After having all of our days in Siem Reap jam-packed with sight seeing, we were very happy to escape to the beach for a much-needed more relaxed pace. I was also so excited to be back in the land pad Thai’s and mango shakes but this time we’d be exploring Thailand’s gorgeous Andaman Coast. Nine years ago my family went on a holiday to Thailand visiting Koh Samui, Koh Tao and Koh Phangan, so I was excited to be exploring the other side by visiting Krabi and Koh Phi Phi.
We were staying at The Moment Hostel in Ao Nang which proved to be the perfect location to be based to explore some of Krabi’s best beaches. (Do yourselves a favour and don’t stay in Krabi Town. You’ll be way to far from anything there.)
For our first full day in Krabi we decided to check out West Railay beach. Long tail boats are honestly the way to get around here. Adorned with colourful ribbons, they beautifully decorate the shore as the line up waiting for passengers. The boat ride was only a few minutes but gave us the perfect snapshot of Krabi’s dramatic coastline. Characterised by steep limestone cliffs plunging into incredibly blue water, Krabi’s coconut palm beaches are absolutely gorgeous.
We spent the morning swimming in the clear blue water of West Railay while looking out at the beautiful view. We grabbed some take away Thai food from the various food vendors and had a beach picnic lunch. Taste buds satisfied by pad Thai and mango shakes we set out to find the Phranang Cave which was only a short walk away.
The beach terrain soon morphed into stalactites and caves as macaques and langurs swung from the jungle trees. We came out at a rather crowded beach with three caves. The first two were shrines to fertility and virility and so were filled with wooden phallic statues. Rather odd but alas a part of the culture.
The third was a sea cave which went right through to another bay on the other side. We went about clambering over rocks and exploring the hidden beauties of Phranang Cave. What a treat to be able to find a secret spot where you don’t have to share this incredible view with anybody else!
The next day we decided to dedicate to our own beach: Ao Nang. We spent a relaxed (but VERY HOT) day drifting along Ao Nang beach, dipping in and out of the water. We also walked all the way to the end and followed a jungle path to a different beach. A much more chilled day with no real agenda. Ao Nang isn’t Krabi’s best beach but we still had a wonderful day.
For our last day in Krabi we decided to take another long tail boat, but this time to the beach between Ao Nang and Railay Beach: Tonsai beach. This is a much quieter beach with even clearer blue water and an abundance of coconut palms. As we got off the boat and it motored away, Nic realised that he’d left his shoes on board. He whistled to the guy driving but he just kept going. We knew that the next stop would be the next beach: Railay and so Nic ran to try get there in time. A while later he walked back along the beach, exhausted but carrying his shoes.
We found a shady spot beneath the coconut palms where we could keep cool while looking out at the gorgeous view of the limestone cliffs and turquoise waters.
Luke and I decided to swim across the bay to explore the rocky shore and its sea caves. We swam deep down and tried to see the fishies but the visibility wasn’t great. We opted to explore the sea caves instead, pulling ourselves out of the water using the ropes tied to rocks. It was absolutely incredible seeing the glistening ocean and palm trees framed by the silhouetted sea caves.
We began swimming back to shore when Luke saw a pathway which he thought might be quicker than swimming back to shore. We were soon scrambling up a steep muddy path with the help of rock climbing ropes. Krabi is a major rock climbing hot spot and soon we were facing steep rocky cliffs while wearing wet bikinis and board shorts with no equipment. We were too far gone to turn back and so had to keep going. I was petrified and was honestly so scared I was going to slip and fall down the slope. Luke spoke me through it and we got through. But then there were the fire ants as we ran down through the jungle towards the shore. What a detour! But an adventure nonetheless!
We spent the rest of the afternoon just relaxing in the shade of the coconut palms and taking in the last little bit of Krabi sunshine.
The next day we said farewell to Nic as he began his journey back to Cape Town a little earlier than us. His UCT orientation was due to start earlier than we’d anticipated and so he had to fly home early. He was very ready to go home though and it would also be nice for Luke and I to get to travel just the two of us. So it all worked out in the end!
Off to Koh Phi Phi we go!
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