Spectacular scenery, relaxed vibe make Krabi a Thai favourite

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There are many famous beach destinations in Thailand. You can probably name them: Phuket. Pattaya. Samui. So when you talk to your Thai friends in Bangkok, why do you keep hearing a name not on that familiar list? Krabi, on the Andaman Sea 60 km. east of Phuket, was once Thailands inside secret. Today its charming airport has added the word internationaland receives chartered flights from countries such as Denmark. So we can no longer call it a secret. But it remains special.

Special because it is smaller and more relaxed. Special because shops and restaurants have an unpretentious local flavour about them. Special because of soft, white beaches lapped by clear water, with brilliantlycoloured marine life hiding in nearby coral.

Oh, and there is that spectacular scenery.

Limestone cliffs rise out of lush jungles behind the beaches. Huge karst monoliths jut out of the sea offshore. Islands dot the horizon. The views are like pages from a tropical calendar. You dont have to purchase an excursion; they are right there in front of you.

Since Krabi is smaller than its famous Thai cousins, there are fewer accommodations to choose from. Fortunately the reputable Centara Group, Thailands leading hotel operator, has three resorts that cover the full range of what travellers are looking for. Well describe each of them to help you decide.