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Published: November 27th 2019
I left Cairns at 6:15pm to arrive in Singapore at 11:30pm local time. Flew SilkAir and was seated at the front so had heaps of leg room and they give you lots of snacks and stuff which is nice. Didn’t sleep on the plane because I knew I had to try sleep in the airport as my next flight wasn’t until 11:30am the next day. So I spent 12 hours in the Changi airport. I did manage to sleep on and off for a couple of hours…after my sleep I discovered areas of sleep chairs which would have been nice, but would probably have been full anyway I suppose. There are soooo many people sleeping in that airport. Security came around and woke me up to check my boarding pass at around 5am. Finally it was time to board again and I flew Scoot into Krabi. Krabi is a tiny little airport. A bus picked us up from the plane and literally drove us 50m to the door. Got through immigration and boom Thailand and humidity! It’s like being home.
I got the government run bus to the beach area of Ao Nang. I hadn’t booked any accommodation and was
walking up the road to see where to go. I ended up booking into one of the places, Wake Up Ao Nang for $50 a night. More expensive than online but I was hot and needed a shower so bad. This is a new and very modern hotel that is joined to the Tipa Resort and they share a pool and stuff. It’s a really nice room and could be anywhere in the world, awesome bed. After checking in, I wondered around and went down to the beach and sat and had a few beers and felt a bit sad about being alone. So I booked a 4 island trip went back to the room and fell asleep….big night!
After my awesome sleep I went down to the beach to watch the sunrise. At 5.30am it was already 27 degrees. The beach isn’t white sands but the cliffs and islands are beautiful and I’ve always loved the long tail boats. I was being picked up for the 4 island tour at 8.15am. The long tail tour was 500baht and the speedboat was 900baht. I picked the speedboat because it looked really choppy the day before. The boat rides between
islands is super short as they are just offshore, between 5mins and 15mins including docking time. First we went to the island opposite Railay this area is famous for rock climbing. There was a few shrines in the caves dedicated to a goddess who appreciated gifts of wooden penises. Next we went over to Chicken Island, named so because it looks like it’s got a chickens head. We snorkelled here, nothing special but the colour of water is gorgeous. Next we went to a sandbank that joins 2 islands. White sand, crystal clear turquoise water and many people. The last stop was Poda Island which is also white sands and gorgeous water. We had lunch here. I hadn’t actually read anything about the tour so lunch was a nice surprise! I sunbaked and snorkelled. The snorkelling was much better here… trumpet fish, those fish that swim vertically, loads of parrot fish, butterfly fish and lots of sea snakes! I wish I learned the names of all the fish and what they were. We were back to the mainland around 2.30. The staff were lovely and looked after me too because I was on my own, I tipped them 100bath.
After the trip I had to decide what to do the next, either stay another night or go over to Phi Phi. I have discovered that solo travel is great because you can change your mind a million times and no one gets mad at you! Hahaha. So I booked a ferry to Phi Phi for lunch time the next day and the another boat to Phuket the next lunchtime. Then I wanted to hire a scooter and go to the Tiger Cave Temple. I haven’t driven one myself and was hoping someone here would teach me. The first place I went to said no and I probably won’t find anyone. I didn’t want to waste time, so I jumped in a bus, which is a Ute with a canopy over tray with bench seats on either side, and paid 150baht to. It’s back over the airport so took maybe 45mins to get there.
The tiger cave temple complex is strange and amazing. It’s almost childlike with the dragons, tigers and other statues. The hike up was haaarrrddd. I was panting and had sweat dripping off my face. At the bottom I had asked this young guy how long
he took to get up there. He said it takes 35-40mins. I did it in 18mins. It is 305m high, my ears even popped. The view from the stop is spectacular it feels like you would be inline with any planes flying to the airport below. You need to take your shoes off and dress appropriately when entering. There is a big bell one side and a big Buddha on the other. It was nice to sit and look at the mountains and cool off before descending the steep stairs back down.
I learned another lesson today. Don’t be nice/loyal to people you don’t know. The bus guy that dropped me there said he would come back at 7pm to pick me up. I was ready to go at 6:30 and another car said he’d drive me back and gave me a really good price but I said no, this other guy was coming and I’d feel bad if he came for nothing. So I waited and waited and he didn’t turn up. Lesson learnt. I got a cab. It was going to be 500 baht to get back to Ao Nang but the nice cab man said he
could just take me to Krabi town and drop me a the bus stop for 250 then I could get the bus for 60 baht. I agreed. Not that I really cared about the $10 difference, but it was nice to see the town at night. Ao Nang is a totally different town at night time too. In the day it’s quiet and not many people around. At night it’s packed with all the shops, bright lights and bars.
