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www.krabi-magazine.com

August 2010

ISSUE 56

PRANANG CAVE

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


Editorial

Welcome to Krabi August 2010 – ISSUE 56 EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Thomas Gennaro krabimagazine@gmail.com 089 9085990 ART GROUP Creative Director: Natta pat Sunthonphuriwat [Ton®] tonidesign@gmail.com - 089 7727858 Graphic Designers: Bandit Kanjanavarodom [Lim] CONTRIBUTING WRITERS & PHOTOGRAPHERS Thomas Gennaro – Nattapat Sunthonphuriwat Thom Henley – Sarah Warwick – Norm Flach Ben Coltrell – Adam Butler – Satya Burger Robby Attwater – Ton Company – Lim Zenith DISTRIBUTION AO NANG - KRABI - PHUKET Newspaperdirect Krabi: 075 637459 DISTRIBUTION KOH LANTA - KOH PHI PHI PHUKET - KOH SAMUI - BANGKOK Guava Corporations: 089 9085990

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rabi Province is considered to be one of the most beautiful regions in a beautiful country. Krabi has it all, from the limestone karsts that characterize the region to world-class beaches, islands, temples, markets, nightlife and shopping, the list is seemingly endless. Gastronomes will find Krabi a sanctuary of fine dining and lovers of the great outdoors will find plenty to keep them occupied - waterfalls, hot springs, national parks, elephant treks are all on offer and Krabi is also one of the world’s premier destinations for rock climbing and scuba diving. The coral reefs of the Andaman Sea are among the world’s best and the Railay Peninsula attracts climbers from all over the world. The Green Season is a perfect time for adventurous activities such as trekking. In this month we explore the lush Sa Morakot surroundings, the last significant area of lowland rain forest in Thailand, for hiking, swimming, relaxation and enjoyment. Krabi Magazine also gives you an account on the ghost of a sea faring Indian Princess at Railay’s Pranang Cave; exposes the myth and history of one little known aspect of Krabi’s history: Krabi’s White Elephant; introduces you to traditional lunch breaks papaya salad and grilled chicken; tries the different cuisines of Sala Bua & Lo Spuntino restaurant; and attend a wine-food pairing event at Centara Krabi Resort. In Koh Lanta, Sarah Warwick tells us why the island is a must in the green season, and we describe some of the best eats there. Our real estate section covers Krabi’s best know architects’ Design Philosophy; analyzes the benefit of sketching house plans with Google Sketch Up; considers a swimming pool as a lifetime investment; exposes new kids on the block MD Houseware; and introduces the Rai and its Conversion to metric.

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.

But the biggest news comes from our distribution department: we have finalized plans to extend distribution of Krabi Magazine beyond Krabi province. From this month, Krabi Magazine can be found for sale in most Asia Books/Bookazine stores across Thailand, which will make it not only the oldest and best, but the most widely distributed publication in Krabi! This will help tourists plan their trip to our province in advance even when they are already in Thailand, it will make Krabi an interesting option for tourists who may have not considered traveling here at all, and it will give our advertisers a much wider exposure. Join our celebration as we start the next step in the already long life of this great publication. Watch out for our extremely popular Krabi 81000 Miniguide and Krabi Maps series that are massively available to visitors to Krabi and Koh Lanta, 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 81000 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. And if you are not in Krabi yet, what are you waiting for? Enjoy the magazine, enjoy our Krabi Maps and 81000 Miniguides, and above all enjoy your Green Season holiday!

Thomas Gennaro Executive Editor

Pranang Cave Cover picture courtesy of: Krabi Magazine


CONTENTS A Window on Krabi

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Cover Story

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

Whether its’ for good luck, to get fertility or virility or a successful fishing trip, Thai locals keep rending homage to the ghost of a sea faring Indian Princess at Railay’s Pranang Cave.

August 2010, issue 56

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PLUS: Factfile: Railay Cultural: Lingam Offerings

History

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Destination

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One little known aspect of Krabi’s history is Krabi’s White Elephant.

Exploring the last significant area of lowland rain forest in Thailand at Sa Morakot, the magic pond, and its surroundings.

PLUS: Factfile: Khao Nor Chu Chi Lowland Forest Nature Reserve

Restaurant Review

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Eating

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Koh Lanta

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Sala Bua & Lo Spuntino, two kitchens in one restaurant.

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If you want to go fast, native, and try a traditional lunch break in Ao Nang, try papaya salad and grilled chicken.

Get the most out of Koh Lanta. Highlights, maps, reviews and articles:

Koh Lanta Highlights: Lanta Features Activity: Lanta better in low season? Eating Out: Green Season dining on Koh Lanta

Real Estate

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

Architect Tips: Ton Co Design Philosophy Construction: Get Sketching Pools: Swimming Pools, a Lifetime Investment Living: MD Houseware, New Kids on the Block Know the Law: the Rai and its Conversion

Event

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An exclusive five course dinner accompanied by five selected wines at Centara Krabi.

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OPEN ALL YEAR


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.

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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.


THE BEACHES

THE TOWN

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

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.

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Cover Story Story by : Thomas Gennaro Photos by : Krabi Magazine

Princess Cave

…and the spirit of Phra Nang

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idden among the towering limestone cliffs that characterize the Krabi region, there are literally dozens of cave networks that offer a fascinating glimpse in to the history and culture of the province. Today I have come to visit Phra Nang Beach, famed for its glorious golden sand, turquoise water, rock-climbing opportunities and stunning vistas across the water that has earned it a reputation for being among the most beautiful beaches in the world. But the reason I am here is to visit Phra Nang Cave or Tham Phra Nang Nok to give it its full name. As one approaches the cave, it is impossible not to notice the dozens of phalluses or ‘lingams’ carefully placed at the shrine. The cave is one of the most sacred sites in Krabi and has been shrouded in myth and mystery for centuries. Before Buddhism arrived in Thailand some eight hundred years ago, the people of Thailand were engaged in spirit worship and had strong animist beliefs. Locals have long believed that a powerful spirit resides in the cave and these lingams are placed here for luck and fertility. Thais are a highly superstitious people. In a land where men would rather not walk under a clothesline strung with women’s underwear for fear of losing their virility, the lingam, meaning ‘symbol’ in Sanskrit, is often interpreted as a phallus. It is the most basic form in which the Hindu God Shiva is worshipped. The divine Lord Shiva is the Creator and Destroyer but associations between the deity and fertility have been made for millennia as a result of the interpretation of the ‘linga’.

