Plan An Adrenaline-filled Adventure in Krabi

8 April, 2016

With its crystal clear waters and golden shores, Krabi is often known as the crowning jewel of Southern Thailand. Naturally, its image as a tropical paradise does draw in tourists by the boatload each year, but what is even more appealing about this seaside town is that it is also a thrilling destination for the adventure-seeking travellers that are looking for an adrenaline rush or some form of excitement!

Getting to Krabi’s Islands from the Airport

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Krabi Airport is off-limits to public transport and unauthorised taxis. There are several options available for you to get to Krabi’s islands, like car rentals, pre-arranged pick-ups by your hotel, or authorised transport agencies. Trips via airport taxis and buses can be booked at several booths at the arrival hall, but do note that airport buses only go to Ao Nang and Krabi Town, the primary places around which the piers are located. Depending on which island you’re heading for, you will either take the longboat, speedboat, or ferry to the respective island.

The longboat is touted as the most local way to travel to the surrounding islands. Rides can get noisy and bumpy, so those with motion or sea sickness, be sure to take the necessary precaution if you’re heading to the islands! In return, passengers are treated to an atmospheric and scenic journey to their destination. The only drawback for the longboat is that it is only limited to islands nearer to the shore. For locations further out, you can only take either the ferry or the speedboat.

Kayaking

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: Shutterstock

Kayaking has become a highly popular sport that is especially suited to Krabi due to the many beautiful caves that adorn her islands. Furthermore, due to the slow and silent nature of these water crafts, kayakers can admire the natural beauty of Krabi without damaging Krabi’s natural ecosystems. Visitors can kayak through the beautiful limestone cliffs and dense mangrove jungles that create a wonderful scenic route complete with the auditory background of birds chirping amongst the lush green landscape.

Most guided kayak tours take you through three main areas around Ao Luk in the north of the province: Ao Thalane (mangrove and canyons) at the southern tip of Phang Nga Bay;

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: Shutterstock

Bor Thor (ancient limestone caves);

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and Koh Hong (an island with a ‘hidden’ lagoon at its centre).

There are also several new kayaking sites closer to Ao Nang that have been explored in recent years – including Nai Sa village and Sai Thai village. These mangrove tours are more straightforward, and there are many opportunities to see the wildlife that lives on each island.

Common animals to look out for include:

  1. Monkeys (may not appear if it is raining)
  2. Sea Eagles
  3. Monitor Lizards

There are quite a few vendors offering kayak tours, and one of the more reliable ones is Krabi Kayak Tour, which has been conducting these tours for the past ten years. It is also worth noting that all of their kayak packages —including the popular half-day tours— come with the essentials — an experienced guide, a lifejacket, fruit and water, insurance, and a dry bag. To get the full list of tour packages and prices, check out their website here.

Krabi Kayak Tour
Address:
197 Moo 1, Nopperathara Soi 2, Ao Nang, Krabi 81180
Telephone No.: +66 87 274 4011
Opening Hours: Always open
Website

White Water Rafting

Another tourist favourite in Krabi is white water rafting! It involves navigating an inflatable raft seated with 4 – 6 paddlers through white water rapids. With mandatory life jackets being worn and the presence of an instructor well-trained in swift water rescue, even non-swimmers can be assured that the experience will be a safe and enjoyable one. The rafting takes place at an old Thai tin mine at Phang Na, which is stunningly beautiful and offers spectacular vantage points.

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: Shutterstock

Krabitrek has gained recognition for the quality of services they offer on their white water rafting tours. Prices start at 1400 Baht for adults and 1000 Baht for children for a 5km rafting experience, which includes transport to and from your place of accommodation. Likewise, do note that there is a surcharge of 100 Baht per person for hotels and resorts in Klong Muang and Tubkaek.

The waters are very predictable, which allows the instructors to easily navigate through rapids with practised familiarity. The staff are also well-equipped to know the exact points where kicking off the banks will create greater thrill. Of course, if there are small children on board, the instructors will take a less bumpy route. Do note that the boats are meant to bounce off the rocks for greater exhilaration and that as long as instructions are duly adhered to, riders can expect a smooth and thrilling ride!

