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May 2011

ISSUE 65

THA POM

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


Aonang

NAGA PURA Resort & Spa

A Paradise escape to exclusive holidays in Aonang, Krabi

Aonang Naga Pura Resort & Spa, located between the unspoiled beautiful Ao-Nang and Noppharattara beaches, is a 4-star resort offering luxurious and comfortable accommodation as well as professional hospitality and friendly services in Krabi. Additionally, Aonang Naga Pura offers luxurious Naga Pura Pool Villas, surrounded by the finely landscaped garden. These private stylish villas fulfill the idyllic lifestyle for honeymooners and families who love wider space, private & modern living. With the strategic location near the beaches, you can enjoy water sports, or take boat trips to nearby islands. Snorkeling, fishing, swimming and sunbathing on the beach are relaxing activities that you should experience.

Aonang Nagapura Resort & Spa

Address : 109 Moo 3, Aonang Sub-district, Muang District, Krabi Province 81000 Thailand Telephone : +66 (0) 75 661 333, + 66 (0) 83 107 2510 Fax : +66 (0) 75 637 185 Email : info@nagapuragroup.com, rsvn@nagapuragroup.com Website : www.aonangnagapura.com

Aonang

NAGA PURA Resort & Spa


Editorial

May 2011– ISSUE 65 EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Thomas Gennaro krabimagazine@gmail.com 089 9085990 ART GROUP Creative Director: Nattapat Sunthonphuriwat [Ton®] tonidesign@gmail.com - 089 7727858 Graphic Designers: Bandit Kanjanavarodom [Lim] CONTRIBUTING WRITERS & PHOTOGRAPHERS Thomas Gennaro – Nattapat Sunthonphuriwat Lim Zenith - David Armstrong – Roberto Ridi Robby Attwater – Ton Company – David Raine Will Ottevanger - The Lanta Retreat DISTRIBUTION AO NANG – KOH LANTA – KOH PHI PHI Guava Corporations: 075 637459 DISTRIBUTION - KRABI TOWN Globe Evolution Co., Ltd. – 083 5251978 PHUKET - KOH SAMUI – BANGKOK – CHIANG MAI Asia Books Co., Ltd. – 02 7159000 MARKETING Parita Khojongdee (Nok) – 089 2512367

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

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

K

Welcome to Krabi

rabi Province is considered to be one of the most beautiful regions in a beautiful country. Krabi has it all, from the limestone karsts that characterize the region to world-class beaches, islands, temples, markets, nightlife and shopping, the list is seemingly endless. Gastronomes will find Krabi a sanctuary of fine dining and lovers of the great outdoors will find plenty to keep them occupied - waterfalls, hot springs, national parks, elephant treks are all on offer and Krabi is also one of the world’s premier destinations for rock climbing and scuba diving. The coral reefs of the Andaman Sea are among the world’s best and the Railay Peninsula attracts climbers from all over the world. The current stunning weather ushers in the green season, so called because of the transformation of the glorious Thai countryside into swathes of greenery and lush, newly planted rice paddies. This is the time to venture into the great outdoors of course. Don’t miss our cover story this month, an invigorating trip and trek to Tha Pom thickly forested region known as Khao Khram, an area of extraordinary uniqueness: streams with alkaline waters, amazing tees, and more. We also explore Wat Tham Sua, the Tiger Cave Temple, a monks’ retreat in the Krabi lowland forest part of the Khao Phanom Bencha Mountain park. We cover the educational sector with an account of GVI volunteer David on his experience teaching English to kids in Koh Klang; we analyze the teaching system and sense of responsibility for the local community of Ao Nang based Nawattaphume International School, and publish a few poems from its students. This month’s side articles include pieces on the traditional mean of transport in the area, the Songthaew; on the properties of seafood delicacy Hoy Chak Teen, the feet-pulling shell; and on a wine and dine event at Sheraton Krabi Beach Resort. We also let local meteorologist Mr.Will analyze the reasons for the severe flooding that hit Thailand recently in the middle of what was supposed to be the dry season. May is the month of the fruit so, if you are around, get stuffed with Durian, the King of Fruits! Our man in Koh Lanta list up the numerous activities still available on the island in the green season, and Annelie invites us all to some green season meditation at The Retreat. If you are after a property in Krabi, there is so much to read in our real estate section: we talk about rooms with a view at the Thalane Bay Village, give you tips on how to best buy your property in Thailand, help you to house hunt, and introduce an exclusive low-rise villa in a natural and private setting: Villa Rattana. Our ever-popular magazine is being successfully distributed all over Thailand in most Asia Books/Bookazine stores, including at the main Thai airports, and Krabi is being given the attention it deserves. This will help tourists plan their trip to our province in advance, it will make Krabi an interesting option for potential visitors to the area, and it will give our sponsors a much wider exposure. It does not end there! Watch out for our extremely popular Krabi 81000 Miniguides that are massively available to visitors to Krabi and Islands, complementing the magazine and helping you with your search for the best eats, nightlife, activities, boats and buses timetables, doctors and banks, events; an endless array of information to make your stay reasonably organized from Kitdee Media & Design. Find the above products in your hotel lounge, in restaurants and pubs, at airports and boat piers or in your favourite local travel agency. Browse them avidly and make use of our local expertise. Look out for our logos, and BEWARE OF IMITATIONS! We hope you find Krabi Magazine inspirational and helpful whether you come to Krabi to eat, drink and relax on the beach or participate in any of the numerous activities on offer here in Thailand. And if you are not in Krabi yet, what are you waiting for? Enjoy the magazine, enjoy our printed products, and above all enjoy your holiday in Krabi!

Tha Pom Cover picture courtesy of: Roberto Ridi®

Thomas Gennaro Executive Editor


CONTENTS

19

May 2011, issue 65

14

A Window on Krabi

9

Cover Story

14

Day Tripper

18

Cultural

19

Ex-pat Living

20

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

About 40km from Krabi Town in a thickly forested region known as Khao Khram lays an area of extraordinary uniqueness. PLUS: Factfile: The Water and the Chompuu Nam trees

20

Wat Tham Seua is indeed a monks’ retreat in the Krabi lowland forest.

Enjoy songhtaews as part of your exotic adventure in the south of amazing Thailand.

David describes his experience as a GVI volunteer English teaching programme in Koh Klang. PLUS: Factfile: Global Vision International


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For more information contact +66 (0) 7560 7777 Bangkok | Pattaya | Koh Chang | Koh Samui | Phuket | Krabi


The longtail boat is truly a place where price comes together with quality of food and service. The Real Thai taste is the main character here. They serve an array of Thai appetizers, chicken satay, mixed seafood fritter plate, Thai main dishes and famous banana fritters with ice-cream by the long tail boat style. To complete the meal there is a selective range of wines, cocktails and other beverage at the bar. The atmosphere is intimate and relaxed with two options: at the chic tables outdoor, or at the upstairs bar. Both locations have great views out over the Andaman Sea. Open daily From 10:00 to 16:00 pm. Special Lunch menu with free sun bed in front of the sea, fine dining till 23:00 pm. Soi Aonang Seafood

Police Box

50 metre

Boat Ticket

Aonang Beach

Aonang Center

Boat Ticket

for reservations please call +66 (0)75 638093, +66 (0)81 0915590

32/17 Moo 2 Ao Nang, Muang, Krabi 81000 e-mail: thelongtailboat@gmail.com


CONTENTS

May 2011, issue 65

30

Education

22

Nature Series

26

Fruits of Thailand

28

Event

30

Local Product

33

Koh Lanta

36

Introducing Krabi’s first international school: Nawattaphume International School Krabi. PLUS: Literary Corner: Young Poets

The severe flooding that hit southern Thailand in the middle of what was supposed to be the dry season was a “once-in-a-lifetime” event for Krabi Province.

