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FREE COPY March 2010

ISSUE 51

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


Editorial

Welcome to Krabi March 2010 – ISSUE 51 EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Thomas Gennaro krabimagazine@gmail.com 089 9085990 ART GROUP Creative Director: Nattapat Sunthonphuriwat [Ton®] tonidesign@gmail.com - 089 7727858 Graphic Designers: Chadaporn Chai-in [Aom] CONTRIBUTING WRITERS & PHOTOGRAPHERS Thomas Gennaro – Nattapat Sunthonphuriwat Paul Stretton – Jill Walker – GVI – Joan R. Ribalta Hilton Jones – Anja Ullberg – Robbie Tree Greg Win – David Raine – Ciaran Tierney The Lanta Retreat – Vanee Ruchipong Robby Attwater – Cyril – Ton Company DISTRIBUTION AO NANG - KRABI - PHUKET Thanyasit Sarunyasat Newspaperdirect Krabi: 075 637459 DISTRIBUTION KOH LANTA - KOH PHI PHI PHUKET - KOH SAMUI - BANGKOK Guava Corporations: 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: krabimagazine@gmail.com

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

K

rabi Province is considered to be one of the most beautiful regions in a beautiful country. Krabi has it all, from the limestone karsts that characterize the region to world-class beaches, islands, temples, markets, nightlife and shopping, the list is seemingly endless. Gastronomes will find Krabi a sanctuary of fine dining and lovers of the great outdoors will find plenty to keep them occupied - waterfalls, hot springs, national parks, elephant treks are all on offer and Krabi is also one of the world’s premier destinations for rock climbing and scuba diving. The coral reefs of the Andaman Sea are among the world’s best and the Railay Peninsula attracts climbers from all over the world. Krabi Magazine is now in our 5th year of publication. In this issue, we are glad to introduce an area of stunning natural beauty a bit off the beaten track, but being gradually explored, discovered and offered as an eco-tourist destination with the help of local communities and International organizations. Welcome to Ao Leuk. My special thanks to Khun Gift and Khun Uray of CBT in Khao Garos for their kindness and their love for the province, to Jill Walker from Global Vision International for her valuable contributions, to Nattaphat Sunthornphuriwat for his dedication to quality photography and to Joan Ribalta for his poetic vision of Ao Leuk. Thanks for helping put together this special issue! On other fronts, follow our man in Ao Nang to a visit to some cheeky monkeys, read our account on driving in Krabi and be cautious on local roads, find out about holistic services from Marina at her Yoga Center, and share my culinary experience in Ao Nang. Koh Lanta section is pretty rich this month. The Laanta Lanta festival is set to steal the show in March, with an array of activities and cultural events. If you are into diving, read about the Andaman Freediving Challenge, and find out what diving and meditation have in common. Follow the path of a family who has decided to change it all for an adventure, and read the tips from a veteran of Lanta roads. And if you need a room, allow me to recommend you a couple of resorts you may want to check. There is so much in our real estate section if you are after a property in Krabi. Read how to transform a site from a rocky hillside to a five star place, and discover how to unite the beauty of the province to a healthy investment. Our building section analyzes two types of roof tiles, our artist of the month produces quality painting for your homes, and there are also a couple of reviews on two quality developments in the area. Last but not least, our astrology page. Watch out for our extremely popular Krabi Miniguide and Krabi Maps series that are massively available to visitors to Krabi, 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. Find Krabi Miniguide and Krabi Maps in your hotel lounge, in restaurants and pubs, at airport and boat pier 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. Enjoy the magazine, enjoy our Krabi Maps and Miniguides, and above all enjoy your holiday!

Thomas Gennaro Executive Editor

Khao Garos Cover picture courtesy of: ton®


CONTENTS

March 2010, issue 51

12 A Window on Krabi

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Cover Story

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Cover Story

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Language

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Social

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Green Paths

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Nature Trails

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Activity

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Cultural

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

Follow the editor on a journey with Community Based Tourism of Ao Leuk as they explore Khao Garos mountain and experience villagers’ way of life.

Only upon venturing deeper into Ao Luk does a whole world of unique cultural and natural highlights open up for those who know where to look.

Thai transliteration explained: Krabi or Grabi? Karos or Garos?

GVI is synonymous of education, conservation and community development in Ao Luk

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In Tharnboke Koranee National Park, Ao Leuk, Be embraced by a family of waterfalls and emerald-green water streams, and discover how green Krabi really is‌

A kayak adventure along Bor Thor water streams In search of the big-headed monster.

Ao Nang beach is home to a large group of small apes, called Crab Eating Macaques, sometimes known as Long Tailed Macaques.

Renting a bike? As relaxing and easy-going as Thailand can be, many people get a false sense of security and make driving decisions they would not make back home.

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CONTENTS Heath & Living

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Restaurant Review

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Restaurant Review

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Koh Lanta

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Marina Yoga is the first Yoga Center in Ao Nang, specializing in Yoga and Reiki.

Pub Grub at The Irish Rover in Ao Nang

Sunset dinner at Banlay Thai Kitchen

Get the most out of Koh Lanta. Highlights, maps, reviews and articles: Cultural: Laanta Lanta, a festival of culture Underwater World: Breathless on Koh Lanta - a Freediving challenge Hotel Review: The Houben - Lanta’s new hip and chic resort Hotel Review: Layana - you are in heaven A Leap in the Past: Riding a motorbike in Lanta Life: Seeking Televised Scuba Adventures in Lanta Health & Living: Meditation and Diving

Real Estate

March 2010, issue 51

34 42

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Purchasing and making real estate investments made simple with Krabi Magazine. Architect Tips: From rocky hillside to five star luxury Property Report: Capital Appreciation Surrounded by Beauty Construction: Tile Styles Property Review: Nong Taleh River Residence Property Review: Saneh Villas Interior Design: The Lumyai Group Art: Kiat – canvas in progress Know the Law: Foreign Ownership of Land

Astroflash

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Divine Astrology is referred to as the Head and Tail of the Dragon. This month, the sign of Pisces analyzed.

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A window on Krabi

THE ISLANDS

THE CULTURE

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 hideaway that have a unique atmosphere. These islands still have no electricity and no cars and 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.

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, performed by acrobatic boys who swing burning torches around their bodies, creating sparkling artistic pictures. Ban Sang-Ka-U is a sea gypsy’s settlement in south-east Lanta Yai. It is there that an old clan of traditional Chao Ley try to preserve a disappearing way of life in this fast-developing island.

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

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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.

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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.

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.


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 mineral-enriched waters falling into rocky ponds.


Cover Story

Khao Garos An invitation to explore an area of stunning beauty Story by : Thomas Gennaro

Photos by : Nattaphat Sunthornphuriwat

in Ao Leuk district, promoted by a local community

It is no doubt that Krabi is suitable for ecotourism and sustainable programs linked to local communities. Last month we were kindly invited to inspect a Community Based Tourism (CBT) tour organized by a community of farmers and fishermen at Baan Khuan O. The tour explores the mountain of Khao Garos as well as showing visitors the villagers’ way of life.

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A

t our arrival at Khuan O pier we were introduced to those invited for the inspection, which included personnel from government offices, tour companies, hotel representatives and Krabi Chamber of Commerce. We also made acquaintances with Khun Gift and her father Khun Uray, the extremely friendly village headman at the helm of the Baan Khuan O community, as well as the official explorer and discoverer of all the natural beauties we were going to visit. His affable daughter Khun Gift was trained in Phuket and is doing a master in Tourism Management. Her English is excellent ad her baggage of knowledge on the area is impressive to say the least. She is the official guide of Baan Khuan O and other CBT tours. Khun Gift informed us that there are 160 villagers involved in this project, out of 1,200 of them, and there are 8 communities adhering to the CBT program. Baan Khuan O project limits the tour to 120 visitors per day, with only 60 per day allowed inside the cave. Following the introductions and initial chat, we were offered local black coffee and a locally produced snack, Khao Niaw Ping, a version of grilled sticky rice on banana leaves. Delicious! We ate under the curious eyes of local kids roaming the dirt paths barefoot. On the street side, there was a stall where local women sell batik with reproduced drawings of cave pictorials, dyed with natural pigments from mangrove trees and pecan nuts. The delegation of about 60 people then boarded several longtail boats for the muchattended tour of Khao Garos. I had the luck of being in the boat with Khun Gift, and while her father propelled the vessel towards the maze of mangrove canals, I listened carefully to her descriptions. I learned that in April and May, locals villagers collect seaweed from these waters, with visitors often lending a hand in the harvesting. Seaweed is then cooked and used to complement local noodle specialty, Kanom Jeen. We slowly approached the high rock face of Khao Garos mountain, and understood the meaning of the name: Garos in ancient Malay language means ‘not beautiful’, and this was clear seeing the ragged and rough surface of the mountain rock. Khun Gift informed us that in the past Khao Garos was used by Chinese and Malaysian sailors to shelter from monsoon rains. We sailed alongside the long-range mountain and towards the sea, with the canal getting wider and wider. We neared the sheer rock covered in its near entirety by trees; at the top of this huge mountain range there is a flat plateau accessible only through treacherous climbing.

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One of the main features of Khao Garos is a hidden lagoon surrounded by vertical cliffs and only accessible with smaller boats and in high tides. A floating wooden barge was our changing base from longtail boats to small rowing boats propelled by elderly villagers. A few minutes later we were inside a quiet amphitheatre where the only noise was our voices amplified by echoes, and birds and cicadas singing. Around us, healthy-looking mangrove trees that constantly produce new roots; these drop from branches towards the water, eventually reaching the seabed and establishing there to give more life to forests that house a rich and complex ecosystem. The vegetation growing on rocks around us comprise rare endemic plants, including spectacular specimen of yellow Ron Tau Naree Luan Krabi orchid – the symbol of Krabi, which grow on top of the trees. Bare, strangely shaped rocks and boulders protrude from the waters. Eerie-looking rock shapes started to appear on wall faces – skulls, masks, and other undefined shapes. Sheer cliffs covered the sunrays, giving the area an infernal feel.

We exited the cave and sailed alongside Khao Garos, with Khun Gift giving us accounts of hidden caves containing treasures – quite a possibility as they could be easily camouflaged by natural features. Khun Gift pointed us to pictorials on the rock walls. One resembled a centipede, another a human-looking icon featured climbing a rope and aiming at a box at the top. This would be the hint to the place where treasure was hidden. Khun Gift shares with us the words of an ancient local poem: “Long line mountain amongst the sea, Whirl sea water as a signal, The treasure is above, Let’s take it home” According to a local legend, a few locals who tried digging rock to find the alleged treasure heard voices screaming in the distance. The number of treasure hunters has since declined; locals now believe there is magic and spirits that harbour in the cave, and fully respect it. There are a high number of unexplored caves in Khao Garos mountain, and some of these are being researched, though funds are limited. In some of them, researchers have found pottery and human skulls dated 3,000 to 5,000 years back.

Khun Uray communicated to us via a portable amplifier while the rowing boat proceeded towards the cave. The boat peacefully entered the submerged cave; it was like entering another world. Stalactites of different shapes stack out of rock ceilings, and the air turned fresh and humid. Myriads of fossilised shells were encrusted on the cave suspended ceiling; the proof that sea level in Krabi was quite high in ancient times.

We quietly returned to our departing point, most of us made speechless by the eternal beauty we experienced. Ao Leuk is the cradle of civilization in Thailand, and we were glad to have explored some of its natural features in the company of a local community.

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AO LUK FACTFILE

THE TOUR - Ao Leuk Community Based Network (CBT) can be contacted through Khun Gift at 087 4706661 or at 075 634072. - Check their website www.aoluktoday.com - Thanks to Khun gift’s constant explanations, which made the tour so much interesting. And to her father Khun Uray, the explorer of these incredible places. - Safety is of high concerns during CBT trips. Life jackets are provided to all visitors, all local fishermen are excellent divers and do not need any equipment. They can rescue a swimming visitor in trouble. - A small eco-resort is being built in Khao Garos, in order to give a chance to visitors to spend the night there. - On a CBT tour, respect local customs: dress decently and do not bring alcohol.

