Day 45-51: Krabi, Thailand

I wanted to go to a place to chill out for a week after quite a bit of hectic travelling, so we went to Krabi, a region in southern Thailand famous for it’s spectacular karst scenery and beaches. After our two-hour flight from Singapore, we got a mini bus to Ao Nang, which took about 45 minutes. We checked into our hotel then headed down the main street towards the beach.

First visit to the beach at Ao Nang.
The Krabi area is characterised by limestone outcrops and cliffs, beaches and mangrove forests.

Boats to take people to other beaches that are accessible only by water, and also to nearby islands. We took one of these boats to visit West Railay Beach.

We passed by a lot of cliffs on the way to West Railay.

West Railay Beach, where we parked ourselves for a while under the shade of some trees. What you don’t see is that an hour after I took this shot, the beach was covered with sunbathers. Paul wasn’t too keen with sharing the beach with hundreds of other tourists as he’d been here in the early ’90s (“the good old days”), when Krabi was visited only by a few backpackers.

The boats are moored right on the beach, where people were also swimming. There was a lot of water traffic. You have to be careful when swimming as you don’t want to get hit by one of these heavy wooden boats.

Sunset at Ao Nang Beach.

There were many places that sold fruit smoothies but this was a favourite. Elina loved getting watermelon or mango smoothies and I usually had banana. It cost about $3 for a smoothie. This stall also made some really yummy mango and sticky rice. A popular dessert here. Paul preferred the durian but it was more expensive than the other fruits. Fresh coconut juice, on the other hand, was only about $2.

Phra Nang Beach, next to West Railay Beach. So beautiful … but so hot and humid. Paul and Elina swam out to that island, about 100 metres off the beach. There was a little rock to sit on.

This boat, and a few others, were floating takeaway restaurants. They sold the usual Asian fare, such as pad thai, fried rice, fried noodles and smoothies. There were Western choices too like hamburgers and hot chips.

Princess Cave at Phra Nang Beach.
Krabi is popular with rock climbers because of its limestone cliffs.
The Phra Nang Cave shrine was full of penises. Thais come here to make these offerings in the hope of conceiving.
Did the penises in the cave make us laugh? Who knows, but don’t we just look glowing in this family selfie? (Glowing as in, hot and very sweaty!)
There was a Biennale in Krabi when we visited; this installation involved colourful cloth dragons set amongst the limestone walls as we made our walk from Phra Nang Beach to East Railay Beach, where there was expensive accommodation and cafes.
Rocks and roots.
East Railay.
The famous spectacled langur faces the paparazzi.
Plastic pontoon boat ramp at East Railay Beach.
Elina out on a limb at a beachside restaurant.
I didn’t even attempt to sit at this tree table because … anxiety!
What a strong tree branch! No adults or children were hurt in the making of this photo.
After an afternoon at the Railays, we long-tail boated it outta there.
That’s the driver in the blue-purple shirt – he stands up to steer the boat and has these ropes to help him hold the long-tail propellor, which is also the rudder. It’s very noisy.
On a different day out, we went to some islands. This one is called Chicken Island.

During this boat trip, we could also go snorkelling. But the spot was straight off the boat. I can’t swim well at all, so when I go snorkelling, the water is usually very calm and I am holding on to Elina or Paul or both of them.

When we went straight off the boat, the current was really strong and I was in the water for less than a minute when I thought I was going to have a panic attack. I don’t think I did but it felt like I couldn’t breathe. It really caught me off guard. Travelling with anxiety can be difficult and unpredictable. If you travel with someone who has anxiety or panic attacks, please be patient with them.

Watching the sunset at Ao Nang. Again.
My camera takes awesome photos!
We didn’t even have to go to Bangkok to meet some ladyboys.

After taking these photos with them, they flirtingly asked for money. That’s what they do each evening: pose for photos with tourists to earn some money. I wonder how many outfits they have.

We hadn’t realised till the last evening here that there was a night food market in front of the local mosque up the road. Probably because it was located away from the beach, not towards it. We had some cheap, good food here and wished we’d discovered it earlier in the week.

Elina bought a little canvas backpack here.

I really enjoyed chilling out in Krabi as our hotel was very comfortable, there was a pool for Elina and Paul and the beaches were lovely. Paul, on the other hand, would like to have remembered Krabi as the untouristy paradise it once was back in the early ’90s.