Hi guys! Over the course of two weeks, much has happened and it’s been mainly good things 🙂 The first and most obvious one is the end of A-Levels! *kneels down and cries out of joy* Then came Prom, which to be honest was just alright, but I had an awesome date so all was fine! I did my hair at Number76 for the first time and I wasn’t disappointed! Quite happy when people came up to me saying my hair looks great too :p Just realised I didn’t take as many pictures as I would have liked to, and I look like a retarded goldfish O_O in most of them, so here are some of the alright ones compiled in a collage. I totally regret not taking a back view of my hair, because that’s obviously the nicest part with the braids and all 😥
But anyway, back to the topic of today’s post, I just came back from a college class trip to Krabi, Thailand and I have to say, it’s a very beautiful place. Krabi itself isn’t an island, but it’s a town by the beach and it’s very tourist-y. Locals in the tourism industry all speak English fairly, so communication isn’t hard. The standard rate for tuktuk (local open air motorcycle taxi) along the Ao Nang stretch is 20 baht per person, so refuse anything more than that. I’m going to do a nice proper picture post illustrating our trip and the pretty cool things we did, so if you ever visit Krabi you’ll get a heads-up before going! 🙂
1. Visit Ao Nang Beach & the stretch of shops across it (like all tourists do)
This is the conventional thing for tourists to do, but that’s not to say it isn’t fun. The beach is not the nicest you’ll ever see, but it has an amazing sunset view and it beats Penang’s beaches anytime. Across the beach is the tourist street, filled with tuktuk drivers, restaurants, bars, massage parlours that may or may not be dodgy and many shops selling swimwear, tshirts with catchy slogans, and rip off souvenirs. Everything can be bargained for, I repeat, EVERYTHING CAN BE CHEAPER AS LONG AS YOU BARGAIN. So put on that thick tourist skin of yours and ask for a ridiculously low price, and slowly work your way from there. This is how I got my bikini for RM25, much thanks to JieSze ❤ #successkid
One of the many shops along the street
I have to warn you guys about something though. There are many restaurants along the street claiming to serve Italian/Western and Thai cuisine, and oddly enough most of these places are manned by Indian servers. We were really famished on the first night and decided to settle for one of these restaurants called La Casa. And goodness, I cannot begin to emphasise how wrong a decision that was. The so-called Thai food was non spicy Tomyum (travesty, I tell you!), Tom Kha that tasted like buburchacha, and everything else was just weird. We should have known it was coming. The Western food however, didn’t taste too bad. Pizzas were alright, not great, but edible at least. So be careful when choosing a restaurant around Ao Nang.
2. Visit islands, but not excessively
Our entourage was booked on a 4 island tour on our second day of the trip. We visited Tup Island, Chicken Island (no chickens sighted), Poda Island and one more I can’t remember. The islands were gorgeous, to say the least. The waters were a clear turquoise, skies were baby blue, sand was soft and fine, rock formations were breathtaking.
Obligatory jump shot on a beautiful island
See what I mean by clear water? :O
The next day, the girls opted to visit Phi Phi Island, while the boys went kayaking. The PhiPhi Island tour was basically just more island visits, and while the bays and beaches were still beautiful, they were too crowded with people. Phi Phi Island attracts tourists from both Krabi and Phuket, and perhaps even other places. Instead of having a serene time relaxing and sunbathing, we were mostly overwhelmed by the congestion. We had a terribly bumpy boat ride as well, to add on to the unpleasantness. To those keen on visiting Phi Phi, I’d say just skip it and go for something else more distinctly Krabi, like the Emerald Pool. But since I went to Phi Phi anyway, I guess the prettiest part of the tour is Pileh Bay, which is a bay enclosed with giant cave-like formations.
Pileh Bay with the girls 🙂
Sooner or later, all these islands will start to look and feel the same, so like I said, don’t island hop excessively. One day should be ideal. 🙂
3. Make friends with the locals
Be it your local tour guide, or your tuktuk driver, or coconut vendors, always be nice and friendly. I think most of the locals are very willing to help with places to eat or see. Tian Xi got our island guide on the first day to introduce the most fantastic place (in the whole of Krabi, I dare say) to have dinner at. On our second night, we met a very nice tuktuk driver by the name of Lek, who made a very cheap arrangement for 19 of us to visit Krabi town the next evening. A few of us stopped by a truck selling cold coconut by the roadside for only 30 baht (RM3 FOR A GIANT COCONUT), and I think because we looked like such happy teenage tourists, the kind lady vendor decided to throw in another coconut for free! See, it pays to be friendly and happy! 🙂
Us being very happy with our 30baht coconuts 😀
4. The Hilltop
So, as I was saying earlier, our island guide introduced us to this place called the Hilltop for dinner. No prizes for guessing its location -.- But yes, the Hilltop is located somewhere along the Ao Nang stretch, on top of a hill! :p I cannot remember the exact location, but just mention the Hilltop to any tuktuk driver or hotel concierge, and I think they’ll know. In my opinion, everyone visiting Krabi should pay this place a visit for dinner! Why, you ask? The Hilltop is a posh restaurant that serves great and spicy Thai food (unlike the disgusting dinner we had the first night), it has an open bar with great music, and food is considered very reasonably priced for that kind of ambiance (roughly 200-300 baht or RM20-30 per person). But no, that’s not the best part yet.
