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Krabi (กระบี่)

Thai. ‘Sword(s)’. Town with a population of around 25,000 inhabitants and capital of Krabi province (map) in southern Thailand, about 814 km from Bangkok. The province covers an area of 4,708.5 kmē and has a total population of around 410,630, consisting of Muslims, Thai-Chinese, Buddhists and Chao Le sea gypsies, with the majority in rural areas being Muslim. Its former name was Pakahsai or Karobi. It lies at the Andaman See and borders Surat Thani in the North, Nakhon Sri Thammarat in the East, Trang in the Southeast and Phang Nga in the West. After dating stone tools, ancient coloured paintings, beads, pottery and skeletal remains found in the province's many cliffs and caves, it is thought that Krabi has been home to homo sapiens since the period 25,000-35,000 BC, making it possibly the country's oldest continued settlement. Its main rivers are the Krabi and the Khlong Pakahsai, and the highest mountain is Phu Khao Phanom Benjah, with an altitude of 1,397 meters and meaning ‘five-tiered pedestal’. Natural forest consists largely of mangrove and cassia trees. Krabi is situated on the periphery of a limestone mountain range, offering stunning views of steep cliffs rising from the sea, as well as of scenic sandy beaches and is home to the Hahd Nopparat Tarah-Moo Koh Pih Pih National Park (map - fig.). Rai Le Beach is well-known for its rock climbing and the Bay of Ao Nang (fig.) has some 84 small islands and a limestone cave, whilst Ao Nang Beach features a monument of fishermen catching a huge swordfish (map - fig.), a statue reminiscent of a large bronze at Phi Phi Don (map - fig.). Other places of interest include Nahm Tok Ron (map - fig.), Hot Spring Angel Shrine (map - fig.), the Emerald Pool and Blue Lagoon (map - fig.), Wat Kaew Korawarahm (map - fig.), Viking Cave on Phi Phi Leh (fig.), one of the Phi Phi Islands (fig.), Koh Lantah National Marine Parks, Miracle Beach (map - fig.), Koh Poda, Koh Thap and Koh Kai or Chicken Island (map - fig.). Subject to tropical monsoon weather Krabi has just two seasons: the hot season from January to April and the rainy season from May to December. The people's main occupations consist of rubber tree tapping, mango, coffee, coconut and oil palm cultivation, fishery and rice farming. The province consists of eight amphur, 53 tambon and 374 villages. See also Krabi data file.