Thursday, 1 September 2016

Week 19.3 - Krabi

A lazy morning, a big breakfast and some slow packing was a refreshing break from the hectic early starts which we’re used to before moving on to the next destination. The taxi from Ao Nang to Krabi took longer than we expected, but it was a nice drive through some local villages, where each house had at least one tuk tuk outside, and in-between the jungle and lime stone rock formations. Krabi town is tiny and our guesthouse Baan Sabaidee is located a short walk from the river front. After the last hotel it now feels as though we are back to basics, but the room is clean and the little old lady that runs the place is very friendly.

After we’d checked in and left our bags in the room we decided to go for a walk, we asked where was good to go and what there was to see but we were quickly told that there isn’t anything worth seeing in Krabi…brilliant! So we headed to the river front, passing strange traffic lights with huge monkey statues and zebra crossings with pictures of actual zebras on, not that they worked. We stumbled upon a local ‘wet’ market selling fruit, shakes, BBQ’d food and curries…it all smelt delicious but Kyle was unsure whether to risk it as he didn’t know how long the food had been sat baking in the heat. My favourite find of the day was the Hogwarts Hostel, every Harry Potter lovers dream, though it left me wondering why we didn’t book in there? The river front is small but covered in statues of eagles, whales, fish and other sea creatures so made for a nice site, but we quickly had enough after being asked numerous times about boat trips. Our final stop of the day was Wat Kaew Ko Wararam, another accidental find, this beautiful white temple is located up many steps and has a huge golden buddha inside. The stairs are lined with gold and red dragons, and there are many mini pagodas outside with local dogs sleeping inside and escaping the heat. It was a pleasant outing and not too crowded with other tourists, in fact we were the only people there. 

I’ve had a bad stomach for almost 6 weeks now, and I’m currently trialling some medication prescribed in Ao Nang by a lovely pharmacist, one of the few I could find which spoke English. So feeling sorry for myself I decided to give the herbs and spices a miss and order some Western food for tea (I will never learn). Pie and mash, great I thought, until they put my plate in front of me…it was fucking disgusting, even Kyle couldn’t eat it, so I was left with crisps and biscuits for tea. 

Today we decided to risk an island trip, and lucky for us the weather was on our side. We were picked up at 8am by my favourite mode of transport, a song thaw, and driven back to Ao Nang harbour, here we boarded a speed boat and headed to the Hong Islands. Those of you that know Thailand well might be wondering why we didn’t choose Phi Phi, well even though it’s low season its still too busy, 1 speedboat left for the Hong Islands, while 12 left for Phi Phi! The Hong Islands are small and located 30 minutes from Ao Nang, made of crystal blue waters, golden sand beaches and lime stone cliffs. We visited a blue lagoon first, which would have been beautiful, if there hadn’t of been a storm yesterday, which brought in a lot of debris from the main land so we passed on swimming here.

The second stop of the day was a tiny beach with shallow warm water perfect for cooling off in after a slow cruise around the lagoon, after which we headed to a small cove for snorkelling. Here I decided to put my swimming practice to the test, but it was a fucking disaster! I forgot to not breathe through my nose resulting in a rush of water in my mask, eyes nose and throat. I quickly got out of the water in a mood. Not one to be defeated, I gave it another go at the next beach and though I got it this time I just didn’t enjoy it. Plus the water was so clear that I didn’t need a snorkel to see all the fish swimming around, they varied from pure white, to neon yellow and bright blue. The beach was perfect, just what you’d expect of Thailand and we enjoyed a good two-hours relaxing there in the sun. Hong Island was affected by the 2004 tsunami so whilst on the island you can also take a walk round the jungle and see a few shipwrecks and huge oyster shells that washed ashore from that time. The Thai people have left them there to remind them just how powerful Mother Nature can be. 

On the way back to Ao Nang the speedboat cut out, and it was hit and miss if we’d make it back to shore on the boat or if we’d have to swim. Thankfully, they must have had a backup generator as we slowly made our way back to the harbour, albeit sounding like a hair dryer was powering us along instead of an engine.

I’m glad we did an island trip as Thailand still hasn’t wowed me as much as everywhere else, but I did enjoy seeing somer of the quieter parts and pristine beaches. I mean its a beautiful country, the food is great and the people nice, but it’s a little too on the commercial side and very catered towards tourists. Maybe if we’d spent more time here before Vietnam and Cambodia I’d appreciate it a little more, or if we’d found ourselves a quiet little island like Koh Kut once again I would have loved it just as much. I’m sure that in the right season that all of the beaches are spectacular, just a little busy, but it’s for you to make your own mind up.

Now I’m currently enjoying watching the local people taking part in a huge zumba class on top of a car park, I don’t know how they do it in this heat! Plus they have to dance round all their own peds. Afterwards we will head for our last meal, pack our bags and prepare to head to Malaysia tomorrow. I’m both excited and nervous for our next adventure, we weren’t too sure if we were heading to Malaysia so with little research done it’s like were heading into the unknown……

Love Carrie xxx

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