View from the Hilltop
THIS is the amazing view you get when you dine at the Hilltop. Geez, my pictures taken with an iPad doesn’t even do it justice. It is by far the best sunset view I have ever witnessed in my life. We had so much fun taking pictures and immersing ourselves in the gorgeous setting horizon. The Hilltop would make a splendid proposal place, but too bad I was with my classmates and not my boyfriend :p
Amazing view & amazing company 🙂
5. Be sure to try out some authentic Thai street food
The best sinful indulgence I found in Krabi has to be the Thai pancakes. It is somewhat similar to our local roti canai, but crispier and with a Thai twist (hint: loaded with condensed milk). There are plenty of vendors selling this along the street for a mere 20-30 baht and I’m sure some are better than others, but the ones I had were so good I could cry. There are plenty of flavours to choose from – mango, banana, egg, cheese, nutella etc. I tried out mango and banana, and mango wins! There’s just something about Thai mangoes ❤ there are loads of other things you should give a try too. Skewered fishes, pad thai, tomyum. This is real Thai food, not some crappy Italian – Thai fusion crap. *bitter
Clockwise from left: 30baht coconuts, Mango pancakes, green curry & tom yum (both from the Hilltop)
6. Pay a visit to Krabi Town’s Weekend Night Market
This is probably one of the lesser known tourist attractions and perhaps more for the locals. It’s kind of like a Thai version of our pasar malam, and it’s very lively and lit up with locals performing singing and dancing. The night market is located in Krabi town, not near the beach area. As I mentioned earlier, we were lucky enough to meet the best tuktuk driver in the world. He got 3 other friends plus himself to ferry all nineteen of us from the beach to the town (about a 30 minutes drive) for only 700baht per tuktuk. That means each person pays about RM15 to and fro from town. Pretty decent leh! Taking a taxi would cost easily 500baht per person. Lek (the driver) even showed us around town and taught us how to navigate about the market. Here’s to hoping you find Lek in Krabi as well 😉
Sights & Sounds of the night market
There is plenty to see, to eat and to buy at the market. Food here may be a hit or miss, depending on your taste I guess. We had some awesome coconut based puffs and mango sticky rice. Pad Thai was average. There was a stall selling some orange juice and many locals were buying it so we got one as well, but it tasted so weird and artificial. Almost cancerous, really. Oh, a very random pleasant surprise happened while we were eating! We were sitting down enjoying our various snacks and watching a bboy performance by young Thai kids. The Thai kids were beyond cute so we being tourists started to cheer super loudly, clapping and shouting and making a fool out of ourselves. Then all of a sudden two guys with a camera and props approached us for an interview. We were all like ‘oooohhhh okay!!’ Turns out they were from KBS (some Korean channel) and they gave Tian Xi and I a solo interview! Yay I’m going to have 2 seconds of fame on Korean tv! I’m going to be famous! 😀 If you look at the top right hand of the collage above, you can see Tian Xi being interviewed, like a boss. Ngehehe.
Overall, I thought the market is a good place to visit, to kind of just experience Thai culture and food. There’s also some cheap shopping around, ie. I bought earrings for RM2 a pair and sunnies for RM7.50. The market is only open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, so check around with the locals before you go.
7. Go on a Tuk Tuk ride!
Truthfully, Ao Nang beach isn’t very long nor is it a very tiring walk, but a tuktuk ride is just one of those novelty adventures everyone should try out in Krabi. In fact, I think Tuktuk’s are only available in Thailand. For a mere 20 baht, you can command the driver to drive you anywhere along the stretch of beach and just enjoy the wind in your hair. 🙂
Tuk tuk ride to town!
8. Be generous with sunblock
The Thai sun can be outrageously harsh, so get a full bottle of SPF50 sunblock and apply everywhere possible! I applied sunblock all over every 2 hours or so while island hopping, and I still came home tanner. I even burnt somewhere I thought could never be burnt – my scalp fml. It hurt for days whenever I tried shampooing my hair. My dear friend Kah Jo is an even smarter boy. I quote him, ‘real men don’t use sunblock’. This is what happened to him. FHL.
9. Get a Good Hotel
Good hotels can be found easily by researching using Google. Check out TripAdvisor for ratings and of course, live within your means. We stayed at Srisuksant Hotel, roughly a 3 star hotel. Location wise, it wasn’t superb as it’s not facing Ao Nang Beach directly and it takes a bit of walking to the main tourist area. But our hotel rooms were very good for a 3 star hotel. The place was clean, tidy and reception was helpful 🙂 Good stay overall!
pool antics :p
10. No Harm Acting Like A Bunch of Tourists 🙂
If there’s anything this trip has taught me in my lifelong quest to be a better traveller, it is to be less shy and more outgoing. This is how I ended up taking pictures with blogger Cindy of teycindy.com, whom we met at the airport and all my guy friends (who previously did not know her at all) went gaga over her.
Cindy & us hehehe
And next is possibly the most spontaneous daredevil thing I have ever done in my life. While we (the girls) were on Phi Phi Island, tired and kind of bored out of our wits, this bunch of very eligible Korean hunks appeared out of nowhere. I could have sworn Suyin was drooling on the spot. :p Long story short, after LupYee pulled a solo stunt, we braved ourselves and asked for another picture with all of them. Teehee. 🙂
Krabi has been such an amazing place. The pristine beaches, the magnificent sunsets, the reassuring company I went with 🙂 These memories will last for a long, long time.Til then, xx.
p.s. if there’s anything you’d like to ask about Krabi, feel free to drop a comment! 🙂
p.p.s. photos are mostly stolen from Lup Yee, Shen Chien, & Jie Sze’s instagram, so credits to them!