Located approximately 814 kilometers from Bangkok is Krabi Province, one of most attractive destinations in southern Thailand. Encompassing an area of 4,708 square kilometers, the western border of Krabi is the Andaman Sea, the northern borders are Surat Thani and Phang-nga Provinces, the southern borders are Trang Province and the Andaman Sea and the eastern borders are Nakhon Si Thammarat and Trang Provinces. Krabi is an ideal getaway destination teeming with natural attractions including white sandy beaches, fascinating coral reefs, numerous large and small islands and verdant forests with caves and waterfalls.
Krabi’s topography is mostly mountains and highlands separated by plains in some parts. Flowing through Krabi City to the Andaman Sea at Pak Nam Sub-district is Maenam Krabi which is 5 kilometers in length. In addition, there are several canals originating from the province’s highest mountain range, Khao Phanom Bencha including Khlong Pakasai, Khlong Krabi Yai and Khlong Krabi Noi. Lush mangrove forests line the canals and the banks of Maenam Krabi particularly before it empties into the Andaman Sea. The provinces sandy soil conditions are suitable for growing various agricultural products, particularly rubber trees, palms, coconuts, cashew nuts and coffee.
Due to the influence of the tropical monsoon, there are only two seasons in Krabi; the hot season from January to April and the rainy season from May to December. Temperatures range between 17 C and 37 C.
Krabi is administratively divided into 8 Amphoes (Districts): Amphoe Mueang, Khao Phanom, Khlong Thom, Plai Phraya, Ko Lanta, Ao Luek, Lam Thap, and Nuea Khlong. The provinces jurisdiction covers not only in-land districts and sub-districts, but also extends to more than 130 large and small islands including the world famous Phi Phi Islands.
In addition, Krabi is the location of two world class beaches Ao Nang and Hat Rai Le which offer numerous diving trips, restaurants, shops etc. Additional attractions in the province are stunning limestone cliffs and rock formations which make it a heaven for rock climbers and a National Park located approximately 40 kilometers outside of town with lakes, caves and spectacular natural scenery.
History of Krabi
Some archeologists claim that Krabi City is one of the older settlements in the country as there is archaeological evidence indicating that this area had been home to homosapiens during the prehistoric times or between 25,000 – 35,000 B. C. The assumption has been strongly supported by the discovery of stone tools, ancient colored pictures, beads, pottery and skeletal remains in the provinces cliffs and caves.
In 1200 A.D., the area was known as Ban Thai Samo, one of 12 royal cities that had a monkey as the town symbol. During this period of time, Krabi was under the rule of the Kingdom of Ligor, a city better known today as Nakhon Si Thammarat.
During the reign of King Rama V (1868-1910), the community was known as Pakasai Sub-county and remained under the direct jurisdiction of Nakhon Si Thammarat province.
Around 1872, King Rama V elevated Pakasai Sub-county to Krabi Province with the provincial administration office situated at Krabi-yai Sub-county (currently, the office is located near the estuary at Pak Nam Sub-district) and in 1875, ordered the separation of Krabi Province from Nakhon Si Thammarat Province.
During the present reign, the corps of civil servants, merchants, and the people of Krabi and nearby provinces have collectively organized the construction of a royal residence at Laem Hang Nak Cape which is thirty kilometers west of Krabi Town on the Andaman coast to be presented to His Majesty the King.
Origin of the name Krabi
There are two legends concerning the origin of the name Krabi. The first is that villagers presented a large ancient sword (or krabi) that was discovered by chance to the governor. Later when a smaller, on discovering a smaller one, it was also presented to the governor. Regarded as sacred and auspicious, the governor decided to keep them in the province. As the process for the establishment of the province was still in progress, the swords were placed crossing each other in Khao Khanap Nam cave. Since then, the crossed swords have remained a part of the provincial seal.
The second legend is that Krabi was derived from the name of a local tree known as Lumphi. The Malay and Chinese merchants mispronunciation of the name to Ka-lu-bi or Kho-lo-bi finally resulted in Krabi (or sword).