Despite the huge influence of Buddhism in Thailand, majority of Krabi locals are Muslims and Thais of Chinese descent as well as a small number who belong to a local tribe known as “chao le”. Despite cultural differences, the people are living with mutual respect for each other. The culture and festivals in Krabi rooted from these ethnic distinctions, making the province one of the most diverse cultural places in Thailand.
Majority of the people are living inland and work on agricultural plantations for products like coconuts, pineapple and rubber. Krabi’s primary source of wealth is from agriculture although its tourism industry has just kept on improving these past years. Along the countryside, you can witness plenty of old temples and mosques and laid-back wooden houses. One distinct Krabi culture that sets them apart from other Thais is the local dialect which is different, perhaps due to the local identity and diverse roots.
There are plenty of culture and festivals in Krab, most of which are influenced by religion. Among its boasted festivals are the Muslim Cultural Fair, done in Krabi town, the Chinese Vegetarian festival, Songkran and more. The Opening of Andaman Sea, locally known as Krabi Boek Fa Andaman is a yearly festival that takes place during the 16th -18th of November. This festivity is greatly influenced by Indian culture, given the colorful portrayal of the celebration. Due to Krabi’s limited land area, its local government put its tourist industry in topmost priority and seriousness. And with this, the unique beauty of Krabi attracted numerous tourists and travelers from all over the world. This festival is also expressed as the ‘Opening’ season for travelers to take their vacation in Krabi. The Opening of the Andaman Sea festival features plenty of activities including cultural and musical presentations and performances, local products and art exhibits, boat racing, kayaking competitions and a lot more.
One of the most unique festivals in Krabi is the Chao Le community’s very own ‘Floating Boat of the Sea Gypsy’, locally called Loi Ruea Chao Le Festival, which is celebrated during full moon day of the sixth and the eleventh months in the lunar calendar. This ancient tradition is one of the rare festivals in Lanta. Sea gypsies from Koh Lanta and other adjacent areas like Ban Sala Dan participate in the festival by sailing boats decorated with flowers in the sea. It is believed that this custom will help them lessen the chances of unfortunate fates, eliminate wickedness and sins and bring happiness and good luck in their lives. Before the ceremony takes place, the villagers perform a traditional dance called Rong Ngeng around the boats.
These culture and festivals in Krabi serve as proof of how rich this place is in terms of cultural background and tradition. These celebrations have turned out to be among the major reasons of its distinct charm to travelers around the world. Apart from the beaches and festivities, the eco-parks, wildlife and marine sanctuaries, the temples, shrines and sacred places also make Krabi an exciting tourist destination.