Originally from the Gold Coast, Thailand is now Graham Grant's second home. The regional general manager of luxury group Six Senses' properties in south-east Asia, Grant is based in Phang Nga and spends his time jumping between the islands of the Andaman Sea, sixsenses.com
Just three kilometres from Krabi town, the Tiger Cave Temple (Wat Tham Suea) is one of the most sacred temples in Thailand (and for those watching their baht, it's free to enter). The site is a meditation centre with historical and archaeological importance. Inside the cave there are what appear to be tiger paw prints in the stone, and moulds for making Buddha footprints have been found in excavations. Of course, this temple is perhaps most famous (or infamous) for the 1260 steps you need to traverse to the top to see the star of the show - an enormous, gilded Buddha statue. But trust me, the steep journey is worth it for a somewhat spiritual and always breathtaking experience that promises 360-degree views across the local countryside and the Andaman Sea.
To soak up the true beauty of Krabi, head out to the tranquil fishing village of Ao Thalene for a laid-back kayak tour of Krabi's mangrove habitat – a hidden gem. Gliding through the many water channels by kayak along spectacular limestone cliffs is the perfect way to explore this huge mangrove forest - with minimal impact on the local ecosystem. It's also a chance to see monkeys, birds and other wildlife up close.
Hyper-local Honey Chicken is a beach restaurant at Pasai Beach, on the nearby island of Yao Noi. The chicken is grilled on a makeshift charcoal barbecue and served with sticky rice and sweet chilli. Pull up a bench seat, put your feet in the sand and feast on great food and priceless views.
Instead of hitting the bars on the Krabi tourist strip, take your own drinks on a sunset cruise around the limestone karsts in Phang Nga Bay, a short trip from Krabi by speedboat (and home to legendary James Bond Island). My land-based go-to is The Last Fisherman Bar on Krabi, facebook.com/thelastfisherman/
People in Krabi are endlessly welcoming and friendly, however, be sure to maintain some distance and respect their space. Unlike Aussie handshaking and cheek kissing, the traditional greeting in the Kingdom is a gesture known as a Wai which, apart from being respectful, senses and acknowledges a cultural connection. You don't need to go around giving the wai to everyone you see, but travellers should return the greeting when met with it. Simply bow your head with your palms pressed together and pair it with a simple hello in Thai – sawasdee.
Nothing beats fresh coconut water to stay hydrated and healthy. It's filled with electrolytes and is the ultimate thirst quencher. Always drink it straight off the ice (or out of the esky), and make sure to dig out the flesh and enjoy. It's a game changer! It's sold on the side of the road all year round, and I always enjoy one when I visit the markets to cool off.