I did a bit of shopping. Not really bartering much. Had a few beers. The bar/waiter guy sat with me and played connect 4 for ages. There was a band on doing awesome Thai style covers of rock bands. She was even head banging…it was awesome. Shops shut at 11pm and bars (or maybe some bars) shut at 1am. It is low season I suppose. It is so funny to sit and watch all the tout descend upon new people and try get them into their bars. It’s like throwing a piece of bread in the ocean and seeing all the fish come to try and take it away.
Wednesday morning was a nice lazy one. Bought a few
bags and solidified the fact that I cannot barter. I just hope they aren’t ripping me off too much and that they are appreciating the extra money rather than laughing at me!
Ferry from Krabi to Phi Phi leaves at 1.30 and takes 2hrs. Ended up booking accommodation on Phi Phi to save some time wondering around when I get there. Booked PP Charlie, it was about $75 a night which was expensive, but the whole island is a bit expensive, but the pool view looks amazing. The weather is cloudy so I’m super glad I went to the islands yesterday. So far I’ve been really lucky as it is the monsoon but there hasn’t been any rain. Just hot and humid.
The boat ride over was pleasant and took 2 hours. I had a coke and 2min noodles and worked on this blog. Pulling into Koh Phi Phi Don you see the bay filled with long tails and speedboat. The bay is glistening with blues and greens and there are white sandy coves along the coast line. Beyond Don is Phi Phi Lei, which is where Maya bay is where the movie the Beach was filmed. You’re
not allowed on Maya bay until next year I don’t think. They have banned people so the environment can recover from over tourism. It was a short easy walk through narrow shop lined streets to my hotel PP Charlie. The room was below par but the pool area is beautiful and the breakfast was great. I dropped my stuff on then headed over to the pool for cocktails (2 for 200 baht) and to read until the sun went down. The pool had ‘floating’ beds but you had to spend 2000baht to use them and luckily I got the last normal bed. After a shower I wandered the streets which were packed will of people eating and drinking buckets. There were so many tattoo parlours too, some doing the bamboo tattooing. I ordered a Pad Thai (80baht) and satay sticks as an appetiser (120baht). Just the satay sticks were too much for me! So I was super full and went back to the room to have a shower and chill. Later I wondered some more and went down to the beach to join all the drunk young beautiful people dancing in the soft white sand along the beautiful bay. A
boy who was selling body painting looked board and must have felt sorry for me by myself and took my arm and painted flowers on it….nawwww. I quite like dancing by self. I’ve actually discovered I don’t mind being by myself if I have music playing. So glad I brought my headphones. After a couple of hours I headed home and found a beach swing and enjoyed the serenity you before hitting the sack.
The next morning I went up to the viewpoint. Another steep set of stairs that opens into a fruity wonderland. There are huge strawberries, apples, cucumber, a pearl that said Andaman Pearl and I love Phi Phi signs. There was a giant cut coconut that a real live cat was sleeping in. Was so cute. This island is full of cute cats. The next viewing point gives you the iconic view of Phi Phi where you can see both sides of the bay. Around April the colours are more vivid but it was still spectacular. Back down the hill for some pool time. Then I got my hair washed and blow dried and felt human again before grabbing my luggage and heading down to the
pier to get my boat over to Phuket.
This ferry was fancier than the last one which was nice because the seas were much rougher. They played the movie The Beach too. I hadn’t paid attention before but I think in the dialog they go from Phi Phi to Koh Phang Yang which in real life is on the other side of Thailand.
Back on land in Phuket Rassada Pier. I hadn’t booked a way to Patong Beach and the taxis were 700baht so I went at spoke to the ferry company and they let me in one of the minivans for 200baht which dropped me right to the hotel. So that was a win.
I’m staying at the Marina Hotel, it’s all nautical theme. The room was huge and lovely with lots of big window and balcony. The road noise is loud but I’m a deep sleeper so that never bothers me. What did bother me though was the lack of hot water. I went for a walk down to the beach and through Patong. I had forgotten what it felt like to be in somewhere like this. Like you can feel the weight of all
the pumping beats, hoards of people and humidity. I saw the Tiger club where they had that fire years ago and people were trapped inside. The strip there is filled with bars and clubs with lots of scantily clad slim women and each place blares their own music. Then there are shop, street sellers and so many restaurants and food stalls. The beach is huge, wide with soft white sand much much nicer than Ao Nang beach. But I miss the more chilled atmosphere of the islands.
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