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May marks the start of the short season for Durian, the King of fruits: should you try it?

Last month Sheraton Krabi Resort was the meeting point of two volunteers groups: the San Patrignano and the Doi Tung.

Known as Hoi Chak Teen in Thai, these ‘feet pulling shells’ are recognized as a seafood delicacy in Krabi.

36

Get the most out of Koh Lanta. Highlights, maps, reviews and articles: Koh Lanta Highlights: Lanta Features What to Do: Green Season Activities Health & Living: Mindfullness Retreat

Real Estate

44

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

44

Architect Tips: Thalane Bay Village Know the Law: Buying Property in Thailand Property Search: Finding your Perfect Property Property Review: Villa Rattana

Directory

58

Media Kit and Businesses listed in the Krabi Magazine


Aning Restaurant Thai & International Cuisine

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A window on Krabi

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

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

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

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THE ISLANDS

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


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

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

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OPEN ALL YEAR


Cover Story

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Krabi Magazine

Story : Thomas Gennaro l Photos by : Roberto Ridi


T

hrough Tha Pom forest runs a stream, the water in which is so clear that the local people believe that it was created by magic and that guardian spirits protect it. Myths and legends have sprung up around Khao Khram ever since people first settled here over 130 year ago. Before this time no one had ever lived in the forest. Legend has it that three wizards, wielding particularly strong magic known as ‘To Pom’, ‘To Man’ and ‘Nai Kamae’ brought their families to come and live in the forest. It’s believed that one of the wise men unraveled some of the mystery surrounding the stream by discovering where an underground waterway that leads to one of the pools, giving the pool its name, Tha Pom. It’s often said that a white crocodile resided in the forest and was often seen in the stream or in one of the pools. The villagers believed the crocodile to be the guardian of the forest. They also believed that no one should wash in the stream on Tuesday or Saturday as it could bring bad luck or even disaster to the community. Every year in May, local people perform a ritual in which all sickness and bad luck are washed away by the river, leaving them only happiness and peace.

Tha Pom About 40km from Krabi Town in a thickly forested region known as Khao Khram lays an area of extraordinary uniqueness…

The area is also home to a delicate and well-balanced eco-system. Tha Pom stream, although only 2.5km long becomes larger and turns into Pari Canal after it meets Kruat Stream before flowing into the Andaman Sea. The streams proximity to the Sea is the primary reason for the eco-systems extraordinary characteristics. Seawater regularly moves in with the tide to make the stream temporarily brackish, creating a mixed forest type. Mangrove trees and other mangrove forest species have adapted to live in this environment and can be found alongside the Chompuu Nam, (Eugenia Oblate) characterized by its twisted roots that line the banks of the stream. Both species are representative of different kinds of forest type, a characteristic not found elsewhere. For this reason the canal has earned the name Tha Pom Klong Song Nam from villagers - literally, ‘Two Water Canal’. The name implies that neither the forest nor the canal may be separated from each other. The villagers believe that if it wasn’t for their belief in the spirit of the forest then human encroachment would have long since seen the destruction of the forest. The villagers are concerned that visitors to the forest are aware, not only of the ecological significance (it takes a millions of years for such an eco-system to evolve) but of the cultural importance too. The forest has provided shelter and food for local people for many decades and for these reasons the villagers are eager to preserve the

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forest for themselves and for future generations. Tourism can produce local income but can also have disastrous ecological consequences for such a fragile environment. With the help of the TAT (Tourism Authority of Thailand) a successfully well-managed system has been put into practice. A 700-meter long board walk has been built over the lowland area that runs parallel with Song Nam canal to prevent people treading in the swamp forest, whilst at the same time giving visitors the chance to witness the beauty of the canal and forest and learn about the environment there. The boardwalk sides an evergreen forest, a lower level of the nearby limestone mountain and reaches a swamp forest. It has been designed so as to have minimal impact on the environment, trees have been left in place and the boardwalk has been built around them. Along the route are several nature interpretation boards (most have though become unreadable over the years) as well as places to rest and observe the stream. The water in the stream is absolutely crystal clear and together with the knurled roots of the Chompuu Nam that form the banks create scenes of incredible beauty. In order to preserve the local ecosystem, swimming is no longer allowed in the stream, though there is pool not far where it’s possible to take a dip. Kayaking is another popular activity in the area as well as boat rides to the meeting point of the two steams – Klong Song Nam and Klong Kruat that can be arranged beforehand. Don’t miss the chance to visit this natural beauty unique of Krabi during your green season holiday here.

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Factfile THE WATER The water in the steam is alkaline as it originally runs through limestone karsts so calcium carbonate was dissolves into it. Calcium carbonate combines with particles in the water and then sinks to the bottom producing exceptionally clear water. The sediment is actually substance coated in calcium carbonate. The Krabi coastline is characterized by limestone karsts. When rain falls the water passes through gaps in the limestone and onto the earth while some is trapped in ridges. While rainwater is falling to earth it is acidified by absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Over millions of years the water erodes the limestone in small ridges where it eventually collapses to form sinkholes in which plants grow. Trees then absorb moisture and the accumulated water forms a natural spring from which the water will eventually flow to create a natural pool. Such a pool is the source of Tha Pom.

THE CHOMPUU NAM TREE About 80 per cent of the trees in Khao Khram are Chompuu Nam trees. The Chompuu Nam plays a particularly important role in maintaining the balance of the eco-system in the forest. The tree lines the banks of the stream; they grow well in the wet conditions where its roots absorb ground-surface moisture. This means there is no need for the tree to send down a taproot. This type of root, known as ‘stilt root’ system also helps support the tree in the soft, wet ground by the stream. The twisted roots of the Chompuu Nam help protect the banks from soil erosion caused by the tide of the stream. Without them surface soil would wash away and the steam would widen. The roots also provide a habitat in which other plants may grow around them. The Chompuu Nam produces pale yellow flowers, rich in nectar, which attract nectarvorous birds such as sunbirds and flowerpeckers that play a major role in pollination of the trees.

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Day Tripper

Wat Tham Seua A monks’ retreat in the Krabi lowland forest T

he Khao Phanom Bencha Mountain is home to one of the most sacred site in the province; located just 9 km from Krabi Town, the Wat Tham Sua, or Tiger Cave Monastery, is so called because a tiger once lived in the cave that is today the monastery’s main hall. It is one of South Thailand’s most famous and interesting forest temple, as the monks live, meditate and worship within a maze of natural caves in an overgrown jungle valley, a deep natural amphitheater entirely enclosed by towering limestone formations. Inside the temple, visitors can explore the inner cave used by monks for meditation by turning on and off lights switches as they pass from one chamber to the next. Many Thai women live out their old-age here as nuns. They can often be seen sitting on their porches between the parking area and the staircase to the karsts, preparing herbal medicines. A natural rock wall stairway leading up from the parking area climbs a hundred steps then descends into 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 amaze in front of the largest flared root base of any tree remaining in Thailand. Take the circular walk through the forest to see the monks’ quarters, some Buddha images, and bizarre photos of internal organs and split cadavers, which are supposed to help the monks to focus on more spiritual matters. The walk takes about 40 minutes. The main tourist attraction in the temple complex is the 1,237-step climb up a limestone tower to see a golden chedi, a huge statue of the Buddha and the “footprint of the Buddha” embedded in the rock. To really appreciate the climb it is best to do so early in the day before the heat rises. Pre-dawn climbs to watch the sunrise are becoming popular, as are sunset ascents, especially on a full moon when it is possible to see the sun setting the islands in the Andaman Sea. Even if you are in good shape, the heat and humidity make this a difficult hike. Once you make it to the top, you are rewarded with stunning 360° views of the surrounding countryside and the Andaman Sea. Despite the casual feeling you will encounter there, do not forget this is a holy site and should be respected. Please try to pay some respect and do not arrive in a swimsuit.

