Not content with simply being one of the closest places to paradise on Earth, Krabi is set to become a cultural hotspot from the 23rd-25th of February as it hosts its 4th Naga Fest. As well as performances from top musicians, there are plenty of cultural, culinary and health-orientated activities to take part in — here are the best of them.
Enjoy the music
For the past three years, Krabi Naga Fest has wowed its audiences with performances by some of Thailand’s best names in the pop-jazz genre, and this year is no different. Thailand’s famous Koh Mr Saxman – a saxophone player with experience of performing and recording around the world – will lead the Jazz All Stars in playing musical numbers under the event’s “The Beach of Love Song” theme, which is sure to be a romantic and memorable experience. Artists from Europe, North America and Asia will also be on hand to lend their talents to the occasion, ensuring anyone who visits will leave feeling suitably spellbound.
Indulge your palate
The south of Thailand has some of the best food in the country, and much of it will be available to eat at or around the festival. Right there on the beach itself, there’ll be a number of high-quality dishes available, prepared by the numerous four- and five-star hotels that are nearby, as well as by top vendors. There’ll be a number of beer bars and cocktail stalls as well to ensure you don’t run dry at any time during the festivities. From delicious, fresh seafood to local and national favourites, Naga Fest is almost a culinary festival as much as it is a music one, and is a great place to eat, drink and be merry.
Climb a mountain
The people behind Naga Fest have organised a climb of nearby Khao Ngorn Nak, a mountain that offers breathtaking views of Krabi’s natural beauty. Advertised as a run-walk, there’s no obligation to complete it with any haste; instead, you can take your time to enjoy the enchanting natural surroundings and viewpoints that you’ll come to on your way to the top. Known among travellers as the Dragon’s Crest hike, the main feature is a rock sticking out over the edge of the mountain, which makes for a great photo sitting with your legs dangling hundreds of feet above the ground. It’s a tough, tiring trek, but the great music and food you’ll have at the festival after you’ve completed it will serve as the perfect motivation.
Shop at the local market
As well as food and drink being available on the beach, the streets behind it will also host a market. There will be products and dishes that are prepared and sourced locally as part of the government’s One Tambon One Product (OTOP) scheme, which aims to promote local products. From tools and trinkets to clothes and food, the market will be a great opportunity to shop for things that you may not be able to find anywhere else, as well to try new and delicious dishes that the locals love. Also, keep an eye out for performances on the streets near the beach, as they’re bound to whet your appetite for the main event.
Unwind on the beach…
Krabi is home to some of the best beaches in Thailand and Khlong Muang, which hosts the festival, is certainly among them. With clear, temperate water and soft sand, it’s perfect for swimming or lazing around in the daytime, before the acts begin to start at 5pm in the evening. Scenic, and with a laid-back atmosphere, Khlong Muang beach has everything you might want from a Thai beach, and is a perfect, paradisal location for the festival.
…and clean it afterwards
Krabi’s beaches will only stay beautiful if the locals and visitors do their utmost to take care of them, which is why there’s an organised corporate social responsibility beach clean-up activity. As one can imagine, a festival of this scale creates quite a lot of waste, which is why it’s doubly important that people come together to not only create an inviting space for the festival to take part in, but to ensure the beach is left in a good way after the festival has ended. After all, this is a free event — so taking part in the clean-up is the least you can do.
Ensure your physical and mental well-being
On and around the beach, there’ll be a number of opportunities to join in yoga classes that have been provided by the festival. Plenty of people head to Thailand each year on fitness vacations, and so the opportunity to enjoy a spot of yoga in such a picturesque location is one that shouldn’t be missed. Travelling can take its toll both mentally and physically, so it’s a great opportunity to relax before going on to enjoy all the festival has to offer.