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It would seem that everyone has their own version of the legend of Phra Nang. The most common story tells of the widow of a sea-gypsy fisherman who lost his life at sea. The couple is believed to have lived in a cave and when she passed away her spirit moved in to the cave to wait for her husband’s return. Another legend has it that Phra Nang is the ghost of a sea faring Indian Princess, Sri Kunlathewi, who was shipwrecked off the Krabi coast in the 3rd Century BC and took residence in the cave; she has been called upon by fishermen ever since to provide them with a good catch. Local people tell of strange occurrences in and around Tham Phra Nang Nok. It is said that a lingam can be carved anywhere on the Krabi coast, set adrift and after a few tidal changes will find its way to the cave. Another story tells of a woman who became possessed by the angered spirit of Phra Nang after the shrine was desecrated and the lingams removed. The woman, hysterical and talking in tongues finally said that the spirit was angry and vengeful because of the shrine’s desecration. The spirit was apparently exorcised and the lingams returned to the cave. Although it is unclear why, as the years went by and the stories told and retold, the cave became associated with fertility and virility and so the carved wooden phallic objects that amuse so many casual visitors to Princess Cave started to appear. Perhaps the tragic Indian Princess had been a Shiva devotee and locals started to make offerings of the Shiva Lingam by way of paying homage. Perhaps local fishermen believed that she had powers over the ocean and by appeasing her they would ensure a safe return to dry land and a successful fishing trip. Whatever the reason and whoever the spirit of Phra Nang really belongs to, the Legend of the Phra Nang cave lives on in the hearts and minds of the residents and the fisher-folk of Phra Nang Peninsula alike.

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Factfile

Railay Factfile

Lingam Offerings

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ailay is part of a secluded peninsula just south of Ao Nang. It’s part of the mainland, but is inaccessible by road due to the impressive towering cliffs that cut it off from the roads. This inaccessibility gives Railay Beach a special island feel, which, with the spectacular scenery, draws many visitors every year. It is reachable with a mere 15 minutes longtail boat ride from Ao Nang, or 30 minutes from Krabi Town. Lined with limestone cliffs and golden sand, from here you can contemplate serene settings and beautiful sunsets. Railay beach is truly a paradise and the natural beauty surrounding the bay is unrivalled in Thailand. There are three sides to the Railay Beach peninsula, all within walking distance, two of which boast spectacular beaches: the west-facing Sunset Beach and Phra Nang Bay. Both could be ranked among the best beaches in Thailand, with their wide expanses of powder white sand sloping down to emerald green water. Railay is also Thailand’s rock climbing capital. A distinctive panoramic view of Railay Bay and the whole of the Krabi province can be achieved from the top of the cliffs. The climbing pioneers started negotiating the limestone cliffs here over ten years ago; some of the climbing schools in Railay have today the most respected instructors in the country. Our favourite is Hot Rock Climbing School, check their packages at www.railayadventure.com Railay is a relaxing place with no loud music or masses of people; hence the atmosphere there is unique. You can spend the day lazing around and the evenings on the West side’s many restaurants with good food; when the sun sets and the lights reflects the rocks and islets in the moon-lit sea, you know you are in a special place. At night, Railay is fairly quiet, with a few small bars and places on the east side that stay open late and often have live music and fire shows.

HOW TO GET THERE: To reach Railay, you must catch a longtail boat from Ao Nang beach, from Ao Nam Mao pier (on the way to Fossil Shell) or from Krabi Town old Chao Fa pier. Boats run from early in the morning until late at night. During daytime, you can purchase tickets for rides to and from Railay and the nearby islands from a couple of booths on the Ao Nang beach road.

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he Lingam is an aniconic (which avoids the image of a divine being) representation of the Hindu deity Shiva used for worshipping in temples and shrines. Although most Hindu sculpted images are anthropomorphic, the aniconic Shiva Linga is an important exception. The origins and interpretations of the Lingam are a subject of intense debate. According to one tradition, the Lingam represents the beginning-less and end-less pillar, suggesting the superiority and power of Shiva. Another theory suggests that the Lingam is a phallic symbol, though this explanation is disputed and most Hindus do not relate the Lingam to the phallus. In Thailand, lingams are associated with fertility and virility. Here Hindu and animist beliefs are incorporated alongside Buddhism. Over the centuries, Phra Nang cave has become associated with fertility and the lingams placed here take the form of carved wooden penises. Local folklore says that if somebody carves a wooden lingam and releases it at high tide anywhere along the Krabi coast, it will eventually end up in Phra Nang cave. from a couple of booths on the Ao Nang beach road.

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History Story by : Thom Henley

Krabi’s White Elephant

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ne little known aspect of Krabi’s history, which is just now getting some symbolic recognition, is the huge number of wild elephants that used to roam its vast lowland forests. It was another, much more powerful center, Nakhon Si Thammarat, which subjugated Krabi for countless centuries in order to secure these elephants for commerce, trade and warfare. In 1782, during the Rattanakosin period, a huge elephant stockade was erected not far from the present site of Krabi Town, pending shipment of the mammals to the Gulf side of the peninsula. Nothing remains of this colossal stockade today except for the knowledge of its location. According to Krabi historian Niwat Watahnayomnaporn, the enclosure was built at Nuea Klong, just a few kilometers south of the site of Krabi’s airport. Here the wild elephants would be rounded up, corralled, and chained, until they could be controlled enough to be pressed into service. To this day, mahouts agree, there is no such thing as domesticated or tame elephants, only captive ones. Strangely enough, it was this first commercial elephant venture that put Krabi on the world map. It not only brought a flood of settlers to the virgin province, it triggered a period of growth that has lasted to the present day. Sadly, there are no wild elephants remaining in Krabi province today, only a handful of chained ones carting tourists around on their backs through old rubber plantations. But there are monuments, of sorts, to the vital role these beasts played in Krabi’s development. Maharaj

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Road, leading out of the center of town, has been graced with elegant lampposts along its flower-lines boulevard. Each post depicts an elephant rising to its hind feet. The same handsome poles have been installed along the road to Wat Tham Sua just north of the town, and along the quiet lane fronting the governor’s residence in town. The poles were erected to celebrate Krabi’s most famous elephant of all, a legendary white elephant that was captured in Amphur Lamtap of Klong Thom district in the far south of the province. Throughout the history of ancient Siam, the discovery of a white elephant was considered most auspicious and every effort possible was made to capture such a beast and present it to the King, to whom, decrees proclaimed, it rightfully belonged. The King Siam’s status was actually measured by the number of white elephants he acquired in his lifetime. Krabi province, following tradition, presented His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej with the ultimate gift nearly half a century ago. Krabi’s white elephant was not a full albino, few “white” elephants ever are. Tradition requires that seven parts of the animal’s body must be white, or close to white - the

eyes, palate, skin, nails, tail hair and testicles. Once acquired, a white elephant must be treated with the reverence due royalty; it is a timeconsuming and very expensive undertaking. The popular expression, “It’s a white elephant” (meaning a large, useless investment), stems from an old Thai tradition. Whenever the lord of a vassal state in ancient Siam acted too powerful and posed a possible challenge to the reigning monarch of the day, the King would simply gift him with one or more of his white elephants. This beast could never be used for work, and had to receive such lavish attention for the duration of its long life that the gift served to subjugate, if not bankrupt, the would-be challenger.