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Cultural

Songthaews

A

Songthaew is a pick-up truck with two benches in the back facing sideways (facing towards each other, so that people sitting in it are facing the trucks right or left sides); people flag down these trucks as they ply their routes, signaling the driver when they are ready to get off by pressing the buzzers placed on the inside of the roof or banging the rear window of the cabin. The fare is paid to the driver when you get off the truck, right through the car window. When it’s school time-off at 3 in the afternoon, these things get really insane with students cramming into them, often with a couple of passengers hanging out of the back with feet well planted on the out platforms. Overall, a very efficient and characteristic bus system:

far cheaper and more convenient though less luxurious than airconditioned environments such as minibuses and taxis. There are songthaews covering various routes in the area, which include Krabi Town to and from Ao Nang and Noppharat Thara, Thalat Khao and Wat Tham Seua vicinities, Fossil Shell Susan Hoi, Ao Luk, Koh Lanta and various other outlying villages. The Krabi-Ao Nang route is well served, with white trucks passing at 15/30 minutes intervals; first bus runs at 5.30 in the morning, last one leaves town for Ao Nang at 10.30 pm. Bear in mind that prices increase after 6.30 in the afternoon and that there are no fixed stops with the exception of two on the Ao Nang beach road. If you are off to Krabi for the day, don’t be shy and try to flag one down from anywhere you are. Enjoy this as part of your exotic adventure in the south of amazing Thailand.

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Ex-pat Living

Story by : David Armstrong l Photos by : David Armstrong, Nattapat Sunthornphuriwat

Koh Klang Experience

After being introduced to several hundred Thai students and receiving a dozen red roses at the morning assembly at Banklongkam School, located on the island of Koh Klang, opposite Krabi Town, I’m eager to begin my English teaching career.

M

y first class is Grade 7; I stroll into the classroom and am instantly confronted with approximately 40 sets of eyes, some excited, some not so much. Previously I may have strolled straight back out of the classroom and crept away to a nice, quiet, and controlled location but thankfully on this occasion I’m prepared. With my lesson plan, which I enthusiastically scrawled down the previous night, close at hand (not actually on my hand this time...) I manage to keep the large group of energetic and mischievous teenage students engaged – or at least I think so. I���ve been invited to teach at this local government school for a period of 10 weeks as part of a volunteer English teaching programme, run by a British company called Global Vision International. After completing TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) training in nearby Ao Luk and obtaining accreditation, I’ve been posted at Koh Klang, one of several locations throughout Krabi province where GVI have established long-term volunteer English teaching placements. Given the islands proximity to Krabi Town, Koh Klang retains a natural beauty and charm which could cause you to dispute its close proximity to Krabi Town - 5 minutes via long-tail boat. I’ve been placed at one of the many ‘home-stays’ located on Koh Klang. My house, which is nestled in amongst the palm trees, although relatively basic, is more than comfortable. A local family manages my ‘homestay’ and has taken me under their wing so to speak. There are several other families living nearby and each day I bear witness to the simple yet intriguing everyday going’s on of this small, close nit, peaceful community. The surrounding environment is dominated by mangrove forests, with a smattering of rice

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paddies and an impressively engineered array of wetlands supporting an abundance of aquatic and bird life. Teaching English to the students, as well as working with the Thai teachers at Banklongkam School, has been an immensely satisfying experience. The students are genuinely excited to learn and always appreciative. I’ve developed a great appreciation and respect for the student and teachers ability to have fun no matter what the occasion and found their unique sense of humour, which might be considered somewhat indiscreet by Western standards, most enjoyable to witness and eventually participate in. There exists a strong sense of community amongst the local people, who are among the most genuine and outgoing people I’ve met in Thailand. During my time here I feel like I’ve been adopted into the entire community and have experienced countless random acts of hospitality as a result. Much of this hospitality involves the consumption of a variety of incredibly delicious food. Fortunately, Koh Klang is only accessible via boat and as a result the only vehicles on Koh Klang are motorcycles. This fact, along with the well-developed local road network


Factfile

Global Vision International

Education, conservation and community development in Krabi

G

VI is an international organization that works to recruit volunteer assistance (often referred to as “voluntourism”) to help with education, conservation and development projects in connection with local partners in over 40 countries around the world. Koh Klang and Ao Luk are just two of the many successful programs GVI oversees across the globe.

and the predominately flat topography of the island, make bicycle riding incredibly easy and enjoyable and balances out the side effects that would otherwise result from this seemingly inescapable eating. My time living within the Koh Klang community and teaching at Banklongkam School over the last 10 weeks has been truly amazing and I would encourage anyone with a desire to experience the ‘real’ Thailand to consider opportunities such as this as provided by GVI. Check out GVI efforts and news in Krabi by browsing www.gvithailand.blogspot.com and if you are interested in internship, browse www. gvi.co.uk/about-us/careers-at-gvi

GVI has been working in Krabi since 2007. The first TEFL training program was in Ao Luk and brought in 15 volunteers from England, America, Australia, Ireland and Singapore coming out to gain a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Lanugage) certificate and assist with teaching free English lessons to the local community through a long-term community development project in partnership with Krabi’s Non-Formal and Informal Education Center. Free evening classes are offered for anyone in the community aged 15 and up. Students include local police, teachers, farmers, high school and college students, government workers and vendors at local markets. All come with the common goal of learning English in hopes of expanding their knowledge base and improving their livelihoods. Students are divided into classes according to their level of English and are evaluated at the end of each term. GVI Thailand also works closely with a number of local organizations to assist the community with a variety of projects like environmental education at local schools, tree and mangrove planting and trash pickups as requested by local villages. GVI Thailand seeks to provide volunteers with authentic opportunities to experience the ‘real’ Thailand, far from the beaten tourist track. Volunteers have endless opportunities to get to know the local community and culture. GVI provides added cultural opportunities through on base Thai lessons and Thai cooking workshops as well as weekend trips to a variety of natural hot spots. Working so closely with the Thai community has been a life changing experience for many of GVI’s volunteers and GVI has grown to be a respected one among the local Thai community. To learn more about opportunities with GVI have a look at the GVI website at www.gvi.co.uk. For more information specifically to Thailand projects contact, Jill Walker, GVI’s Thailand Country Director at Thailand@gviworld.com

Krabi Magazine

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Education

Story by : David Raine l Nawattaphume International School

Nawattaphume International School

There is no doubt that Krabi has needed a decent international school for a long time, along with a decent international hospital, oh, and an international supermarket while we are at it! The first one of those wishes came true in 2007 with the opening of Nawattaphume International School Krabi (NSK), the second is currently under construction finally, and as for the third, we can live in hope can’t we?

T

his beautiful Southern province has a large share of expat residents and, as one of them, I have always felt a little left out compared to places like Phuket, Samui and Chiang Mai. Of course Krabi is much smaller than these areas but still is it really expecting too much to have these services and facilities? This month we will take a look inside Nawattaphume School Krabi and get to know more about it by talking to the teachers, students and school director and founder, Dr. Pimonmas Photong, known as Khun Pim. The location of this school, on route 4034, close to Klong Son Temple and a few kilometers out of Ao Nang couldn’t be better, gorgeous limestone mountains towering over the tropical grounds with a stream running past it, all sounds pretty idyllic for a learning environment to me and, compared to the state schools I attended, it seems ideal! I asked Khun Pim what she thought was important for a first-class learning environment and she told me: “I think a good school should teach children good values which will be their road map for life in the future. Here at NSK we believe academic excellence alone isn’t enough, but social values such as a sense of responsibility for the community and the wider world must be a big part too.”

