadium; Muay Thai sport was growing in popularity and to this day it is increasing in popularity thanks to the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Champions) and the MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) fighters. Muay Thai is the Thai Olympic Sport: it means Thai Fighting and it is Thailand’s Kickboxing Ring. Thailand is known as the “King of the Ring” and the King of stand up fighting. Since a new breed of world fighters has grown in large numbers, many of them
come to Thailand to learn from the King of stand up fighting. Also, several people nowadays practice Muay Thai for fitness, weight loss and for self-defense. The best training for Muay Thai is in Thailand because of the weather, the food and the large numbers of trainers and fighters. It has been 11 years since the opening of the Ao Nang Krabi Stadium, which has hosted many champions and champion events. The Stadium is consistent in holding events every Friday night and in high season it adds a fight night on Monday nights. It hosts a wide variety of spectators from Thai nationals to tourists from all over the world. The tourists, a curious mix, mostly comprising of Swedish, Finnish, Norwegian and Australian peppered with a dash of North American, Mexican, South American and of course the English, the Scottish, the Welsh and what fight would be complete without the Irish. They get to watch the best of the best in South Thailand; these fighters are hungry to show their skills and thus there is a 50% plus
Did you know that Ao Nang, Krabi is home to the largest fight stadium in all South Thailand? It is in fact the 3rd Largest Stadium in all of Thailand after the large stadiums of Raja and Lumpini in Bangkok.
knock out rate from the scheduled fights! The Thai nationals are regular fans at the Stadium and they enjoy the long history of waging bets on the fighters of their choice. I have seen many fights at the Stadium and to me it is truly a flip of the coin to see who is going to win. In fact there are many rematches because the odds are so even between the many fighters at the Stadium. Ao Nang Krabi Stadium is in beautiful South Thailand, close to a stunning beach. It has held a sell-out crowd of 1,999 people, it has had more than 5,000 Thai kickboxing bouts and the ring has had well over 10,000 fighters step within its ropes, and a
record of more than 2,000 KO’s inside its ring. Blood has stained the ring mat, fighters have been kicked outside the ropes and one time both fighters vomited out their lunch at the same time by simultaneous blows to the stomach. It is always a fun and exciting time at the Stadium. The ringside is very comfortable, patrons sit on large couches and this is very unique for a fight stadium this size. The Stadium also offers Muay Thai equipment, gear and souvenirs for sale, plus Muay Thai kickboxing training for fitness, self-defense and yes, Ring fighting!! See you at the Fights and may you continue to have an amazing time in our paradise of Ao Nang, Krabi … SawazzzzzzzzzzzDee Krap.
LEARN MORE If you want to learn more about Muay Thai or even take a Lesson feel free to contact Khru “Doc”: DocThailand@gmail.com – 087 8102177 - www.YouTube.com/DocThailand - www.FaceBook.com/MuayThaiMissions More Muay Thai Magazine Articles: www.BlackBeltMag.com/Docto
UNDERWATER WORLD Story by : Ian Owens
ost people know that there is a huge diversity of life in our oceans: big creatures and small ones. Spotting little critters such as seahorses, nudibranchs and cleaner shrimps is all well and good on a dive; however they donâ€™t quite cut the mustard for me. I want, and I suspect a lot of you do too, to see the bigger stuff, and really, I mean sharks!
In the Andaman Sea we are fortunate enough to come across these apex predators on a fairly regular basis. Although encounters cannot be guaranteed on every dive, you can increase your chances of spotting one of these beautiful animals if you research a little about their habitats and behaviour beforehand. If you havenâ€™t had the time to study before your trip, consult your local dive guide. They should be able to point you in the right direction.
One of the most common species of shark encountered in these waters is the black tip reef shark. Sleek and fast swimming, this species is most likely seen in the shallows, and often they give snorkellers a better view of themselves than they do to scuba divers. Easily identifiable by their black ‘dipped in ink’ dorsal fin tip, these sharks can be very shy and difficult to approach. Hovering or floating as quietly as possible in the water is usually the best practice, allowing the sharks to approach nearby. Chasing after them is usually counter productive. Black tip reef sharks can grow to a length of 180 cm and are considered harmless to humans, unlike their big cousins the bull sharks. Another common species of shark encountered on our reefs is the leopard shark, but it is also known as the zebra shark due to the juveniles’ stripy body pattern. Larger than the black tip reef shark (reaching a length of 350 cm), the leopard shark is unmistakeable with a tail fin nearly as long as its body, ridges along its flanks and a distinctive spotted body pattern. A lot less ‘sharky’ in appearance, this species swims slowly and gracefully and is often inquisitive, swimming close to divers and indeed even between their legs. Encountered at all depths within recreational diving limits, the leopard shark can often be found motionless, resting on the ocean floor. The patient and unhurried diver can actually move quite close to these creatures in such circumstances, and they are a very popular subject for underwater photographers. But, as with all marine life, do not touch no matter how overwhelming the temptation might be, and please do not harass these gentle creatures. Asides from the fact that they are wild animals and as such are unpredictable (who knows? you might get a nip from them), you will not be popular with your fellow guests and dive guides.