Destination Story by : Thomas Gennaro Photos by : Nattaphat Sunthornphuriwat

Sa Morakot The Magic of an Emerald Pond

Exploring the last significant area of lowland rain forest in Thailand

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his month Krabi Magazine headed out of town for a day of relaxation and enjoyment. We wanted a bit of swimming, a nice lunch and maybe some light trekking. We ended up at Sa Morakot, otherwise known as ‘The Crystal Pool’ at Khao Nor Chu Chi Lowland Forest nature Reserve and discovered a great deal more. I remember one moment on this trip very vividly. As my friend and I stood gazing out across one of the many pools, our trusty cameras slung over our shoulders, I glanced over to my companion who was staring into the middle distance, seemingly distracted or preoccupied and was trying to determine the look on his face. ‘What’s the matter?’ I asked, sensing that something maybe wrong ‘It’s this place’ he replied. Slightly confused but noticing a slight elevation in his mood I decided to press the matter. ‘What do you mean?’ I continued. My friend looked down and started to smile and then looking up, a beaming smile growing on his face said ‘It’s so beautiful’. With his smile I knew exactly what he meant.

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It’s moments like this when we realize just how fortunate we are for living on such a beautifully diverse and dynamic planet. Sometimes we need to be reminded of just how lucky we are, not just here in Thailand but across the globe. It’s easy to forget the beauty that surrounds us. Sometimes it seems we only take notice of Mother Nature’s awesome destructive power, especially in the wake of natural disasters, and forget about the beauty that surrounds us every day of our lives. Nature seems to have a way of lifting people, washing away worries and the stresses of modern life. Thailand is home to a rich diversity of flora, fauna and ecosystems. The kingdom is famed for its beaches, but there’s a lot more on offer here than a few stretches of white sand. Rain forests abound as do coral reef systems, and once you venture out into the vast open countryside there’s a wealth of national parks, waterfalls, hot springs, swamps, mangroves and other natural wonders to be discovered.


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

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Factfile

KHAO NOR CHU CHI The Khao Nor Chu Chi Lowland Forest Nature Reserve comprises two forest communities that contribute to this unique eco-system: swamp forest and moist evergreen forest. The stream which leads away from the crystal pool also provides the source of what is known as the ‘stream eco-system’ in which birds such as various king-fisher species, fire algae and the water itself all contribute to a very delicately balanced bionetwork in which all the organisms rely equally on each other for survival. Twitchers will be interested to know that the swamp is also home to the rare Pitta Gurney, not seen in the wild for almost fifty years until rediscovered here in 1986. Swamp forest hosts a diversity of plant and tree species that have adapted over thousands of years to tolerate soggy soil conditions. Such species are the Chompuu Nam (Eugenia papillosa) and the Satieo or Garnua an indicator species of swamp forest having a unique looped root system that enables it to breathe and provides it with stability in wet, low nutrient soil conditions. It also provides food for flying foxes that feast on the outer-flesh of the fruit of the tree, the discarded stones of which are then collected by locals to make a type of oil used in cooking. The Nepenthes, another indicator species of poor soil habitat, is another fascinating plant – an insectivorous species whose modified leaves called ‘pitchers’ are filled with fluid that trap and digests insects.

WHEN TO GO AND HOW TO GET THERE Sa Morakot can be visited at any time of the year and is best during weekdays, when it’s less busy, and in the green season months, when flora and fauna are at their best. To reach Sa Morakot from Krabi, drive about 40 km south to the small market town of Klong Thom on the Krabi–Trang (Phetkasam) Road. Turn left on the road towards Thung Yai and follow the signposts to the Khao Pra Bang Khram NoHunting Area headquarters, in the village of Baan Bang Tieo, approx 16 km further. Alternatively, it’s possible to take a motorcycle taxi from Klong Thom for around 60 Baht. If you are driving from Koh Lanta, cover the road from the second ferry out of Lanta to the T-junction of the Krabi-Trang road, turn left and drive to Klong Thom. There, turn right on the road towards Thung Yai and follow the signposts to the Khao Pra Bang Khram No-Hunting Area headquarters, in the village of Baan Bang Tieo, approx 16 km further. By far the best way to visit is by organized tour. Any agent in Krabi Town or Ao Nang or Lanta or your hotel can book a tour for you, which includes lunch and optional visits to other attractions.

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Restaurant Review Story by : Thomas Gennaro Photos by : Sala Bua & Lo Spuntino

Sala Bua & Lo Spuntino Two kitchens in one of the best located and talked about restaurants in Ao Nang

Sala Bua & Lo Spuntino offers authentic Italian, Thaifood, steaks and seafood by award-winning executive Italian chef Umberto Barbieri, trained in a series of international hotels and by Thai Chef Payom Lorvanich. The restaurant is blessed with a spectacular setting on Ao Nang Beach, overlooking the Andaman Sea. Enjoy their cuisines with both traditional and contemporary flavours, as well as their daily fresh seafood selection.

D

espite being in the low season, Sala Bua & Lo Spuntino was surprisingly busy. I met with proprietors Umberto and Soontorn and went through some background of their establishment while tasting delicious Thai and Italian starters: Bruschetta porcini, bruschetta cheese and tomato, cold cuts selection served on wooden trays, and a selection of chicken satay, prawns, wonton and spring rolls served with 4 different home-made sauces. They both stresses the fact that their restaurant should not be branded “fusion cuisine” since they are not mixing the cuisines but simply offering the best of both – including steaks and seafood – from two different menus. The delicious cold cuts and cheeses come from a selection exposed in a glassed fridge at the restaurant entrance, and is being offered for sale by the gram; it can be ordered and taken away, or consumed sliced in the restaurant accompanied by home-made breads and piadina romagnola. The cold cuts menu is well presented and with a clear English description of each item. Umberto and Soontorn are confident this will be a big hit at their establishment. We were then served a surprise signature dish just introduced in the Italian menu: Spaghetti Cartoccio, a hot pan with spaghetti seafood covered up with a crunchy bread crust – an original elaboration of this classic Italian dish. Once I opened the crust, the smell from seafood was incredibly good and got the attention of all diners present. Chef Umberto also introduced to me its selection of pastas, which include Risotto Barbera with fresh Parmesan cheese, a dish from his Piedmont region of Italy.

