My parents are island people. They love white beaches, blue blue water, and everything about tropical paradises. I had never been to a place like that until last month. Krabi is a dream, and while I heard from locals and expats about it's greatness, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. Rest assured, Krabi is amazing. People had told us that two days wasn't really enough, and though we experienced an amazing time here, there is no denying that leaving was the last thing we wanted to do.
Alex, Mary Austin and I arrived in the evening, taking a cheap bus from the airport to our guest house in Aonang. We stayed at MiniHouse Aonang, a modern and adorable little hotel about ten minutes walk from the beach, and to my knowledge we were the only westerners there. The night we arrived we ate at a restaurant a few blocks down called Jenna's Bistro, where we ordered delicious fried things like spring rolls and aubergine bites.
In the morning we were picked up by some folks from SeaKayak Krabi, a kayak tour I had booked about a week prior to our travels. Again, not quite sure what to expect. Even though the reviews had been raving, you never know what can happen in Thailand. Talk about an overwhelming and surprising success. We had a little team of five to our group, led by an amazing Krabi local, Aey. Aey had been a fisherman in Krabi for about 15 years before starting as a kayak guide. He explained all about each island, how the string of high cliff landmasses was linked under the water, and told us about his experience with the Tsunami in 2004.
Along with our new friends Ellen and Irv, we headed out to Koh Hong, an island named for the lagoon (or, "room") that lies in the middle. Mary Austin wasn't feeling the best, so when it came time to pick our duos, she chose to go with Aey, who dubbed himself her "motor." Alex and I teamed up and traded off rowing so we could both take the whole experience in via camera. The pictures below don't do this place justice. The water was crystal clear and bright blue all at once, and each turn of the tour brought a new majestic cliff sticking straight from the water, my mind blown everywhere I looked.
In the middle of our day, we stopped to eat a homemade lunch in the shade on the shore, Thai cuisine of course. We put our cameras down and sat in the water for a while while neon green striped fish swam around us and the piles of broken coral on the sandy floor. Aey took us to a few more islands to wander and frolic before we headed back to our starting point. Each place we stopped was like something out of National Geographic, or really just Google.
When we had showered and freshened up at our hotel, we headed out to Ao Nang for dinner, deciding on Indian food at Moti Mahal, where the chana masala and the chai were incredible. We splurged on banana nutella roti and called it a night, 'cause we're grandmas. Kayaking-around-islands grandmas, but still grandmas.
In the morning we lazed around at the beach soaking in some more sun and watching the boats come in and out. Our lunch was gai yang (grilled chicken) and somtam (papaya salad) with sticky rice and ice tea at the White Elephant, and we practically ran back to our hotel to make our 1pm checkout time.
We took a songthaew to Krabi Town, but we were too early for there to be much going on, the weekend market wasn't yet going on. We had plans to go up to the top of Wat Tham Sua, or Tiger Temple, named so because of the "tiger paw prints" in a rock near the base of the mountain. We proceeded to climb the 1,267 steps to the top, plagued by monkeys and lack of water (stolen by the monkeys near step 245). We finally made it to the top, thankful that the beautiful view was totally worth the effort. Those monkeys, though, I've never been so scared for my life in such a real way.
Our flight out was only about an hour or two after our descent from this lovely temple, and our songthaew driver made sure we were there exactly in time, or, we sat in our seats two minutes before take off.
Thanks, Krabi. I wish I wish with all my heart to make it back to you before I leave Thailand, but I don't know if that is possible. I do know, however, that Mary Austin, Alex and I have already planned a reunion trip of their time in Thailand that will probably put us there in the next three or four years, you can bet.