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Map of Thailand highlighting Krabi Province
|• Governor||Prasit Osathanon (since October 2009)|
|• Total||4,709 km2 (1,818 sq mi)|
|Area rank||Ranked 46th|
|• Rank||Ranked 64th|
|• Density||97/km2 (250/sq mi)|
|• Density rank||Ranked 62nd|
|• HDI (2009)||0.805 (high) (12th)|
|Time zone||ICT (UTC+7)|
|ISO 3166 code||TH-81|
Krabi (Thai: กระบี่) is one of the southern provinces (changwat) of Thailand, on the shore of the Andaman Sea. Neighbouring provinces are (from north clockwise) Phang Nga, Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat, and Trang. Phuket Province lies to the west across Phang Nga Bay. Krabi town is the seat of provincial government.
Circa 1200 CE, Krabi was tributary to the Kingdom of Ligor, a city on the Kra Peninsula's east coast, better known today as Nakhon Si Thammarat. In modern times, Krabi was administered from Nakhon Si Thammarat, even after 1872 when King Chulalongkorn granted Krabi town status. In 1875 it was made a direct subordinate of Bangkok, becoming what is now a province. In 1900 the governor moved the seat of the province from Ban Talad Kao to its present location at the mouth of the Krabi River.
It is believed the town may have taken its name from the word "krabi", which means "sword". This may stem from a legend that an ancient sword was unearthed prior to the city's founding.
The province is on the Andaman Sea and is noted for its natural beauty. There are solitary limestone peaks, both on land and in the sea. Rock climbers from all over travel to Ton Sai Beach and Railay Beach. The beaches form part of Krabi's Phra Nang Peninsula. Of the 154 islands in the province, Ko Phi Phi Leh is the most famous, as it was the site of the movie The Beach. Other notable islands include Ko Phi Phi Don, part of the Phi Phi Islands, and Ko Lanta, a larger island to the south. The coast was damaged by the tsunami of 26 December 2004.
Krabi's limestone hills contain many caves, most having stalactites and stalagmites. Tham Chao Le and Tham Phi Hua To, both in Ao Luek District, contain prehistoric rock-paintings depicting humans, animals, and geometrical shapes. In Lang Rong Rien cave in 1986 archaeologists found 40,000-year-old human artifacts: stone tools, pottery, and bones. It is one of the oldest traces of human occupation in Southeast Asia. Krabi's caves are one of the main sources of nests of the edible-nest swiftlet, used in the making of bird's nest soup.
In mid-2015, government plans to build an 800 megawatt coal-fired electricity generating station (EGAT Coal-Fired TH #3):13 in Tambon Pakasai in Amphoe Nuea Khlong have generated protests and hunger strikes by those opposed to the plant who say that it would endanger Krabi's relatively pristine environment. The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) has pushed forward with development. The government intends to start the bidding process without an environmental assessment in order to "save time". The Krabi site is one of nine coal-fired plants planned for southern Thailand to be constructed over the next two decades to off-set the depletion of natural gas fields in the Gulf of Thailand. Opponents of the plan say their demands—which include a three-year waiting period to see if the province can produce 100 percent renewable energy—have been ignored.
Thailand's resolve to go ahead with the massive new coal-fired power station in Krabi, a 315 MWe, 48 billion baht undertaking, presents a problem. Coal is a major source of mercury poisoning and has been found in toxic amounts up to 12 times more than the maximum acceptable dose in the inhabitants of Tha Thum in Prachinburi Province. Possible vectors are fly ash from the local coal power plant, coal dust from outdoor coal storage piles, or coal ash, used as fertiliser. These present risks to Krabi. "Clean-coal" technology is still in its infancy and at the moment can only handle sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and particulates. Carbon dioxide sequestering is much more complex and costly.
In mid-2016, a pro-renewables working group in Krabi published a "Green Power Development Plan". It concludes that Krabi Province can depend on renewables—mainly biomass and biogas—for 100 percent of its electricity needs. The report calculates that biomass could generate 118 MW in an initial three-year period; solar could generate 55 MW; biogas, 54 MW; and wind energy 40 MW. During a subsequent three-year period, renewables could generate 287 MW, exceeding the province's peak demand year of 2015, when it consumed 143 MW. If adopted, the plan would obviate the need to import coal, saving 175 billion baht over a 25 year period.
Population and culture
Krabi's population includes Buddhists, Thai-Chinese, Moken (sea gypsies), and Muslims. The latter account for around 42% of the population, a majority in rural areas. Krabi has been little affected by the Muslim militant insurgency that has plagued the southern provinces of Thailand since 2003 and its population lives in peace and harmony. Rural folk sometimes speak in a thick southern dialect which is difficult for even other Thais to understand.
Traditionally Krabi's inhabitants worked in agriculture, for the province is rich in rubber, palm oil, and oranges. In recent years tourism has become an important source of income.
The seal of the province shows two ancient crossed swords ("krabi" is the word for an ancient Siamese sword) in front of the Indian Ocean and Khao Phanom Bencha mountain which, at 1,397 metres (4,580 ft) above sea level, is the highest mountain of the province.
The provincial slogan is, "Krabi, the liveable city, friendly people."
The provincial tree is the thung-fa (Thai: ทุ้งฟ้า) or Alstonia macrophylla.
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Train Trains from Bangkok and the north, and Malaysia and the south, stop at Surat Thani, where a transfer by road is required.
Bus There are both non air-conditioned and air-conditioned buses to Bangkok and other provinces. There are also non air-conditioned inter-provincial buses.
Roads There are five major highways linking Krabi's districts and neighbouring provinces.
Ferries There are frequent passenger ferries to Ko Phi Phi, Ko Jum, and Ko Lanta from November to April. These depart from the Krabi Passenger Pier on Tharua Road. There is a car ferry service all year round to Ko Lanta which operates from the Hua Hin pier, about 70 km from Krabi town center.
Songthaew Songthaews are very common in Krabi and are typically used for short journeys.
- Atthakor, Ploenpote (20 August 2016). "Govt needs to get fired up over renewables". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 20 August 2016.
- "Summary of Thailand Power Development Plan 2012 – 2030 (PDP2010: Rev 3)" (PDF). Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT). Ministry of Energy, Energy Policy and Planning Office. June 2012. p. 13. Retrieved 22 July 2015.
- Andersen, Ted (2015-07-21). "Hunger strikes, protests to oppose Thailand's plan for coal plants on Andaman Coast". U.S. News & World Report. Associated Press. Retrieved 22 July 2015.
- Draper, John; Kamnuansilpa, Peerasit (2015-08-27). "Thailand's power dilemma amid a climate of fear". The Nation. Retrieved 27 August 2015.
- Paradise at Risk: The Krabi Coal-fired Power Plant Project (PDF). Bangkok: Greenpeace Southeast Asia. 2014. Retrieved 14 January 2016.
- Atthakor, Ploenpote (20 August 2016). "Govt needs to get fired up over renewables". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 25 August 2016.
- "Symbol of Krabi". OSM Andamnan: The Office of Strategy Management for Southern Province Cluster. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Krabi.|
- Krabi Province travel guide from Wikivoyage
- Provincial Website (Thai)
- Golden Jubilee Network province guide Archived October 25, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
||Phang Nga Province||Surat Thani Province|
|Phuket Province||Nakhon Si Thammarat Province|
|Andaman Sea||Trang Province|