One thing we dive guides are asked quite often by customers is “Can you show me a whale shark?” I am afraid ladies and gentlemen that the chances of encountering one of these leviathans are extremely rare. I do not blame people for asking, as a close up view of the worlds largest fish is breathtaking, however with a vulnerability level of ‘very high’, the whale shark is becoming an increasingly infrequent sight. They do however occasionally visit these waters and provide a lucky few with a once in a lifetime experience. Totally harmless to humans, the whale shark can grow to lengths of 12 metres, although there are unconfirmed reports of individuals reaching 18 metres. A pelagic plankton feeder little is known of the sharks habits and movements. Indeed it was not until about 10 years ago that it was even known that whale sharks give birth to live young, scientist believing before this time that they were egg laying. Even tourists who never venture into the sea can see some local species of sharks. Unfortunately, it will be as a carcass on display at local markets or seafood restaurants. The black tip reef shark is listed as ‘near threatened’ and the leopard shark ‘very high vulnerability’. If we wish these species to survive, we should politely let the restaurant proprietor know that we do not wish to eat such ‘delicacies’ and move on to the next establishment that does not advertise shark meat or fins. Hopefully, the message will sink in, and future generations will be as lucky as I have been and be able to observe these amazing predators in their natural environment.
THAILAND FESTIVALS Story & Photos by : Vishal Pawa & Toby Mellin
National Children’s Day T
here is a Thai saying that states: “Children are the future of the nation; if the children are intelligent, the country will be prosperous.” Known as “Wan Dek” in Thailand, Children’s Day is celebrated to give kids the opportunity to have fun and to create awareness about their significant role towards the development of the country. Many organizations from both government and commercial sectors have celebration activities for children on this day. Since Saturday is a School holiday in Thailand, Projects Abroad was invited to join and co-host the day at Baan Nong Thale School. Projects Abroad usually work very closely with Baan Nong Thale School; they regularly send volunteers to teach kids English language, and have a monthly community outreach program.
On the day, Projects Abroad and the volunteers had planned out many fun and educational areas for the children to take part in, and this included a diving/ conservation station, an origami station, a bomb (bottle) rescue station, a ping-pong spoon race, and musical chairs. These stations were set up and run by the volunteers, who also prepared snacks and gifts for kids who took part in the activities, and larger prizes for the winners. At first the Projects Abroad team was invited to the main hall to watch presentations
b y the children. The teaching coordinator K.Ruang was then invited up on stage to inform and encourage the children about the different activities that were taking place on the day. After the speech by K.Ruang, a handful of volunteers got up on stage to present the school’s Headmaster with sports equipment to encourage sport activities in the school fields. Some volunteers were called back on stage to receive a gift from the Headmaster in the form of a painting by one of the students, a thank you token of appreciation for the contribution and dedication Projects Abroad have shown to the School. This was followed by a female student singing a song, and by a group of male and female students performing a traditional Southern Thai dance based on the local culture. The volunteers were finally off to man their designated stations. The diving station was one of the most popular; a blow-up pool was placed in the center of the room and filled with pictures of different marine species that can be found in the local seas, floating on the surface together with cans and other types of rubbish. The children then took turns trying on the dive gear, which was kindly loaned to the project by Aqua-Vision, and looked underwater
The National children’s day in Thailand takes place on every second Saturday of the year.
promoted something, whether it was conservation, teamwork, or most important for the children, just good old fun!
w i t h great interest. In this station the volunteers also talked about the importance of recycling and reducing waste output. On one corner of the room the volunteers operated a projector so the children could enjoy a slideshow of different fish species. The marine conservation room was a great hit amongst the children; the knowledge that they received about our ecosystem may improve their attitudes towards the protection of the environment. Apart from the marine conservation room, the children also had the chance to learn to make origami – the traditional Japanese art of paper folding. Volunteers, who had practiced hard all week learning new shapes so to be prepared for the day, ran the station. Projects Abroad set up musical chairs for the kids; this again was conducted and supervised by a group of lovely and energetic volunteers. On the field, the kids had options of Ping-Pong spoon relay race or bomb rescue! Don’t worry, no real explosives were used; in groups of 5s, the kids tied around their waist a piece of string that was tied up, to the other end, to an elastic band. The kids then stretched out the band by moving backward and forward, picking up the bottle and cautiously moving it, trying to place it in a designated circle without dropping it. All activities
Projects Abroad were very honored to be invited to Baan Nong Thale School. The school also couldn’t thank the project enough; all the volunteers were treated to a nice lunch of traditional southern style beef curry, and to some beautifully fragrant chicken broth soup. Project Abroad considered the outing a very successful one in the end. The aim was to reaching out the community, and they just achieved
that, giving the children gifts, education, and above all a great time! Of course, they could have never pulled this off without the help of the ever so hardworking volunteers.
