The Jungle Tour through Hinterland Krabi
Having been out in the seas the whole of the day before [The Speedboat Excursion to Koh Phi Phi], on Day #3, we chose to travel inland to explore the wonders of hinterland Krabi. Often overlooked by tourists, Krabi surprisingly has more to offer than just mesmerizing beaches and open seas.
After an extensive Thai breakfast of Gai Yang (hot grilled chicken) and Thai omelet, we were picked up from our resort by the tour guys. An hour’s drive through the cute town and picturesque greenery deposited us in Klong Thom. Idyllically located under tropical rain-forest canopies, Klong Thom are natural hot water springs whose waters form a waterfall, cascading over hollowed stone steps to offer natural Jacuzzi baths. Therapeutic and relaxing, the waters brimming with natural mineral salts offer an excellent way to rejuvenate oneself! The only downside was that the place was overflowing with tourists and it was tough to get a little space for oneself in the springs.
Our next stop was the exotic Emerald Pool located in the Thung Teao Forest Natural Park. Approached by a 2.7 km nature trail through the lush green tropical rain forest, the crystal clear natural pool is Nature’s ode to the human swimming pool in the middle of the jungle. The jungle trail in itself is no less exciting. Home to some unique flora and fauna, the pathway carved through the forest takes you away from the din of the town right into the lap of Nature. The sun playing hide and seek through the tall overlooking trees, the sounds of insects and the rustling of dry leaves under one’s feet create the perfect backdrop for an exciting morning hike.
I can never get enough of authentic Thai food. And it was no different with the rustic lunch buffet hosted by a family in a small makeshift shack in the middle of the countryside. Hiking is a fast friend of Hunger. And we were indeed famished after all the walking in the morning sun. Having satiated our hunger, we again went our way to explore some more.
The final item on today’s itinerary was the Tiger Cave Temple, home to a huge golden Buddha statue sitting atop a hillock, approached by 1237 steps, that offers panoramic views of the town of Krabi overlooking the Andaman Sea. The temple gets its name from the supposed tiger paws etched in stone inside. Nestled in the Khiriwong Valley and surrounded by tropical rain forests, Wat Tham Suea is home to natural limestone caves Tum Khon Than, Tum Lod, Tum Chang Kaeo and Tum Luk. A hike through these caves hidden by the forest is a nerve wracking experience. (And I am not exaggerating!) The silence is overwhelming. The setting is super eerie and it almost gives you the chills as if a fully-grown tiger is waiting in ambush to pounce on you from behind a tree. It is one thing writing about it in the cozy confines of my bedroom yet remarkably hair raising to experience it firsthand!
The next day i.e. on Day #4, we chose to do something entirely different – no sightseeing. We got a pick up in the morning in a cute little hatchback car that took us to the middle of the jungle. We had arrived at the Krabi Fun Park. It is unlike any ordinary park. Set in the countryside, it is one-of-a-kind aerial adventure park – zip lining among treetops, bicycling in the air, walking on swings, riding on broomsticks – the park offers over 60 such games with varying difficulty levels. Jimmy, our guide, was well versed in his job and his long experience in treetop adventure games was evident. He was friendly and talkative.
For lunch, we drove to an interesting place named Ban Ko Lek that overlooked the river. Delicious food and rustic locale – this place is recommended for sure.
Summing up the last two days, it was indeed a unique jungle adventure in the midst of hot water springs, forest trails, wild caves, riverfront and dense forests. When you head to the mesmerizing Krabi, do take some time out to explore this different side of Krabi. It’ll not disappoint you.