to archaeological evidence, the area that is now called
"Krabi" province had been a community since
prehistoric period, yet there was no documentary evidence
During King Rama V's reign (1868-1910), this land was
called Pakasai sub-county under the direct jurisdiction
of Nakhon Si Thammarat province. After the governor of
the province sent his officials to catch elephants here,
many more people from Nakhon Si Thammarat province immigrated
to settle down in the area.
Around 1872, King Rama V elevated Pakasai sub-county to
be Krabi province with the provincial administration office
situated at Krabi-yai sub-county (in Muang district at
present). But it was still subjected to Nakhon Si Thammarat's
control. At present, the office is located near the estuary
at Pak Nam sub-district. Its first governor was Laung
Thep Sena. In 1875, Rama V had an order to separate Krabi
from Nakhon Si Thammarat and to have it ruled by Bangkok.
There are two legends mentioning the meaning of "Krabi".
The first had it that villagers presented a large ancient
sword (krabi in Thai) they discovered by chance to the
governor. They also did the same thing when a smaller
one was found later. Regarded as sacred and auspicious,
the governor would like to keep them in the province.
But the provincial establishment was still in progress,
so they were placed crossing each other in the cave named
Khao Khanap Nam. This was the origin of the province's
The second legend had it that "Krabi" was derived
from a name of local tree "Lumphi". The Malay
and Chinese merchants made its pronunciation slightly
corrupted and became "Ka-lu-bi" or "Kho-lo-bi",
which finally turned to "Krabi" (sword).
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