This article was contributed by Vishal Pawa (Projects Abroad Thailand Social Media Manager) and Toby Mellin (Marine Conservation & Diving volunteer). Projects Abroad is one of the leading international volunteer project organisations. Their Thailand Conservation Project is based in Ao Nammao, about 5km away from Ao Nang. They work in close partnership with the local community as well as with national and international organisations, conducting marine research and surveys, reef and beach salvage operations and forest regeneration.
Photography Photos by : Gil Kreslavsky
Local Thai Kid’s are adorable, so photogenic. Gil Kreslavsky is travelling with his wife and a 2-year-old boy sharing their experiences on the road in their interesting blogs. In his photo blog, Gil delights us with a series of pictures of Krabi kids, which are all great. Always smiling, never whining at all about the hot days and about being out hiking, biking or rafting in that heat.
Follow Gil Kreslavsky adventure on his photo blog www.asiaphototour.net and on www.asiaonstrollers.com that documents their journey in Asia.
GEOGRAPHICA Story by : Thomas Gennaro
Karsts in Krabi a local topography
he provinces of Krabi and Phang Nga are part of what was once a huge coral reef that covered much of what is now Southeast Asia. The islands and rocks of these two provinces were formed by the movements of massive slabs of earth called plates. These particular plates, however, were underwater and part of the coral reef; they were lifted out of the seas by the movement of the plates. Not everybody is familiar with this topography, and I was not either until I moved the Krabi province and decided I wanted to know more about this phenomenon. The rocks we are talking about are called karsts. The word karst is the German name for Kras, a Slovenian region along the Adriatic coast that rests on a limestone plateau. In Yugoslavian it literally means â€œinternal drainageâ€?. Most areas that have karst formations also have heavy rainfall and a thick bed of rock with a lot of underground flowing water. Hence, a karst topography is a landscape of distinctive patterns. These are areas where the bedrock has a soluble layer, usually, but not always, of limestone. In such places there may be little or no surface drainage, only underground drainages. Some areas of karst topography contain literally thousands of caves, and this is the case of Krabi. Dissolution caves are formed by dissolving limestone; these are generally the largest caves with the most interesting features, including some of the most
interesting mineral deposits. Karst landforms are generally the result of mildly acidic rainfall acting on soluble limestone bedrock. Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed largely of the mineral calcite; the primary source of this calcite is most commonly marine organisms, which secrete shells that settle out of the water column and are deposited on ocean floors. Limestone makes up about 10 percent of the total volume of all sedimentary rocks. Pure limestone is white or almost white; because of impurities, such as clay, sand, organic remains, iron oxide and other materials, many limestone exhibit different colors, especially on weathered surfaces. The process of this rock dissolution results in a topography with distinctive features, including sinkholes, vertical shafts, disappearing streams, and. After sufficient time, complex underground drainage systems and extensive caves and cavern systems may form. The carbonic acid cthat causes these features is formed as rain passes through the atmosphere picking up CO2, which dissolves in the water. Once the rain reaches the ground, water sets in pools on top of the islands. It percolates down through cracks in the rocks and passes through the soil, gathering up more CO2 to form a weak carbonic acid solution. This mildly acidic water begins to dissolve any fractures and bedding planes in the limestone bedrock, thus enlarging the cracks. Openings in the rock increase in size, and an underground drainage system begins to develop, allowing more water to pass through and accelerating the formation of underground karst features. The sides of this sinkhole erode and dissolve. If a sea cave happens to connect with this hole, the enlarging process is sped up by the action of the seawater. Erosion along limestone shores, common in the tropics, produces typical karst topography, including a sharp surface above the normal reach of the sea and undercuts that are mostly the result of biological activity at or a little above sea level. Some of the most dramatic of these formations can precisely be seen in Thailandâ€™s Phangnga Bay and Krabi regions. Karst areas are also found in nearly all continents: in different regions of the USA and Canada, in countries of South and Central America such as Puerto Rico and Southern Mexico, in Ireland, Slovenia and Croatia, in some provinces of China, in Vietnam and in Malaysia.