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Currently the school has classes for children from kindergarten through to primary 7, with a total of 57 students on the role. The kindergarten classes use the Montessori philosophy of education and when a student goes into primary level the British national curriculum, with its focus on the core subjects of English, maths and science, is followed. As with British schools, NSK has 3 terms from September to December, January to April and April to July rather than the typical 2 (rather long) terms that Thai schools have. The school says it “places special importance on the personal and social development of each child” and this is something that can certainly be achieved thanks to the small class sizes, especially compared with the 30 – 50 students that seems almost standard around the Kingdom. I spoke to NSK teacher Amanda Topham who teaches primary 1, 2, 6 and 7 and she told me her classes have anything from 3 to 18 students, which allows for better interaction and a more clear focus on each individual students progress. Another big difference between NSK and other local schools is that it uses English as its predominant teaching language.


I asked Amanda about the school environment and what she has observed of the students since starting work there: “Students are expected to speak English during all of their classes except when learning Thai, Thai culture and French. However, during break times and lunch, students often alternate between a variety of languages. When I first came to the school I remember listening to the students in the playground and being amazed by the diversity. Many students speak more than two languages. It really is beautiful to hear them communicating in so many different ways.” So, a real mix of languages and with students who come from countries including Thailand, the UK, Germany, France, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Korea, Canada, the USA, Bangladesh and India, the school is a mini cultural melting pot and as Khun Pim told me: “We are cosmopolitan and we promote multiculturalism. Here we support each student to be what they are already, they have to remain true to their identity but at the same time learn to understand the difference of others and accept it without making judgment and prejudice. A Korean is still a Korean, as well as a French person and a German person or a Thai; they are still what they are.” I was interested to know how the school keeps up its standards with regards to the curriculum and Khun Pim told me the school is “a member of QCA (Qualifications & Curriculum Authorities, London). A UK government agency responsible for developing the curriculum, improving and delivering assessments, and reviewing and reforming qualifications. We receive national tests from QCA each year; the same ones students in the UK have to take. We are fully accredited by ONESQA with high achievement results, ONESQA inspectors just came to our school in April of last year.” If someone is interested in enrolling their child in the school, they are able to do so all year round. The school has placements tests, so the teaching faculty can make sure new students are given all the support they need and placed in the correct class with ESL (English as a Second Language) classes available if needed. I asked what plans there were for the future at NSK and Khun Pim has ambitious expansion ideas: “We add one new class each year, and we are now accepting students up to Year 8 for the upcoming new academic year beginning from September 2011. We hope to open a Year 13 within the next five years, maybe even sooner.”

Nawattaphume International School Krabi Branch tel: 075-644097 email: pimonmasphotongwollmann@yahoo.de www.montessori-lampang.com/krabi.html

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Literary Corner

Young Poets

Y

ear six and year seven students from Nawattaphume International School, Ao Nang, have been busy writing a variety of poems in their Literacy class. They have each chosen one of their favorites to share with you; enjoy them.

Tuvalisa Rachang Hysing

Patrick Panthatan Reynolds

Tuvalisa Rachang Hysing

Patrick Panthatan Reynolds

Kelly Mira

Tuva is eleven years old. She was born in Sweden and moved to Thailand when she was four months old. Tuva lived on a boat with her parents for eight years!

Patrick is eleven years old. He was born in Thailand and has lived here his whole life. His favorite football team is Arsenal because they are the best football team ever!

Kelly is thirteen years old. She was born in Paris and has lived in Thailand for a year and a half. Kelly loves music, animals, snow, the colours black and red, and her family and friends! Kelly’s dream is to visit New York and later become a scientist!

I Used To Be I used to scream, But now I sing. I used to splash, But now I swim. I used to drink out of a bottle, But now I drink out of a glass. I used to be in kindergarten, But now I am in a class. I used to be white, But now I’m brown. I used to live on a boat, But now I live in a town. I used to be a baby, But now I am 11. I used to love my family and my pets, And I still do!

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Krabi Magazine

I’m Thankful Even Though I’m thankful for my retainer, even though it hurts my jaw. I’m thankful for school, even though it has a law. I’m thankful for my phone, even though it has an annoying ring. I’m thankful for my life, even though it has no bling. I’m thankful for my dog, even though he wears and tears. I’m thankful for Krabi, even though it has no fair. I’m thankful for so many things, except of course, a bear!

Kelly Mira

Guitar What is an electric guitar? Some people might say it’s an instrument, Some, that it’s a piece of metal and plastic which makes sounds! Also that it’s something which makes the rhythm in a song… For me, it’s more than that! It’s easy to play, As soon as I practice everyday! It makes me feel happy, When I get really crazy! Without it, music would be boring And it means so many things!


Nature Series

Story : Will Ottevanger

A Massive Rain Event T

he severe flooding that hit southern Thailand in the middle of what was supposed to be the dry season was a “once-in-a-lifetime� event for Krabi Province. Extremely heavy rain and flooding are quite common at the east side of the peninsula. They occur almost every year. But they happen in the rainy season of the east coast, mostly in November and December. As for the west coast, torrential rainfall is most common in Ranong and Takua Pa in their rainy season, from May to the middle of November. In Phuket and Krabi the rain may be abundant in the rainy season but the amounts are not excessive. The rainiest month in Ao Nang since 2005 had 462 mm. The land has no problem in absorbing this amount of rain. This year something very extraordinary happened. March 2011 had 978 mm of rain!

How heavy was the rain? The rain was heaviest in Surat Thani Province (including Koh Samui) and in Nakhon Si Thammarat Province. Koh Lanta at the west coast had hardly any heavy rain. This was the rainfall (in mm) as measured at 12 places in one week, from 24 to 30 March 2011:

Krabi Province

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

1 Week

Ao Nang Moo 2 Ao Nang Moo 4 Nong Thale Krabi Airport Koh Lanta

6 1 4 6 6

0 0 0 0 0

89 98 90 79 17

30 30 32 21 6

195 148 135 131 46

301 321 305 161 12

14 12 24 9 0

635 610 590 407 87

0 0

0 0

70 25

22 36

46 46

102 185

13 70

262 362

15 30 230 204 55

69 275 290 215 87

138 267 112 72 145

6 8 7 17 95

148 250 249 199 415

242 247 91 83 196

86 224 190 91 96

704 1301 1169 881 1089

Phuket Province Phuket Town Phuket Airport

East Coast Surat Thani Surat Thani agromet Nakhon Si Thammarat Nakhon Si Thammarat agromet Koh Samui

As the soil was already saturated after three weeks of bad weather, it was impossible to absorb any more and all the water had to flow to the sea. Imagine a vast countryside covered with about one meter of water that has to run off to sea. Flooding is then inevitable.

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What caused the heavy rain? La Niña: The weather pattern in the Pacific Ocean oscillates between two extremes: El Niño and La Niña. This has worldwide impacts. During a El Niño event the weather around Indonesia is drier than normal and during a La Niña it is rainier than average. We are in a La Niña event that started in June 2010. Since that month southern Thailand with Krabi had above average rainfall. The dry season in Ao Nang had some disappointing weather. March had also a very wet start and it looked like it would tie with the very wet March 2009 during the last La Niña. The last week of the month brought us something quite unusual however.

