Photo: Pretty stunning.

Khao Kanab Nam

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The pair of 100-metre-high limestone outcrops known as Khao Kanab Nam rise from either side of the Krabi river to form a key part of the area’s natural scenery. Virtually any visitor to Krabi town will glimpse the rocks and their signature tilted shapes from afar, but a boat trip to explore the cave and surrounding mangroves is worth the expense.

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Starting at Chao Fah pier in Krabi town, we hired a longtail boat on a splendid late afternoon and cruised north on the wide and calm river. The attraction is overseen by Khlong Prasong district, which also includes the extensive mangrove forest nearby and the rural fishing island of Ko Klang further south. A 30-baht per person entry fee was collected after we docked.

Don’t just look at it, go and explore it! Photo taken in or around Khao Kanab Nam, Krabi, Thailand by David Luekens.

Don’t just look at it, go and explore it! Photo: David Luekens

Not in a rush to enter the cave, we strolled along the sandy mangrove beach, passing tall boulders while wandering all the way to the rear of the grounds. Here we found a small cave that opened to reveal another extension of the river.

The main cave is thought to have served as a shelter for some of the many prehistoric humans known to have dwelt in the area. One complete skeleton—43,000 years old according to a sign—was placed at the entrance after being excavated nearby. Without a case or any sort of barrier, it rests out in the open amid the reddish-tan sand.

Wonder what her name was. Photo taken in or around Khao Kanab Nam, Krabi, Thailand by David Luekens.

Wonder what her name was. Photo: David Luekens

A steep stairway carried us up to the main cave, carved by karst forces from within the “leaning” rock prominence. It’s a sizeable space with a sloping floor and ceilings that we reckoned reach up to 30 metres high. Among the many knotted rock formations, the surfaces of long stalactites and stalagmites showed dark sea-green, creamy beige, silvery white and the occasional ice blue.

At the main entrance and a second circular hole towards the far roof, openings in the rock cast other-worldly light into the cavern. Shadowy corners spread out like black fingers along the edges, visitors looking like blurry shapes as ... Travelfish members only (Around 400 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

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