Unveiling the Secrets of Krabi’s Ao Luek
In search of an off the beaten path location, Phuket branch manager Gonzalo Gil Lavreda from Khiri Travel Thailand was drawn to the cave system and rivers of Ao Luek. The area is famous for its mangrove forest, meandering rivers and an intriguing painting of a manlike figure high on the wall of a cave.
Perhaps more than in any other country, the people of Thailand are undoubtedly one of the friendliest. Having a chance to spend two nights at a family inn on the tranquil peninsula of Laem Sak, an exotic region of Ao Luek (Krabi), is a marvelous experience for even the well-seasoned traveler. Please allow me to explain why this region of South Thailand should be high on the list of places to visit in the Kingdom.
In search of an off the beaten path location, I was drawn to the cave system and rivers of Ao Luek. The area is famous for its mangrove forest, meandering rivers and an intriguing painting of a manlike figure high on the wall of a cave. I asked the local guides if they knew who made this painting. No one was able to tell me for sure, but one thing is certain, this part of Krabi province has yielded the largest archaeological deposits of early human habitation—we are talking around three to five thousand years ago!
On a rainy morning in June, exploring the caves and mangroves with our local guide Khun Man was nothing short of memorable. My wife and kids sat in one of the kayaks with Khun Man who expertly navigated the river while I struggled a little to paddle a straight line following them at the back. The forest sounds, the smell of rain and the fact that we were the only people there made us feel very lucky to be experiencing that special moment in time.
What about accommodation in this outstanding region of Thailand? The cutest family-run home-stay located in the peaceful area of Laem Sak is the perfect base from which to explore the region. Warm hospitality, delicious food and perfectly appointed rooms made staying with the family of Khun Chareen the perfect complement to an already great travel adventure.
Ao Luek has an exceptional location to connect to nearby well-known destinations by car such as Khao Sok and Phuket (1.30 hrs.), Krabi town or Ao Nang (50 min.) or even by longtail boat to Koh Yao Noi (35 min.)
There is more: the islands off the coast of Krabi are literally a stones throw from Laem Sak. On our second day there we toured the bay by local long tail. There are massive karst formations that seem to spring out of the ocean floor, offering a sharp contrast against the blue waters of the Andaman Sea. The day out in the ocean gave the trip the perfect ending– laying on the beach of a small island and swimming in the azure waters of the sea.
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