What are the best things to do at that time of the year? Andrea
December is the best time to be in Krabi and there are plenty of places to visit and things to do. The most popular area to stay is Railey, with its limestone karsts and rock climbing. You need to get there by long-tail boat, either from Krabi town or Ao Nang. There is a range of accommodation in Railey but everything is busy December, when prices also peak. If you can't find a room in your price range, you can easily take a day trip. Ao Nang is much closer to Railey than Krabi town, but it also gets busy in the high season.
You can rent a boat for a day to visit the four spots – Tup Island, Chicken Island, Poda Island and Phra Nang Cave. I’d suggest you visit Phi Phi island too and perhaps spend a few days there. Make time to kayak out to the hidden lagoon of Hong island, located 25km northwest of Ao Nang.
In Krabi town, I recommend you to go to the Tiger Cave Temple, located only five kilometres from the town centre. You will get a rewarding view after climbing 1,200 steps to a pagoda on the hilltop. The temple is popular for meditation retreat.
Other highlights include the emerald pool at Thanbok Khoranee National Park, hot springs and waterfalls at Khao Pra-Bang Khram Nature Reserve and ancient painting at Ao Luek. You can also visit Koh Lanta and explore this large and largely unspoilt island and perhaps stay there too.
Diving is also great in December and there are plenty of good dive operators to choose from. Hope you enjoy your holiday.
My wife and I will be driving from Bangkok to the North for a couple of weeks. We are thinking about stopping in Tak and visit Umphang's Ti Lor Su Waterfall on the way up to Chiang Mai. Is it possible to go camping at the waterfall area? Should we pack our tent? Thanks for your reply. Ross
Ti Lor Su Waterfall is located at the Umphang Wildlife Sanctuary, which is a strictly protected area. A parking lot and campsite is provided and run by the wildlife sanctuary office. Cars are allowed to enter the area only in the dry season from November to April. However, only pick-up trucks and 4WDrive vehicles are allowed as far as the campsite. There is spacious parking and toilet facilities, and it can get very busy during the New Year holidays. Outside the peak holidays, there will be very limited food or any other supplies, so you have to bring your own. Otherwise you will end up eating only instant noodles. From the campsite, there is a 1.5 kilometres trail to walk to the Ti Lor Su Waterfall.
Those without a 4W drive prefer to stay in Umphang town centre, and take a tour from the hotels or travel agencies in town. You can easily opt for a two-day and one-night package, where everything is arranged for you including a boat to the waterfall, food, tent and a guide.
You may already know about the road to Umphang, but let me give you information again. Once you arrive in Tak along highway 1, you have to head to Mae Sot using highway 5. The distance is 86 kilometres. From Mae Sot to Umphang on highway 1090 will be the hardest part of your trip with 1,219 curves over 169 kilometres. Don’t dream of a relaxed drive: you will need to be alert for the next sharp bend all the time. There is a rest area on km.84 to stop and stretch your legs and get some refreshments. The trip from Bangkok to Umphang would take you at least five hours.
But once there, I guarantee you will be astonished by this great waterfall.