FACTFILE - Khao Garos looks like an island but it is not an island – Khao: mountain, Garos: ugly - Khao Garos is part of Tarnboke Koranee National Park in Ao Leuk District - Khao Garos is also known as Khao Yao Nam Rop - long mountain surrounded by the sea - Khao Garos is home to local shells Hok Chai Teen and local orchid Ron Tau Naree Luan Krabi

Ao Luk District is a commercial center and town divided into the two major sections of Ao Luk South and Ao Luk North. The majority of tourist attractions here are natural. From the intersection of Ao Luk North market, along the Ao Luk-Laem Sak Road, one arrives at Thanboke Khoranee National Park, an emerald-green pond set amidst a diverse species of trees. The pleasant forest makes a wonderful place for a stroll, given the presence of a small wooden bridge under the cool shade of the woods, the mild climate, especially the interior of the green pond, which is a rich, feeding ground. From Thanboke Khoranee National Park, one comes upon the pier to kayak or catch the chartered longtailed boat to Phee Hua Toe and Lod Cave, a limestone mountain of unusual shape, plumb in the middle of the water. The boat can pass through the grotto where awaits beautiful stalagmites and stalactites. Mangrove forests, providing fertile feeding grounds for monkeys, the floating fish farms and the Phee Hua Toe Cave are some of the attractions along the way. There, some 100 prehistoric murals on cave walls, depicting man, beasts, hands and feet, make for interesting reading. Particularly the depiction of men with animal heads, complete with horns in red horizontal motif, all over the cave ceiling that can be traced back over some two-three centuries. Delicious dishes of blanched conches and spicy shrimps, eaten in pleasant environments, and hundreds of acres of pineapples, rubber trees and palms plantations, are some of the things to look forward from a trip to Ao Luk.

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Cover Story Story by : Jill Walker Photos by : Nattaphat Sunthornpuriwat

CBT – CommunityBased Tourism in Ao Luk O

ver the past few years the people of the Ao Luk have honed in on developing tourism in a handful of traditional Thai villages. Some of the many activities on offer include exploring hidden caves complete with ancient cave paintings, kayaking through mangrove forests with chattering monkeys, wandering through preserved community forestland, or mucking it up at a natural mud spa in a misty tropical setting. The rural tour operations are run by the local people themselves. When these villagers aren’t fixing an amazing spread of food for visitors at a home stay or giving a long-tailed boat tour they can be found tapping rubber on their plantation or out fishing in the open seas.

Traveling between the main town of Krabi and Phuket, one could easily pass the lazy market town of Ao Luk without a second glance. The sprawling district is set to a stunning background of sharp karst rock formations creating a landscape that blends into the rest of the province’s terrain. Only upon venturing deeper into Ao Luk does a whole world of unique cultural and natural highlights open up for those who know where to look.

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This type of local ‘Community-Based Tourism’ (often referred to as ‘CBT’) has become a key phrase in the eco-tourism world. While eco-tourism covers a broad spectrum of activities, Community-Based Tourism is run by the communities themselves rather than outside developers. Locals welcome tourists into their homes and villages to share their traditional ways of life. CBT offers home stay accommodations and opportunities to participate in activities taking place in the surrounding community and natural environment. This type of tourism provides added income for rural communities, in turn offering incentive to protect natural areas. Since the tour operators are personally tied to the land and to their livelihoods, there is also the desire to assure that any development that occurs is done so in a sustainable way.


In July 2009, 8 communities in the Ao Luk district joined together to form the Ao Luk CommunityBased Tourism Network with the assistance of Ao Luk’s mayor Prasit Phuchachvanichkul. Mayor Prasit was previously the mayor of Koh Lanta, providing him with valuable insight into working with tourist communities. The main focus of the network is to encourage conservation of nature and culture in these rural communities. Tours through the CBT network range from a 1 hour guided tour of the sparkling Diamond Caves in the Tham Phet village for only 100 baht to full day boat tours through mangroves, caves, hidden grottos and untouched beaches at Khao Karos in the small Muslim fishing village of Kuwan-Oh for up to 2,000 baht. The costs are extremely reasonable as the network communities skip the middleman and do all the work of organizing, marketing and advertising themselves. One could easily spend a week or more exploring the area taking advantage of the variety of bungalows, raft houses and home stay accommodations available throughout the CBT network communities. Thai cooking, Thai massage and batik fabric painting are just some of the additional activities one can enjoy when they aren’t kayaking, hiking, cycling or just kicking back and enjoying the Thai countryside. Ao Luk is not the destination for tourists who are looking to lounge on a beach of a 5 star resort sipping cocktails. If you decide to take advantage of the CBT tours Ao Luk has to offer make sure you leave the bikinis and Chang Beer in Ao Nang as the rural villages tend to be conservative and some are located in Muslim communities. But if you are looking for the opportunity to experience real Thailand while supporting the livelihoods of traditional Thai communities there is no better way than indulging in the trips Ao Luk’s CBT villages have to offer. For more information on visiting Ao Luk’s CBT villages please contact Khun Gift at 087 4706661 or visit www.aoluktoday.com

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Language

Krabi or Grabi? Karos or Garos?

Thai Transliteration explained

S

ame as it happens with the word Krabi, the correct way to pronounce Khao Garos is not always clear. Both a weak ‘k’ and a strong ‘g’ would read the same way. So how should we pronounce Krabi, or Garos? Regarding the choice of transliteration between ‘k’ (kokai) and ‘g’ (gor-gai), neither is right or wrong; it’s simply a matter of what conventions you want to follow. The letter in question is used for an un-aspirated voiceless velar stop, as opposed to the next four letters in the alphabetic order that are used for the aspirated voiceless velar stop. You will tend to see ‘k’ vs ‘kh’ or ‘g’ used most commonly in Romanization.

The Thai alphabet is probably derived from the Old Khmer script, which is a southern Brahmic script of the Indic family. According to tradition, it was created in 1283 by King Ramkhamhaeng the Great.

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A classic example of this is the word ‘island’. In Thai, the names of islands are usually preceded with the word Ko, the Thai word for island. This word is often alternately romanized as Koh, Go or Goh. Various maps commonly spell Thai names differently, using different transliterations. The list of different transliterations gives precedence to the Royal Thai General System of Transcription favored by the Government of Thailand, for the English-based Thai transcription is now becoming obsolete.


LEARNING MORE If you wish to learn reading and writing Thai and the way to transliterate it, there are standardized literacy books used in public education, but there are many different lettering books from different sources sold in bookstores. A brilliant website that helps the new students as it is designed for the foreign learner of Thai is www.thai2english.com . It is fully useable and searchable without needing to be able to read or type in Thai script. Each entry in the Thai > English dictionary shows the word in Thai script, phonetic Thai, a Romanized transliteration of the Thai including tone marks and a definition of the word in English. The two way Thai<>English Thai2English dictionary contains over 110,000 Thai words, 90,000 English words, 80,000 example sentences, and also the Thai and English names of all of Thailandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s thousands of villages, sub districts, districts and provinces.


Social Story by : Jill Walker Photos by : GVI

Global Vision International

Education, conservation and community development in Ao Luk D

ays start early at the GVI base in Ao Luk, Krabi with breakfast and a round of chores to keep the communal base of up to 25 volunteers and staff tidy and organized. By 9 am volunteers are either participating in lectures about teaching techniques and theories through GVI’s 50 and 100 hour TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) courses, quietly lesson planning for free evening English classes for the local adult community in the cozy resource lounge or tucked away teaching English at schools throughout Ao Luk. GVI (www.gvi.co.uk) 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. Ao Luk, in the north of Krabi, is just one of the many successful programs GVI oversees across the globe. GVI has been working with the Ao Luk community since June of 2007. The first TEFL training program 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 Ao Luk’s Non-Formal and Informal Education Center. Over 150 volunteers have come out to gain TEFL certificates, teach the adult community, assist in community development projects, teach at the local schools and work on renovation projects at the community center where GVI volunteers teach their evening classes.

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Free evening classes are offered for anyone in the community aged 15 and up. Up to 100 students per term attend these classes and 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. “GVI provides us with knowledge through English lessons, giving us skills we can use in our daily lives” says Maturada Malatong, one of GVI’s students. Students are divided into classes according to their level of English and are evaluated at the end of each term. After a 4-week class term, which coincides with the 100 hour TEFL certificate program, students attending more than 85% of classes receive a certificate of attendance. Over 1,200 certificates have been awarded in over 2 years of classes. GVI Thailand works closely with a number of local organizations to assist the community with a variety of projects. Ao Luk is a rapidly developing community interested in doing so in a way that respects their local traditions and lifestyles through community-based tourism. GVI’s presence in Ao Luk seeks to place skills and knowledge into the hands of the local people to utilize or their own personal and community development. Through the ‘Ao Luk Village Project’ GVI volunteers are partnered with the Ao Luk Community Development office, the mayor and the heads of Ao Luk villages and schools. On Friday mornings GVI’s TEFL volunteers join local communities to assist with English and environmental education at local schools, tree and mangrove planting and trash pickups as requested by local villages. Through GVI’s ‘Teaching Children in Thailand’ project, volunteers work at local schools to provide volunteer teachers to work with Ao Luk primary school students to improve their English. Volunteers come out for 2-10 weeks and after a weekend of training and orientation, spend weekdays in schools teaching students English, utilizing student centered activities and teaching techniques. In 2009 alone, GVI provided 26 schools throughout Ao Luk with volunteer English teachers. According to Tanoonsak Payakkaned, principal of Klong Hin Pityakorn School, “If we didn’t have GVI, our students wouldn’t have the opportunity to learn English”. GVI Thailand seeks to provide volunteers with authentic opportunities to experience the ‘real’ Thailand, far from the beaten tourist track. As the base is located in the center of Ao Luk, 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. “It’s wonderful to see GVI’s international volunteers and the Ao Luk community have the chance to learn so much from each other on a daily basis” says Jill Walker, GVI’s Country Director overseeing the projects in Ao Luk. 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. “I love what GVI and the staff is doing in this community” reported Kristy McCulloch, a recent 6 month volunteer with GVI in Thailand. 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 .

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Ad. Ao Nang Divers.pdf

3/26/08

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Green Paths Story by : Joan R.Ribalta

Tharnboke Koranee National Park

Photos by : Nattaphat Sunthornphuriwat

H

ave you ever walked through a lush forest surrounded by a whole family of waterfalls? In Tharnboke Khoranee National Park you will have the chance, but don’t expect high drops of massive water flows. Tharnboke Khoranee National Park is not a place for shaking emotions; instead, the park kindly and softly invites visitors to enjoy an easy 2km hiking trail suitable for kids or grandmas alike. At the entrance booth, I peeped inside to grasp the feeling of this natural attraction embraced as a child by massive arms of limestone rocks. I entered and naturally raised my head in a kidnapped state: I was stunningly surrounded by majestic Krabi karsts. I started the walk and was welcomed by a stream that danced and twisted around plants and trees, following the path. The walk then gradually introduced a peculiar set of waterfalls, an extended family of them, so many I could not tell exactly how many of them.

Be embraced by a family of waterfalls and emerald-green water streams, and discover how green Krabi really is…

Was that all? It was actually just the beginning. Tharnboke Khoranee National Park gives visitors the chance to experience the limestone’s entrails. Inside a gentle cave hidden in a lush camouflage, I smelled silence, and it kidnapped me. Tharnboke Khoranee’s still and natural atmosphere seemed the perfect place for relaxing and sharing moments. The ideal place for a family meeting, or for some solitary time with the waterfalls and with yourself.

