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Krabi, in southern Thailand, has the distinction of being the country's oldest continually inhabited settlement, while Thailand, itself, has the distinction of being the only Southeast Asian country that was never colonized. The residents of Krabi, like the rest of the country, are descended from the Chinese, who migrated there in the first century A.D.
Recorded history designates Krabi as part of the Kingdom of Ligor, a major city-state of the Siamese Kingdom. The city was originally a group of three communities that provided elephants for the capital city of Bangkok. As these communities grew, they were combined and eventually given the status of a town.
Subject to King Rama the Fifth, Krabi was under the direct jurisdiction of a governor. It status was eventually raised to a "fourth-level city" and from then on, Krabi was as distinct as the other Thailand provinces.
Today for the most part, the elephants are gone, replaced by tourists who plod the streets and stroll the beaches along the Andaman Sea and are awed by the high, limestone cliffs of Krabi.