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We were then ready for the highlight of the evening, and indeed of the restaurant. The selection of meat and fish was impressive and we tasted some of what on offer. Meat choices included Angus steaks, rib eye steaks, black Angus Canadian huge steaks, T-bone Angus, cooked Italian style with olive oil and rosemary condiments. The meat is sourced from fresh meat importers from Canada and Australia, and you can tell! The fish boat has displayed fresh fish bought personally and daily from the owners at the local market, and there is a live fish tank with huge and colorful lobsters. A new BBQ area with an open kitchen is being designed and will be ready to function by the high season. “We are always looking for new menus and meat will indeed be the highlight of the season” stated Chef Umberto while we were served a selection of their home made desserts: tiramisu, cheese cakes, panna cotta, mousses, cakes, brownies, you name it. A proper Italian espresso coffee and a shot of grappa finished the job nicely.

Thai dishes started to arrive: Krua Kring Nuea, spicy minced fried beef with herbs, kaffir lime leaves and lots of chilli - spicy and with character (avoid it if you are sensitive to hot food); Goong Pad Makham Priak, which was as good as I, a big aficionado of this dish, expect it to be, with nice big prawns, tasty tamarind paste and fried minced garlic, a lovely combination; and a classic and creamy green curry with chicken, indeed above average. We rested our bellies and washed the food down with an excellent Valpolicella 2005 Cantine Lenotti. The majority of their wine selection is from Italy: Barbera, Bardolino, Tuscany wines, Pinots and more; proud wine connoisseur Khun Soontorn often recommends wines to clients. We also took time to chat with Khun Bee, the new manager at Sala Bua & Lo Spuntino. We had noticed a new staff member busy walking around the refurbished establishment – which boasts an open and enlarged terrace with fresh color tones, a traditional ceiling, a nice deco and the best location you can ask for: right by the sandy beach. Khun Bee is an enthusiastic Thai who has spent over 10 years in Canada and comes from a sales/customer-care sector. As manager of Sala Bua & Lo Spuntino, he will delight diners with professionalism unseen in Ao Nang. His plan includes a reorganization of the staff and training in the English language to allow waiters who take orders to help diners make the best of the huge selection of dishes in the restaurant menus. Needless to say, his motto is “service service service”.

We felt privileged observing the moonlit Andaman Sea from the lovely restaurant terrace, perfect for those sunset time sundowners. I summed up the special meal and thought how ideal this choice of different cuisine is for the Krabi families of holidaymaker. And I agreed with my friends that the dedication of its owners, the food prepared by outstanding chefs, the service provided by professionals and the special settings make Sala Bua & Lo Spuntino one of the best choices for diners in Ao Nang and beyond. Sala Bua & Lo Spuntino is conveniently located on the beachfront of Ao Nang, at the north end of the beach, off the main road in a pedestrian lane known locally as ‘Seafood Street’, within walking distance of most hotels. The restaurant is the second in the row, as you walk from the main road. It opens 5pm to 10pm daily in the green season.

Contact details: Telephone/Fax: +66 (0)75 637110 Address: 120 Moo 2, Tambon Ao Nang, Krabi 81000 www.salabua-lospuntino.com

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Eating

Easy lunch break

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o Nang has a good array of Thai and International restaurants serving one of the best cuisines in the country. These are concentrated in the proximities of the beach road, and are indeed popular at dinnertime. As for lunch, if you want to go fast, native, and try a traditional lunch break, head to the pavement area just outside of Krabi Resort on the way to Noppharat Thara beach, or to the area outside of Mc Donalds on the other side of Ao Nang. Well equipped tuk tuks and samlors (3 wheels) managed by local families and non, serve fares that range from fried and barbecued chicken to more traditional dishes. Sit on the wicker mats placed on the floor behind the stalls or on the stools provided and enjoy your local fast food.

THAI PAPAYA SALAD (SOM TAM THAI) Som Tam, popular with many foreign tourists, is one of my all-time favourites and my regular Sunday lunch. There are several different versions; Som Tam uses shredded green papaya. The ingredients are green beans, cherry tomatoes, garlic, red chili, palm sugar, fish sauce, lemon juice and tamarind paste. Everything is pounded together with a mortar and pestle. This version also has dried shrimp and dry roasted peanuts, which are added after the pounding. If the vendor asks if you want it spicy, you can simply say how many chillies you want. For one, you would say “prik neung met�.

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PICKLED CRAB PAPAYA SALAD (SOM TAM POO KEM) The other main Som Tam dish is Som Tam Poo Kem. This has salted crab instead of the dried shrimp, and is much the same but without the roasted peanuts. This is a popular version eaten in Northeast Thailand and Laos.

GRILLED CHICKEN with STICKY RICE (KHAO NIAW GAI YANG) The grilled chicken with sticky rice is an excellent accompaniment to many Som Tam dishes, and an easy to eat take-away. There are some vendors who only sell the grilled chicken without the Som Tam, though the Som Tam vendor usually sells grilled chicken as well. Just point to the piece of chicken you want. An alternative to the chicken is the grilled catfish, usually found grilling besides the chicken. If you ask for sticky rice too, he will ask how many bags. One per person should be enough.


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Koh Lanta

Koh Lanta Highlights

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oh Lanta is situated in the southernmost tip of the Krabi province. It consists of two islands, Koh Lanta Noi and Koh Lanta Yai. Koh Lanta Noi is the smaller of the two islands and does not have tourist facilities. Visitors traveling by road from the main land pass through the smaller island on the way to Koh Lanta Yai, the center of the tourist operations. Ban Sala Dan village, in the north of the island, is Lanta Yai’s commercial center, and the pier where visitors arrive on the island. It is a row of shops, seafood restaurants on stilts, dive shops, tour operators, banks and guest houses that cater for new comers on the island. The bulk of the Lanta beaches lie along the west coast of the island and can all be reached by road: 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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Activities Story by : Sarah Warwick

Low Lanta

Photos by : Nattapat Sunthornphuriwat

Monsoon? Pah! Sarah Warwick tells us why Koh Lanta is better in low season

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uly; I was off to Koh Lanta for a week and thrilled by the prospect. My friends thought this was odd, given that this was smack bang in the middle of the Andaman coast’s rainy season. People tried to warn me off. “It’s monsoon,” they said. “You’ll be drenched,” they said. “It’ll be a miserable holiday,” they said. This was far from the truth, in fact it turned out to be one of the best beach holidays I’ve ever had. I know firmly believe that wetter is better and this is why.