Hong island or Local islands tour with special designed longtail boat and unique lunch set up
Hong island – øyhopping med spesial designet longtalbåt
Inkludert i turen er: · · · · · · ·
Transport til og fra hotellet Et lekkert lunch set up Frukt, vann og brus er inkludert hele dagen Matter og parasoller Snorklings utstyr Skandinavisk / Finsk guide AIA internasjonal forsikring
Thai Culture and Making Merit
Inkludert i turen er: · · · · · · · ·
For enquiries check on
or contact +66 (0) 75 638 097-8, + 66 (0) 819797895 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Transport til og fra hotellet Frokost på lokal restaurant i Krabi by Mat til munkene Longtailbåt til Koh Krang Frukt, vann og brus er inkludert hele dagen Donering til skolen Skandinavisk / Finsk guide AIA internasjonal forsikring
126 Moo 3, Ao Nang, Muang, Krabi 81000 Thailand Tel: +66 7563 8097-8 Fax: +66 7563 8089 Mobile: 08 0691 5119
Private Sunset Cocktail on Tup Island Are you looking for something different and memorable? Just the two of youâ€Ś or with your family and friends? Maybe for a special celebration or occasion; or perhaps you just want a unique day out in the Ao Nang Peninsula? Krabi Spesialisten will take you to one of the deserted islands for a very special beach set up in the sunset. Words cannot describe this unique experience, almost alone in paradise, enjoying ice-cold sparkling wine and stunning scenery. The site and atmosphere you will experience is breathtaking! Krabi Spesialisten will serve you a delicious Thai Set menu and it is up to you when you go back home - and to reality. This arrangement is so special that words cannot describe the moment. No stress, just live the moment, let the world stay still for a few hours. There are not many people who have the chance and opportunity to experience this. I hope you will be one of the lucky ones who can! OPTION 1: PRIVATE SUNSET COCKTAIL OPTION 2: PRIVATE SUNSET COCKTAIL AND DINNER
Phi Phi Sunset Cruise A highlight tour on Bugis sailing yacht 07:50 Pick-up Tub Kaek Hotels 08:00 - 08:30 Pick-up Klong Muang / Ao Nang Hotels 08:45 On longtail boat to reach the sailing boat anchored offshore. The destination is the world-renowned Phi Phi Islands archipelago. The impressive Bugis sailing yacht promises a trip with lots of sea and sand. Lean your feet on its wooden deck, or lazy between the bridge and the bow of the vessel, lay your towel on one of the comphy lounge chairs, spoiling yourself with a trip that will catapult you far from the noise of engines and the chatter of the crowds. Far to tropical islands. Feeling the moving of the waves under you, sailing smoothly to the distance. 11:30 Arrival at Maya Bay – lunch. The guides will assist the clients getting off the boat onto a tropical beach, its white sand the consistency of powder. The beauty of Phi Phi Leh has been amply celebrated by the movie The Beach, and it is now dubbed a “legend of cinema”. A swim on crystalline waters, the sight of lots of fish swimming inches from the waterline, sea eagles fly over your head while the chef on board is preparing lunch. A traditional longtail boat will take you back on board in time to enjoy a generous buffet-style Thai lunch. You will be given enough time to appreciate these miracles of nature on Krabi Spesialisten quality tour, with a timetable designed to avoid the crowds. 13:30 Cruising around Phi Phi Leh – pass by Viking Cave. A huge limestone karst mountain conceals the Viking Cave. This cave gets its name from the frescoes inside, which apparently no one has yet been able to give a credible explanation about their origins. It is now inhabited by the bird nest collectors. 15:00 Depart to Bamboo Island. Bamboo Island is the next precious destination, and at that time the sun will be lowering its strength, and the beach will be practically all for you, silent, blinding in its beauty, gently smooth under your steps and cuddled by waves of a cobaltgreen. A stop you will wish to be never-ending. 16:30 Depart Bamboo Island for Sunset Cruise. The Bugis will then leave in direction Ao Nang. On board, cocktails, red and white wine, beer, fruits and canapés served while the vessel sails slowly, the sun setting behind the rocks. Fill your glass and share the experience with fellow happy tourists and skilled guides, while the boat pass by fantastic islands: Koh Poda, Koh Tup, Chicken Island, Railay peninsula, and finally the glittering Ao Nang boulevard, with the sun having already disappeared from the scene. 18:30 Return to Ao Nang beach and transfer back to hotels. Another amazing trip by Krabi Spesialisten, the real specialists of the Krabi Seas!
Krabi Spesialisten Co., Ltd.