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Standing inside the greenest of forests, it was almost possible to hug the surrounding flora and fauna. Giant trees grabbed the Earth with their powerful roots; shy lizards run amongst plants, naughty squirrels jumped from branch to branch while all around me, tranquil lagoons gave rest to the stream which eventually ended into natural pools. Emerald-green waters flowed out of a narrow cave in a tall cliff and into a large lotus pool, which overflowed steadily into a wide stream, itself dividing into many smaller streams in several stages. Make sure you bring your swimwear, it would be a shame to lose the opportunity to release stress in one of them like I did. I sat several times at different park resting points, taking in the lush surroundings. Throughout the walk there are camping areas, resting areas, wading paths and all the facilities that you need â&#x20AC;&#x201C; information points, food and drink stalls and toilets. Through the final part of the path I met the patriarch of the waterfall family: it dropped to a lagoon which visitors used to escape the heat and have a splash into fresh water. The rumbling language of the waterfall echoed in the area and made its way into the trees, carried by the peaceful stream. It was not the highest waterfall I have seen in my life, but should size be synonymous of beauty, I pondered? Sharing my day with a lush corner of Krabi, I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t miss a single bit of joy.

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Nature Trails Story Storyby : Thomas : Thomas Gennaro Gennaro Photos Photosby by: :Nattaphat NattaphatSunthornphuriwat Sunthornpuriwat

In search of the big-headed monster

A kayak adventure along Bor Thor water streams

T

he village of Ban Bor Thor straddles Klong Bring or the Bring River, a mangrove lined saltwater river that winds through peaceful countryside until it finally empties into Phang Nga Bay in SouthernThailand’s Phang Nga Province. But the main drawcard for many people is the various caves that lurk in the darkness among the karsts. Accessible only by boat at low-tide, the best way to explore them is by kayak, with the karst scenery that the area is so famous for providing an epic backdrop to the tranquility of the waterway, kayaking in Tanboke Koranee National Park is truly an unforgettable experience.

Kayaking is the eco-tourist activity par excellence and a great way to explore Krabi waters in an eco-friendly way. It combines a physical challenge with a silent approach to wildlife through Krabi’s many ecosystems, from canyons to mangroves canals and caves.

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It’s possible to rock up at the village, hire kayaks and lifejackets and venture off into the unknown by yourself, but we recommend booking a tour with a reputable tour company. A trip of Tanboke Koranee will be greatly enhanced by local knowledge of the area. Guides will point out and various types of mangrove species and palms and can explain how each species is used by the local community in farming and handicraft production. The swamps and mangroves of the national park are also home to a wide variety of wildlife. Feeler crabs, characterized by their single huge claw can be seen as well as mud skippers and prawns can even be seen scuttling along the surface of the water before diving back down below. The crags and caves hidden among the limestone cliffs are home to the langur and the macaque, various types of birds including swallows and the kingfisher and if you are very lucky you’ll even hear the whooping of gibbons. After donning our lifejackets and receiving a brief from our guide we slipped into our kayaks and gradually made our way along the river until we approached the mouth of the first cave. Tam Lod Nua, which literally means ‘cave passing through’, is a dark and narrow, U-shaped tunnel that meanders until finally opening out into


an extraordinarily peaceful part of the river where the only sound is the echo of your own voice. We then head to Tam Lod Thai, a cave that winds its way past beautiful stalactites and leads to a stunning lagoon known as Tham Khao Wong. After slipping quietly through the darkness and silence of the tunnel it’s a slightly other-worldly experience to suddenly drift out of it and into a space entirely enclosed by towering limestone peaks with huge fanning palms clinging to the rock-face and only the call of birds for company. Disappearing into the bowels of a silent cave, kayak silently drifting with stalactites looming ominously overhead is quite an experience. Darkness gradually and steadily descending until finally the light from the other side pierces the gloom. Tham Pee Hua Toh or ‘Big Head Ghost Cave’ is a huge chamber accessible only on foot. After an energetic 15-minute paddle we arrived at the entrance and climbed the steps up to the mouth. In the main chamber numerous stalagmites stand boldly and stalactites hang from the roof but it’s the caves various paintings or pictoglyphs that are the main interest here. The paintings offer a fascinating glimpse into Thailand’s rich cultural past. Our guide explained that the paintings are shrouded in mystery and it’s unclear exactly what is meant by them; a haunting woman-like figure with what looks likes an animal’s head is clearly visible on the wall as you enter as well as various other animal-like images. Making your way through the numerous grottoes you will eventually come to a view point that overlooks a mangrove forest and out into the ocean; a remarkable sight not to be missed. The paddle back to the village, and more importantly for most people, the restaurant, is against the current but not without its reward. Well, this is Thailand, and you can expect nothing less than a simply delicious lunch.

KAYAKING Can anybody do it and is it safe? One of the best things about kayaking is that you don’t need any prior experience or training. Anybody can do it! Your guide will outline a few basics before you go and that’s it. You’re off! The kayaks used are the open topped variety, which means you don’t sit inside it like a white-water canoe you simply sit on top. This means they have drainage holes in them and while this means you might get a wet bottom, they are virtually unsinkable and life jackets are always provided.

Anything else? Yes, take a camera with you. Your guide will give you a ‘dry-bag’. These beauties do exactly what it says on the tin. They are made of waterproof pvc and have a roll down water-tight top. Take a hat and sunscreen too and apply sunscreen before you go. You’ll spend some time in the open on any kayaking trip and the Thai sun can be very unforgiving. With the ocean breeze you may not notice being burnt.

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Activity Story and photos by : Paul Stretton

Monkeying around A

s well as being the place to sit and stare dreamily out to sea, or lie soaking up the tropical sun before plunging into the warm surf, Ao Nang also houses another little known attraction that is definitely worth a look - especially if you have kids with you. At the East end of the beach, if you are walking with the ocean to your right, you will come across what looks like a dead end - lots of rocks and a lush jungle canopy that towers hundreds of feet above your head. If you look closely up in the treetops, you may see some of them start to shake. This is actually home to a large group of small apes, called Crab Eating Macaques, sometimes known as Long Tailed Macaques. These cheeky little monkeys are long time residents of our town, having lived here for many years - long before us humans came and started to build our resorts on their patch. They are extremely resilient and have adapted over the years to our presence. If you are staying around Ao Nang during your time here in the Krabi province, you are sure to find yourself on the beach at some time or other. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s convenience is one of itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s major plus points, being just a hop, skip and a jump away from the main road, smack in the middle of the town.

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Macaques live in groups containing anywhere from 5 to 60+ animals, normally containing 2 to 5 males and 2 to 3 times as many females. Their groups are female-centered, as the females remain in one place across generations and the males move in and out of these female-based groups. So the women run the show! The size of the group often depends on the level of predation and availability of food. Since there are not many ape-eating predators along Ao Nang beach, thank goodness, they are fairly safe amongst us humans. There also does not seem to be an issue with the availability of food, as you will see if you take a trip down that end of the beach. They are knows as omnivores, meaning they can eat a wide variety of animals, plants and other things. Although up to 90% of their diet consists of fruit and seeds, they will eat almost anything they can get their hands on and are not afraid to take something if they like the look of it.


This would be a good point to remember if you happen to wander around here munching from a bag of crisps or a nice juicy slice of pineapple that nice massage lady just offered youâ&#x20AC;Ś Yes, they will think nothing of snatching the food from your hand and even climbing up onto your shoulder to eat their bounty, much to the squeals of delight from children watching their father hopping around trying to get the hairy thief off his back whilst attempting, yet failing miserably, to keep his male ego intact. Normally, they all come out together as a group, and just as suddenly disappear back into the canopy in the blink of an eye. During the dry season when there are plenty of curious people on the beach, they can often be seen by the dozen, scampering brazenly across the sand looking for mischief. Some of the local women have even capitalized on this by setting up little stalls where you can buy bunches of bananas to feed them.

The macaques are very used to the presence of humans and are not to be feared, although it is important to remember that they are still wild animals and should never be teased with food. If they manage to grab your snack, just let go and do not try to fight him for it - trust me it will not end well for you! These animals may look cute and cuddly, but they are tremendously strong and will fight viciously for food, as most wild animals will. They make for a great photo opportunity and this is a great alternative to buying a photo from the Thai man in the street with the baby gibbon around his neck, as these macaques are happily free in their natural element, and they are not being forced to do anything they do not want to do. As long as they are happy, they will be content to be close to you for maybe half an hour or more. This is a great thing to do with your family, as the kids just love seeing the apes up close and personal. If you look closely, you should even see tiny babies clutching on to their mothers tummies for dear life. As well as Ao Nang beach, macaques are also a common resident at the Tiger Cave Temple near Krabi. This is worth a visit as well, as they are pretty much a guaranteed sighting any time of the day. And the best part is - they are completely free to watch!

HOW TO GET THERE Walk down to the beach from McDonalds, or along the beach road, until you reach the longtail boat booth and the traffic police quarters. From there, continue along the pedestrian path along the beach, pass Ao Nang Villa Resort and Golden Beach Resort until you get to the gate. Pass that, walk through Last Fisherman Bar, along the massages area, and through Last CafĂŠâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. Pass the Buddhist spirit house and reach the end of the beach; it is there where monkeys gather, playing in the water and waiting for humans to bring them food.

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Cultural Story Storyby by: :Hilton HiltonJones Jones Photos Photosby by: :Anja AnjaUllberg Ullberg

Driving in Krabi I

ndependent travel allows you this freedom, and it can be an exhilarating experience. It is very easy to rent your own transport here, and there are some excellent rental companies that offer a wide selection of cars and motorcycles with insurance. As convenient and informative as it can be to travel as part of an organized group, it is also very exciting to explore the region on your own - stopping whenever and wherever you feel like it, and reading up about wherever you find yourself in your travel guide. As relaxing and easy-going as Thailand can be, many people get a false sense of security and make decisions they would not make back home. For example, many tourists rent motorcycles without having ever ridden one before. Accidents happen on holiday too, and unfortunately too frequently. The most common motorcycle accident is, fortunately, the least serious: the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thai tattooâ&#x20AC;?. It refers to the burn caused by a combination of getting off the motorcycle on the wrong side and a very hot exhaust pipe. There are of course much more serious road accidents too. The following are some simple guidelines that should help you avoid them, and make the most of your holiday - safely.

Krabi is an incredibly diverse province: there are towering cliffs and waterfalls, limestone islands with white sandy beaches, crystal clear lakes and hot springs, huge modern shopping malls, and massive areas of untouched jungle and forest. There is almost too much to see, no matter how long your stay here. One of my favourite ways of spending a lazy day is to drive around with some friends and no fixed itinerary, returning all the smiles I meet on the way, enjoying the sun on my face and taking in all that surrounds me.

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You need to have a driving license - even if the rental company does not ask you for one. It is the law in Thailand, and the simple fact is that the roads in Krabi are getting busier each year. They are not an easy place to learn to drive for the first time. The rules of the road, whilst being for the most part similar to international standards, have their differences too and it is a good idea to become familiar with them, no matter how accomplished a driver you might be. Only a few years ago it was possible to purchase a driving license in Thailand without needing to take any written or practical test at all. This has changed now, but it essentially means that there are differences in the way people drive here and the standard practices we might expect elsewhere. For example you might have been taught to always stop and check both ways at a junction before joining a new road. Many Thai people will not stop when they are turning left, as they will expect to be given room to join the road. Sometimes local people will drive on the wrong (right) side of the road if they are traveling a short distance. For these reasons it is advisable to keep your speed low when traveling through built up areas and to favour the middle lane when possible.


