Not So Krabi

Trip Start Jan 03, 2012
Trip End May 02, 2013

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Where I stayed
Gafiyah Guesthouse
Na Mo Guesthouse

Flag of Thailand  ,
Monday, January 23, 2012

After a short ride from the pier into town in the back of a pickup with benches (the transport of choice in Krabi), we arrived at our clean and friendly hostel. Krabi Town is quieter than the tourist beach areas, but certain parts of it come alive at different times.  There is a large morning market, small night market, and even larger weekend market where all types of food are prepared and other goods are sold.  We made it to all of these, including taking in some of the Chinese New Year celebrations at the weekend market.  Aside from the usual fresh fruit, Jason ate some ear-steaming hot curry and Sylvia particularly enjoyed the Thai pancakes with condensed milk.

Feeling better we decided it was time to hit the beaches again.

We caught another pickup (the local bus; see aside below) to Ao Nang, a seaside town with a big beautiful beach and cliffs along one side.  Our first longtail boat ride followed, with amazing views and a drop off in the waters of West Rai Leh Beach.  Surrounded by limestone cliffs and thus accessible only by boat, this beach is spectacular.  We soaked it all up, then moved on to East Rai Leh, the lesser of the two.  At the far end, a cave-lined, monkey-strewn path led us to Phra Nang Cave Beach, the most beautiful of the three.  With rock climbers dangling from the cliffs, fine white sand, clear turquoise water and offshore islands to entertain the eye, we truly had found paradise.  Although tempted to sample the longtail boat fare, we decided it was safer to eat lunch at a proper restaurant, which set us back a few more dollars than we would have liked.

Back in Krabi Town our popular guesthouse was full and we unfortunately hadn't given them enough notice that we wanted to stay longer so we were forced to move again.  It was quick and painless this time because the owner simply drove us to his other hostel around the corner with a bigger, less cozy room for the same low price of 550 Baht (~$18) per night.

Earlier on in Ao Nang, we had booked a half day kayaking tour for the next day.  Our friends Ange and Felix had a great experience kayaking with Starlight Tours in Ao Thalane Nature Park when they were here in 2011 so we were looking forward to doing the same.  Unfortunately, they never showed to pick us up.  When we called to find out what was going on, they initially told us that the driver was on his way but then said there was a car accident.  You never know what to believe when you’re in Thailand.  Our suspicions were later confirmed when the gentleman who works at our hostel told us Starlight called looking for us and that they actually forgot to arrange for our transportation.  We had to take the bus into town to get a refund and to try to find an alternative activity for the day.

At the last possible moment, Jason managed to secure two spots on a Four Islands boat tour.  We ran down the beach, waded out to thigh-high water and boarded the biggest longtail boat in the sea.  True to its name, the tour took us to Poda, Chicken (named for its shape; see photo), Tup and one-we-can’t-remember-the-name-of Islands.

We went snorkelling twice and saw plenty of colourful tropical fish and coral.  When travelling between islands, the view from the seats below was sub-par so we climbed to the roof of the boat.  The scorching sun nearly melted our skin on contact but we were loving it!  The tour’s final stop was Phra Nang Cave Beach, where we’d been the previous day, but it proved worthy of at least two visits.

After a great day on the water and sand, we decided to treat ourselves to a seaside supper Ao Nang-style.  We selected our own fish and prawns from the seafood showcase and sat right on the edge of the patio overlooking the beach with the setting sun in the distance.  Dinner was delicious; the perfect finale to our "beaches of Thailand" sojourn.

With a flight back to Bangkok booked for early the next morning we had room for one more pancake with condensed milk before calling it a night.

Aside:  We rode this 'bus’ with a young Scot named Alex who relayed a rather horrifying story to us along the way.  He and his friends were out partying in Ao Nang the night before and upon exiting the bar, two of his friends got into an altercation with several Thai guys, got cut up by broken bottles and ended up in the hospital for head stitching and partial finger reattachment.  Needless to say we excluded clubbing from our Ao Nang itinerary.
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ange on

gorgeous beach shots and loving your blog posts so far! sorry to hear it didn't work out with the kayaking tour :(

Neil on

Wow! Your post brings back wonderful memories when I visited the same places back in 2004 - stayed in a hostel run by 'ladyboys' and was blown away by Phra Nang Cave, Ra leh beach, and the gorgeous limestone cliffs of Krabi...Stay safe!

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