126 Moo 3, Ao Nang, Muang, Krabi 81000, Thailand Tel: +66 7563 8097-8 Fax: +66 7563 8089 Mobile: 08 0691 5119 www.wedding-in-thailand.com, www.krabi-spesialisten.com E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Koh Phi Phi An approximation to tropical paradise The Man with a Golden Gun was right! And the tropical island paradise depicted in James Bond movies is easier to find than you think: a 10-hour flight from Europe, a hop on a boat, a ride across the placid sea. Koh Phi Phi is one of the world’s most accessible idyllic tropical islands with brilliant white sandy beaches that rise out of glitteringly clear water and merge into handsome hillsides, clad in aggressively verdant vegetation. The travelling experts have discovered Koh Phi Phi; there are plenty of bungalows where Westerners can relax for a night or a month, located in the (ex) jungle along the shoreline. There are no roads and no cars, but what passes for a high street is lined with travellers’ temptations: Thai massage, American breakfasts just back home, and enterprises offering a reversecharge call facility to allow you to make
friends back home envious with news of what a wonderful time you are having. As well as idle luxury, Koh Phi Phi provides the answer to the question, ‘Who put the bird’s nest in bird’s nest soup?’ Hunters on the adjacent island of Phi Phi Lay capitalize on the fact that people are prepared to pay over $1,000 for a kilogram of twigs and swallows’ saliva, vainly believing it to be an aphrodisiac. The world centre of bird’s nest production is Phi Phi Leh, a rocky island jutting up angrily from the sea, with a massive cave which sea swallows call home. Their nests are easy prey to agile nest-collectors, who shin up 100ftlong bamboo poles to scrape them from the roof of the cavern. The removal of parasites, lice and swallow droppings from the nests is done in Koh Phi Phi.
Dream Art Gallery 38
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Phi Phi Viewpoint Phi Phi viewpoint is one of the highlights of a visit to Phi Phi Don.
The first part of the walk was pretty much uphill, with the track cutting through coconut palm plantations and impressively big cashew nut trees which provided shade; many of their smelly and sticky fruits were rotting on the ground or being eaten by giant red ants the size of a thumb. Stopping to rest would mean getting bitten by lots of mosquitoes, which made the trek faster than expected. It was a brisk 20-minute walk, as I was feeling energetic, but it should take about 30 minutes by the average hiker.
While relaxing on amazing Loh Dalum beach, I had been reading on a travel guide about the trek to the view point, from where one can see the whole island. When sunset time approached, I packed my day bag and set to conquer the summit. The walk starts from the far end of Loh Dalum Bay, where the sign for the viewpoint are clearly visible. The journey up did not look difficult at all; the path winds through the trees and is well trodden and paved most of the way, with plenty of places to rest. Of course, one should not fail to take a bottle of cold water with him, as you will be sweating copiously from the heat and humidity. Also advisable is to wear shoes or closed-up sandals (the trek was challenging for my worn-out flip flops).
As soon as I reached the 186 mt high viewpoint I realized that the achievement was worth the walk. By that point I had literally sweated half of my body weight – I was pleased of course to find a little shop which sold cold water. I then sat on the flat rocks which make comfortable seats, surrounded by a natural wildflower garden, and took in the magnificent views: from up there I could see Phi Phi Leh and all of both Tonsai and Loh Dalum bays. Phi Phi is shaped like an oval or a dumbbell, with two white sand beaches on the concave parts, and the rounded ends filled with dense jungles and limestone cliffs. The whole picture is surrounded by turquoise blue waters. It was amazing seeing the red sun disappear behind the cliffs. On the way down I took the trouble to count the steps: 310 in total, not bad at all. Needless to say, the way back was much easier than the way up, though my legs were sore and I was a bit exhausted and hungry. All in all, the walk through the jungle was exciting and the view from the top, rewarding to say the least.
Many say the best time to reach the viewpoint from a photography point of view is before 10am as the sun will be behind you, bringing out the colour of the sea. And if there’s a light shower while you’re at the top you might be lucky enough to see a rainbow over Tonsai Village. Alternative walks from the viewpoint include three paths leading to bays on the other side. The middle path takes you to Rantee Beach, about a 20-minute walk, and the paths to the left and right lead to Pak Nam Beach and Ao Toh Koh respectively, both some 45 minutes away. These are not nature trails as such; just tracks used by locals to save on the cost of a longtail to and from Ton Sai. There are some tricky bits, but nothing too hard.
