One of the strange things about me is that despite hating heat and humidity, give me a week on a beach, under the scorching sun, sea breeze and nice cold beers and I’m so there. One of my favourite places to go for a beach holiday is Thailand, land of smiles. There are many great beaches in Thailand, Phuket probably being the most famous spot and I used to really love it, until the commercialism of it all got to me. So when a friend suggested going on a relaxing holiday at the beach, we decided on Krabi – though conveniently located, it was supposed to be less touristy compared to Phuket.
Being very near Phuket, the two places share many off-island attractions like Phi Phi island and since I’d done the island hopping stuff on my previous trips to Phuket, we decided to hang out on Krabi itself. We booked a room in a little resort in Ao Nang called Sunda Resort and jetted off to 5 days in beach paradise.
As soon as we landed, it started pouring. A most portentous start to the holiday.
Thankfully, the weather cleared up some by the time we got to the resort which was located on a hill above Ao Nang beach. Prior to stepping foot on Sunda Resort, I wasn’t aware that it catered to Muslim visitors, which surprised me because Thailand is a predominantly Buddhist country. Later, I learned that a good portion of the people living in Krabi are Muslims. What that meant for us staying at the resort was just that the food is halal. The rooms are individual huts with a small patio and our little hut faced the pool. We were greeted in the room by these adorable towels folded into shapes of elephants! At least I think they are supposed to be elephants 🙂
Ao Nang is the main beach area on Krabi, where most of the tourist activities are centred and the food is very much catered to the Western palate. This means that you can find a wide array of cuisines that you probably wouldn’t expect in a Southeast Asian country, Swedish food for example. What we had difficulty finding was Thai food, ironically. The best thing I put in my mouth while I was there was this grilled chicken with glutinous rice that i bought off a street vendor. Nicely charred and full of taste, I was practically salivating as I waited for my order. The smell of the street food was mouth watering and is a definite must try.
We had hired a car to get from the airport to the resort on the first day and during the car ride in the pouring rain, the driver asked if we would like to stop at a travel agency to look at the available tours. Since we had no set plans, we said ok. The service you find in most Thai establishments is pretty awesome and this travel agent was no different – as it was raining so heavily, the agency staff actually came out to the car to sell his tours. Won over by his friendliness and helpfulness, we booked a day tour to visit the Emerald Pool, the Hotsprings and ride an elephant. As a parting gift, he sent us off with a bunch of fruits. So on our 3rd morning in Krabi, we got on a tour bus and headed off to the Hotsprings, an open air hot spring located in the wilderness. The water was clear and very hot! A real nice place to soak in Mother Nature’s hot tub and relax for an hour or two.
One of the places that I had really wanted to visit was the Emerald Pool, it looked so beautiful in the pictures I had seen while doing my research. It was as beautiful as I imagined it to be and the water was crystal clear, only problem was that it smelled so strongly of chlorine. We weren’t really feeling the urge to soak in the water, so we decided to take a walk and look for the Blue Pool and boy was I glad we did that. Mind you, it wasn’t easy getting there, it was a long trek up a hill that brought us through a jungle and I had a moment where I was tempted to turn back. But we persevered and were treated to a most beautiful sight.
Calm and peaceful, there was almost a reverent hush about the place and the beauty of the pool pretty much took my breath away.
After a day of sightseeing or just hanging out at the beach, a nice night out at a bar with good music is a must and Center Point, an area that has many pubs and even a cabaret club, is a good place to head to. I’m not sure what’s Thailand’s fascination with Bob Marley, but in every beach town in Thailand I’ve been to, there’s always a pub decorated with the face of Bob Marley, as was the case in Krabi. We found a pub that served a delicious Mai Tai featuring the face of Bob Marley in Center Point called Smile Bar and at the end of a night there, you would be smiling. A laid-back place, the drinks were affordable and good, no pub grub here, but they would let you order food from restaurants nearby.
On our last night in Krabi, we took a last stroll on the beach and were rewarded with a beautiful sunset. While it wasn’t the most exciting trip I’ve been on, I had a nice time chilling out, going for countless massages (a must do in any part of Thailand), and hanging out at the local Starbucks when it got too hot.