5. It’s wet Extolling the weather in a so-called monsoon may seem the act of a crazy person, but really it’s not all that bad. On one week in July I saw two rainstorms, but otherwise the skies were blue and the sun shone all day. With a nice breeze blowing most of the time, it wasn’t too hot: just pleasant basking weather. When the rains do fall, they’re not the pathetic drizzle of Europe but the tumult of a proper tropical storm. Enjoying the flash and crash from the comfort of a roadside shack, or listening to the brutal tattoo of heavy rain on a tin roof, is a mega-cheap thrill – reminding you of the beauty and power of nature.

4. It’s green Low season is also known in Thailand as ‘green season’ and for good reason. The rains bring new life to the forests of this island, which is known as the Emerald of the Andaman. The island’s jungle centre becomes an overgrown tangle, smelling of earth, in a glory of greens. You can explore it by motorbike, rentable from the main strip, or on the back of one of Thailand’s famous jungle residents at the Sumate Koh Lanta Elephant Safari.

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3. It’s cheap In a time when the world’s leading economies are watching the pennies, many of us are also tightening our belts so the half-price hotel rooms and happy hour meals of low season are a welcome relief. The beachfront resorts of Klong Khong, with their highceilinged concrete bungalows and large pools, will put you up for as little as 300 baht if you shop around, and you can often find off-season deals for flashier resorts on the internet.

2. It’s Lanta Lanta – rain or no rain – has more to offer than many Thai islands, in terms of natural terrain, activities and entertainment. Adventure lovers will love diving in its National Marine Park, kayaking on the mangroves, sailing to neighbouring islands. Food lovers can learn to cook at Klong Dao’s Time for Lime school, or sample the fusion Muslim Thai cooking at one of the excellent restaurants. And then there are the views from Viewpoint Restaurant and Khao Yai Restaurant, lying in the sand on one of the excellent klongs or watching Muay Thai at the local boxing ring. How will you fit it all in?

1. It’s all yours If I had only one reason to give, it would be this: during low season there are only a handful of westerners on the whole island. If silence is bliss then having a whole island almost to yourself is incomparable. The locals have nothing much to do but show you around and chat. Restaurants serve you quickly and you can linger as long as you want over candlelit soups or seafood. Beaches and swimming pools are deserted and you can lie in the sand all day on some stretches and never see another human face.

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So don’t follow the crowds, vote with your feet and head for Lanta from May to August. It’s cheaper, more beautiful and more private than at any other time of year. And when people tell you you’re mad, simply smile a little smile and bask in the knowledge that sometimes it’s clever to be a little bit crazy.

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Eating Out Story by : Norm Flach

Green Season Dining on Koh Lanta Photos by : Nattapat Sunthornphuriwat

My wife Lory and I are enjoying spending most of June and July on Koh Lanta this summer. The island has a very different feel than it does when we are here in December or in March. Not all of our favorite restaurants are open in low season – locally known as the green season, in reference to the monsoons.

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his year tourism throughout Thailand is slower than usual due to the recent political demonstrations in Bangkok. Tourists have no idea how little politics affects day-to-day life in Thailand, even in Bangkok. So it seems, more than in past summers, that we have the island almost to ourselves. We are missing the action of the beach life in high season when all the beach bars and restaurants are open. We have to make a little more of an effort to find our preferred dining venue for the evening. For that reason, I want to focus this article on restaurants that you can count on in low season. This is not a comprehensive critique of all the great restaurants on the island that are open in the green season. I just want to share a few great dining experiences that we have had during our first week on Koh Lanta.

The Thai Orchid Restaurant - Main Road Klong Dao Previously in Krabi Magazine, I did a restaurant review on the Thai Orchid. We have been back several times since then and have never been disappointed. The Norwegian salmon dish at the Thai Orchid is to die for! It should probably be shared between two people, but we inevitably each order a salmon and stuff ourselves with the most delicious, juicy taste experience imaginable. We are obsessed with Thai Orchid salmon. You have to try it!

Nice Beach Restaurant - Klong Nin Beach For sentimental reasons, we have often chosen to eat at the Nice Beach Restaurant. Our nephew Darren stayed at Nice Beach Resort when he was backpacking through Thailand ten years ago, before we had ever thought of making Koh Lanta our retirement home. We always have Darren with us in spirit when we go to Nice Beach. This summer, when we boarded the ferry, Khun Jacky of Nice Beach handed me a brochure encouraging us to try their Indian cuisine. We will always go back for the garlic naan and chicken massaman curry, but this summer I tried something new and was blown away. You have to do the hot pan Nice Beach Fillet – Number 817 on the menu. The Nice Beach brochure claims to have the best Indian food on the island. I would vouch for that!

The Tavern - Main Road Pra Ae We have been to the Tavern a few times and have always been impressed. When we are in the mood for western food (it doesn’t happen very often), we hit the Tavern for barbecued ribs. A word of caution – the servings are huge. If you are not Arnold Schwarzenegger, you might want to share a meal. We shared a chicken Caesar salad and a half order of ribs. Sounds reasonable, eh? Well we were stuffed, even with sharing. The Tavern has a sports bar casual feel to it, which is enhanced by the great selection of cold beers. An added bonus this time around was the offering of World Cup Football on flat screen TVs. All in all, we had a great evening.

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The Roi Thai Restaurant - Klong Nin Beach The Roi Thai was a serendipitous discovery for us this summer. We had set off for the Cook Kai, one of our favorite restaurants on the island, and were disappointed to learn they were closed for low season. A young lady there recommended Roi Thai. We knew that the Roi Thai was relatively new and were not inclined to risk a negative dining experience. Wow! We didn’t have anything to worry about. The manager of the restaurant, Khun Prasert, was such a gracious host he even talked us into trying his South African wine. The wine was good, but the Hot Shot specials are phenomenal. The Hot Shot is a hot pan meal with your choice of meats or seafood, and a huge selection of spices/sauces. Fortunately for us, the monsoon seas had allowed good fishing that day and Khun Prasert had an abundant supply of fresh fish and giant prawns! We both went for the giant prawns. Lory had hers with the paneng curry sauce, while I went for the garlic and pepper. We were up to our elbows in mouth-watering, sauce-dripping, finger-licking ecstasy! If the boats are not running when you go to Roi Thai, I can also recommend the chicken fried rice with cashew nuts and pineapple, served in a pineapple shell. The Roi Thai restaurant is definitely on our map! In conclusion, our vacation has only just begun and we look forward to visiting old haunts and new restaurants over the next six weeks. The dining experience each evening greatly enhances our stay on the island. Stay tuned for more tips on green season dining on Koh Lanta!