TRADITIONAL IRISH M
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NOPPHARAT THARA PIER, BOATS TO KOH LANTA, KOH PHI PHI, PHUKET
HOLD ME CLOSE Tsunami Memorial Sculpture
Alta Marea Italian Restaurant
Tolmaj Apartments Sawasdee Restaurant Centara Ao Nang Bay Mercure
The Airport The Cave KR Bar
Thai Village Resort
BOATS TO PHRANANG & RAILAY BEACH
n rma she e’ t Fi Ca f Las t e s h T La The
BOATS TO PHRANANG & RAILAY BEACH
Ao Nang Villa Chillout Dive Equipment Shop
The Verandah Resort
Krabi Heritage Resort Peace Laguna Resort
Somkiet Buri Resort Taj Palace SOI RCA
Ao Nang Paradise Resort Chandee Buffet
TO KRABI TOWN
Ao Nang Villa
TO SHELL FOSSIL
AO NAMMAO VILLAGE
MONDAY-TUESDAY FRIDAY MARKET
AO NANG SCHOOL
TO KRABI TOWN
BOATS TO PHRANANG PIER KRABI & RAILAY BEACH
kon saba Boos
AoNang Big Bike
Smiling Dog Cafe’
Mod Kaew Pub Entertainment Spaghetti House Bamboo Vogue Pranang Restaurants Mac Donalds Thailandia 2
Poppy Thai Dutch
Boat Noodle SOI CENTARA
The Earth Cafe
Starbucks On the Rock Subway Pizza Company Svensen
BEACH ROAD BOATS TO PHRANANG & RAILAY BEACH
The Longtail Boat AO NANG SEAFOOD PARADE
Lai Thai Apartments
Ao Nang Mosque
AO NANG VILLAGE
Ao Nang Whisky
t sor Re ant SK Optik r ng Na stau Oceanmart o e on A R y n CENTER POINT Ba Luna Can Beach La lack Irish Rover B Terrace
Lae Lay Grill AONANG Krabi Spesialisten Restaurant VIEWPOINT t TOURIST Lazy Pub ale La Playa Resort h C POLICE s is NIGHT FOOD STALLS Sw
AO NANG BOXING STADIUM
Palm Paradise Emerald Gardens ChaWan Resort Pavilion Queen's Bay Baan Bandaley
Klong Haeng Mosque
KLONG HAENG VILLAGE
CTOP Nice Nature Homes Nice Day Resort
Kitdee Media & Krabi Magazine
Aning Restaurant Ao Nang Beach Resort
TO KRABI TOWN
The L Resort Brazil Grill
Ao Nang Gardens
Tattoo de Cafe’ Burger King
Nadivan Apartm a en
Ben Beach Bar
Azzurra Restaurant Jeanette's Restaurant Kings Tailor Eden Restaurant
TO KLONG MUANG
Absolute Tailor Nok Minimart
Koh Jum Koh Jum, also known as Koh Pu, named after the 420 meter high mountain in the island’s rugged north is situated halfway between Krabi and Koh Lanta Yai, 25 km from Krabi Town. A large Muslim populated sub-district of Krabi, Koh Jum is home to 1,500 inhabitants in three tiny fishing villages. The population engages mostly in fishing, rubber cultivation and the local craft of cloth weaving. While the north is mountainous, the south comprises dense jungle, cashew nut trees, rubber plantations, casuarinas and nipa-palms. The string of beaches on the west coast has several simple, wooden bungalow resorts and one resort community of private beach homes,
from Krabi daily 11 am from Ao Nang daily 10.30 am 1hr to Koh Jum
to Krabi Town
Haad Yao Long Beach Laem Hin
Ban Klong Toh
Koh Siboya Ban Koh Siboya
Laem Kruat Daily Longtail Boats to/from Koh Jum
Ban Koh Pu Mount Pu
Daily Boats to Koh PhiPhi 10am from Koh PhiPhi 4.30pm
Ting Rai Koh Jum Lodge
Boat drop-off point
The Urban Cafe’
Koh Jum Beach Villas Koh Jum Diving Joy Bungalows Freedom Bar
from Koh Lanta daily 8 & 1.30 pm 1hr to Koh Jum
sitting among the palms, each offering sunset views over the silhouettes of the Koh Phi Phi archipelago. Koh Jum is ideal both for young travelers who want to rest their bones after some hard backpacking and for families with kids, looking for a worry free holiday in a place where children can run and swim in complete safety. Nature is at your feet there, and if it’s serenity you’re after, you can’t go wrong. Electricity just arrived in Koh Jum a couple of years ago; some smaller resorts are still powered by generator. Change is imminent; visit Koh Jum before it develops.
