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I spent 20 years punching a time clock... then decided there had to be another way. Right now I'm sitting in a comfortable chair on a beautiful beach. There's a sweet, soft breeze in the air. In front of me, on the clear blue water, a boat drifts by. Maybe I'll go snorkeling this afternoon, or work on my tan. This is my kind of tropical paradise... cheap and unspoiled!
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Places to See - Thailands' Spectacular Sea Coast    

By Ken Silver About Asia
2798 Views | 1 Comments | 7/7/2010 2:29:39 AM

Snobbish scenery vultures often remark that the tropics do not produce spectacular coastal scenery the way cold winter climates do. You know those scenery snobs. Wearing heavy wool sweaters and waterproof boots, they fill their thermoses with hot coffee and head off to tramp the cliffs of the Scottish coast. Freezing surf... seagulls covered with snow as they fly. Not so! I beg to differ.

Oceans shouldn't be paired with cold weather. It happens, I know, but it shouldn't.

Wouldn't you rather be lounging on a hot day in a comfortable beach chair, sipping a cold drink, and gazing off at sea cliffs the size of any mountain? Sheer faced monoliths beneath which taxi boats ply their trade. Taking tourists to the rest of the glorious beaches. Welcome to Krabi, Thailand, where the pen and ink landscapes of the great Chinese paintings come to bright sky blue life.

I've hitchhiked the Scottish coasts. Did the freezing rain thing. Fish and chips on the foggy, windy dock. I like Krabi Province better.

Firstly, there is old Krabi town itself. at the mouth of the river. Great night markets of seafood and everything else good to eat. Beautiful Thai girls. Old shops. Laid back, respectable atmosphere. Hotels very cheap. Last time it was 3 American dollars for a room we crammed 2 of us in.

From town taxi pick up trucks run the brief route to the coast; to the base beach of Ao Nang. At that beach, jump taxi boats run you down to four beaches in succession; with the option of turning the coastal far corner and returning by boat to Krabi town.

The scenery is limestone cliff emerald waters awesome. Sometimes the towering limestone formations are just yards away from you as you boat by. Other times you boat past towering surreal stone fingers pointing to the sun and then the moon on your night ride back. The water is warm and clear.

First stop... Hat Ton Sai beach... rock climbers and impressive rocks to climb rule here. Quiet and simple.

Next beach down by taxi boat is Hat Rai Leh. It has jaw dropping cliffs on both sides of the soft sand beach with its restaurants and fairly pricey bungalow accommodation. It is a great beach for swimming a bit.

Walk a jungle path from here to the ultimate beach of Tham Phra Nang. Sculptured rock, intimate, and quiet. Perfect.

At the end of the day return to your lodgings at which ever beach suited you best. Remember, this is still mainland coastline, so you can boat your way back to Ao Nang and a taxi truck ride to Krabi town. (Just in case you need speedy connections for that internet international dating site).

The food everywhere is excellent, though the beach hotels and restaurants are priced for tourists who aren't going to leave the scenery for cheaper fare.

There are a lot of activities available. Sea Canoeing, intro scuba dives, scuba diving and rock climbing courses also. You'll never forget the huge stone monsters rising out of the sea.

There are various ways to get to Krabi. Out of Bangkok I would just fly and save the fuss. You can go from and to Krabi on ferries from the Phi Phi Islands.

Ah, now those are islands!

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#2010-07-11 01:57:32 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

I've explored much of the Thai mainland coast and I must say I actually preferred it to the Islands like Phuket and Kho Samui (although it is all good), and the area Ken is talking about is really, as he says, spectacular. No matter how often you go to Thailand, with a lady, with a buddy or even by yourself, another trip there is always in order.

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