Exploring around Krabi – try Ranong and Chumphon provinces
Krabi is one of the most popular destinations for people booking holidays in Thailand, with golden sands and the balmy Andaman Sea washing its shores. Visitors often head to the province for peace and seclusion, as the region is away from the hustle and bustle of Phuket or Bangkok.
Head a little further north, however, and there are two more provinces that are well worth exploring if you are staying in Krabi for a couple of weeks. Ranong and Chumphong are relatively unknown among British tourists, but the provinces make for a great excursion.
"Chumphon and Ranong are two of the best-kept secrets in the south, and the gateway to southern Thailand," says Suraphon Svetasreni, governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand. "Thailand's beaches on both the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand have their own unique charms and attractions."
Earlier this week, the seventh Ocean to Ocean Relay Run was held to showcase what these two parts of the country have to offer. The event, adds Mr Svetasreni, offered "a great opportunity for people to enjoy the peaceful and scenic beaches of both Chumphon and Ranong".
The 120km route took competitors from the Lang Suan District in Chumphon Province, located on the Gulf of Thailand on the Pacific Ocean, west to the Muang District of Ranong Province, which is on the Andaman Sea on the Indian Ocean. The race attracted 100 teams of up to eight members from Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, the United States and Thailand.
If you fancy catching a glimpse of these two provinces, basing yourself in Krabi is a good option. With domestic flights from Bangkok to Krabi, this is an easy, tourist-friendly hub to get to and then explore Ranong and Chumphon at your leisure.
Sala Talay is one of the best places to stay in Krabi. Just ten minutes from Ao Nang, this boutique resort is only 30 minutes from the airport. From the hotel you can take a long tail speed boat to Railay Beach – one of the region's best places to go rock climbing.