Krabi: A Pleasant Surprise!


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November 16th 2006
Published: November 16th 2006
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Colouring while the rain pours around usColouring while the rain pours around usColouring while the rain pours around us

Trying out my new colouring book and pencil crayons. Let it pour!
AGGGHHHH!!! I'd just been writing a GREAT blog entry for the past half hour, when the power went out here and I lost everything. Nooooo! I'm usually really good about saving my entries as I go, but for some reason I hadn't been tonight. Oh well, another life lesson learned. =) Speaking of life lessons, I forgot to hit "publish" after I finished last night's entry. Sorry about that. It was a terrible entry anyways so it doesn't matter that it's a day late. Today's was going to be way better, but now I've kind of lost my enthusiasm...

Well, as I was saying, we left our resort at 6am as the sun was rising to catch the 7am ferry off Ko Phangan. This time we were on a big vehicle ferry, as opposed to the tiny passenger "express" boats that we'd been taking up to this point. The vehicle ferry was way more comfortable. In fact, the seats were incredible. We all listened to our iPods and passed out as soon as possible. When we docked, I wasn't sure if we were supposed to get off because we were way earlier than I thought we should be (turns out
My new colouring bookMy new colouring bookMy new colouring book

I like my fish! But Derek and Mark laughed at my choice of colours =(
I had the wrong idea about our landing time from the start), but I asked a helpful Thai student and he told me to get off and get on a big bus onshore, which we dutifully did. I really need to stop using time as a marker of where we are because things are always super early or super late, or I don't have the right idea as to when we're supposed to be somewhere in the first place. The bus was wonderfully air conditioned, which was glorious because it had gotten really hot, but there weren't enough seats and we were the last ones on, so Derek and Mark had to stand (I managed to score a seat). The ride was almost an hour, after which point we were dumped at the side of the road in the town which I thought our ferry was originally going to. This is where the chaos and confusion begins. Now, this is normal for traveling any distance in Thailand and we're becoming seasoned enough that it doesn't really bother us anymore. Basically, you try to grab your bags from the massive pile as quickly as possible and then wave your ticket around in the hopes that someone will recognize it and point you in the right direction for the next leg of your journey. You can't just get on a bus and go somewhere in Thailand. Noooo no that would be too easy. You get on a songthaew, which will take you to a travel agent outpost, where you will sit for awhile then get on another songthaew which will take you to a bus, which you will get on for awhile then transfer somewhere else.... It's a lengthy process. Likely the government buses are better, but we haven't actually taken those yet because we've been involving ferries, which appear to be private (and YES I know about all the warnings about the private buses, but we always keep our valubles on us, etc.). Today's trip had many of the above transfers, but we were well rested (unlike our trip to Ko Samui) so it didn't bother us at all. Eventually, we got on a normal sized bus (no A/C, sniff) headed to Krabi, today's destination. This was a bit of a different kind of transport for us because it was half Thai people and half travellers. Usually we're only with other travellers. I think what happened was the bus we were supposed to be on never showed up (or we missed us because one of our buses was late) so they stuck us on some local transport. It made TONS of random stops along the way to let people on/off, but I didn't really mind. It was a nice casual journey and I had some good tunes going on my iPod. Plus, I didn't have to pee at any point. Yea! Having to pee during these travel days causes serious problems for me because these are the times when you discover the absolute worst "toilet" conditions. Those are the times I envy Derek and Mark....

Anyway, after a while we finally made to to Krabi... sort of. We were still a ways out of town so we took a songthaew to the town center, which only cost 20B each! YES! That's a transportation fare that we're a little more happy to pay. For this leg of our journey, we opted to arrive without accomidation prebooked and check out a few places first to see what we could find. It turned out to be a good strategy. With Rough Guides and Lonely Planet recommendations in hand we started off to try out a few guest houses. The first one was a ghost house, and although the room was decent the bathroom was not up to my standards so I gave it the veto. I've definitely gotten over my problem of "being afraid of hurting people's feelings" in Thailand. Now I realize it's our right to check out the place ahead of time and if we don't like it, we just don't have to stay there, and that's that. They'll get over it. We went to KL Guesthouse next door, and it was much more to our liking for only 50B more a night. In fact, we're only paying 250B a night for our room, split between 3 people, which works out to less than $3 a night! Horrayyy budget back on track! It's no grand palace, that's for sure, but it's clean enough and the toilets are western style (we provide our own toilet paper), and we can put our own lock on the door. Plus, it has a really great central location.

Which brings me to Krabi town. What a pleasant surprise!! I certainly wasn't expecting much, as most people just catch ferries here to various islands and don't stay overnight. It's actually a sizable place (it's the provincial capital), quite commercialized, and (unlike Bangkok) really clean and civilized! The people have been soooo nice to us, too. We had a great time in a grocery store because all the free sample ladies took great fun in providing us with noodle soup, juice, and coffee to try. Mmm. And these school girls were QUITE taken with Derek in the ice cream shop, which was pretty funny. One actually moved her seat so that she could watch Derek while she was eating. I think he made her day by giving her a wave and smile as he left =)

It was late afternoon when we got here and it gets dark in Thailand at 6:00 every day, so we didn't have much daylight to do anything. We were going to walk down to the river (which is supposed to be really nice with a mangrove forest along the banks) but it started to pour so we took shelter in this INCREDIBLE school supply store. We had so much fun looking in it for ages. Many of you know how obsessed I am with stationary and school supplies, and we all know that Asian school girls know how to do the school supply thing up in style, so this store was incredible for me. In the end, I left with a Thai colouring book and some pencil crayons. Hey, I LOVE colouring, OK? I can't wait to have some time on a gorgeous beach on Ko Phi Phi (our next stop) to do some colouring. I already started in on the task as we waited out the rain.

We found a cheap internet cafe, so we're just sitting here until 9:00pm when live music starts at a pizzaria near our guesthouse. Rumor has it the band even plays country... hopefully tonight will be one of those nights! Tomorrow we plan to go to a monestary about 10km outside of town where human entrails and skeletons are on display to drive home the message of fraility of the human body. Should be good! Then the next day we'll take a ferry to Ko Phi Phi, which is said to be the nicest island in Thailand by some. It was severly damaged by the 2004 Tsunami, so I'm really interested to go for the historical aspects, as well. It sounds like it's pretty rebuilt, but that marks of the tragedy still remain. Unfortunately, accomidation on the island hasn't been rebuilt enough to cope with demand so prices are high and we won't be able to stay there for more than a few nights. We also plan on renting kayaks and heading to the nearby island where "The Beach" was filmed. There's supposed to be excellent snorkelling there, too. Should be a good few days!



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