Since your visiting one of the places in Thailand where these great boats have made such a name for themselves it’s our turn to give you a little information about these age old creations.
Dating back millennium wooden boats have always ruled the seas in this region of the world. Traversing dangerous passages, connecting people from different coastal regions and thus creating commerce among people are the main functions of this local boat we have come to know and love; the longtail.
Now with the boom with tourism over the past 20 years these boats now fill half of Ao Nang beach, longtail boats have now become the main forms of transportation throughout Krabi. If you are looking for an immediate means to get to the local island that populate the Ao Nang bay head down to the beachfront of Ao Nang, look for the ticket office right at the corner. From the ticket office you can buy seats to a number of the local islands; Koh poda, Koh Hong, Railay or Tonsai bays (although technically peninsulas they feel like islands just the same).
The Longtail boat has more influence than just ferrying people around the province, they are also to go-to boat among fishermen. The same boat design can be seen in the larger boats that take overnight trips to fish for squid.
Made of the strong yet watertight tropical hardwood “takien”, most of which has already been harvested throughout Southern Thailand so new boards must be shipped in from neighboring Malaysia or Myanmar, making longtail boats more expensive to produce.
Not all longtail boats in Thailand are the same. Krabi longtail boats have a distinct difference in the amount of adornments they wear and the size of their front nose. Typically each province will have its own traditional style but they all share something in common, they all have engines that extend far beyond the boats stern, giving them their distinct name, ‘Longtail‘.
They can be a bit loud at times but this is just a part of the experience. Riding one will give a sense that you are still in a boat, not in some plush room floating on the water as many larger vessels do.
Enjoy the ride.