According to archaeological evidence, the area that is now called "Krabi" province had been a community since prehistoric period, yet there was no documentary evidence about this.
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 emblem.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).