A rough itinerary for a 5km water rafting ride:

07:45 Pick up from Krabi Hotels
08:15 Pickup from Aonang Hotels
10:30 Rafting trained by an experienced instructor
11:00 White water rafting II-III, 5 kilometres,
12:00 Delicious Thai lunch served at a fruit plantation
13:30 Jungle walk to waterfall to relax and swim
15:00 Visit Monkey Cave Temple
17:30 Arrival at your hotel

Here are a few tips if you are intending to experience water rafting for the first time in Krabi:

  1. WEAR comfortable walking shoes, booties (water-resistant shoes) are preferred. Swimsuits and light clothing should also be worn – be prepared to get soaked!
  1. BRING beach towels for drying off, sun glasses (preferably with an elastic strap) and sun protection such as sunscreen.
  1. FOLLOW the instructions of your guide and be rest assured that they know exactly what they are doing.
  1. MOST IMPORTANTLY let loose and have fun! White water rafting is sure to bring you an out-of-this-world experience and is definitely a must-do for any adrenaline junkie heading out to Krabi.

Krabitrek
Address:
197 Moo 1, Nopperathara Soi 2, Ao Nang, Krabi 81180
Telephone No.: +66 87 274 4011
Opening Hours: Always open
Website

Elephant Trekking

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: Shutterstock

Another activity that has gained regional popularity is Elephant trekking. While many often criticise the commoditisation of elephants and the unethical mistreatment of these gentle creatures, Phanom Bencha National Park makes sure to feed their elephants well and take turns amongst them so they won’t be overworked. Their trekking packages are also inclusive of an elephant-bathing session in the rivers, which have received many compliments from parents to be of great fun for children in particular.

The elephants were originally employed for forestry work but with a reduced need for elephants, locals have banded together to offer trekking tours to boost the tourism trade. The 4 female elephants that reside within have a close bond with their guides, and there has recently been the addition of a baby elephant that trails behind during treks.

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The bathing trip takes place three times a day with two morning sessions (pickup at 08:30AM and 10:30AM and an afternoon session with a pickup at 1:30PM. The seat platforms are removed followed by the dozen or so thick carpets that protect the elephants’ bodies. Then, it’s off to the river for a well earned cooling splash. Bencha the baby elephant is often found in the river during the bathing sessions, which she thoroughly enjoys!

A rough itinerary for a half-day elephant trek:

8.30AM and 10.30AM: Hotel pickup (approx. 40-minute journey)
Elephant Trek
Elephant Bathing – in the river with the elephants

11.30AM: Return to hotel (8.30AM group)
1.30PM: Return to hotel (10.30AM group)

Starting at 900 Baht for adults and 500 Baht for children, the tour is inclusive of transportation to and from hotels, insurance, drinking water, seasonal fruits. Full-day packages include a Thai set menu lunch at a local restaurant.

We highly recommend that you book in advance because slots are always filled up. Do note that if you are travelling in a group of 12 or more, a customised group trip can be arranged and reserved for your group at a discounted rate. This deal, however, may not be available during the period between December and May when tourist traffic is high!

TO BRING: sensible, covered footwear (such as sport shoes), swimsuits or a change of clothes (if bathing the elephants) and insect repellent is certainly a must!

You can find out more about the available packages here.

Address: 197 Moo 1, Nopperathara Soi 2, Ao Nang, Krabi 81180
Telephone No.: +66 87 274 4011
Opening Hours: Always open
Website
*The above activities are all available at Krabitrek.

Krabi is truly a remarkable place of unspoiled flora and fauna. While it is no luxury paradise, the chance to experience Mother Nature at her best at a level of intimacy that isn’t commonly found is something you would find hard to reject.

 

Feature Image Credits: Shutterstock

Zhiqiang & Tingyi

Comment (1)

  • bookReply

    12 May, 2016 at 9:17 pm

    Nice Blog and pics are very beautiful

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