In Thailand the legal age to drive a motorcycle (up to 110cc) is 15. To drive a motorcycle with a larger engine, the minimum age is 18, which is also the minimum age to drive a car. It is not uncommon to see children much younger than 15 riding motorbikes, especially in towns and villages, and whilst this might be quite a spectacle it is a good idea to give them lots of space when you are driving. It is common to see motorcycles with up to 5 passengers. It might be amusing to see and take a picture of, but it is safer not to copy - your insurance company will agree. In Europe, flashing your headlights at an oncoming car may indicate that you are giving them right of way, but it is a warning here effectively it means, “I’m coming through, get out of the way”. When riding a motorbike it is a good idea to make sure you always have space to maneuver on your left, as it is common for oncoming, larger vehicles to overtake using your lane, as they will assume that you will move out of their way. Seatbelts must be worn in the front seats of a car, and the driver of a motorcycle must wear a helmet. This is the law - although you will see that this law is not enforced frequently, and ignored for the most part except in Krabi town and Neua Klong. When renting a motorcycle you will be given a single helmet, but if you have a passenger you might consider asking for another. The law does not require the passenger to wear one, but studies show that in the event of an accident you are two to three times more likely to be killed if you are not wearing a helmet and it makes no real difference if you are the driver or the passenger. The maximum speed you can drive on a motorway in Thailand is 120 km/h, but only where signs allow. On a highway the speed limit does vary, so watch for the signs, but usually the maximum is 90 km/h. In town the maximum speed is 60 km/h, but frequently signs will enforce a much slower speed. Lowering your speed will allow you much more time to enjoy the journey and, of course, to react to other drivers. Drinking and driving do not mix well together, but it is unfortunately a very common combination here. The maximum legal blood alcohol level is 0.5 mg, and testing is becoming more and more common - especially around public holidays. Alcohol impairs judgment and co-ordination, so please consider leaving your rented motorbike locked up outside the bar if you know you have had too much to drink. The bar staff will always respect your decision and help you. Tuk-tuks and motorcycle taxis are extremely cheap here, and drink driving is the number one cause of accidents in Ao Nang. When driving late at night, be aware that even if you yourself have not been drinking, other people may have been. Independent travel by car or motorcycle has its risks, but by keeping your speed low and your wits about you the risks are minimal and the benefits far outweigh them. You can see parts of Krabi that most people never get to see, and meet local people and see local attractions in a way that you never could as part of a group tour. Get carried away with your speed, however, and mix in a few drinks and you might be spending an extended time in prison for hurting someone else, in hospital or worse. Please drive carefully and make the most of your time in Krabi.

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Health & Living

Marina Yoga A place to bring harmony to the mind, body and spirit M arina Yoga is the first Yoga Center in AoNang, located in the outskirts of Ao Nang village. Marina operates from a traditionally built bamboo and wood hut. Marina and her assistant Charo only teach small groups in order to make clients feel at ease, and to give them the special attention they deserve.

At Marina Yoga all levels are welcome, form the total beginner to the advanced yoga practitioner. Classes include yoga therapy, yoga for children, chanting Om and teaching meditation. Several people suffer from allergies and neck or back pains. Marina and Charo work hand in hand to assess clients and give the best class, treatment or exercise they need. Charo specially designs therapeutic exercises to provide relief to patients suffering from severe back pain. This method is called global postural re-education and consists of stretching and strengthening Paraspinal and abdominal wall muscles leading to correction of posture. These muscles become weak and shortened by stress and overuse causing back pain. Yoga includes all the kind of exercises Marina and Charo need to get their objectives. With special breathing exercise and postures, clients usually feel an improvement straight away. Marina also works as REIKI Master and Teacher since 1998. Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. Yoga and Reiki work to establish inner peace, mental and physical harmony. Marina Yoga is a place for bringing balance to the mind, body and spirit. Marina and Charo mission is education and helping clients to understand their strengths and weaknesses. At Marina Yoga, pains and alignment issues are addressed through therapeutic yoga techniques.

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Marina Yoga also offers personal training and more. Feel free to call 087 8981506 if you have any question or if you like to visit Marina Yoga center. You can also visit www.marinayoga.com or contact marinayoga-krabi@hotmail.com


Factfile

Reiki Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. The word Reiki, pronounced â&#x20AC;&#x153;RAY-keeâ&#x20AC;?, is formed of two Japanese characters. REI means spirit, essence, or soul, and on a deeper level, Divine Intelligence. KI means vital life force energy or breath. So the word formed by joining these two kanji embodies the concept of a universal life force energy directed by Divine Intelligence. This is an energy that can nurture and heal body, mind, heart, and spirit. We are all born with Reiki. All living beings have it and the Universe is filled with it. It is the force that helps us heal when we are injured or sick, because its function is to return living beings to health and wholeness. So it will direct and empower the healing of injuries. Because it works on mental, emotional, and spiritual levels as well, it will also help an individual to healthier states of mind and heart; it even helps one reach out to connect with the greater Wholeness of life itself.

Mikao Usui originated Reiki in 1922 after a twenty-one day retreat involving meditation, fasting and prayer. Usui said that by mystical revelation he had gained the knowledge and spiritual power to apply and attune others to what is called Reiki. This marvelous medicine for all sickness involves simple concepts like Do not be angry, Do not worry, Be grateful, Work with integrity and Be kind to others. Reiki is administered by lying on hands. The treatments feel like a wonderful glowing radiance that flows through and around you. Reiki treats the whole of your self, including body, emotions, mind and spirit.

To schedule an appointment, call Marina at 087 8981506 or check www.marinayoga.com or contact marinayoga-krabi@hotmail.com

NA THAI ROAD

SOI AO NANG 1

FOLLOW THE ROAD OUT OF AO NANG FOR 4 KM AND TURN RIGHT INTO SOI AO NANG 1, AT THE NA TAI INTERSECTION

MARINA YOGA

TO KRABI TO AO NAM MAO - SHELL FOSSIL

Mc Donalds Longtail boats

Ao Nang Beach


Restaurant Review

Pub Grub at The Rover When we think of restaurants and dinners, it is not often that an Irish pub comes to mind. The Irish Rover in Ao Nang offers much more than a restaurant menu. It’s Pub Grub!

W

hat can you expect from a meal at the Irish Rover? Follow me on a culinary journey:

NACHO GRANDE: properly named, as the huge plate literally invaded our table while guitarist Matt Paradise tuned his instrument and started his live show with Knocking on Heaven’s Door. And in case you did not know what Nacho Grande is about: Tortilla chips topped with refried beans, diced onions, tomatoes and cheddar cheese. The topping was original salsa and sour cream! MIX GRILL: This is a real monster of a meal, 100gms of Australian tenderloin steak (and boy, was it tender!), a huge chicken fillet, lamb chop, fried onions, tomatoes, mushrooms and fries. No complaints there. FISH & CHIPS: We all know this dish, don’t we? The Rover serves imported cod fillet coated in beer batter, served with chips, imported garden peas and tartar sauce. A plus during your holiday away from home. CHILLI CON CARNE: Home made with Australian beef and Guinnes (yes! Guinnes!) – served with rice, roll and butter. This was quite spicy, so watch your mouth! PS: All sauces and pickles are home made! BEER: To address the beer selection, I will start with classic Guinnes, what is needed to wash down all this pub and non-pub grub (for me at least). And I have just found out that Guinness is good for cooking any beef dish! The rest of the selection includes Kilkenny and Murphy’s, as well as Belgian beers of course, and more and more Aussie beers, and Aussie pies. Moving on, should I list all the goodies that you can have in the Irish Rover? All the ploughman’s lunches, the pork chops, the pepper steaks, the tender ribs, the bangers and mash, the homemade pies, the great Mexican dishes –

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burritos, enchiladas, tacos – the burgers, the roast dinners of course, and the homemade individual home pies? Head down to the Irish Rover, pick your favourite and see for yourself. Veggies are washed in clean water! And if you want a novelty, try the ultimate burger: made from 100% Wagyu beef, this burger will melt in your mouth. Wagyu beef is famous for being tender, juicy and healthy, a Japanese pure breed of cattle dating back to the 1830’s. The best beef in the world, with its unique flavour and detectable tenderness. Eventually we managed to eat (and drink) all the selection, with a little help from my friends (well, from my brother). Awesome place the Irish Rover, super friendly staff, very laid back, excellent authentic Irish food. My favorite Irish pub in town, well, the only real Irish pub in town! On a weeknight you can stop in, have a Guinness and chat with the bar staff without being crowded off your barstool. The Irish Rover understandingly gets busy during the dinner hours and on weekends. Their staff gets a free English lesson per week, so no misunderstanding on the food you order (and if you worry about that, use the number next to each item to avoid confusion). I loved the quick service, large food portions and reasonable prices, the atmosphere and the live and non-live music. Do you need to have more reasons to head to the Rover? THE IRISH ROVER: Ao Nang Beach, 075 637607 PADDYS: Klong Muang, more of the same fare, 075 600107 www.irishpubskrabi.com

DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK

GREAT FOOD, LIVE MUSIC, LIVE SPORTS

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Restaurant Review

Banlay Thai Kitchen S

unset; donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t we all love those special holiday moments in a tropical country? The sun has heated our skin for good part of the day and it is time for it to depart. Spending that special moment savouring local food is indeed a holiday treat many cannot resist. Ao Nang has that special place: a row of seafront seafood restaurants called Ao Nang Seafood Street, which comprises 4 restaurants. The one we visited lat month is called Banlay Thai Kitchen. We sat awaiting our order and savouring a cocktail, while a palette of reds and oranges coloured the sky, and the blues of the sea gradually faded into a grey expanse. It was low tide time; traditional longtail boats and modern speedboats rested on the sand, no longer supported by water. The starter tray comprised crispy spring rolls, traditional Andaman fish cakes, shrimp fritters rolled up in dry noodles and fried calamari. What followed was a wellpresented lobster baked with butter and garlic and topped with cheese. At Banlay Thai Kitchen, lobster is a specialty cooked in so many different ways: BBQ, steamed with chilli and lime, fried with curry or with tamarind sauce. We continued our dinner with a serving of huge prawns fried in chilli paste, and ended a glorious meal with a hot pan of prawns Suza, served in a sizzling hot plate.

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At Banlay Thai Kitchen you can enjoy a good selection of Thai favourites like soups, curries, and rice and noodle dishes. International food is available too should you start to miss home flavours: pastas, steaks, baked potatoes and more. Kids menu has a good selection. But it is fish and seafood the real Banlay Thai Kitchen strong point: squid, prawns of all sizes, lobsters, crabs, all kind of shells and fish cooked in so many ways; at Banlay Thai Kitchen you are sure to find the fish dish that pleases you. No wonder most nights the restaurant is full of happy-looking patrons.

Banlay Thai Kitchen, Ao Nang Seafood Street, Ao Nang, Krabi For bookings contact the Manageress, Khun Chum on 089 4718442, 075 637838

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Carnivore's Beer Galore

An amazingly solid selection of more than 40 International beers from Belgium, Germany and the UK.

Ao Nang â&#x20AC;˘ 075 661061

SIAM COMMERCIAL BANK

AO NANG 075695560-1


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: Kho 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 but might appear less stunning. 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 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 - 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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Cultural Story by : Robbie Tree Photos by : Nattaphat Sunthornphuriwat Sunthornpuriwat

Laanta Lanta Lanta Laanta A festival of culture - 7/8/9 A festival of culture - March 7th, 8th March and 9th Koh Lanta is proud of its unique cultural roots and the way the communities live in harmony together. The main street in Old town is surrounded on both sides by historic Chinese dwellings. Lasting for 3 days and nights, an abundance of traditional culture awaits you - ethnic song and dance, time honoured Thai story telling, a feast of Thai and fusion cuisine, a traditional crafts and trades fair, and of course a warm welcome.