Tropical Depression: On 24 March a disturbance reached the east coast from the Southeast. The disturbance was forecast to move further into the Andaman Sea. It would become a Tropical Depression and even a Tropical Storm between Phuket and the Andaman Islands. This would be truly amazing as Tropical Storms and Hurricanes prefer more northern parts of the Bay of Bengal. On 26 March the disturbance passed Krabi on its way out to sea with some heavy rain showers in Ao Nang. This was all forecast well in advance at the www.aonangweather. com website. The disturbance became a depression as expected. After the depression had passed 27 March became a quiet and mostly dry day in much of the south. The Tropical Depression returns: In the night to 28 March the unexpected happened. The depression returned to the west coast. It did not become a Tropical Storm because it was not over sea any more. After returning, the depression stalled and made a slow loop from Koh Lanta to Phang Nga to western Phuket and back to the northern tip of Koh Lanta. The event could clearly be seen at Phuket radar. The depression had a dry center (that is why Koh Lanta got little rain) and a few spiral arms wrapped around the center. Rainfall was heavy under the spiral arms. Ao Nang stayed under a spiral arm most of the time on 28 and 29 March and received half a meter of rain in 48 hours. This coincidence of events is a very rare happening. It can happen again of course but it is quite unlikely to happen any time soon. La Niña is expected to end in May or June 2011. Will Ottevanger is a retired teacher and meteorologist from the Netherlands, now living in Ao Nang. For daily weather details you can check his website www.aonangweather.com

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Fruits of Thailand

Durian

May marks the start of the short season for the King of Fruits: should you try it?

Thailand is home to a large variety of delicious fruits, both seasonal, such as durian, rambutan, mangosteen, longan and lychee and all-year-round, such as papaya, guava, coconut, orange, banana, pineapple and rose apple, all of which are as nutritious as they are delicious. The huge variety of local produce, combined with the culinary art of the Thai people, has resulted in a wealth of ways that Thai fruits can be enjoyed all-year-round.

I

t is said the essence of Thailand is expressed in its fruits: exotic, sweet and almost infinite in variety. Highly rated by Southeast Asians, Durian, the king of fruits, a spiky, prickly skinned, football sized thing that resembles and armadillo crossed with a pineapple, is back on the market tables as its season in Thailand runs across April, May and June. It is a culmination of a process that begins in January, with reddish flowers that start to fill branches of the plant. The fruits start to ripen after three months. It is a shame its popularity is somehow reduced due to its distinctive smell; described as “tasting like heaven, smelling like hell”, it is the cultural equivalent of British Marmite - you will either love it or hate it, no two ways about it.

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On a walk to a local market, you will not miss it as its fierce aroma/stink will haunt you until you have to try at least a slice in a local stall, making sure not to get any over yourself in the process. Some foreigners avoid it like the plague due to the rather bad descriptions of people who have tried it, but millions of Thais can’t be that wrong. Local connoisseurs hold this fruit in very high regard, and they claim the smell and taste of it are simply indescribable, but delicious. I agree wholeheartedly.

The Durian’s outside skin is covered in sharp bumps; this shell is so thick it can be used as a weapon. Each fruit weighs 2–4 kilos, and its flesh is slightly crusty on the outside while the remaining inside texture is viscous. Inside the prickly, yellowish green outer casing is a generous bed of white pith, embedded in which are several lumps of pale yellow flesh (what you eat). They have a teeth-chattering sweet taste conventional by Thai standards, and each contains a single dark brown stone.

Many Thais tell you that beer can be fatal if drunk within a few hours of eating Durian. This is apparently on account of some fermentation process that causes your bowels to explode… I have tried to do it, in moderation, and nothing happened to me. However, not everyone has the same metabolism and even if this seems to be a myth, try not to go against this rule, just in case. In some parts of Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore, Durian is banned from many hotel premises with “No Durian” signs posted in the foyer and lift areas, although I have never come across any in Krabi. Whatever the consensus, one must admit there is nothing quite like the king of fruits.


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Event

San Patrignano @ Sheraton Krabi

L

ast month Sheraton Krabi Resort was the meeting point of two volunteers groups: the San Patrignano and the Doi Tung.

During the event, San Patrignano representative Federico Raniero presented their wines produced in Italy and marketed all over Thailand. Mr Raniero, San Patrignano’s export manager and wine conosseur, opened the evening introducing the Italian community responsible for the production of the wines that would be tasted during the evening by the 100 or so guests attending the event, as well as explaining the cooperation level with Doi Tung.

San Patrignano is a community that welcomes young men with problem of drug addiction and social marginalization without discrimination based on ideology, social status or religion, completely free of charge. No money is asked for or accepted from those following the recovery program, their families or the State. Since 1978 San Patrignano has been home to more than 20,000 people, offering them a home, legal and health care, the chance to study and learn a skill, therefore completely reintegrating them into society. There are currently 1500 people living in the community, most of which are in the main location near Rimini, Italy.

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Since five year, San Patrignano is involved to support Doi Tung project. Under the patronage of the late Princess Mother, Princess Srinagarindra, the Mae Fah Luang Foundation to carry out development activities so that the quality of life of Thailand’s ethnic minorities in the Doi Tung area could be raised. These activities took the form of livelihood development, which encompassed the reforestation of watershed areas and the development of various social enterprises to benefit local people. After the passing away of the Princess Mother, His Majesty the King took the foundation under patronage and appointed his daughter, Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, as its chairperson. The Foundation’s central mission is to keep the Princess Mother’s development legacy alive to benefit as many people as possible and to inspire new generations to be responsible, engaged citizens. Following the presentation, the evening continued with a tasting of 3 of the 7 wines produced by San Patrignano. Paired with exceptional food from Sheraton’s signature restaurant Gecko’s. A white chardonnay/ sauvignon Aulente Bianco opened the evening together with an originally presented starter. Two reds followed: Aulerapes. Aulnte Rosso and Noi, both produced with San Giovese grapes. All food was Italian specialties, majestically prepared by Sheraton’s Italian Chef Federico Cognome for the occasion. The special evening at Sheraton ended as per Italian tradition with a glass of limoncello.

TO KNOW MORE: www.doitung.org - fd.krabi@sheraton.com - www.sanpatrignano.org frainero@sanpatrignano.org


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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.


Local Product

Hoi Chak Teen

Feet Pulling Shell

K

nown as Hoi Chak Teen in Thai, this is a type of wing-shell that belongs to the Strombus Canxarium family. It looks like a conch but is smaller and brown in color. Its special characteristic is its dark brown walking legs, which are referred to as “feet” or “teen” (in informal Thai). This local seashell  is recognized as a seafood  delicacy in Krabi. It is commonly found at the river mouth near sandy  banks such as areas around Koh Jum and Koh Siboya. Harvesting is only done by local fishermen twice a month during the receding spring tide. To prepare the dish, the wing shell is soaked in salty water for about half an hour. A few crushed chilies are added to the water to make it spicy. The wing shell then begins to move, pushing its feet out and expelling the

mud from inside. It is rinsed several times and then put in to a pot of cold water. The pot is then put on the stove to boil and when the water gets warm, the wing shell pushes its feet out. As soon as it is cooked, it is ready to be served. To eat the morsel, you pull the feet and the mollusk will come out. You can also use a toothpick to reach into the shell and pull all the meat out of the shell in one go. It is eaten with a dip made of garlic, chilies, sugar, lime juice and fish sauce. The shells are also made into decorative items for the home or sold as souvenirs. 50,000 Hoy Chak Teen were recently released into the sea off Koh Siboya in tribute to HM the King’s 80th Birthday Anniversary. The location was chosen for the release of the sea creatures due to its natural fertility of sea grass and seaweeds. It also originated the breeding of dog conch, which has become famous seafood for this Andaman region. Hoy Chak Teen are considered Krabi’s traditional product and the dish is often listed in local restaurants’ menus at around 120 baht per serving. The popularity with high market demand raised concern among locals that Hoy Chak Teen would rapidly decline in number. Local villager of Koh Siboya collect a large amount of Hoy Chak Teen each day, as much as 10 kilograms per person. The concern led to local authorities to conducting the cultivation and breeding and releasing baby Hoy Chak Teen into nature. They also took the opportunity to educate and raise awareness among local residents to collect Hoy Chak Teen only when they are mature, to ensure their sustainable living.