Koh Jum village
Getting There There is a ferry terminal about 35 - 40km south of Krabi town, in a place called Laem Kruat, that can take you to the islands, the last one departs at around 3pm. It costs around 50 Baht per person. Another option is to take a ferry directly from Krabi or Koh Lanta. This might be an easier and more reliable option for most people. A new ferry service has started from/ to Koh Phi Phi Islands. A short stop into your nearest travel agent will furnish you with the latest times and tickets for your journey. Contact the resort you wish to stay at for assistance with transportation.
The Indestructible Pandanus
Story : Jeffrey Dietrich Photos : www.kohjumbeachvillas.com
ou can chop it up, throw a typhoon at it, let it be rolled over in a tsunami or run over it with a truck and it won’t die. It will thrive in the most anemic sand, on soilless rocky limestone or in flooded swamp. This is one of nature’s most tenacious plants, the Pandanus (Pandanus odoratissimus). The other name for the Pandanus is Screw Pine due to the whorled and twisted way the leaves grow off of the main branches. Walk on almost any beach in the Andaman Sea and you will find the Pandanus growing from the edge of high tide inwards on rocky or sandy shores. The range of this native small tree covers the entire Indo-Malaysian region including tropical Australia. Natural disasters actually aid in its distribution. The seeds of the Pandanus will wash out to sea after a tsunami or typhoon and survive for extended periods on ocean currents. These drift seeds have evolved a thick fibrous layer that allows it to float and colonize islands and distant shores, often taking up to 6 months to a year to germinate. The fruit of the Pandanus is a beautiful orange and about the size of a pineapple and when mature they break apart into dozens of orange seeds. If blown over by a typhoon or knocked down by a truck, the Pandanus has evolved stilt-like roots that are gravity sensitive and emerge on the side of the tree that is tilted in order to prop itself up and provide stability. This adaptation evolved growing in the unstable sandy and swampy soils prone to erosion and flooding. Pandanus trees are dioecious, male and female flowers grow on separate trees. The male flowers are conspicuous, trailing and a creamy white, heavily laden with pollen. They release a pleasant subtle smell that locals passing by seem to always notice and comment “haawm suay” (nice smell) while the foreigners displays the usual lack of olfactory sensitivity. The female flowers are inconspicuous.
As a landscaping tree at the beachfront, the Pandanus is unsurpassed. You can transplant adult trees easily and once established you can ignore them and they will thrive. They can withstand the harshest salt laden winds of the monsoon and help stabilize sandy beachfront soils. Planting seedlings is very rewarding because of their fast growth. The only nuisance with the tree is the rows of teeth that line not only the leaf margins but also the mid vein underneath each leaf. They are needlesharp and care should be taken that they do not hang over pathways. The sharp teeth do provide protection to nesting birds. Here on Koh Jum the Scaly Breasted Munia, Lonchura punctulata, a tiny finch, often nest in small colonies in the crown of Pandanus trees. Pandanus are common on Koh Jum and abundant on Koh Lanta along the coastal road. Together with the Nipa Palm and Coconut, the Pandanus is an important native tree for thatch, construction, mats and cord. Pandanus leaves are harvested, the teeth removed and are then used to weave some of the highest quality floor mats available in Thailand.
- spectacular views - 4km from Ao Nang - 100% freehold for foreigners - rental management - display villa already built - available to own now at a special price
Culture and Merit-Making
Koh 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. 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. 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 a 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 fastdeveloping 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, or book a tour with friendly and experienced local companies. Nature 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.
s t h g i l High
Story & Photos by : Norm Flach
Last time we went to Koh Lanta, Thailand, we had a new adventure. The adventure came about as the result of a drive across the island to show our friends Jeff and Susan the construction site of our retirement home.
e were driving passed a sign “Mangrove Way” on the east side of the island. Jeff and Susan were visiting Koh Lanta for the first time and they asked, “What is Mangrove Way?” We had to admit that we had never checked it out. That is how it came about that the four of us drove down Mangrove Way to find out what it had to offer. The road ends at Tung Yee Peng Pier, on the edge of the mangrove forest. Mangrove trees live in salty water; mangrove forests are found along tropical and subtropical coastlines in both the western and the eastern hemisphere. The mangroves have massive root systems that protect the shoreline from soil erosion, even from hurricanes and tsunamis. They offer protection to a special ecosystem of living species – including mammals, reptiles, amphibians and birds. Our first thought was to rent kayaks and paddle leisurely up the narrow water passages into the mangrove forest. We were immediately informed that we would not be allowed to kayak without a guide to ensure we found our way back. So we decided that if we need a guide we might as well save our energy and take the longboat tour. We crossed a wooden bridge onto a long narrow pier that winds through the mangrove trees to a boat launch that extends off the pier. Here we were greeted by Khun Leun, who would be our boatman and guide. Boarding the longboat, we settled in for our adventure. Khun Leun spoke no English, but this did not stop him from shouting
out information to his four tourists about the islands we were passing and other information that will remain a mystery. He was charming. The boat followed narrow channels between the mangrove islands. It soon became clear why we would not kayak without a guide. Retracing your path through the waterways would be near impossible. The narrow inlet opened onto a wide stretch of ocean water, and we spotted Old Town in the distance to our right. We also passed a fish farm in the form of houseboat.
