Making history live

Art April 18, 2015 01:00

By Kitchana Lersakvanitchakul

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Nok Air takes cyclists to Krabi, a town that has much more to offer than just gorgeous beaches and magnificent limestone cliffs

LOW-COST AIRLINE Nok Air recently held the second in its 2015 series of “bicycles fly free” cycling trips, this time taking a bunch of enthusiastic bikers down south to Krabi and Koh Lanta. 
We arrive on the morning flight and after a delicious lunch of freshly made “kanom jeen” noodles and fried chicken at Ko Joi restaurant, it’s time to check in at Ibis Styles in Ao Nang.
A rest though, isn’t on the schedule and the cycling trip immediately gets underway with a ride along the “Romantic Road”, a 48.3-kilometre stretch that passes several tourist attractions including the Shell Fossil Cemetery, Ao Nang Beach, Klong Muang Beach, Tub Kaek Beach, Ao Thalane and Tha Pom Klong Song Nam.
Turning back towards the town, we stop at the Jatukam Ramathep Shrine in the municipal area before moving on to the Andaman Cultural Centre. Here we visit the Andaman Beads Museum and learn how beads, many of them going back to prehistoric times, have evolved over the millennia.
Back on the road we pass several animal sculptures, among them the giant crab monument, which is one of Krabi’s landmarks, then pedal hard up the steep Chao Fah Road to learn about the lives of the local people from past to present through the 28-panel Historical Wall.
At sunset, we visit His Thai Majesty’s Ship Lanta, or HTMS Lanta, a decommissioned vessel that is being turned into a museum in honour of HM the King’s 84th birthday anniversary. The museum, which is undergoing extensive rehabilitation work but is expected to open this year, will be home to different zones portraying the history of the ship, Krabi province and its people, an IT library, as well as a statue of Admiral Prince Abhakara Kiartiwongse, the son of King Rama V, who was known as “The Father of the Royal Thai Navy”.
We return to the hotel via the walking street, a popular haunt with local and visiting shoppers.
Our final day in Krabi is spent at Tha Pom Klong Song Nam, 34 kilometres from town. The canal, where seawater meets freshwater during high tide, is hidden in the mangrove forest and home to an astonishing variety of creatures including the crab-eating macaque and red and blue crabs.
Nok Air has daily flights from Bangkok to Krabi at 10.10am and 5.15pm.