Dipping our toes into the gin-clear, bath-warm-waters of Krabi, Thailand, felt too good to be true. Its a low-rise, go-slow kind of place with the perfect blend of local-craft, mother nature’s charm and a delightful provincial scene between the cracks of the typical tourist vibe.
Along with the other travellers, we climbed 1260 steps to the ethereal Tiger Cave Temple, the foundation of which dates back to 1975 (B.E. 2518) when a Vipassana monk named, Jumnean Seelasettho once went to meditate in the cave and witnessed tigers roaming around, hence the name, “Wat Tham Suea”. The Tiger Cave is a Buddhist temple northeast of Krabi and is one of the most sacred sites in the province. At the top, you get to reap the reward of a spectacular panoramic view of the local farms and villages.
Beyond the busting towns and just a short Thai long-tail boat ride away (these boats are known as ‘Ruea Hang Yao’ in Thai) are the kinds of island beaches you really do want to find in Thailand. We spent a day exploring the Chicken, Poda and Tup islands which were completely dreamy before stepping into Mom’s Bar to watch the sun slip down, a gem of a place with scrumptious coconut coolers, rustic driftwood, palm fronds, and bamboo chairs dotted along the white sands.
We hired bikes and rode to the slightly bizarre Krabi Catfish farm, which cost 50 baht and includes a packet of fish food. It is just ten minutes from Ao Nang beach and is designed as a trail with numerous ponds teeming with 20 different kind of catfish in Southern Thailand.
Another not-to-be-missed spot is the Contemporary Art Museum, a real treat for those interested in a fusion of traditional and contemporary art and sculpture by locally-based artists.