Step back in time at Lanta Old Townâ&#x20AC;Ś Dating back to the time of the Sampan trade route used predominately by the Chinese community Arub, Lanta Old Town enjoys notoriety as the 1st settlement this century to combine the Chinese, Muslim and Sea Gypsy communities.

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Last years festival was no exception. I was very lucky to be there for all 3 nights, even luckier to have been able to show some of my pictures on one of the two entrances to the staged arena area. I had traveled over to Old Town the day before the festival started and got myself talking to one or two local ladies. They were trying to clear away a lot of rubbish and overgrown weeds; I stopped to help, and spent the next few hours trying to have a limited conversation with all the family and neighbours. I thought these people were so genuinely modest and unassuming. I wanted to spend more time with them and took the opportunity when they said I could show my photos on their property, though I had lots of work to do. The festival kicked off with an amazing firework display by the main square. I felt every explosion with a thud to my chest. Cheers and whoops went up from the crowd. The streets were decorated with brightly coloured banners, glowing red Chinese lanterns, flags and many smiling faces. Last years program was


packed with things to do and see day and night, for children and adults alike. All sorts of different folk competitions, involving long tail boats, coconuts and tug of war were held each day. Crafts people and artists from the island sold a variety of merchandise including leather and woven goods, hammocks, jewelery and silverware, Thai silk garments and traditional costumes, beadwork, batik and locally made clothes. There were a few different stages set up for performers. I saw some wonderful bands play live, some modern, reggae, jazz and blues too, plus some dancing girls. Over by the fire station there sat many children watching the ancient art of shadow puppetry. There were traditional and modern Rongngeng dance and music, food stalls selling an abundance of delicious food stuff, a place where you could learn to cook a Thai dish yourself and many areas from individual resorts where one could sample a cocktail or 3â&#x20AC;Ś as I seem to remember. Sounds promising eh? Then try to be there this year.

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Underwater World Story by : Ciaran Tierney Photos by : Greg Win

Breathless on AKoh Lanta Freediving challenge A Residents lounging by the deluxe pool at the luxurious Rawi Warin Resort and Spa on Koh Lanta last month were treated to the bizarre sight of a select group of enthusiasts, from a variety of countries, who managed to hold their breath underwater for up to six and a half minutes at a time

fter elaborate warm-up and relaxation rituals, the competitors lay face down at the edge of the swimming pool and focused on holding their breaths as long as possible under the watchful eyes of internationally approved judges Richard Wonka (Germany) and Sarah Whitcher (England). It was the second day of the Andaman Freediving Challenge, Thailand’s only annual competition for Freedivers, and followed a day out on the Blue Planet Divers’ boat in which competitors managed to reach depths of between 20 and an astounding 53 metres in the open sea. What was most striking about this year’s competition was how friendly the competition was throughout the three days and how keen the divers were to help each other out with advice and tips to enable rivals to extend their time underwater. Freedivers learn how to hold their breath for long periods without the aid of scuba equipment and the annual Koh Lanta competition, organized by Blue Planet Divers, is the only one in Asia to take place outside of Japan.


Eight male and four female divers took part this year, many of them competing for the first time, in six distinct events over three days. At 52, Italian Andrea Richichi may have been older than the other competitors, but his breath-taking times in all disciplines – including an incredible 53 metre dive from the boat – saw him collect all of the major prizes. Andrea grew up spear fishing and snorkelling on the island of Sardinia. Amazingly, he has never undertaken any formal courses in Freediving, despite his breath taking times, including a six minute and 33 second breath-hold in the pool. “I have never been a scuba diver, but I have always loved being under water,” he told Krabi Magazine. “When I grew up, scuba diving wasn’t an option. I have never done any courses, but you really do learn a lot at competitions and you get to meet very good people”. “I was in Thailand for work this month, but I decided to come to Koh Lanta for this competition. People make friends very quickly at these competitions and I get asked a lot of questions because I have been Freediving for six years and I have taken part in over 25 competitions. This competition has a wonderful atmosphere and it’s in a country that I love!” He said that world championship Freedivers might not help each other out to the extent that the competitors do on Koh Lanta, but the whole ethos of the Andaman Freediving Challenge is to encourage beginners and intermediates to challenge others (and themselves) in an extremely friendly environment. Ossien Pekkala, from Finland, was thrilled to reach 30 metres on a single breath. He only took up Freediving four months ago, because he wanted to stay longer under water while snorkelling. “The longer I can stay underwater, the more fun I can have!” he said. The women’s competition was won by Jacinta Colvin, from Melbourne, who was inspired to come to Koh Lanta after hearing about last year’s competition from friends in Australia. She was delighted to reach depths of over 30 metres in her first ever competition and managed to hold her breath for just under four minutes in the pool. “I had never been to Koh Lanta before,” she said. “I decided to come on a two week holiday, especially for the Andaman Freediving Challenge. It’s been really, really good and really friendly and I feel I have learned so much over the three days. It’s great to get to hang out with other Freedivers and I feel so much more confident now.” One of the competition’s three Thai competitors, Petchrung Sukpong (or Aey), only undertook a Freediving course with Blue Planet Divers two weeks before the competition. She was encouraged to come back and take part by coach Richard Wonka, who told her it would be a great way to make new friends and improve her technique. Aey works in Marine Conservation in Phuket, and was delighted she had made the short journey back to Koh Lanta for the competition. She was thrilled to reach a depth of 20 metres on a single breath, a personal best, and found that the experience was akin to meditation under water. “I think Freediving is more relaxing than scuba diving because it is so peaceful and you don’t make any noise underwater,” she

said. “This competition is perfect for the beginner, because it is so friendly, and I think I have learned a lot about Freediving over the three days. I had never even thought about going into a competition before and now I’m thinking of going on and doing the advanced course.” She said that she would definitely be back next year to challenge her new friend, Jacinta, for the Andaman Freediving Challenge title! Blue Planet Divers on Koh Lanta run regular Freediving courses throughout the diving season. Check out their website, www. blueplanetdivers.net, or telephone 075 668165 for details.

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Hotel Review

The Houben Differentiate your vacation stay at Lantaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new hip and chic resort

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hen it comes to hotels, I love small designer style places with a difference. The Houben, a recently opened establishment, is located close to Ba Kantiang pristine soft-white sandy beach on Koh Lanta Yai. Perched at the top of a rocky cliff, right above the waves of the Andaman Sea, the hotel location makes it sheltered from the northern Lanta bays, and it feels almost residential. The lobby/entrance is very boutique feel. The interior public places are small, personal and almost homey, despite the self-conscious general glam decor. Good humoured and efficient staff is mostly young, good-looking Thais, friendly, helpful and efficient.

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I loved the hotel decor altogether. My room was great and calming, furnished in a hip, trendy way. I immediately felt a sense of peace; sunset light entered the high glass windows and reflected into a huge painting at the top of the bed headboard. A luxurious and quite wide sofa hosted puffy cushions of the strangest shapes. I brewed a coffee, crashed into the sofa and relaxed. My room was a very comfortable area, with a clean and neat setup and plenty of closet space for clothes and to store luggage. Soothing white curtains and light fixtures completed the job. What a place, I thought. The bathroom was functional, with superb showerhead, great amenities and heaps of thick, big cotton towels and all sorts of toiletries. As you would expect, all rooms are filled with plasma TV with foreign language channels. Life is in the details, they say. This is certainly a true motto for The Houben as its owners have really focused on the room details. The Houben is an establishment for those who want a boutique hotel that offers something a bit different, in a great natural location. A small luxurious retreat in Lanta, away from the madding crowd.

Number of Rooms: 15 Staff: very attentive, personable, professional and helpful Facilities: Wi-Fi, restaurant, pool, spa treatments, bicycles, laundry service, airport transfer, tour arrangements Location: 272 Moo 5, Koh Lanta Yai, Krabi 81150 Contacts: tel. 66(0) 75 665144 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; fax. 66(0) 75 665133 Web: www.thehouben.com - info@thehouben.com

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Hotel Review

Layana

You are in heaven… part 1

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e were greeted by 2 immaculately dressed, smiling Thai ladies with the traditional ‘wai’, along with a garland of fresh Thai orchids that were placed around our necks. We were relieved of our bags and invited to sit down in front of an incredible view of the grounds. 2 glasses of iced bell fruit tea appeared on the table, as well as scented, iced towels to refresh our faces with. As we were taking all this in, the manager Michael Voigt came and introduced himself to us. Originally from Switzerland, Michael likes to personally greet all of the guests as they arrive, which I thought was a nice personal touch I hadn’t experienced before.

From the moment we set foot in Layana reception area, we were treated like royalty…

We were driven in one of those little electrical buggies the short distance to our room, one of the ‘Garden Pavilion’ selection. They also offer a beach suite as well as an ocean deluxe suite, with appropriate locations. Our room was stunning, with views over an impeccably manicured lawn, dotted with frangipani trees. We were given a quick overview of the facilities in the room and left to relax. 10 minutes later in the pool, we realized that there was something ‘different’ about the water. There was no usual smell of chlorine and it almost tasted drinkable! Further investigation revealed that the salinity of the water in the pool had been adjusted to the same as human tears. No, I’m not joking. This meant that you could open your eyes underwater with no burning sensation, or smell of chlorine after you get out.

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Poolside, as soon as you arrive at one of the sun loungers, a staff member will appear to lay down fresh towels for you, and bring glasses of iced water. And if you really didn’t have the urge to move from your lying position to order another one, or anything else for that matter, then all you need do was push a little button at the base of the parasol and someone would appear to see to your every need. To be honest, we spent the rest of the day lounging by the pool. The resort was so peaceful and quiet, with just a few other guests milling around, reading, chatting, and relaxing in the Jacuzzi. Again, there was that feeling that something was different here, but we couldn’t quite put our finger on it until Michael explained later that evening. There is a strict ‘no children’ policy at the Layana, which some may or may not agree with, but I have to agree that it did make for a very quiet atmosphere around the whole resort. This policy was actually implemented at the repeated request of some guests, so it was trailed and was so successful, they kept it. As the afternoon wore on, we wandered back to our room to get freshened up for the evening, which would begin with cocktails at their ‘Sundowners’ beach bar. They have a happy hour from 6 to 7pm every night on selected cocktails, so we decided to take full advantage. The bar staff has been specially trained by professional cocktail makers, and boy, did it show. We sampled the ‘Blanco Sangria’ (my personal favourite!), ‘Island Life’, ‘Layana Cooler’ and a wonderful ‘Basil & Lime Margarita’, all in the name of research, whilst watching a beautiful sunset over the ocean.