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Krabi Real Estate : Architect Tips Story : Pierre-Yves Loriers

Ton Company Limited

Mission Statement and Design Philosophy

DESIGN PROCESS: A MULTI-DISCIPLINARY, CLIENT INCLUSIVE APPROACH Every design project is a collaboration between architect and client, though every firm is different in how they handle this relationship. Here at Ton Company, we see clients as contributing members of the design team. Their needs are foremost throughout the process, which is an open dialogue of creation, analysis and modification. A multi-disciplinary team, including in-house draughtsmen, engineers and landscape architects, offers the benefits of a smooth, integrated experience. It also allows clients to be involved at every stage, and receive expert advice and guidance on the legal, aesthetic and structural practicalities of their project.

DESIGN AESTHETICS: CREATING INDIVIDUAL HOMES THAT WORK WITH THE ENVIRONMENT Most clients approach an architecture firm because they admire its style of work. Ton Company emphatically does not have a signature style: we prefer to allow our clients to take the lead in this area. However, with 50 plus completed projects around the region, it is easy to distinguish some basic aesthetic principles in our work. We tend to favour clean simple lines that complement Krabi’s beautiful scenery, framing it, rather than trying to dominate it. We believe architecture should unite man-made structures with the environment, so our buildings are low density and make full use of natural light and ventilation, as well as creating flexible spaces that blend interior and exterior. We pride ourselves on attention to detail; so all decorative finishing have a high level of craftsmanship.

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DESIGN STRATEGIES: CO-OPERATING WITH THE CLIMATE Good home design is not just about surface style. Ton Company’s design philosophy is rooted in practicality: when form follows function, the result is a more liveable space. This is particularly true here in Thailand, where houses simply cannot be designed and built the same way as in the west. With blazing sun and torrential rain during the monsoon season to contend with, the single most important influence on our work is the climate. Our approach is to work with the elements, rather than against them, as this results in a more functional home, as well as being more environmentally friendly. Some basic, climate-related recommendations we make, that can apply to any project, are to build a house on columns; to build on not more than half the available land; and to create a plan that is specific to the land being used. Building on beam, rather than slab (directly on the ground) allows cooling ventilation under the home, as well as protecting the walls from the damp and humidity that can plague other houses during the rainy season. Incorporating high ceilings and cross-ventilation into the design also creates living areas that do not require cooling with air con, for at least part of the day.

We take 50:50 as a maximum ratio of permanent structure to garden; though a smaller house size may worry some clients, this is usually before they realise the amount of time spent outdoors here. Warm temperatures mean al fresco dining is possible year round, with a covered roof to protect from the elements. Similarly, Ton Company also suggests a pool or, at the very least, some sort of water feature as part of a home: this is essential if building with a view to rent the property in the future, and can also be considered very important if the home will be lived in for long periods. Regarding the design itself, it is rare that a ready-made plan can be used as is, even if it has previously seemed ideal to the clients. This is for the simple reason that every land plot is different and room orientation will be a key factor in determining comfort levels after moving in. For example, bedrooms may need to be moved in order to avoid strong morning sunlight; or the terrace raised or lowered to take advantage of views. Ton Company will carry out a full topographical survey on every proposed site which will not only determine the floor plan and elevations, but provide valuable assessment of factors like flood risk. Elements such as a car port to protect vehicles; a boundary wall to protect the property from snakes, stray dogs and other pests; integral water heating and storage are also things that should not be overlooked in this tropical clime.

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DESIGN MATERIALS: RESOURCE EFFICIENT AND TECHNOLOGICALLY ADVANCED The weather in Thailand also dictates the materials Ton Company prefers. We steer away from finishes that will age quickly, go mouldy or require frequent maintenance, such as wood frames and sandwash floors. We also use innovative technology such as Dry-Tech roofing, which prevents leaking during monsoon season, in order to provide structure that will stand the dual tests of time and the elements. We actively research the latest developments in the fields of construction and energy efficiency. Once the budget for the project has been established, we will choose the best available materials for the job.

VALUE ADDED SERVICES All of these factors can be overwhelming for first-time homebuilders, so part of Ton Company’s service is to offer powerful visualisation tools to all clients. Our experts in 3D design can create multi-perspective images of clients’ future homes, right down to the interiors, with tile plans, built-in cabinets and so on, so they can get a real sense of how it will look before moving to construction. With a proven experience in holiday home rental, we are also able to offer advice and guidance on designing villas for this market, so that practical features such as a technical room and owners’ storage can be built into the blueprint, rather than added as an afterthought. A dedicated project manager, who is present from the early conceptual stages right through construction, will manage the finances to ensure the creation of a beautiful and functional residence within the clients’ budget. Ton Company Ltd., with ten years of experience, is a leading manager and developer of exclusive holiday pool villas in Krabi, Thailand. For more information on the comprehensive villa design, construction and management services offered by Ton Company Ltd, please contact us at (075) 695-633 or by email at Ton@TonCompany.com. www.KrabiArchitect.com - www.TonCompany.com - www.KrabiVilla.com

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Construction Story by : Robby Attwater

Get sketching Six to eight years of studying, depending on what country you derive from, is the time it takes to attain a master’s degree in Architecture. An architect for those who didn’t know is a person trained in the planning, design and oversight of the construction of buildings, and is licensed to practice architecture. How many years? I think I would need a few more!

