When exploring Asia you sometimes can’t escape from having to do visa runs. We had visa stamp issues and had to exit Malaysia at short notice.
There is something about Thailand that always feels right. This was confirmed when all other destinations on the Air Asia website appeared considerably more expensive.
There was a deal for Krabi: free flights if you booked certain hotels. Normally we would have done more homework, but we were time poor.
In a blink of an eye we landed at Krabi Airport. It was deadly quiet and the morning heat was just starting to kick in.
Our taxi ride seemed rather long. We resorted to playing a game of spot the animal with the little man. He won by a mile – supposedly he saw quite a few lions by the roadside!
As we started to see the breathtaking scenery of limestone cliffs our shoulders sagged that little bit more.
We had purposely picked an area of Au Nang which remains under developed. Hard to believe right?
Our hotel Anyavee Tubkaek Beach was situated on a secluded beach that only had a splattering of sleek accommodation options.
It was early, the tide was far out and the wildlife seemed sedated.
We checked in. Why is it so many hotels get it so wrong? It’s not rocket science, make a guest feel special will result in a positive online review and plenty of customer referrals. The reception team made a point of making our son feel like he had just arrived at Legoland. Big tick.
We spent most of the day, mixing it up; an hour around the pool followed by an hour of exploration around the ocean. The pace of life just drops off on the beaches of Thailand.
In the evening we headed to Ao Nang. The husband started to bore us about how much it had changed and become rather commercialised. He supposedly first came here as a backpacker in 1914, or something like that. We intended to do a quick jaunt through the shops and stalls – somehow we were derailed into specifically looking for a small Lego toy.
The restaurant choices looked averaged; Italian pizza joints, overpriced Burger Kings and greasy Pad Thais. We found a place which looked pretty average and every table was free. It was cheap, the food turned out to be absolutely splendid. The whole fish baked in butter and ginger was finger licking fantastic.
We foolishly sourced a Thai pancake vendor which resulted in a bloated, sickly belly feeling. ‘Please Tuk Tuk driver take us home we need our bed.’
The next day, the hotel offered us a discounted kayak session. It would be rude to say no, plus there was barely a ripple in the water, and the sky was picture perfect.
The little man was strangely acting anxious. Dad playing silly games , rocking the boat certainly didn’t help. His anxiety turned into a shout, “we’re going no further than 50 yards out.” Somehow the kayak capsized (probably daddy). We were fortunate being in three feet of water, we easily survived. Our boy suddenly loved it and like a weathered pirate was ready to conquer the seven seas.
Sometimes when you find a great hotel with impeccable food and service the temptation is not to venture anywhere else. We decided a half day boat ride would change our lazy mindset. We were all up for an island hopping, snorkelling adventure.
Upon learning the cost of the group excursions, it was time for hubby to use his sales skills to negotiate a competitive rate to charter a boat instead. It paid off. We ended up paying less, plus had more control of time and where we wanted to explore.
Krabi may have changed, but its lush scenery certainly hasn’t. A refreshing trip reacquainting us with our pal Siam.
There are two night food markets in Krabi they sit at the opposite ends of the spectrum. We opted for Chao Far (note its only open on weekends). Being perched on the river and forgetting the cheap tables and it felt rather enchanting. I’m not sure if it was our timing ( early evening ) but it wasn’t overly busy. The food was pleasant and the service rather attentive. It even felt somewhat romantic, though our 8 year old slurping on his Milo reminded us this might not be the case.
Once hubby had finished his bottle of Chang beer, we strolled around taking in some of the architecture and local hot spots. Somehow we ended up at the night market, it was phenomenally crowded, the humidity was unbelievable. And just to turn it into something worse… the boy had a tremendous meltdown. One market is always enough.
Five days was just enough. We aim to come back to Thailand, we suspect to the North. Hopefully the husband won’t be comparing it to his Chang Mai trek from the middle of the 18th century.