Layana Resort & Spa 272 Moo 3 Saladan, Phra-Ae Beach, Koh Lanta, Krabi 81150, Thailand Tel: + 66(0) 75 607 100 Fax : + 66(0) 75 607 199 Email: resa@layanaresort.com

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A Leap in the past: 2007 TAKEN FROM:

FREE COPY March 2007

issue 15

Text and pictures by Robbie Tree

Riding a motorbike on Lanta

Catching the breeze Seafaring in the Andaman Sea

Safety issues and common sense Riding a motorbike in the Krabi region can free oneself up for many possibilities. You can, for instance, discover parts of the area that are wild, beautiful and off the beaten track. However, don’t forget you can also put yourself in danger. Thailand has different road rules and I hope to share here with you some of these rules and tips for a safe road trip. Firstly, foreigners renting motorbikes on holiday have to deal with driving on the left. No different for those from England, Scotland, Ireland and Australia, we are used to this, but anyone else from Europe will be on the other side of the road. Standard road rules like wearing your crash helmet apply in Thailand too. The helmet is there to help you, so you don’t become a statistic. Even if you think you don’t need to wear glasses, wear some as dust and small stones can be flicked up in the air by a passing vehicle, not to mention numerous flying creatures. Drive carefully and not fast, always checking your mirrors (every 7 seconds is wise), and use your indicators. I have found that if you drive a geared motorbike, pulling away in 2nd gear is much safer, no jerking forward too fast. Main rule to remember here is always give way to any vehicle that is larger than you. This actually applies to animals too, which brings me to tell you what happened to me last year here on Koh Lanta. I was riding my motorbike at night, luckily not above 50km/hr, when all of a sudden a big black object came onto the road ahead of me. I had to brake quite hard, but came to a halt right in front of a black horse. It just walked slowly across the road no care in the world, and other cars had to slow down to avoid it. This same thing happened to a German friend of mine two years ago, with the only difference that he drove right into it, and then the horse fell on him. He was wearing a crash helmet and was extremely lucky to survive. Oh… and the horse was ok too. Remember, remember, remember your kick stand. Many people have accidents because they forget to pull up the stand and then drive along with it still down. When they take a left corner, that’s when the stand will make contact with concrete. One great tip for you, when you want to turn right, never ever stand waiting in the middle of the road with your indicator flashing. Too dangerous in this country! I suggest two simple and easy choices for motorcyclists turning right: pull over to the left and stop opposite where you want to turn right waiting for the right moment to cross over. Or do what all the locals do: indicate right 50 meters before the turning, move over to the right-hand curb when the incoming traffic give you way, and continue driving and indicating until you reach the left lane of the next road. One other road rule in the deep south of Krabi province is to wear some clothes while driving your motorbike. It is not nice seeing half naked men or women showing too much flesh, please show some respect to the locals. Safe driving to you all. P.S Drive carefully and maybe you won’t add to my collection of road painting photos. Robbie’s Top Ten Tips • Thais drive on the left hand side • Always wear your helmet - it is the law • Wear some glasses or use a helmet screen • Drive carefully and not fast • Always check your mirrors - often • Pull away from a stop in second gear • Be aware of animals on the roads at night • Remember to lift your kick stand • Never wait in the middle of the road to turn right • Wear some clothes to respect the locals

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Robert Tree Robbie is an English national staying on Koh Lanta. A professional photographer, since surviving the horrific events of the tsunami, Robbie has felt an unmistakable bond with the island and its people, a motivating factor that is evident in his work through which he advertises their plight. He is currently working on a forthcoming mobile exhibition entitled People of Koh Lanta, where all proceeds will be handed directly to the Thai tsunami survivors featured therein. Robbie has contributed to this issue of the Krabi Magazine with a piece on riding a motorbike in Koh Lanta.

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Life Story and Photos by : Ciaran Tierney

Seeking televised scuba adventures on Koh Lanta Ever decided to follow your dreams? To sell off your home, car, and most of your worldly possessions in order to head off in search of adventure and explore the world?

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ell, that’s just what the Tregembo family from England decided to do for 2010. As part of a televised gap year adventure, the Tregembos turned up in Krabi this month in order to learn how to scuba dive on the beautiful island of Koh Lanta. Artist John and beautician wife Nicola had already decided to sell their home in Cornwall and head off in search of a new life, with children Michael (15) and Emaline (12), when a producer from Channel 4 television got word of their exploits. James Nutt got in touch and asked them whether they would be interested in taking part in a forthcoming documentary series, which is due to be screened in the Autumn. As a result, their Round the World trip will be screened on Channel 4 in September or October, along with the adventures of five other families, in a new series called ‘Family Gap Year’. After spending Christmas and New Year living with a host family in Japan, John, Nicola, and the children arrived on Koh Lanta last month to pursue their dream of learning how to scuba dive with North London native Mellisa Bunyan of Blue Planet Divers. “I had always wanted to scuba dive and Koh Lanta seemed to be the perfect place to learn,” says John. “We didn’t want to just go to the places where everyone else seems to go, so we just sent out a few emails to different centres. I was just impressed by Mellisa,

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The Tregembo family from Cornwall, whose gap year is being filmed by Channel 4 television in the UK, were pictured with Mellisa Bunyan of Blue Planet Divers during their stay on Koh Lanta, where they completed the PADI Open Water diving course.

the way she responded to my emails, and the way she does business. “It had always been in the back of my mind to do something like this and we had never even been out of Europe before, even though we used to own a small house on the Mediterranean. I think Channel 4 liked the idea of the travelling artist, selling everything he owned, and taking the kids out of school!” John and Nicola sold their large house in rural North Cornwall and their 12-month trip will see the Tregembos take in Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, the Cook Islands, and the United States. John says they are open to the idea of starting a new life away from the UK, if they find the right place on their travels. “Like a lot of people, we had a lovely house, but it was a case of work, work, work to pay the bills,” says John. “We had always wanted to travel and we decided to sell off virtually everything we own. We are on a journey of discovery in lots of ways, to show the kids the world.” Every few weeks, producer James Nutt travels over from England to film the family, but most of the time they are left to their own devices, filming their adventures on a HD camera and sending the pictures back via a courier to the United Kingdom. All four loved discovering the underwater world under the watchful eyes of PADI Instructor Rhi Dobbie in Koh Lanta this month and they are looking forward to practicing their skills at the Great Barrier Reef when they get to Australia in May. “It is not all about possessions, it is about being happy with your life, and we’ve been very happy here during our time on Koh Lanta. We’ve loved the food, eating out together as a family, and we’ve loved getting to know the underwater world,” says John. For information on scuba diving courses, check out www. blueplanetdivers.net

next time you come...

RENT YOUR OWN HOUSE ! private villa & apartment rental

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Health & Living Story & Photos : The Lanta Retreat

Meditation and Diving M

any of us dream about scuba diving, but fear prevents us from trying. Sharks and other unfamiliar creatures, the big blue, breathing under water and many other issues runs around in our head making us hesitate. Scuba diving is meditation and to miss this incredible experience if one has the urge is a crime. God only knows for how long this breathtaking, beautiful world will exist under the surface. To associate a mindfulness meditation course and an open water scuba diving course is an excellent combination. The tools we receive through the meditation help us enormously to keep track of our fears and conquer them. We donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t become one with our fears and can use the technique for controlling fear, anxiety and other emotions that among other things affects the air consumption. Many of us have an old open water certificate, and something happened last dive some years ago, and we feel very uneasy, avoiding scuba diving. With the tools from the mindfulness meditation one easily conquers these fears and we can instead move our diving skills forward. The Retreat plan for next season is meditation/scuba dive retreats here on Lanta. Keep tuned and donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t miss out.

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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Lanta PIZZERIA BAJEN STEAKHOUSE

Tel: 081-677 84 95

MiniGo f Nintendo Wii

075-684 309

Phra-Ae Beach - Koh Lanta

www.bajenpizzeria.com


KOH LANTA YAI NORTH

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Minivan Station

to Lanta Old Town

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

The Retreat Chaba Bungalows Maneelanta Lanta Island Resort Southern Lanta Resort Gafae Aroy

Phone +66 (0) 75 68 41 24-27 Fax +66 (0) 75 68 41 28

KLONG DAO BEACH

E-mail : info@lantaislandresort.com Website : www.lantaislandresort.com

Resort & Spa

• Room rates between 300-1,600 baht C excluding Christmas & New year holiday– AirM con minivan pick-up from Krabi, Trang and Phuket airport Y • 18 tropical architecture inspired bungalows with CM 2 modern bathrooms on 6,400 mt plot MY • Dive center, free sea kayaks & Wi-Fi internet access CY • Yoga & Spa CMY • Bar and restaurant • Sportive communal activities, volleyball field K • Laundry service, bicycle, motorbike and jeep rental service • Tour agent service: fishing tours, island tours & ticketing service

Thai Orchid Restaurant Lanta Car Rental SK Optik

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 Out to Lunch 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

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Long Beach • Koh Lanta Yai Tel. 075 684668 Fax. 075 684900 www.andaman-sunflower.com

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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 Oscar Shopping The Frog Monella

BAN SALADAN

Elephant Trekking

4/23/08 11:42:21 PM

Sunrise Creek Villa Project

to Lanta Old Town & eastern islands

KLONG KONG BEACH FERRY TIMETABLE: to Koh Phi Phi 8am & 1pm to Ao Nang/Railay 8am & 1.30pm to Phuket 1.30pm to Koh Lipe 1.30pm

Chaw Ka Cher Resort

BUILT AND MARKETED BY

Saneh Villas LPH Kirikan LPH Klong Kon Villas

tel. +66 (0)899085990 krabi@exotiqrealestate.com www.exotiqrealestate.com

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

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Enjoy Thai tasty dishes European food Pizza & Pasta Indian food & BBQ Seafood

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SPEEDBOAT & FISHING BOAT ALSO AVAILABLE

1/2 day sails full day sails overnight trips

Tel : 0811 017440, 0848 418270

www.lantasailing.com

BAN SALADAN - KOH LANTA - 086 2747358

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Real Estate - Architect Tips Story : Pierre-Yves Loriers

From rocky hillside to five star luxury

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The design and construction of Baan Kantiang See, a unique villa-only family resort in Koh Lanta, is Ton Company’s biggest project to date. Here, PierreYves Loriers (Ton), the managing director, explains some of the challenges involved and how they were overcome to create this beautiful new holiday complex.

ur clients approached us in April 2007. After two years of searching for the perfect piece of land, they had finally found their ideal spot: nearly 6.5 rai on a steep hillside overlooking the breathtaking Kantiang Bay in the south of Koh Lanta. They wanted to create a family-friendly, villa-only resort, with large individual units and a central pool – all with panoramic sea views. They had a clear concept of what was required: it was then up to us to transform that into reality.” ENGINEERING CHALLENGE “Our first site visit gave us an idea of the task that lay ahead. The land – then barren scrubland - is steeply sloping, and mostly rock with little to no topsoil. There was no water, electricity, or access road. Our in-house engineers did a thorough survey of the area, then worked alongside the architects to create strong and stable retaining walls, required both for the actual house construction, and also for the landscaping - to prevent erosion while allowing proper drainage. All foundations needed to be raised as it was impossible to embed them in the rock.”

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DESIGN CHALLENGE “Our biggest challenge was to design a master plan, within the constraints of the topography, that allowed each villa an unrestricted 180 degrees view of the sea, with no obstructions. The owners had bought the land for the stunning view; and they wanted all their guests to benefit from it. “We made models to reproduce the terrain and played with various layouts. The breakthrough came when we decided – in keeping with the clients’ wish to have a modern Thai feel to the design – to play with the roof structure. Traditional Thai roofs have steeply-pitched gables with low volume and these were rotated 90 degrees on some villas to allow the view to be seen through the peaks. “The villa interiors are all identical with a contemporary look, featuring two separate bedrooms, each with ensuite bathroom and semi-open air shower, as well as a large outdoor terrace, again to take advantage of the views. Care was taken to make them child friendly; the whole resort is designed in this way. “Of course, the swimming pool also had to have a sea view and our architects created a stunning ‘infinity edge’ pool, giving the impression that the water merges with the horizon over the sea - even though the pool itself is only slightly raised from the ground. This also required substantial structural engineering work, particularly in anchoring the foundations to the hillside.”

PROJECT MANAGEMENT CHALLENGE “With the architects and engineers needing to collaborate more closely than usual, good management was the key to the success of the project. The limited budget had to be controlled when choosing materials and the cost of transport over to the island needed to be factored in. “Our foreman, architect and engineer were on site day and night to oversee the construction, as well as send daily progress reports to the clients. Communication for this project was in fact largely carried out by email and Skype, with the clients only required to make a handful of site visits, which was essential as they all had work commitments in Norway. “We made sure that all communication was clear and honest. Even as the project evolved and modifications had to be made to the original plans, I believe we succeeded in respecting their vision for the resort, as well as completing the project within the preferred timeframe.”

Baan Kantiang See in Koh Lanta is now open for bookings; please see the website www.kantiang.se for further information.