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his month’s article though is not based on the topic of Architecture; it is based however based on the aspiring, wannabe architectural designer. I’m going to be looking into how someone, like me, can turn some interior floor plans scribbled onto the back of a Tesco receipt into a passable computer aided design. It doesn’t stop there. Any interior design ideas that you might have, or some thoughts regarding your garden re-modeling, the possibility to create a design on your PC, in a professional manner, is now well within your reach. Things my friends, are at last beginning to swing in the favor of the computer design illiterate. Looking back on my schooling, I remember my first taste of what at the time seemed to be the chore of having to sit through a technical drawing class. The way in which we students were hurried down the corridor to our fate seemed very much regimented. The fact that the lesson was going to be no fun at all seemed to be cleverly devised. The waiting classroom in which this no frills introduction to using a pencil and a ruler class, was a temporary Porta cabin which was lacking in any noticeable heater! Barking orders and gesturing to make haste our teacher soon had us all sat behind our vintage drawing boards and staring out of the windows. The most interesting part of the lesson was sharpening our pencils I recall. Future protectors of the Great British design committee we were never going to be! Bored senseless was more like it. Things I hope and believe have moved forward for the youth of today. Most schools today will be equipped with computer aided design technology and the days of rickety old platforms to finely tune your designing skills are long gone. Saying that though, I’m sure being taught the old fashioned method of architectural drawing certainly has its advantages. Patience and attention to detail cannot be bought, and when you had to erase an error you really had to erase it. Without wasting anymore of your time, let me introduce to you Google Sketch Up. Now, before I continue, please forgive me if you find this article lacking in any fancy computer jargon. As this months piece really isn’t intended to showcase my knowledge of technological know-how or lack of it! Rather it is to highlight and bring to your attention a design program that I have found user friendly and very intuitive. Not to mention fun. I stumbled across Google Sketch Up by accident whilst wasting a few hours of my time messing around on Google earth. A couple of clicks and a download later and I was in full design mode. So, what is Google Sketch Up? And what does it enable you do? Well, to start it allows you to draw absolutely anything, be it a car or skyscraper in 3D. Seemingly with ease! Though don’t get me wrong, to get to the design level of a skyscraper requires diligence and practice. What struck me first with Google Sketch up was how easy it was to use compared to other 3D CAD programs. I had tried my hand at a few of them, believe me, and always ended up nearly putting a solid object through my computer screen. The fact that I was able to have an image somewhat resembling a front elevation of a house within a couple of hours after download completion says a lot.

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Once happy with my house design I was able to float around my model, under and above, and then eventually into my model. A voyeur’s paradise I might add... Zooming in and out, rotating left and right makes this program very, very appealing to all ages and levels of experience. The tagline for the program is “3D for everyone” and that couldn’t be closer to the truth. In April 2006 Google made Sketch Up 7 free for everyone to download. It’s not as capable as Sketch Up Pro but nonetheless still very good. There are dozens of tutorials out there to help you get started and an extensive wealth of information for those continuing with there learning. People from all over the world share their designs using Sketch Up Warehouse. Importing and exporting makes with the option to share it on you tube. Re-decorate your front living room using design and color schemes or create your dream kitchen within a few short moments. The possibilities are seemingly endless. Some of the functions and how to use Sketch Up are shown here. To really get the idea though take up some of your computers spare memory and download this addictive program. You wont regret it, I assure you.

SOME POINTERS… Every Sketch Up model is made up of just two things: edges and faces. Edges are straight lines, and faces are the 2D shapes that are created when several edges form a flat loop. For example, a rectangular face is bound by four edges that are connected together at right angles. To build models in Sketch Up, you draw edges and faces using a few simple tools that you can learn in a small amount of time. It’s as simple as that. Extrude any flat surface into a three-dimensional form with Sketch Up’s patented Push/Pull tool. Just click to start extruding, move your mouse, and click again to stop. You can Push/Pull a rectangle into a box. Or draw the outline of a staircase and Push/Pull it into 3D. Want to make a window? Push/ Pull a hole through your wall. Sketch Up is known for being easy to use, and Push/Pull is the reason why. Sketch Up is great for working fast and loose in 3D, but it’s more than just a fancy electronic pencil. Because you’re working on a computer, everything you create in Sketch Up has a precise dimension. When you’re ready, you can build models that are as accurate as you need them to be. If you want, you can print scaled views of your model, and if you have Sketch Up Pro, you can even export your geometry into other programs like AutoCAD and 3ds MAX.

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.


4 independent and private plots left stunning views on the sunrise coast natural settings, on a green belt area self enclosed gated community of exclusive owners plots form 1 million baht, houses from 3 million baht land freehold with separate chanote title each plot benefit from the freedom of designing your own house building time 8 to 12 months with progressive payments EXOTIQ KRABI REAL ESTATE Tel :+66 (0)75 637459 Mob :+66 (0)89 9085990

MARKETED BY

247/13 Moo5 - Klong Haeng, Ao Nang Krabi 81000 Thailand krabimagazine@gmail.com

The Lumyai Group LTD Development and Construction 1:100

Construction and Renovation Kitchen and Bathroom Re-modelling Auto CAD Structural Design OfďŹ ce Fitting and Refurbishment Seasonal Hotel and Restaurant ModiďŹ cation

For a free quote contact us 075 624 062

086 947 8262

www.lumyaihomes.com


Pools

Swimming Pools A lifetime investment W

hen considering a swimming pool for your home in the sun, remember that it is a lifetime investment that should be properly considered. The main points to be taken into account are professional advice, a straightforward, reliable, tried and tested product and a local dealer that provides ongoing after sales services. Desjoyaux Pools can make sure your dream pool does not turn into a nightmare by: • Building quickly in around 10 days. • Being able to upgrade thanks to the PVC coating system. • Providing a quality after-sales service that only an exclusive international network can provide. • Offering fun, sport and relaxation through hydrotherapy and cross current swimming systems • Having an efficient and simple filtration system, removable, powerful and economical

STRUCTURE A patented, permanent active casing that can be any size and shape. Concrete is poured into the casing, giving a structure resistant to land movements. No cement joints, no leaks, no underground piping, and the reinforced PVC welded on site. All Desjoyaux Pools structures are guaranteed 10 years.

FILTRATION Desjoyaux Pools filtration system is removable, powerful and economical to run. This pipe-free filtration is fully independent from the structure

FINISHING Desjoyaux Pools can be equipped with all sorts of extras like crosscurrent swimming, hydrotherapy and an underwater logo or design. For further information and a quotation, contact Desjoyaux Pools Krabi on 075 624553, desjoyauxkrabi@gmail.com , or visit their website www.desjoyauxasia.com

Krabi Magazine

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Italian produced kitchen solutions and furniture