n recent times the mangrove forests have become endangered. Since 1980 we have lost twenty per cent of the worldâ€™s mangroves. They have been removed for both urban development and for agricultural purposes. Some of the loss is the result of powerful tsunamis and other natural disasters that wash away the soil that sustains the plants. We are very fortunate to have an extensive mangrove forest on the east side of Koh Lanta. We turned back into narrow channels again and enjoyed the magical atmosphere of life in the mangrove forest. We were unable to identify the water birds that were abundant in the area, but they flew out of the mangroves and passed our boat on several occasions. We passed
local fishermen in other longboats. We were also entertained by flying fish, which skipped across the water. The highlight of the adventure for Khun Luen was his specialty of “feeding the friendly monkeys.” The monkeys were long tail macaques that live in the mangrove forest. They are quite accustomed to Khun Luen bringing tourists and fruit for them to enjoy. Khun Leun pulled up close to the mangrove trees so that a dozen monkeys could jump onto the boat. It quite startled us initially! We know wild
macaques from our home in Sumatra and they can be quite vicious. Surprisingly, these monkeys were almost domesticated in that as Khun Leun moved to the front of the boat, they climbed up his legs, almost pulling his pants down. Khun Luen’s smile was bigger that the largest of the macaques as they clambered to get their share of the fruit. It was hilarious! When the fruit was gone, Khun Leun returned to the helm and backed the boat away from the mangroves. The monkeys instinctively leaped from the boat, flying through the air to latch onto a mangrove branch and scamper to shore. Another successful monkey feeding expedition!
On the way back to the pier, we passed a group of kayakers and we felt quite relieved that we had not chosen that option. The kayakers were working very hard and would not travel through as much of the area that we able to see and enjoy. Khun Leun returned us safely to the dock to end our mangrove tour. We highly recommend taking the longboat tour at Mangrove Way. The beautiful thing about this experience is that you are really supporting the local economy. Your money goes directly into the hands of the locals who run this little eco tourism enterprise. Kudos to the citizens of Tung Yee Peng!
KOH LANTA YAI NORTH
Lanta Diver Ko Lanta Diving Center Blue Planet Divers The Frog
Lanta Diver main office
KAW KWANG BEACH Kaw Kwang Resort Blue Planet Divers
to Lanta Old Town
Sunday Market Costa Lanta Resort Laguna Beach Club Lanta Diver Noble House branch
Phone +66 (0) 75 68 41 24-27 Fax +66 (0) 75 68 41 28 E-mail : email@example.com Website : www.lantaislandresort.com
Cafe’a u Lait Deli Lanta Diver Southern Lanta branch Southern Lanta Resort The Retreat Chaba Bungalows Maneelanta Lanta Island Resort
KLONG DAO BEACH
Passenger Post Office Ferry Car Ferry to Lanta Noi & mainland
Mike’s Collection Eden Bar&Dining
Fix the girl
Lanta Car Rental SK Optik
Minivans to Krabi/Phuket Congrit Resto Everything Shop Ancient Realm Resort & Spa
Time for Lime Cooking School & Restaurant Holiday Villa Lanta Resort Lanta Lanta Sand Resort Tavern Funky Fish Indo Furniture Lanta Palm Beach
Klong Dao boxing stadium Escape Cabins
Dreamy Spa I-Yarade Real Estate Lanta Law Thanee
Layana Resort & Spa Tides Restaurant Lanta Casuarina Resort Dive & Relax Irish Pubs
PHRA AE LONG BEACH
White Flower Apartments Bajen Steakhouse & Nintendo Wii Minigolf
White Flower Bajen Sports Lanta Castaway Resort Siam Pharmacy Lantanian Center Desjoyaux Pools Andaman Sunflower
Lanta Manda Resort Faim de Loup bakery Bootshaus
Red Snapper Relax Bay Resort Lanta Diver
Relax Bay branch
Retro Restaurant Lanta Loft Sunrise Creek Villa Project Custom Homes
Elephant Trekking to Lanta Old Town & eastern islands Lanta Animal Welfare
KLONG KONG BEACH FERRY TIMETABLE: to Koh Phi Phi 8am & 1pm to Ao Nang/Railay 8.30am & 1.30pm to Phuket 8am &1.30pm to Koh Lipe 1pm