Our taxi ride from Khao Sok National Park to the southern area province of Krabi took us 2.5 hours, that is, with the usual stops along the way we have come to accept by all drivers in Thailand- refreshments and errands they have built into the trip. Rain began to pour in buckets as we came into the city, and when I say pour, brig from Seattle, you’d think I knew what that meant. I’ve quickly come to realize that rain in Thailand is nothing quite like the rain back home. Stepping outside for just a quick second has you drenched from head to toe, and running to the bathroom meant splashing in warm puddles up to my calves. It was quite the experience- warm rain- I wouldn’t have minded it much had I not felt bad for soaking the entire inside of the taxi. We arrived to our Airbnb in Ao among, Krabi, and we were exhausted from the travel and hike earlier that day. We ordered “room service” which was a funny experience in itself, as our Airbnb was just a house amongst other homes and the room service was just delivery from a local restaurant arranged by our gracious host. We had no idea what the surrounding area really looked like, having arrived so late, but we were eager to find out in the morning after a good nights rest.
In the morning we caught a taxi into town- the taxis are here are really just pick up trucks with a cover and benches to sit. Our first observation of the town was the neighborhood surrounding our Airbnb, which was a mixture of really nice small homes and then literally across the street shanty houses made of scrap material. It was very strange and a bit eye opening, as we’d soon come to discover is the apparent theme here in Thailand.
The town of ao Nong itself is a road along the beach filled with shops and restaurants. We grabbed breakfast and wandered down to the beach. Along the very left hand side were stairs along the cliff that led into the jungle. We followed them to find that they led to the resort on the other side, with a beautiful stretch of beach. We swam out to a cove we saw in the rock and sat inside it for a while, I told kellen I felt like a mermaid lying in the cove letting the waves splash over me. 🙂
After all that hard work, it was obviously time for a massage, which, in Thailand is literally more common than a Starbucks in Seattle. In fact, you can’t walk more than 30 feet it seems without being propositioned for a massage. I found the most picturesque of them all in my opinion, an open air deck lined with mats, and had a back, neck and shoulder massage (this one much less traumatizing than my experience in Bangkok), my toes and nails painted, all for a whopping $9 US dollars. Oh Thailand, I do love you.
After an amazing lunch including some delicious pineapple fried rice, kellen attempted to find a grocery store but came up unsuccessful. I had to rescue him with a tuk tuk, thanks in major part to google translator who helped me explain my situation to the driver.
The next day we ventured on a tour to see some of the islands just off the coast. It sounds a bit more romantic than it really was, to be honest, as the tour company seems to have a very effective way of jamming as many people as possible into these boats, and providing an “English guide” who barely told us anything that day, haha. Still, we had fun, snorkeling off the boat, seeing the amazing Phi Phi island and watching the curious and quite aggressive monkeys on bamboo island. The guide warned us not to take anything out to this island with us because the monkeys have been known to steal things from tourists, they especially love water bottles. A group of monkeys had obviously stolen a woman’s scarf at some point and were playing tug of war with it, I found this absolutely fascinating and told kellen I could probably watch monkeys all day.
I was eagerly anticipating our trip to Railey Beach the next day, which is set on the peninsula of Krabi but completely disconnected from the mainland because of cliffs, so you can only access it from long tail boat. This, my friends, is absolutely as romantic as it sounds: Railey beach did NOT disappoint- it is surrounded by limestone cliffs and a lush rainforest. We rented a kayak and explored around the cove on the left hand side, this had to be one of the highlights of the trip so far in my opinion, the scenery is absolutely breathtaking.
We walked along the beach and found what was called the “walking street” which we quickly learned was just the street that takes you to the resorts. Again, a very strange feeling of wealth and poverty as you must walk by lots of shanty houses and tents in order to reach the resorts on the other side.
We had made a mistake in booking our Airbnb, so we had to leave Saturday morning (we were sad to leave for sure, since the host was absolutely incredible and the Airbnb itself was a whole home to ourselves with a private pool). We had booked one night in Railey, which we didn’t know until we got here but that meant lugging our luggage all the way via long tail boat to the resort. Longtail boats are absolutely an experience in themselves, you have to wade into the water to get on them, maneuver yourself up a rickety ladder, and swing your legs in to get in. So with luggage, you can imagine what a funny experience that was :).
Arriving to our resort had us quickly forgetting the woes of leaving our amazing air bnb- within the first two hours we discovered a path which followed along a cave wall that popped you out onto the most amazing and picturesque beach so far, in my opinion, phranang cave beach. Describing it almost feels like not doing it justice- it was just breathtaking, swimming below a cave wall, watching the drips from the top fall into the water from 500 feet above.
I had been looking forward to eating at an amazing restaurant called “The Grotto”- which happened to be right on this beach- and was by far our biggest expenditure of the trip, but the food was delicious.
More monkeys on the way back to our room for the night, not to mention the giant iguana we saw consume another lizard under our table at lunch, we are now snuggled up in our bed listening to the sound of thunderstorm. We leave early for a 9am flight to the north- Chiang Mai- more exciting adventures to come!