Ao Luk mangrove and caves is a suitable field for exploration and soft-adventure experiences in Krabi Province. Ao Luk District is located approximately 40km north of Krabi Town on the road to Phang Nga Town and enjoys an outstandingly preserved natural environment. This area is rural and hosts two parks: Than Bok Khorani and Khao Phanom Bencha National Parks.
Tall limestone cliffs similar to those found in Phang Nga Bay dot the hilly lush landscape, and along the coast, mangrove forest and limestone cliffs offer sea kayakers an exciting tropical playground. The small town of Ao Luk is a genuine southern Thailand village that has been cut in two by the Krabi-Phang Nga highway. It is a charming place to have a short rest for people driving from Phuket to Krabi Town as a few street food stalls and a 7-Eleven allow tired drivers to grab a snack and a drink.
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Than Bok Khorani National Park
In Ao Luk on the main road to Phang Nga-Krabi, turn left (when coming from Krabi Town) at the traffic light in the direction of Laem Sak. Bok Khorani National Park Headquarters is located on the left about two kilometres after the traffic light. The National Park headquarters offers a trail through the rainforest and limestone hills with waterfalls, caves and even a small Buddhist temple.
Popular with locals as it offers a cool, shady forest and a number of small pools, it is an ideal location for picnics and a swim and it gets busy at weekends. Bring your own snacks or sample barbecued chicken, fruit and snacks from local vendors at the entrance of the park.
- Opening Hours: 06.00 - 18.00 daily
Ao Luk Mangrove & Caves
Along the Ao Luk-Laem Sak Road, turn right approximately 3.5km after Than Bok Khorani National Park Headquarters and continue for 1.5km then turn left to reach a large parking space on the side of Tha Pring Canal. Here you can hire a long-tail boat for a few hundred baht and discover three caves in the mangroves: Tham Phi Hua To, Tham Lod Neua, and Tham Lod Tai. The latter is a long narrow limestone tunnel with stalactites and stalagmites and is best visited by long-tail boat at low tide.
Tham Phi Hua Toh/Hua Galok is a large cave which used to be a burial site some 3,000 years ago. Some paintings on the ceiling of the cave are dated from this time. Tham Phi Hua Tho means 'Big-headed Ghost Cave', due to the fact that the cave, viewed from Tha Pring Canal, looks like a huge limestone face. Apart from the paintings, the cave also displays some strangely shaped rocks: a dragon's head and a crocodile head. There are other caves located in this area: Tham Prah Cave, the site of the Khao Prah Suhn Yah Tah Rahm Meditation Centre, Tham Pet Cave, named because the walls of the cave reflect light like a diamond.