Krabi Magazine

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Hotel, Ko Lanta

A villa-style hotel comprising 15 sea view rooms


Koh Lanta

Koh Lanta Highlights

K

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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What to Do

Green Season Activities

Even in the green season, many people come to Koh Lanta for some of the world’s best activities in the surrounding Andaman Sea. The island offers many great activities and tours suitable for all members of the family including scuba diving, snorkeling, hiking and caving, boat tours, fishing, kayaking, Thai boxing and much more. Diving Several dive centers, including Lanta Diver and Blue Planet Divers, offer internationally respected dive PADI certification. Learning to dive is easy and safe, with the above companies rated professional, fair and concerned about your safety.

Snorkeling Weather permitting, speedboat snorkeling is one of the favorite activities on Koh Lanta, as it is for all ages. You can rent a small boat with captain and crew for a fun-filled day on the sea, with morning and afternoon trips most days.

Sunset Watching Koh Lanta is famous for its west coast sunsets. Grab a cocktail at the Sundowners Bar in Layana Resort & Spa, Klong Dao, and get ready for a relaxing moment of cool breezes, stargazing and‌ cocktails.

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Muay Thai Learn to kickboxing from Muay Thai Boxing professionals at one of the gyms in Lanta. Great sport for beginners to advanced with packages to match your vacation or martial art studying. Gyms welcome both men and women of all ages and skill levels. Great for all fitness levels with packages to suit your holiday time spent in Koh Lanta.

Longtail Boat Tours Ride a traditional longtail boat through Koh Lanta’s eastern islands for a relaxing and fun day for the whole family. Lanta hosts safe and knowledgeable longtail boat companies with experienced Thai captain and personalized guiding service in English.

Elephant Trekking Ride the giants of Koh Lanta’s jungle. Lanta’s elephants are well cared for and have no shortage of great jungles to explore on the lush island. Elephants play a sacred part of Thai culture and Koh Lanta has some of Thailand’s best companies to ride on these gentle and loving animals.

Thai Massage Thai massage is a perfect way to unwind, relax and drain the western stress out of your body. Every resort and hotel on the island offers Thai message and therapeutic treatment, with some good massage centers in most of Lanta’s tourist areas.

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Text by : The Lanta Retreat

Health & Living

Mindfulness Retreat Now, at the end off the season, it’s the perfect time for a retreat

R

etreat means to withdraw. Withdraw from the outside world to the inside world. You need to give yourself a period in quietness and introspection. To seek the answers within you in order to make the small changes that will make such a big difference in your life quality. The impact daily meditation and mindfulness practice has in a humans life is indescribable. During 5 days we learn mindfulness meditation and since the meditation practice is intense we really learn to meditate by ourselves. We learn to stay in the present, not lingering to the past or dream or worry about the future. We learn techniques to conquer the mind so that we can control the flow of thoughts and choose which ones we want to listen to. We become aware of our emotions and learn to get in control of them. We practice to cultivate universal love. The Retreat´s retreat concept is a combination of Astanga yoga for beginners and mindfulness practice. We have to begin with the body before we can conquer the mind. Because it is through the body we become successful in this battle. When we have gained control over the mind, over the emotions, and over the sensations through our mindfulness practice, we experience true happiness – being in the presence. You are welcome to join us!

This article is provided by Annelie at The Retreat, located in Klong Dao Beach. Contact them for more information on 08 46751094 or check www.theretreatthailand.com

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KOH LANTA YAI NORTH

Passenger Post Office Ferry Car Ferry to Lanta Noi & mainland

KAW KWANG BEACH Kaw Kwang Resort Blue Planet Divers

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

BAN SALADAN

Minivan Station

to Lanta Old Town

Sunday Market Costa Lanta Resort Laguna Beach Club Mike’s Collection Eden Bar&Dining

Phone +66 (0) 75 68 41 24-27 Fax +66 (0) 75 68 41 28 E-mail : info@lantaislandresort.com Website : www.lantaislandresort.com

ar B n ing e d E Din &

Enjoy tasty Thai dishes European Food New Zealand Beef Fillet Pizza & Pasta Wines & Cocktails

Cafe’au Lait Southern Lanta Resort The Retreat Chaba Bungalows Maneelanta Lanta Island Resort

KLONG DAO BEACH

Mike’s Collection

Minivans to Krabi/Phuket Congrit Resto Everything Shop Ancient Realm Resort & Spa

Elephant Trekking

Time for Lime Cooking School & Restaurant Klong Dao boxing stadium Holiday Villa Lanta Resort Expat Cafe’ Lanta Sand Resort Escape Cabins Poseidon Villas Lanta Diver Lanta Tavern Ozone Bar Dreamy Spa I-Yarade Real Estate Lanta Palm Beach Lanta Law Thanee Layana Resort & Spa Tides Restaurant Lanta Casuarina Resort Dive & Relax

KOH LANTA

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

Lanta Car Rental SK Optik

PHRA AE LONG BEACH

White Flower Bajen Sports

Lanta Castaway Resort EXOTIQ Koh Lanta Real Estate Lantanian Center Desjoyaux Pools Andaman Sunflower Red Snapper Relax Bay Resort

White Flower Apartments Bajen Steakhouse & Nintendo Wii Minigolf

Lanta Garden Hill Faim de Loup bakery Retro Restaurant Lanta Loft

Lanta Sunset Living

Elephant Trekking to Lanta Old Town & eastern islands

Custom made clothes for ladies and gents

Choose from our large selection of material and style Free pick-up from any hotel on Ko Lanta Your satisfaction is our motto

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

Contacts:

Ko Lanta, Klong Dao main road (beside Eden Restaurant)

Restaurant

Fun & Professional evening Cooking Classes on the Beach Front FANTASTIC 6 dish Tasting Menu that changes every evening

8 years with Quality & Funky Atmosphere

Beach Bar

HAPPY HOUR 5.30-6.30 On our FAMOUS Cocktails

Bungalows

BUILT AND MARKETED BY

Saneh Villas LPH Kirikan LPH Klong Kon Villas

tel. +66 (0)899085990 thomas@exotiqproperty.com www.exotiqproperty.com

MARKETS: Ban Saladan Sunday mornings Lanta Old Town Monday mornings Klong Nin Saturday mornings

to south of the island

LaNta aNImaL WELfaRE

DID YOU KNOW....

Our profit goes directly to the charity LANTA ANIMAL WELFARE So.. come Learn, Eat & Drink your hearts out! AND FEEL GOOD

Cooking School

Chaw Ka Cher Resort

BUS TIMETABLE: to Krabi every hour 6am to 5pm to Trang every hour 8am to 3pm to Phuket every hour 7am to 4pm

083 106 66 06 Mr Markus 075 668 390 Shop

thai & fusion

Sunrise Creek Villa Project

8 cozy air-con & fan

KLONG DAO BEACH - KO LANTA Tel: 075 684 590 www.timeforlime.net

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


C

M

Y

CM

MY

CY

CMY

K

Yoga & meditation Drop- in yoga Monday, Wednesday & Friday Drop-in mindfulness meditation Monday-Friday

Mindfulness retreat 16-20 May

Mem´s fruit bar fruit & detox bar, fruit catering & shop for body, spirit and mind Koh Lanta, Klong Dao Beach, behind ChaBa/Picasso www.theretreatthailand.com the retreat 08 4675 1094 Mem´s fruit bar 08 7624 4963