For more information on the comprehensive villa design, construction and management services offered by Ton Company Ltd, please contact us at (075) 695633 or by email at: Ton@TonCompany.com. www.KrabiArchitect.com - www.TonCompany.com - www.KrabiVilla.com

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www.krabisunset.com

Villas, Homes, Apartments Properties to suit all budgets o Beachfront locations with 180 views Located in Had Yao, 20 min to Krabi Airport

www.aonanglivingroom.com krabi real estate made easy

Marketed by Exotiq Real Estate Agents nattapat@exotiqrealestate.com info@aonanglivingroom.com tel. 089 7727858


Property Report

Capital appreciation surrounded by beauty Y

ou love the area and realize there is just no other beauty in all of Thailand of as dramatic proportions as exist right here in Krabi. This also includes Krabi’s close-in Islands. After explaining the origins of these unbelievable limestone Karsts and how, geologically, they originate all the way from the Guilin area in China down through Vietnam and ending up here in Krabi, my wowed guests then understand just how special this all is. Investing in Krabi? Yes, you do get all this amazing geology along with your investment, but is this the right time to “pull-the-trigger”, so to speak? Krabi is currently the right investment decision for the following obvious reasons: • There are now 5 Five-Star resorts in operation over in Klong Muang - Tup Keak Beach, the newest being the Amari Vogue and the Sofitel – which boasts the largest infinity swimming pool in Thailand. The Klong Muang Tup Keak Beach area is just a short speedboat ride from some of the most beautiful islands in the area including Koh Hong. Luxury speedboats are locally available. • Sofitel has completed a 9-hole golf course adjacent to its hotel and is now ready for play. There will be more Golf Course construction announcements for Krabi coming soon and as golf courses inevitably follow 5 Star Resort developments, there is some evidentiary initial groundbreaking activity. • A Marina and Marina Hotel is in the planning stages for the soon-to-beclosed local Gypsum off-loading pier in Klong Muang. Also planned is an expanded marina for Krabi town. I have heard it before here in Krabi: “Wow, you just don’t find this in places like Samui or Phuket!” But would you invest here?

•A new shopping mall in Krabi Town of over 50 businesses catering to travelers’ needs including eating establishments and coffee shops will provide a more welcoming landmark for tourists coming to Krabi town from Ao Nang. It will feature a bay-view deck restaurant, as it will be located directly across the street from the Krabi marina.

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• TCC/Capital Land has purchased all of the beachfront property from the New Amari Vogue Hotel up to the Tup Keak National Park boundary. “In the second half of the year, TCC Land Leisure plans to invest in a luxury hotel on a 26-rai site in Krabi.” Plans have understandably been on hold, but the project will eventually complete. • A new private Primary School has now located in Ao Nang right at the turn-off to Klong Muang Beach. • Direct air flights to the Krabi International Airport are now arriving throughout the year and during the High Season from Scandinavia, Germany, and Korea. Expansion of the International Terminal in also under way at Krabi Airport, thus dividing the domestic arrivals from international. • Tiger Airways has reinstated Singapore to Krabi International flights and are now experiencing high load factors. With 4 flights per week from Chiangi, travelers can be poolside or on one of Krabi’s beautiful beaches within 3 hours of leaving their home in Singapore. With direct flights from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia introduced last year, it is now only a matter of time that direct flights will be coming in from Hong Kong and Shanghai. Whole new waves of potential ex-pat and sophisticated Chinese property buyers are to be expected. • Krabi is poised to be the next stage in a planned “Riviera” coastline over 90 miles in length. The Thai Tourism Development Council foresees, over the coming years, Phuket to Krabi Bay developed into the equal of the “French Riviera. “ An ideal destination for the “snow birds” of northern Asia. Long-term development plans will seek to capture a new affluent Chinese market, the next big movement of buyers into Southern Thailand. • Investment property prices of comparable Krabi construction quality and finishing that are now on offer in Phuket are seen still rising. We are looking at 8 to 10 more years of solid quality growth compared to where Phuket is right now. If you missed Phuket, you don’t want to miss the opportunity that is being first in Krabi. The Krabi Land Office and Planning Department are favorable to approve more 5-Star resort developments. • Phulay Bay, A Ritz Carlton Reserve, in Klong Muang - Tup Keak is now the first property in the world to bear the Reserve brand. The Ritz-Carlton Hotel group aims to manage at least 10 properties in Thailand within five years. It is noteworthy that this US hotel chain’s Reserve brand is getting its global launch with the introduction of the first boutique hotel right here in Krabi. “We are unveiling our Ritz-Carlton Reserve brand here because we saw the growth potential of Thai tourism,” says Mark De Cocinis, the group’s regional vicepresident for Asia Pacific. According to Andrew Dunn, CEO of Krabi Resorts Development and the Thara Heights Project, “The Time is NOW for Krabi and (of course) the Luxurious Thara Heights 5 Star Villa Resort.” Andrew has witnessed the last 5 yeas of positive high-end development, in particular the Klong Muang - Tup Keak Beach area, and he knows the inevitable march toward higher-end developments in Krabi. Amidst this natural beauty, Krabi is a prime investment opportunity for the astute early Investor. Krabi presents an all-in formula for high yield. Don’t miss it if you can.

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Construction Story by : The Lumyai Group Ld

Tile styles T

o call them fond memories would be a tad far off the mark! Up at the crack of dawn, pile into the waiting van and make the hour or more, journey to work. I can also recall the temperature of that January with ease. Painfully cold it was, with a wind that seemed to cut right through the several layers of clothing I had on. “Make a man of you,” my boss would often point out. “Character building” was another of his quips. To a recent school leaver, receiving his first taste of the outside world, these words of wisdom and guidance, never really did much to ease the reality of these harsh winter mornings. Choosing which roof tiles you are going to use in Thailand is a very big decision indeed. Roof tiles add value to your house, plain and simple. The re-sale price of a house that has high quality roof tiles is considerably higher than that of a property that has opted to use a synthetic, sheet roof tile.

A roofer’s apprentice was the title of my Job. That sounded glamorous compared to the actual work I was given to do! If I were to choose my working title, it would have been something along the lines of Tile humper! The rate my boss would lay tiles though often made me wonder was I even expected to learn the trade. Those mornings quickly warmed up though, aided by the bright morning sun and the speed in which I had to clamber up the ladder. Sadly my times spent on the roves of southern England were short lived. I don’t think it ever did make a man of me now I look back at it, well, not the sort of man that was willing to shimmy around roof tops in the cold. Saying that though, it did however leave me with an interest in all things roof-related. The focus of this month’s article is Roof tiles. Let’s then look at two different tiles available in the market: HA-HUANG SYNTHETIC SHEET TILES The synthetic sheet tiles are a money saver. No question about it! You will notice them being used on bungalows, single story houses, open structures and to be brutally honest, on any buildings that look like they have been budgeted on. Saying that is going to get me in trouble I reckon. That aside, they are extremely popular indeed. The savings gained when using these tiles are from the tile itself, being able to cover a much larger area than traditional roof tiles at a fraction of the cost. Another saving is to be had in the steel roof structure that holds them up. Due to the tiles being lightweight thus requiring nowhere near the strength in the steel needed for concrete tiles. The main manufacturer is a company called Ha-Huang (Five-Rings). They can be easily sought out in most builders’ yards and come in a variety of colors and patterns. FACTS • Made from Asbestos and Portland cement • 2.2 to 1.7 pieces per sqm (50 x 120 x 0.5 or 20 x 150 x 0.5) • Wide variety of colors and styles • Fire proof to a certain degree • Easy to install and repair/change

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CPAC MONIER CONCRETE TILES These tiles are everywhere. In contrast to the synthetic tiles they are extremely heavy indeed. They would be as they are made solely from concrete. If you are interested in the re-sale price of your property it would be a wise decision to look into this brand of tile for reasons based purely on the products popularity throughout Thailand. Boasting of having over 30 years of experience, the manufacturer CPAC has quite literally taken the tile supplying market by storm. The range of tiles this company offers seems endless. Cost-wise these tiles are not overly priced compared to anything similar on the market. They start at around 17 baht per piece. They do however require a substantially stronger roof structure due to there weight. This is where you may feel the pinch regarding material prices. A very popular series of tiles that this company produces is either “Prestige” or “ Oriental”. Both tiles incorporate a smooth, classic, finish similar to what can be found adorning Thai temples. It is worthwhile, if you are considering what tiles to use on your property, to check out CPAC Monier online for more info. They have a downloadable brochure available showcasing new products.

FACTS • Size 33 x 42 cm • 10-11 pieces per sqm • Dry tech weather proofing system available • Fully fire proof • Very wide variety of colors and styles

This article was supplied by The Lumyai group Ltd, a Development and Construction company based in Krabi. For all your Construction and Home renovation needs please contact our English speaking team for your free quote and any advice required. Please visit our web-site www.lumyaihomes.com to view our latest project.

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


Property Review Story and Photos by : Ciaran Tierney

Nong Thale River Residence C

aptained by Dutch engineer and architect Mat Ruijters, Kamalot Co.,Ltd. is developing a residential project of modern-style tropical houses on spacious plots. Twenty-two homes are planned on 24 rai of land (38,400sqm), and this very low density is unique for Krabi. Nong Thale River Residence project is not a gated and walled community but a place where to experience the feeling of freedom and unobstructed panoramic views of the surroundings. The large plots allows you to create your privacy by garden and plants rather than having to build a wall around it, and it offers you also the space for a private swimming pool. A garden and sufficient outdoor space linked by big sliding doors to the indoor space is here a very important feature for enjoying the tropical way of living. Matâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s goal is to develop a high quality residential area in Nong Thale by developing quality tropical villas on spacious plots, applying high quality products and control of the construction team that builds the houses. Respect for each otherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s privacy, a good layout, quality materials, attention to detail and quality control during construction will guarantee a perfect house and a durable investment for the future. The houses are especially designed for long stay, but of course they are also very suitable as holiday home, or to rent out as a holiday home.

A development of modern-style tropical houses on a site traversed by a small river and surrounded by stunning karst mountains.

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Nong Thale River Residence project prices start in the mid level price range, from 13 million baht up. The construction time is estimated in between 8 and 12 month depending on the house model and size and in particular the season in which the construction starts. Ownership is through a 90 years lease. Construction starts when a house is pre-sold, so the customer has the option to change the design to match his requirements. Clients can start off with a few basic designs that could be fine-tuned to their specs, or look for a complete custom-made design. Four houses have already


been completed so you have the chance to check the functionality of the concept. A house is not only a place were you stay, it is a place to live. Nong Thale River Residence is an excellent place to live in tropical Thailand.

