A longtail boat – its bow embellished with vibrant ribbons for non secular safety – powers by the water. Within the sapphire-blue skies above, sea eagles effortlessly journey the thermals. Within the distance, limestone mountains rise above the water. It’s a quintessential Krabi scene that anyone who has travelled to the seashores or islands on this area can be conversant in. However the vacation spot right this moment isn’t identified to most vacationers. I’m heading to the island of Ko Klang.
Welcome to Ko Klang
Positioned a brief 10-minute boat journey away from Krabi City, Ko Klang is hidden in plain sight. Lots of the vacationers, Thai and overseas, who pause for selfies on the big crab sculpture in Krabi City could not even remember that a complete neighborhood thrives on the opposite facet of the river past the mangroves.
With a inhabitants of round 5,000 individuals and overlaying an space of roughly 26 sq km (10 sq miles), Ko Klang makes for a superb tour from Krabi City or Ao Nang. This rural island is characterised by mangroves and rice fields and gives a really totally different expertise to the opposite islands in Krabi province. This isn’t an island of sandy seashores with luxurious resorts and Instagram-perfect spots. As an alternative, Ko Klang gives one thing extra significant; a possibility to take pleasure in southern Thai hospitality and expertise native tradition on an island the place farming and fishing are the mainstays of the native financial system.
What to see and do on Ko Klang
For those who’re visiting Ko Klang independently, the most suitable choice on arrival is to take a tour with one of many island’s taxis which come within the type of a bike with sidecar. There aren’t any automobiles on Ko Klang and these native taxis are essentially the most handy solution to get round. You may as well rent bicycles on arrival, however in case you are visiting Ko Klang for the primary time you’ll get to see and do extra with the motorised taxi tour.
The round-trip excursions are a set value (from Talay Pier on Ko Klang it’s 300 Baht for one particular person/400 baht for a pair) so there is no such thing as a have to haggle. And with no automobiles on the island, there is no such thing as a want to fret about visitors both. Merely calm down as your driver takes you alongside quiet lanes by the picturesque countryside.
The island excursions embody stops at various totally different communities the place you’ll be able to be taught extra about Ko Klang’s arts and crafts and store for native merchandise.
Neighborhood-based tourism (CBT) is of mutual profit to travellers and the area people. This type of accountable tourism permits you to be welcomed as a visitor and expertise the native tradition and lifestyle with out intruding. In return, the host neighborhood can work together with travellers who wish to be taught extra about them and their lifestyle. This in flip helps to encourage the youthful members of the area people to take care of the traditions of their dad and mom and grand-parents.
Batik is a standard artwork type utilizing wax and dyes to provide vibrant patterns on materials. The method was delivered to Ko Klang by the unique Muslim settlers from Malaysia and stays an vital a part of native tradition. Travelling round Ko Klang you might discover ladies carrying batik clothes and sarongs, and batik cloth adorning properties. Casual batik workshops permit guests to be taught extra concerning the artwork type and you may as well strive your hand at making your personal batik creation to take house as a memento.
Stingless bees and honey
Communities in Ko Klang have lately embraced the numerous advantages of stingless bees. This number of bee is without doubt one of the greatest pollinators of the mangrove forest and consequently performs a significant position within the native ecosystem. Though they produce much less honey than their better-known cousins, the honey that’s produced by these stingless bees is reported to have extra medicinal qualities and is extra precious.
Guests to Ko Klang can be taught extra about these humble creatures and the honey manufacturing course of. With the totally different blends and ages of honey, there are similarities to whisky tasting and all of it makes for a captivating go to.
Rice farming is integral to life on Ko Klang. Together with Phatthalung province, Ko Klang is the one space of Thailand to efficiently develop vital portions of the ‘sang yod’ rice pressure. With its distinctive reddish color and excessive dietary worth, sang yod rice is eaten regionally and likewise bought for export. Study extra concerning the rice manufacturing course of when you journey across the island and go to the totally different villages.
The ocean has all the time been part of Krabi life and that’s true too on Ko Klang the place you’ll be able to be taught concerning the historical past of Krabi’s iconic ruea hua tong (tall-bow boat). Mannequin boat-making workshops are organised as a part of the village tour and the keyrings with the miniature boats made regionally are perfect souvenirs that gained’t take up any room in your baggage.
Tour the mangroves by boat
Take a tour of the mangroves to rise up shut and private with this important a part of the ecosystem. The mangroves type a pure barrier that helps shield the island from the ocean and from erosion. The mangroves additionally act as a nursery for various species together with crab, turtles, shrimp and fish. A ship journey by the mangroves isn’t a part of the usual island tour, however could be organized by way of the boatmen on Ko Klang or in Krabi City.
Hen watching and fishing
For those who plan to spend an evening or two on Ko Klang, this opens up the chance to go bird-watching or you’ll be able to actually get your arms soiled as you be a part of with native fishermen to dig for clams at low tide or go shrimp fishing.
Baan Ma Ying restaurant
The identify Baan Ma Ying interprets as ‘Granny’s Home’ and it’s an apt identify for this pleasant and welcoming restaurant. For those who’re a seafood lover, it’s value making the boat journey throughout to Ko Klang simply to dine right here. The floating restaurant serves up freshly caught seafood with signature dishes together with crab, shrimp, lobster and sea bass.
Location | Extra particulars
Respect the area people
Ko Klang is a conservative island with a majority Muslim inhabitants. The islanders are pleasant and welcoming, however please respect the traditions and customs of the native individuals. There are some easy do’s and don’ts to remember:
- Gown modestly and chorus from public shows of intimacy along with your associate
- Don’t convey alcohol or medicine to the island
- No pork
- No canine
The place to remain on Ko Klang
Of the vacationers who do enterprise to Ko Klang, most go to on a day journey from Krabi City or the seaside resorts of Krabi. However when you’d like to remain longer, that can be potential with the island internet hosting various homestays. Nonetheless, there may be little data out there on-line in English and reserving prematurely isn’t straight-forward. Amongst the locations that do supply homestays, Kidthung Cottage could be contacted by way of Fb right here.
For those who like the thought of staying on Ko Klang, however would favor extra consolation there may be one lodge on the island, the aptly named Islanda Hideaway. Following renovation, the lodge will reopen in October 2023.
Learn how to get to Ko Klang
For those who’d like to go to Ko Klang independently, you will get there by longtail boat from two passenger piers in Krabi City:
- Chao Fah Pier
- Suan Thara (Thara Park) Pier
The pier with essentially the most frequent providers to and from the island is Suan Thara Pier. Journeys take round 10 minutes to Talay Pier on Ko Klang and price 10 Baht per particular person every approach. Boatmen will usually wait till they’ve a minimum of 10 passengers. If you wish to hire the boat privately, you’ll most likely be quoted between 50-100 Baht.
For those who simply wish to go to Baan Ma Ying restaurant, taking a ship from Chao Fah Pier is often the extra handy choice.
For those who’d like to rent a longtail privately, the boatmen can present you a recommended itinerary which, along with visiting Ko Klang, can embody a tour of the mangroves and a delicate cruise out to the dual limestone mountains of Khao Khanab Nam.
For those who’re staying at Islanda Hideaway, you’ll be able to comply with the steps above and on arrival on Ko Klang take a bike and sidecar (200 Baht from Talay Pier throughout daytime/300 Baht at evening). That is the best choice from Krabi City or Ao Nang. For those who’re travelling immediately from Krabi airport, you may journey to Krabi Boat Lagoon after which take a ship throughout to Ko Klang from there.