RENT YOUR OWN HOUSE ! private villa & apartment rental

www.visitlanta.com SOON AVAILABLE IN KRABI, KOH LANTA & KOH PHI PHI

Promotion Team

Our Displays

Our Sanuk Promotion Team meets customers and tourist groups at busy locations to provide personalised, friendly, and competent guidance toward the companies that choose to advertise with us. With such a high level of competition in the tourist and service industries in Krabi and Islands, local businesses need a personal touch to be successful. While you may not have the resources to reach out and touch each one of your customers, Sanuk Cards found the way to deliver this personal touch on your behalf! Imagine your own sales force of 8-10 highly trained, English speaking promotion specialists making face to face contact with your customers in high traffic areas for less than 10 baht an hour! Contact us today to set up a free consultation to learn more about this innovative and profitable way to advertise your business! For more information: krabi@sanukcards.com

For more information, contact: krabi@sanukcards.com For more information: krabi@sanukcards.com


Story : Pierre-Yves Loriers

REAL ESTATE - Architect Tips

Rooms with a View

W Introducing Ao Thalane, Krabi’s up and coming locale for highend villa residences, with Thalane Bay Village leading the way

ith some of the most stunning ocean views in Krabi or, as some claim, the whole of Thailand, Ao Thalane is rapidly becoming this area’s next big thing. Located in the north of the province, there’s a fast road connection to both the tourist centre of Ao Nang and to the provincial capital Krabi Town, plus a whole range of activities on the doorstep, such as island-hopping, kayaking and fishing, to name a few. And did we mention those views? The first villas were built here in 2003, and one of their owners, Francis Couput, is at the forefront of the recent developments along the waterfront. A French expatriate based in Bangkok, Mr Couput fell in love with the beauty and tranquility of Thalane and bought another plot of land near his first, which he is now developing into a prestigious villa resort, Thalane Bay Village. Six 2 – 4 bedroom villas, each with private swimming pool, are being constructed around a large ornamental pond, overlooking the islands. Shared facilities include a restaurant and club area, with sunset roof terrace, as well as an artificial beach created along the waterfront (currently lined with protected mangrove trees), where the resort’s private boat will be moored. Large open areas (the building to green space ratio is a generous 24 : 76) give a feeling of spaciousness and, of course, offer views from every corner.

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But it is not only the location that is impressive: the project, designed and constructed by local firm, Ton Company Ltd, is the embodiment of modern Thai architecture. The steeply pitched roofs, reminiscent of the ancient city of Ayutthaya, belie the high tech materials used in construction and finishings. The villas may have a very traditional look, but the structure is far more durable and low maintenance than conventional Thai homes, where heavy reliance on wood can mean problems with termites and weather damage. In another contemporary touch, the usually dark interiors have been opened up with large picture windows, and bathrooms – at the request of Mr Couput – all have a sea view with one-way reflective glass. High vaulted ceilings follow the steep pitch of the roof and allow the creation of a bedroom at mezzanine level. A rustic, almost Mediterranean, colour palette of terracotta, deep aqua and sandstone and clean, unembellished teak furniture completes the fusion of east and west; modern and traditional. “This is really a unique project,” says PierreYves Loriers (Ton), managing director of Ton Company Ltd. “The client, Mr Couput, was involved in every step of the design process, so it was a true collaboration. He has travelled extensively and had very strong ideas about what he wanted to create and the materials he wanted to use; some of these were new even for us – for example, engineering the curved roof structure made entirely from steel was a challenge – but I think that together we have succeeded in translating his vision of what a luxury private retreat should be.” Thalane Bay Village is Ton Company’s second villa resort project – the first, the successful Baan Kantiang See in Koh Lanta, was opened last year. Once opened – the projected completion date is early summer 2011 – Thalane Bay Village will be run as a resort, using the wideranging experience of Mr Couput. With a host of private services, it would make a perfect honeymoon idyll, or could even be used as a base for an active family holiday – the nearest islands are only half an hour by kayak. For more information on the comprehensive villa design, construction and management services offered by Ton Company Ltd, please contact 075 695-633 or by email at: Ton@TonCompany.com. www.KrabiArchitect.com - www.TonCompany.com - www.KrabiVilla.com

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You are one step away from your dream property in Krabi. It is one phone call... Complete service, one stop shop The longest established agents in Krabi Lawyer involved in all transactions Freehold, leasehold, land, businesses Call us and visit us for an informal chat You will not regret it

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Ao Nang Exclusive apartments in the center of Ao Nang

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

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Know the Law

Buying Property in Thailand

O

wnership of a villa or land by foreigners

Ownership of land in Thailand is governed by regulations set by the Ministry of the Interior. Any individual under Thai law, foreign or otherwise, can own a structure developed on land, in their own name, which must be registered with the local land office. In this way the registered property is treated as separate from the land which it sits on. The Ownership of the land itself however can only owned by a Thai entity; corporate or individual. Outright ownership by foreigners is restricted but possible under the following circumstances:

Leasehold ownership The maximum period of lease, under one single agreement, is 30 years; foreigners have the same rights to acquire such a lease as a Thai national. These leases can be extended by two further periods, giving a maximum contract period of 90 years. All leases of 3 years or more must be registered with the local authority and are liable to a registration fee and stamp duty (based on a percentage of the total lease value). Foreign leaseholders may also have drafted into the contract the right to acquire the freehold of the property in the event of a suitable change in the law in respect of foreign ownership rights.

Limited Liability Company (LLC) Traditionally this has been the most popular method used by foreigners to acquire property in Thailand. In brief, foreign interest in a LLC is limited to 49%, the remaining 51% shareholding must be owned by Thai nationals. A minimum of three shareholders are required to set up a LLC. However, if a LLC wishes to acquire the freehold of a property, the foreign shareholding must be pruned back to a maximum of 39%; giving 61% to Thai shareholders. Despite the foreigner holding a minority of the shares, it has been possible for them to gain control of a LLC by changing the Articles of Association, keeping the all important controlling ‘preference shares’ in foreign hands and by appointing the foreigner as the sole director. In 2006 the Government became aware of the extent to which foreigners were using LLCs as a front to acquire land, so they issued an instruction to regional land offices that they should more strictly enforce the interpretation of the law to stop foreign controlled LLCs from using the law to acquire property. They also require that all shareholders in a LLC are scrutinized to ensure that they have sufficient cash assets to prove that they have an active interest in the LCC and are not just a ‘name’ to make up the required number of shareholders. This instruction has caused some uncertainty in the regional land offices, which are now more reluctant now to approve land transfers involving foreign controlled LLCs. The current interim Government has had other priorities and has not comprehensively addressed this confusion.

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Through inheritance Section 93 of the ‘Land Code’ allows a statutory heir to inherit a property which does not exceed 1 rai (1,600 sqms) and which can only be used for residential purposes.

Making a substantial capital investment in Thailand Providing that an investment of forty million Baht or more is made, a foreigner can acquire a property, of not more than 1 rai (1,600 sqms) in size, for residential use only.

Usufruct interest (Sidhi-kep-kin) This is a temporary interest (up to thirty years) in a property, somewhat akin to a lease. A usufruct ownership can be successively renewed, however, unlike a lease, it can also be sold or transferred.