Tel: 075 611457 • Engli English h and Swedi Swedish h speaking

www.mdhouseware.com


Living

MD Houseware New kids on the block… M

D Houseware was funded in 2009 and is based in Krabi, Thailand. They deliver all you need to decorate your home, office or hotel: beds, sofas, kitchens and storage solutions. MD Houseware has the sole right for the Italian brand Colombini which is the largest company in Italy selling kitchen solutions. MD Houseware focuses on high quality, and all of their products are carefully selected to suit all clients’ needs. MD Houseware can offer their services to a range of clients that goes from those needing a single new kitchen to the developers that needs several kitchens fitted in their projects. After studying the Thai market for compatibility between their products and the real demand in the country for over a year, MD Houseware is now ready for the grand opening of their 260sqm showroom located in Krabi Town. MD Houseware is confident that it will become, in a short span of time, a reference point for design and furnishing products in Krabi and the whole of Thailand. MD Houseware mission is to propose an innovative home furnishing experience that expresses daily lifestyle both for individuals and developers alike. Clients will be inspired by the wide choice of products, some of which will become part of their everyday life, offering a personalised solution at the best possible quality-price ratio. MD group includes interiors designers and structural engineers with international experience, so as give to their clients a full service with complete satisfaction in the least possible time. All MD Houseware projects, from the single kitchen to a whole home furnishing, to the furnishing of a hotel, will initially be discussed with the clients and at a second stage drafted with software and sent in real time to the production line once approved, in this way guaranteeing the finished product ready to be dispatched in a week’s time, and reducing to zero the error margins. It is no doubt that, in a Thai province like Krabi where the real estate market and the construction of new properties is growing considerably, there was the need of a company that could provide this kind of service, and above all, this kind of products.

GRAND OPENING MD Houseware showroom will open its doors on September 16th. For 3 days, the showroom will be open until 9pm to give the chance to all Krabi residents and not to visit the exhibitions of their fine products. MD Houseware showroom is located in Krabi town, on 434/54 Uttarakit Road, the river road on the way out of Krabi, near the Talat Khao junction. Contact their representative Mr. Stefano Gonella on 089 5918400 or by email on info@mdhouseware.com for directions and to receive a location map.

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Know the Law

The Rai

L

and in Thailand is measured in rai, ngan and wah, and land prices are usually expressed in baht per rai or baht per wah for smaller plots. Metric measurements are normally used in construction and measurement of buildings.

CONVERSION TABLES Many westerners use inches, feet and yards, others us the metric system of meters and hectares. The tables below should help you convert measurements to the ones you are most familiar with. 1 sq. wah = 4 sqm 1 Rai = 4 Ngan or 1,600 sqm 1 acre = 2,0471 rai or 43,560 sq.ft. 1 ngan = 100 wah or 400sqm 1 hectare = 6.25 rai or 10,000 sqm

THE RAI A RAI is a unit of area equal to 1,600sqm (for example 40m Ă— 40m), used for measuring land areas. Its current size is precisely derived from the meter, but it is neither part nor it is recognized by the modern metric system, the International System. One Rai equals 4 ngaan or 400 tarang wah, aka square waa. The RAI is commonly used in Thailand and equals 16 are, another unit based on the meter and commonly used in several countries recognized, though not encouraged, by the International System.

THANEE ATTORNEY & COUNSELOR AT LAW

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

INTERNATIONAL LAW OFFICE STANDARDS YOU CAN TRUST

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

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

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Event Story by : Thomas Gennaro Photos by : Satya Burger

A Special Invitation

An exclusive five course dinner accompanied by five selected wines at Centara A

Last month, Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Krabi and Domaine St. George presented a special one-night-only wine dinner. The invitation came from my long-time friend Lukas, F&B Director at Centara Krabi.

t our arrival at Lotus Court Restaurant there was already an intimate feel with guests waiting for the event to start. I chatted up with winemaker/ viticulturist and Domaine St. George owner Robert Fredson and wife, who were visiting Krabi for the first time, and proceeded to my seat. Robert Fredson is a well-travelled and prominent wine connoisseur; he presented the evening and introduced the five selected wines from California and Washington. To accompany the wines, semi-retired executive Michelin Chef Francois had prepared an exclusive 5-course gourmet dinner.  

The wines presented were: Organic Snoqualmie Chardonnay 2008, fruity and sweet to the palate, with a bitter aftertaste; Domaine St. George “coastal” Sauvignon Blanc, a high quality wine with a clean taste; Organic Snoqualmie Merlot 2007, perhaps a bit hard to the taste; Domaine St. George “costal” Cabernet 2006, definitely the best of the wines that evening; Columbia Riesling, Cellar Master, a not so bad treat to end the sumptuous dinner. In between courses and wine tasting, Robert made speeches giving some background on the wines and answering questions from the diners. He explained how his relatively small winery adopts a low, sustainable agriculture. At his 34th season at Domaine St. George, we learned that they do the minimum for wine to be produced, as in California mother nature plays a huge part in their wine quality. Though the wines indeed cheered me up, the highlight of the dinner was really the food. Francois’ contemporary Western menu featured a quite original Tuna Tartar with Pomelo and Wasabi Coulis; fresh and huge local Tiger Prawns with Rocket Salad, Crispy Pancetta and a delicate Yoghurt Dressing; a tender Oven baked White Snapper under Pesto crust and in Balsamic syrup that surprisingly went good with red wine; an impressive course of Australian Grilled Lamb chops with Rosemary, Mung Beans & Cherry Tomato, Truffle Mash and Lamb Jus; and the best from their pastry selection: the Centara Cheesecake Trilogy. It was indeed a memorable evening at Lotus Court, Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Krabi.

ABOUT DOMAIN ST. GEORGE Domaine St. George is optimally located in the hills above the Russian River Valley in Sonoma County, California to produce grapes of signature flavour. Their wines are known for embodying the ripe, costal, warm and sunny Californian weather.  They craft highquality wine varieties from various vineyards in Sonoma County and other prestigious wine regions that reflect California’s natural beauty and rich winemaking heritage. In their vineyard, grapes are carefully chosen based on their winemaker’s recommendations and specifications. In their state-of-the-art cellar, wines are handled with only the utmost care and expertise. Each lot is handled separately, ensuring that it develops to its maximum potential. Blending is seen as an art, resulting in wines with great complexity and finesse. Domaine St. George Winery: 1141 Grant Avenue, Healdsburg, CA 95448, TEL. 707.433.5508, Email rob@stgwines.com , Web www. domainesaintgeorge.com Lotus Court Restaurant @ Centara serves International and Asian Cuisine with a dynamic concept in dining. With its awe-inspiring architecture and its unique décor, equally as impressive and provocative, can host a pre-dinner or a fabulous culinary journey through various mouthwatering Asian and Mediterranean cuisines. Centara’s Bars & Restaurants are open to the non-guests. For more information and reservations call +66 (0)75 637789.

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Krabi Magazine


OPEN ALL YEAR

8August 2010 mail  

www.krabi-magazine.com August 2010 •TRAVEL•CULTURE•AO NANG•LANTA•LEISURE•NATURE• ISSUE 56

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