I am not very good at the long winded detailed review posts of the places I’v been, I didn’t write down the name of my favourite bars, nor did I catch the name of my favourite waitress at a restaurant. I’m going to tell you what I think is more important: how I felt in a place.
I visited Krabi after months spent in the constant company of fellow travellers with these group tour companies. Months in hostels or rubbish hotels. So I booked myself into a couple very nice hotels for my week in Krabi, Thailand.
First hotel was the Anyavee Ao Nang Bay Resort, right near Ao Nang beach. Although this is a fairly family friendly, touristy area, the beach wasn’t too crowded and the food, as ever in Thailand, was very cheap. Just off the far end of the beach was a ‘monkey trail’, which was really just a roughly hewn (and possibly precarious in bad weather) path through a bit of the jungle- ish mountains that curve round Ao Nang. It was pretty cool though, I didn’t see any monkeys but it did lead through to another beach, with some more exclusive hotels that you an only reach by this trail or boat. The whole thing, including sunbathing on the beach it lead too, only took forty minutes.
In Ao Nang there’s also plenty of shops selling the tourist tat and it’s easy to book excursions. I booked my boat trip through the tourist desk at my hotel, as that gives you the luxury of transport from the hotel too and is less likely to be dodgy. I wasn’t there at a time they had a lot of English speaking tourists, however, there was actually mostly Thai, Korean and Chinese tourists on the boat trip I did at that time of year. The only people I could talk to were the guide and lady who was from Bangkok and spoke English as part of her job there, so that day was a little lonesome (my fault for being a typical Brit with no language skills)! I also booked a trip into Krabi town, to see the market there and, had I not just been to four other South- east Asian countries with markets with very similar wares, it would have been a worthwhile little trip.
The second hotel, as much as I enjoyed Ao Nang, holds much fonder memories. I stayed at the Railey Princess Resort and Spa, on Railay beach. You can only reach (although I didn’t realise this when I booked the hotel!) this bit of Krabi by boat, which is a hassle but 100% worth it.
The hotel was beautiful, the mangroves on one side were beautiful, the beach on the other side was glorious, I have nothing but happy memories from this bit of my trip. My hotel was on the East side, where there is an abundance of nice places to eat local, proper Thai food (although, I’m a spice wimp so I couldn’t get too adventurous!). Cost of my lunch/ dinner in dollars varied between $2- $15 (treated myself to cocktails a couple of times).
Railay West, however, is home to the most epic sunsets I’ve ever seen.
My absolute, favoutire memory, is sitting on this beach, watching the sunset; a Chang beer in hand, a book in the other. I had been sunbathing, reading and sleeping all day. I could smell delicious food wafting from the restaurants, a bonfire rackling somewhere and the salty smell of the sea. Behind me there was the sound of people, music and laughing but I was seperate, watching the sun go down. Maybe you will think this is a sad thing to say but it is the happiest I’ve ever been.
If you do a bit of travelling and find yourself in the islands off the coast of Thailand, I would reccommend Railay Beach, Krabi in a heartbeat. The people in restaurants, bars and hotels are so welcoming. Some were a little concerned by a girl travelling alone (as I wasn’t really going near the backpacking bits where this would be a more common site), and so they kept checking up on me whenever I ate at the restuarant. I’m sure, if you were looking to make some travel buddies, it would be more than easy to do; I wasn’t because of the whole not-having-any-alone-free-time-for-three-months-thing.
There you go, there’s my Krabi in a snapshot post. Please enjoy some more pictures (all taken by me on my Iphone). Follow if you’re interested in more travelling posts and filter the categories for ‘Travel Diaries’ to only view them if you so wish.
I talk more in depth about Railay beach in this post, so read here if you like.