Title deeds in Thailand There are four types of title deed, the first two (chanote & nor sor sam kor) are recommended as the most secure for foreigners.

a) Chanote The ‘title deed’ or ‘chanote’ is the certificate for ownership of land. The person whose name appears on the chanote and the titleholder has the legal right to the land. The chanote is issued after a GPS survey has been completed to ascertain the exact boundaries. The chanote is the purest form of freehold land title and the one which is most commonly sort after by investors.

b) Nor Sor Sam Kor This is the ‘right to use’ title and implies that all the necessary requirements for the issuance of the chanote have been met and that the final issuance of the chanote deed is pending. Under the nor sor sam kor, the title holder can sell, lease, mortgage & build on the property; but they cannot leave the land unattended for more than 12 years.

c) Nor Sor Sam A watered down version of Nor sor sam kor in that the formalities to certify the right to use have yet to be completed. Before a transfer can be made, a notice of intent must be publicly posted for 30 days before any change in status can be registered.

d) Sor Kor Nung Recognition that the title holder is in possession of the land but the deed doesn’t imply that there are any rights associated with the title. This title is often associated with land that is retained by a Thai family, which has never been measured by the Land Office and which is passed down to future family generations.

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The Lumyai Group LTD Development and Construction 1:100

Construction and Renovation Kitchen and Bathroom Re-modelling Auto CAD Structural Design Office Fitting and Refurbishment Seasonal Hotel and Restaurant Modification

For a free quote contact us 075 624 062

086 947 8262

www.lumyaihomes.com


COCONUT BAY Resort & Estates www.coconutbayresort.net

IS PROUD TO INTRODUCE

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

‘Coconut Bay Resort & Estates' is a bespoke boutique resort development that is offering residents and guests a stylish and opulent accommodation in a picturesque beach front location. The unique tropical properties are located on a sandy stretch of a secluded private beach on Koh Lanta. The properties will compliment the turquoise waters gently lapping the picturesque cliffs enclosing the palm fringed bay. Established developer. Interest free financing is available. Unique investor program. 0898 398 255 relax@coconutbayresort.net www.coconutbayresort.net

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

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Property Search

Finding your Perfect Property

E

ven though instincts are an important contributing factor in a purchase decision, it’s vital to try and remain objective in terms of the area in which the property is located. What might appear to be a dream home could suddenly become a white elephant in a declining neighbourhood. In this situation, an experienced estate agent would be able to convey valuable information that would give a good indication of an area’s prospects.

What to look out for in an area Anyone who has ever househunted will be familiar with the feeling of entering a property and just knowing that it is the perfect home for you; the feeling that this is ‘the one’.

You should take your time when looking for that perfect property. Unless you’re familiar with the area, it’s worth visiting the properties you like on more than one occasion, and preferably in alternating weather conditions. Through your real estate agent, find out who are the neighbours and the locals, and really ponder over whether you’d be happy living there. If the potential property has any views, make sure that it will still be there in the future. Find out if any plans have been drafted for the area by asking your agent about local town planning in the area. Another significant element to be aware of is location: is it close to schools and service shop, or is it convenient to reach the airport from there?

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The Property itself Upon finding that perfect property you should always ensure that the building is structurally sound. For instance, ensure that there are no cracks in the walls and that the ceilings are not damaged or leaking. Be on the lookout for damp spots and moisture as this could be due to a leak or rising damp. In addition to this, confirm which fittings and fixtures are going to be sold with the property and if there are any defects that are not visible. It is always advisable that you use a real estate agent to conduct your inspection prior to you signing any documents. Not only will this give you peace of mind, but you can also make an informed decision about the offer you may make bearing in mind potential costs of repairing unseen faults. If you are looking for the perfect property, always bear in mind that it is wise to buy a lesser home in a superior area than a larger home in less affluent neighbourhood. Finally, buyers should ask the agent for a comprehensive market analysis on the property they are considering for purchase. This would comprise the area’s sales history for the past few months and act as a good guideline in terms of its future prospects. Perhaps the most prominent sign of all is that more people are relocating to this area and the supply of housing is running out. For further tips on real estate searches, our Property Guru can be contacted through krabi@exotiqproperty.com Feel free to email him and ask any questions or doubt about real estate in the area.

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

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


Nong Thale River Residence Custom designed villas & holiday rentals

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Property Review

Villa Rattana

Exclusive low-rise villas in natural settings

S

implicity, elegance and style in a living space that is both centrally located near Ao Nang and Klong Muang beaches and really affordable is the motto of this stunning villa that is built in an elegant L-shaped form around the infinity pool, with earth tone exterior walls, natural, hardwearing maka-wood, and a private infinity edge swimming pool. Private entrance gate, stunning view over rice fields and limestone massif, and located.

The first of Villa Rattana homes, a quiet secluded boutique property combining luxury and affordability, is completed and ready for inspection!

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Nong Taley is considered to be the gateway to Krabi’s tourist area, the Ao Nang peninsula. An areal of lush valleys and stunning mountains, where life has nearly come to a stop: buffaloes grazing, kids playing in the little dusty lanes, local people going to the fresh market, a touch of real Thailand a few minutes to the tourist world. 5km to Klong Muang 5 star resort beach area, 6km to Ao Nang Broadway and Noppharat Thara beach and National Park, and a mere 2km to Ao Nang up and coming Long Beach, the area is suitable for residential or for renting out.


Aspiring residents can now purchase this 2-bedroom villa offered at very attractive introductory price, or reserve one of the remaining 2 plots and have your new villa built. As your holiday property is probably one of the best investments you could make, an excellent way to cover the cost of the property is to consider letting it for either long term, or shorter holiday periods, a popular option in Krabi, where demand is still higher than offer. You can make a substantial income on your investment or just cover the annual costs associated with the ownership of your property. For our high-end villa a rental income is guaranteed for the first three years, and managed by local experts Ton Company Limited. A choice of interior design solutions will be provided to the buyer at competitive prices. A furniture package and a resort dressing pack will include everything you need to move into your new home or rent it out, including flat screen TV, HiFi, Kitchenware, bed linen and a dressing pack of curtains, blinds and artwork. The furniture package and dressing pack are required if the villa is to be entered into the rental program.

Villa Rattana is offered freehold by Exotiq Real Estate Krabi. THREE YEARS FINANCE PACKAGES AVAILABLE. For more information and to arrange a viewing, contact Thomas on +66 (0)89 9085990 (EN/ FR/IT) - Thomas@exotiqproperty.com or Ton on +66 (0)89 7727858 – nattapat@exotiqproperty.com Web www.exotiqproperty.com

www.exotiqproperty.com


Directory

Businesses in this magazine

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

DEVELOPMENTS Thalane Bay Village Sunrise Creek Villa Rattana Nong Thale River Residence The Lai Tai Attico Ao Nang Saneh Villas Lanta Coconut Bay Lanta DIVERS Lanta Diver Blue Planet Divers ENTERTAINMENT Ao Nang Centerpoint The Irish Rover Crazy Gringos HOTELS & RESORTS Sabai Resort & Residence Scandinavian Residence Layana Resort & Spa VisitLanta.com Lanta Island Resort Lanta Castaway Resort Escape Cabins Lanta Amari Vogue Krabi The Houben Lanta Krabi Resort Sheraton Krabi Beach Naga Pura Resort & Spa LAWYERS Sutin & Friends Thanee Law REAL ESTATE Exotiq Property Attico Condominium LYG Construction Krabi Ton Company MD Houseware Desjoyaux Pools Krabi Consultants

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RESTAURANTS The Longtail Boat Carnivore Steak & Grill Time for Lime Eden Bar & Drink The Irish Rover Paddys Klong Muang Aning Restaurant Aning Seafood Crazy Gringos La Panza Krabi The Rooftop Bar Red Alert @ The Houben SERVICES S.K. Optik Marina Yoga Lanta Animal Welfare The Lanta Retreat Mike Collection Tailor NewspaperDirect Krabi Newspaperdirect Koh Lanta Lanta Car Rental Weddings in Thailand TOURS & ACTI VITIES Sea Kayak Krabi Krabi Spesialisten Spidermonkeys Phi Phi VILLAS Koh Jum Beach Villas Krabi Villa Alanta Villas


OPEN ALL YEAR


Krabi Magazine May 2011