A Flying Visit to Koh Lanta

Koh Lanta in Krabi Province is a lovely island with rainforest-covered mountains and a long coastline with beautiful beaches. You might think that this is yet another busy island — but it’s not! Koh Lanta is known for its chill vibes and families come here to relax, sunbathe and swim. However, Koh Lanta is a highly seasonal destination, and the island pretty much shuts down during low season leaving the beaches uncleaned. So if you want to visit Koh Lanta, make sure it’s high season (December – April).

Old Pictures of Krabi in the Late 80’s Including Phi Phi Don

Between 1987 and 1990 the American Jim Carter choose to serve as Peace Corps volunteer in Lam Thap, Krabi working with the Thailand Department of Agriculture. My wife was born and raised in Lam Thap, and thanks to my blog our World Wide Web roads were crossed and Mr. Jim could share his amazing story with me. Back in the 80’s, it was just the most adventurous traveler who knew about Krabi, and Jim had the good fortune to visit some places that are hugely popular today. Below are some pictures I have been granted permission to share.

Tha Pom Khlong Song Nam – the Amazing Mangrove Forest in Krabi

The province of Krabi boasts hundreds of square kilometers of mangrove forests which are one of the most important ecosystems on our planet. I’ve seen quite a bit of mangrove in Krabi, and Tha Pom 30 km north of Ao Nang is definitely the most beautiful.

A wooden boardwalk takes you inside the forest (after you paid the 50 baht admission fee) and lets you explore this natural beauty with amazing tree roots wriggling above and below the crystal-clear emerald water. Many species thrive here, and studies have shown that mangrove forests store up to five times more carbon than most other tropical forests.

Along the first part of the stream, the water is less clear with swimming areas; you will see many Thai families here during weekends, but few tourists. Walk further into the forest, and the water becomes clearer with signs telling you not to swim to keep the ecosystem alive.

The Impressive Soon-To-Be-Ready Pagoda of Wat Maha That Wachiramongkol in Krabi

Wat Bang Thong is a temple complex in Ao Leuk, Krabi, a few kilometers from Phang Nga with a new temple/pagoda called Wat Maha That Wachiramongkol under development. This Putthakaya-style temple is said to be one of the highest golden pagodas in Thailand, but there is very little information out there on the internet. When we drove from Phuket to Krabi not too long ago, we decided to stop by and check it out.

Wat Maha That Wachiramongkol in Krabi

Boat from Krabi Town to Phi Phi Islands and a Visit to Maya Bay

Phi Phi is a group of stunningly beautiful islands between Phuket to the west and Krabi to the east. Phi Phi Don is the largest island and the only inhabited, and Phi Phi Leh is the one that put Krabi on the map since The Beach featuring Leonardo Dicaprio was filmed here in 1999.

The islands can be reached by boat from both Phuket and Krabi in an hour and a half to two hours. We have previously traveled to Phi Phi from Phuket, and most recently we took a ferry from Krabi Town. Ferry crossings from Krabi Town to Phi Phi Don operates four times per day at 09:00, 10:30, 13:30, 15:00 and costs 200 baht if you purchase the ticket by the pier.

We stayed one night at Phi Phi Don as our main goal was to visit Phi Phi Leh and Maya Bay early in the morning to avoid the crowds. Below is our Phi Phi journey in pictures.

Let Me Take You on a Trip Through My Wife’s Hometown with Google Maps Street View

I love Google Maps; I can sit for hours looking for new places suitable for taking photos and flying drone — or just going back to places I miss. Most recently, I was looking if my wife’s hometown in Lam Thap, Krabi was added to Google’s Street View, and it was! You can visit my in-laws’ house, and when zooming in you can see a family member sitting by the door.

My In-Laws Cut down Their Rubber Tree Plantation in Krabi

Thai natural rubber prices have fallen from a peak of 179.25 baht ($5.41) per kg in 2011 to 45 baht ($1.38) per kg in December 2017 (36.95 baht as record low in Jan-Feb 2015). My in-laws, with a 3-hectare land, have waited a long time for the price to go up, but have now given up on rubber tapping. They recently cut down 1.000 rubber trees and sold it as rubberwood for around 200.000 baht.