Centara creates an insider’s guide to Krabi Experience the true beauty of Thailand’s South-Western gem on an affordable budget
An iconic region of Thailand, Krabi Province lies facing the Andaman Sea on the South-Western coast – rich with pearly beaches, translucent waters, coral reefs, waterfalls and natural caves.The area is surrounded by over 130 islands, including the world-renowned archipelago of six islands which form Phi Phi National Park. Hundreds of smaller limestone islets dot the sea’s sparkling surface, forming the perfect base from which to peer into the teeming underwater world of marine life, from waving corals to sea turtles and gliding stingrays. If you’d rather be above the water, it’s simple to hire a long-tail boat to enjoy sunbathing on one of the sandy beaches of Koh Kai the Chicken Island or Koh Poda, top spots for day trips off Krabi’s main coast. For health-conscious tourists, why not surprise yourself at the Klong Thom Hot Springs, created out of the faces of smooth local rocks into the smooth rocks and filled with mineral-infused thermal spring water, issuing from deep within the volcanic bedrock.
The incredible wealth of untouched National Park land, which includes gems such as Khao Phanom Bencha, Than Bokkhorani and Thung Teao Forest, is where you’ll find deep, mysterious caves filled with mighty stalagmites and stalactites, a 40-million year ‘fossil beach’ filled with remains of ancient Carboniferous mangrove forests, and cascading waterfalls as well as the ‘Emerald Pool’, a deep green cooling pool lost within the deep forest – home to an amazing variety of local flora and fauna species. Nong Thale, a very beautiful but not well-known preserved swampland, situated not far from Ao Nang, is home to a multitude of birds, iridescent insects, water-life and rare swamp plants.
Not surprisingly, Krabi is a huge tourist draw, with hundreds of thousands coming each year to marvel at its abundant natural attractions. The sea itself is an immensely important economic and cultural presence, creating the livelihoods of fishermen as well as forming a tropical paradise for diving enthusiasts and lovers of epic beach views. If you don’t know where to start exploring the area, why not try a 20-minute boat trip from Krabi’s main tourist centre Ao Nang Beach to Phra Nang, once voted one of the world’s ten most beautiful beaches?
Once off the water, land-based attractions abound. Wat Tham Sua temple is lost within a wandering network of caves, dreaming in the jungle for centuries, and now shrouded in legend. Many monks still live and worship here, so a visit here is filled with fascination. Visitors can wile away days exploring Krabi Town, which offers a genuine insight into the local Southern Thai livelihood, as well as the chance to try the best of the South’s local dishes – naturally featuring plenty of fresh fish, fiery curries as well as milder ones; fragrant with tamarind, coconut, lemongrass and galangal. Here you can see the influence of the tip of the subcontinent; Southern Thai cuisine evokes some of piquant and robust flavours of Goa and Kerala in India – plenty of rice, red chilis and thin, spicy broths. Seafood and classic Southern dishes like Yellow Curry with Fish, Kua Kling or Southern Thai dried meat curry, and the must-try Pad Sataw Kung are among the locals’ favourites. Buzzing morning markets and hundreds of tiny shops can lead to enchanting purchases, and for the more adventurous, there’s always one of the premier rock climbing destinations in the world to tackle – the cliffs of Railay Beach.
Serving as the centre for Krabi’s beach entertainment and boat transfers, Ao Nang is bustling with shops and restaurants, and is also known for its lofty palm trees and postcard-perfect backdrop of limestone formations.
Tucked away in the serenity of Ao Nang Soi 11, just 10 minutes away from the buzzing nightlife, the new Centra by Centara Phu Pano Resort Krabi is an affordable hotel offering comfortable nights for discerning travellers. This contemporary resort, just 35 minutes away from Krabi International Airport, was designed as a cluster of low-rise buildings with 158 guest rooms, and gives guests great access to shopping, dining and Krabi’s lively beachside entertainments. Each room has generous living space of 24 to 49 square metres, and comes available in either a “Family Room” or interconnecting style, with the choice of twin or double beds. The Resort is fully equipped for activities and for a complete relaxation, with an outdoor swimming pool, a fitness centre, a bistro-style restaurant, free Wi-Fi access, parking lots and meeting facilities.
The resort’s all-day restaurant serves delectable Asian and international dishes, while the bar is open from morning through evening, with the option of in-room dining as well.
“Centra by Centara Phu Pano Resort Krabi offers a modern contemporary style of accommodation, suitable for budget-savvy travellers who seek well-rounded facilities and adequate comfort. The Resort is the perfect base from which to affordably discover Krabi’s extensive attractions with plenty of incredible holiday experiences to be had. As an addition to our existing properties in Krabi, the new Centra by Centara Phu Pano Resort brings a high-quality, fun and friendly, value product to the market, catering to the needs of individuals, couples and families who seek all the services and facilities they need, and none of the unnecessary, additional extras they don’t.,” said Mr. Thirayuth Chirathivat, Chief Executive Officer of Centara Hotels & Resorts.