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Published: December 8th 2014
So we grab another awesome Bangkok Airways flight to Krabi town. It's raining when we arrive but we jump on a shuttle bus for cheap. The town isn't much, there are really just two streets which have restaurants and pubs. We arrive at a nondescript building and the driver signals at Cameron and me to get off. We are on a bus full of people, but only we are told to get off. We ask a few times if they are sure we get off there, and the other passengers look confused as well, but they seem insistent so we get off. Now we have no idea where we are. We ask a lady sitting on the corner of the building if she knows where our hotel is, and lo and behold, we are just a few meters away. I have no idea how this happened. Neither of us told anyone where we were staying. It became our running joke through the rest of the trip - they just know.
We get to P.N. guesthouse which is not much to look at. Our room is large but dingy, the bed is uncomfortable and
the door leads to the area which looks like a trash yard. However, it is $8/night, so we suck it up. We are changing hotels the next night. We then head north to the local market, because rumor has it we must try the curries in Krabi. There is a strong Muslim influence, and the massaman curry is supposed to be great. There is also a nightly market at the central pier, but that's mailing geared towards tourists and is more expensive. It's still raining so we poncho up and head out. We wander through the market for a while, until a woman in a hijab asks us in perfect English if we would like to try her curries. She asks "spicy or no spicy" and then let's us try any of the many curries she has on display. We choose two - a spicy chicken curry and an authentic massaman. They are both good, the massaman I had never tried before and was sweet with warm cinnamon tones and not spicy. We hit up a few bars, one where the women scream out every bob Marley song they are playing on you tube, and another with an old western
theme which decides to play the entire creed album from start to finish. We try to local whiskey for the first time and it's not bad. We retire in our less than optimal room, happy it's our last night there.
The next morning we head to the pier to catch a long boat to go to Railay Beach. Ao Nang is the more popular beach and more frequented, but we wanted to hit up Railay because it had plenty of hiking and active options as well as the beach. We arrive at the pier and are told to sit on a bench and we wait for 45 minutes or so. We are used to this trend by now so we wait and a few more people arrive and eventually someone ushers us onto some boat and we pay 300baht each. They are displeased with travelers with 1000baht bills. The longboat ride is about 1 hour and we are dropped off at the pier. There's really no beach on this side of the island, and there are some stores downtown but it's obviously not as developed as other places. We head first to the lookout point, but opt
out of it after a local tells us it's super slick after the rain. We later on see many tourists covered in red clay mud so we are happy with our choice. So we opt for a jungle walk to Ao Tau Soi, the "secret beach" on the northwest side of the mountain. We take many wrong turns into villages etc because there are no signs, but we finally make our way into what seems to be a series of bungalows. It strikes us as odd that there are huts here which are so far away from the pier, but we start seeing people and tourists so figure it must be. Then we get to The "secret beach" where there are plenty of tourists and resorts etc, and it's separate pier. So turns out these people just got dropped off by a boat and skipped the jungle walk. Fine.
The beach is still pleasantly secluded, and we see many rock climbers as this is a popular spot. We swim in blue blue water and just relax for a while. We head back on the jungle trail to the southwest beach, and rent a kayak and kayak around
the two satellite islands, Popu and Chicken. The sky starts looking dark at this point, so we head in and chill at the pier waiting for our boat. We see that the water has retreated quite a bit because of low tide, and the docks stretch out quite far into the ocean to accommodate the boats. Around then the sky just opens up, and we see a lot of people just get drenched, a lot of who have their luggage, their children in strollers, etc. We have to wait out the rain, and once it's calm they start loading the boats. There of course no real organization to all this, but eventually we are knee deep in water walking on the dock below, just trusting that with each step we will make contact with the wood below. It looks like we have all joined Jesus and are asking on water. Our boat is stuck on the pier, so after about 20 minutes of pushing, tipping and crashing, the men straighten out our boat and we board. We have a nice ride back, dinner by the ocean, and head back to our much, much nicer hotel we had changed to. Next day we are off to the islands.
Carry small bills in baht.
Stay at Baan Andaman in Krabi.
I recommend Railay over Ao Nang, would even be nice to stay in Railay.
Always be ready for a downpour.
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