FACTFILE Mat has lived in Thailand for over 8 years and has lot of experience in construction in the Netherland as well in Thailand. He prefers a modern minimalistic architecture and pays attention to detail. His first project was Baan Will a 3 story minimalistic white house in Ao Nang, also known as the weather station: www.aonangweather.com Nong Thale is between Ao Nang, the tourist centre of booming Krabi, and Klong Muang, where the high-end hotels are located. The site is traversed by a small crystal clear river and surrounded by beautiful mountains. The distance to the nearest beaches is about 7 km, and 25 km from Krabi International Airport and Pakasai Golf Course. Kamalot designs and develops luxurious, comfortable residences, finetuned to clients’ wishes. The concept of Nong Thale River Residence project is a one of a kind in the province Krabi. For more info or a visit to the site contact the developer: Kamalot Co.,Ltd, 317 Moo 2 Ao Nang, Muang, Krabi 81000, Thailand - Mat Ruijters on +66 (0)8 18940675 (Thailand) +31 (0) 402146611 (Netherlands) - mat@kamalot-ltd.com - www.kamalot-ltd.com for a sneak preview http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_MuwM5Hos8 Alternatively for more information or to arrange a viewing: 089 9085990 or Thomas@exotiqrealestate.com

Nong Thale River Residence

NTL RR

Modern minimalistic Villa Ao Nang “baan Will”

Nong Thale River Residence

16 Luxury tropical houses on spacious plots Surrounded by beautiful mountains and a lovely river, just 10 minutes from Ao Nang beach Visit the project site in Nong Thale, on the road to Klong Muang, 350 m. of the junction with the 4034, the road to Krabi

7 km from Ao Nang beach 7 km from Klong Muang beach 25 km from Krabi Int. Airport

Kamalot

Co. Ltd. Land & Development

NTL 300

บรีษัท กมล๊อต จำกัต

Klong Muang

info@kamalot-ltd.com

www.kamalot-ltd.com

/

www.globe-investments.com

T. 0818940675

RR

Nong Thale 350 m

Krabi

experience the difference


Property Review

Saneh Villas

A charming project on Lanta’s lush hills

Nestled on a hillside and set amongst tropical flora and fauna, Saneh Villas is the latest exclusive project by French architects Oxyde. Located just a stone’s throw away from Koh Lanta’s stunning beaches and benefitting from breathtaking views of the Andaman Sea, Saneh Villas is where a tropical dream become reality. The word Saneh means charm in Thai language, the perfect way to describe the ambience created by this extremely talented design team. Oxyde’s painstaking dedication and attention to details has allowed Saneh Villas to evolve into a truly unique lifestyle, which is only available to the privileged few of course. The first phase is composed of 8 villas designed in traditional Bali style with lots of stone, terracotta, and with a central courtyard patio surrounded by tropical garden with gazebos and ponds that give them the look of a Latin American hacienda. The villas are contained within traditional Balinese style perimeter walls and, needles to say, each villa enjoys views over the Andaman Sea.

Saneh’ means charm in Thai, and this is indeed an apt description of this villa development located in the Klong Khong area of Koh Lanta, the jewel of the Andaman Sea.

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Striving for excellence, Saneh Villas are available in three unique designs, with the option of 2 or 3 bedrooms, and livable areas ranging from around 270 to over 300 sqm. Both the interior and exterior design of each villa at has been meticulously planned for the ultimate in comfort and


aesthetic appeal, and manage to deliver a truly authentic lifestyle integrated into the Islandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s natural surroundings. Kitchen and bathrooms are of Western standard, making each villa suitable for those requiring high quality living. Saneh Villas are located a mere 500 meters from the unspoiled Klong Khong Beach, with several restaurants and small shops in the neighbourhood. The distance to Ban Saladan in the north is about 6km. Oxyde really has created true homes in paradise. Saneh Villas cater for all levels of investment, with prices that range from 9,6 to 11,6 millions Thai Baht. Smaller units will be presented in Phase 2.

Contact Exotiq Krabi on 089 9085990 or email Thomas@exotiqrealestate.com for further information and to arrange a visit.


Thomas (+66) 089 9085990 : thomas@exotiqrealestate.com  Ton (+66) 089 7727858 : Nattapat@exotiqrealestate.com krabi@exotiqrealestate.com  

Attico Ao Nang Exclusive apartments in the center of Ao Nang

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

EN: Thomas +66 (0) 89 9085990 TH: Ton +66 (0) 89 7727858 Web: www.aonanglivingroom.com Email: aonanglivingroomsales@gmail.com


Interior Design

The Lumyai Group Limited Contemporary Living in Thailand

Home remodelling HOME AND BUSINESS SPACE RENOVATION The thought of remodeling your property or giving your place of business a bright, new look can more often than not prove to be a very daunting and stressful time indeed. Whether you are considering treating your home to a much needed face lift or you have finally decided to re-vamp your place of business the Lumyai Group Limited have services that will suit everyone.

EXAMPLES OF OUR SERVICES INCLUDE

Home extensions and alterations Kitchen and bathroom remodeling Office fitting and refurbishment

Not only can we offer flexible working hours to suit your schedule needs but we also have a benchmark timeline promise that will be written into the Construction contract. Whilst using our team we can guarantee that the Re-modeling of any sized project will be undertaken using a professional attitude and a budget conscious mindset. Once you have contacted us regarding alterations to your existing property we will then assign a member of our team to visit you and begin with the remodeling process.

Seasonal Hotel/restaurant modification

Interior Design

C.A.D. structural and interior design service CREATIVE DESIGN We believe that there is an artist in every one of us and sometimes all that is needed to prise it out is someone that is patient enough and willing enough to guide them. Using our Auto CAD experts we can take your initial hand drawn sketches, whether they are of your dream home or a kitchen floor plan and turn them into something that looks ready to be either handed to your Architect for him to begin on your blueprints or to your builder, ready for construction. The beauty of this service is in the endless, creativity possibilities .All you have to do is visualize what it is you imagine your home or renovation ideas to look like and let us do the rest. We will work with you every step of the way to guarantee that the finishing design product has your creative stamp clearly written on it. We can promise you an easy to read structural drawing that will include clear dimension details, structural explanations and material specifications.

BATHROOMS BEDROOMS KITCHENS

Auto CAD structural and interior design service include Material and color scheming details Floor plan design ,Structural and Elevation Auto CAD design. Building Plot positioning scaled against Title deeds 3D interior design

www.lumyaigroup.com

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Art Story by : Vanee Ruchipong Photos by : Thomas Gennaro

Kiat Canvas in progress 38 years old Mr. Songkiat Pilasopa, also known as Kiat, is an emerging artist from Thai’s Northeastern province of Khon Kaen, selling his products in Ban Saladan, Koh Lanta.

K

hun Kiat comes from a simple family, and his first jobs included being a rice farmer in his family’s farm, as well as repairing electronic appliances at home. Kiat didn’t study art; his education ended when he was 12 years old approximately. His parents worked hard and could only pay for the education of his elder brother, whom graduated in art from a vocational college in the province of Loei. His brother painted to order whenever he was needed, and had managed to get a deal to paint a province temple’s walls. It was then that he trained his 3 younger brothers to the art, and asked one of them, Kiat, for assistance in the temple. Kiat was then 19; he has painted ever since. So far, the four brothers have made a living from painting and can all consider themselves artists. Khun Kiat improved his painting techniques from his own creations, until in 2002 he was hired to paint the walls of Wat Bang La in Phuket, a project that kept him busy for over 1 year. Finding himself out of work after that, one day he was walking along the beachroad in Patong and noticed several shops where painters would paint canvas, some copies, some original works. He managed to get employed by one of these art galleries and started getting commissioned private jobs for foreigners, until 2 years later the shop was destroyed by the tsunami.

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It was this that prompted him to move to Koh Lanta, where he has now been for over 5 years. Kiat is still a simple chap who enjoys painting natural scenes and abstract art, for which he uses bright colors and original ideas and images. The best time for him to paint is in the night: he can stay with friends in the shop painting, chatting and drinking beer until the wee hours of the morning. Kiat’s paint jobs can be finished in between 1 to 5 hours depending on resolution and subject. Kiat paint jobs do not make him rich but he lives comfortably in Koh Lanta during the whole year. He stays in a simple room with his wife aged 34; their 2 kids aged 10 and 12, his mother and a brother. Most paint jobs in the high season come from walk-in customers, while in the high season he relies on orders by email mainly from Swedish clients. He will always take a picture of the painting upon completion and email it to the client for approval before posting the piece. Kiat is a Koh Lanta lover and he dreams of building a house on a piece of land by the sea, by the mangroves and nearby the nature he so much loves. It is Koh Lanta where he chose to make is home, and hopes to spend his life there with his family. Contact Kiat at his office in Saladam, nearby Koh Lanta Diving Center and Monella Restaurant, call him on 086 9427758, or email him on songkaikt_art@yahoo.com


Know the Law Story : Thanee and Associates Law Firm

Foreign Ownership of Land

In Thai Law, foreigners are generally restricted from buying or owning land with a freehold title. However, it is currently possible to do so in some circumstances.

LIST OF CIRCUMSTANCES - The Board of Investment (BOI) and the Industrial Estates Authority has the power to permit promoted companies to own freehold land for the purpose of the promoted business. - Banks and financial institutes that have become foreign owned. - A foreigner who invests at least 40 million baht in authorized securities in Thailand, may buy up to 1 rai (1,600 sqm) of land for the residential purposes of the owner and their family. This list of permitted circumstances of buying or owning freehold land does not cater for the majority of foreign investors. However, the following information sets out current legitimate ways for a foreigner to purchase property interests in Thailand.

Leasehold Property Foreigners can lease land and or structures on short or long term contracts. Leases may currently be registered for up to 30 years and often have a renewal clause for additional periods of 30+30 years. Leases for industrial or commercial purposes can be for a term of up to 50 years, and this is again renewable for further 50-year periods. The majority of authorities agree that any such contracted renewal clause is enforceable against the original lessor. Any lease of 3 years or more must be registered on the title to the land at the appropriate land office in order for the lease to be enforceable for any term beyond 3 years.

Company Ownership of Freehold Property A Thai Limited Company can purchase land as a juristic person. The company must be allowed to own land and invest in land in accordance with its objectives and Articles of Association. Foreigners can hold a maximum of 49% of the shares in such a Thai Limited Company, the balance must be owned by actual Thai investors. It is vitally important that annual accounts are completed and relevant taxes are paid on time.

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Astroflash by Cyril - psychological astrologer

The sign of Pisces

For those born in March

“Divine Astrology is the energy of the north and south nodes of the moon, referred to as the Head and Tail of the Dragon”. This formula does not reflect the modern astrology disciplines you may use, study, or practice. For those born on the cusp of any zodiac sign, simply refer to the month of your birth, which reflects the exact constellation of your nativity. Divine Astrology, as practiced by Nostradamus, is the original way at looking and dealing with the stars correctly. “The location of the head and tail of the dragon in your chart in different signs of the zodiac will make you understand the Dragon’s power”.

T

he planet Neptune and the sign of Pisces govern the month of March. You are a natural teacher, a philosopher and a perfectionist. You inherited a phenomenal intuition and you will exercise more perception than logic in dealing with life in general. You are a gifted artist and you enjoy holistic endeavors. Many advanced Pisces are also involved in the medical profession. The young Pisces soul may also work in the construction field. However Pisces must understand the importance of education if he or she is to use their full potential and teaching gift. You are noted for your sensitivity and creativity and artistic values. Your downfall is an over preoccupation with others, guilt feelings and a blind acceptance of religious dogmas. Nevertheless your good heart is not surpassed by any other sign of the zodiac and the advanced ones possess spiritual healing powers. Highly evolved people born in March will lead many lost souls out of the deep clouds of deception towards the true color of love and cosmic consciousness. Your soul purpose is to swim upstream towards the ethereal light of oneness and find oneself in God. A young March spirit is deceiving, complaining and addicted to religious dogmas, cult endeavors, chemicals, drugs, and alcohol. Pisces is a karmic sign and has within itself the potential to reach immortality, fame and fortune through artistic or spiritual work. In the medical aspect of Divine Astrology, Pisces rules the feet. It is important for them to walk barefoot on the grass to regenerate the body through the magnetic fields of the earth itself. Your intuition is remarkable and should be well heeded when confronted with serious decision making. A word of caution for Pisces: Do not swim downstream as your induced faith could take you to Neptune deepest quicksand with no option for return. The location of your natal Dragons Head or Tail will seriously alter the strengths or weakness of Neptune in your chart.

Cyril is a psychological astrologer; he exercises Nostradamus’ 16th-Century Divine Astrology method. To order your dragon profile with your natal report, forecast & progression report, compatibility report, relocation astrology report or astro-mapping report, please contact Cyril via email at astrobycyril@yahoo.com

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3MARCH 2010  

www.krabi-magazine.com FREE COPY March 2010 •TRAVEL•CULTURE•AO NANG•LANTA•LEISURE•NATURE• ISSUE 51

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