Flashpacking in Au Nang

Trip Start Nov 30, 2009
Trip End Jun 01, 2011

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Flag of Thailand  ,
Friday, May 21, 2010

After living like Tarzan and Jane in our jungle hut for 4 days we decided it might be time for a little holiday from being backpackers and courtesy of Expedia found ourselves a great little 4 star resort on the coast near Krabi. With all the trouble currently going on in Thailand combined with the start of the monsoon season we managed to get ourselves a slice of luxury for just 15 a night.  Complimentary flip flops,  36" flat screen TV, balcony overlooking the pool, fridge, tea and coffee making facilities, a ton of toiletries in the bath room and a huge bath tub and shower that showed no signs of mould or dodgy tiling!  Holiday heaven.

Au Nang was kind of everything you'd expect from a holiday town, quite a few nice hotels and resorts, tons of restaurants and bars and shops selling tacky souvenirs. Being Thailand there was also the obligatory 'hostess’ bars with gaggles of girls dressed in hot-pants and tiny skirts inviting passersby to come in.  With cheap beer on offer it was hard to resist on our first night, but I must say I find it all a bit unsavoury watching sad old western guys, of the type that clearly can’t find themselves a girlfriend back home, sitting and lapping up all the attention.  For some reason these guys are all very similar, pasty and sweaty with rubbish tattoos and terrible taste in vests and footwear! 

Highlight of our stay has to be the afternoon kayaking trip, exploring the mangroves and caves that surround the coast.  Just 4 of us in the group, plus a guide.  The coastline in this part of Thailand is beautiful, white sandy beaches, blue sea and dozens of forest clad islands formed from Karst mountains.  We’ve seen a lot of this type of landscape throughout Asia so finally took the time to discover how it was formed.  Turns out there was a huge coral reef millions of years ago that would have stretched from China all the way down through Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and beyond which became extinct as the sea receded and has then eroded over millions of years to form these amazing mountains and caves.  We were taken through a tiny opening in the rock into an amazing hidden inlet and gorge where we saw a monitor lizard swimming and watched a huge golden coloured king fisher fly from tree to tree, flashing neon blue feathers under his wings.  We also pulled up to a tiny beach were two monkeys were digging in the sand for crabs and one of them decided to take a closer look at our group and came and stood on the end of the kayaks.  Always a bit nervous around monkeys, especially macaques as they seem to have a very mean look in their eye like they might have your face off at any moment!

Our only other excursion was to take a wooden long tail boat out to Railay beach.  Its in a little secluded bay and can only be accessed by boat.  Bit bumpy and not easy clambering off the boat at the beach as they stop way off the shore so we ended up waist deep in water trying to keep our bag dry as we waded in. 

Considering its now Monsoon season we’ve been pretty lucky with the rain, just one day where it rained for most of the day and then a couple of heavy showers in the early evening on other days.  Good time to come to Thailand if you don’t mind the gamble, as the accommodation prices are at their lowest and many of the restaurants were offering 20% off your bill.  All that having been said when it does decided to rain it really rains!  Absolute stair rods, although still nice and warm so although you get soaked to the skin if you get caught out in it you don’t end up freezing like you would in Manchester.
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