Krabi and Phuket need no introduction. They are famous for their blue skies, turquoise waters, lagoons, coral reefs, and lively night-life scenes.
My three days in Krabi were full of enthralling and invigorating moments. It was not just the beauty of the place that enraptured me, it was the spirit, the smell of the ocean filling in the air and a sense of festivity that seized my soul.
Where to go? Krabi or Phuket
Let me confess it was a strenuous decision to make. I took more than 10 days to decide between these two. Both Phuket and Krabi are extremely popular and touristy. Phuket invites more tourists than Krabi (by a margin of 100%) so I tilted towards the latter. Fewer tourists might mean more space on beaches? Maybe!
DAY ONE – Get the feeling! Vacation has started!
After 24 hours of travel and more than 40 hours of sleep depravity, I reached Krabi. I was exhausted to the hilt and was only thinking of hitting the sack. Things changed quickly as soon as I stepped out of the airport. Who would want to sleep anyway on a bright balmy day? There were restaurants, joints, and cafes on either side of the road. People were humming out their stories on beers and food. I had booked a hotel (J Mansion 2) at Ao Nang, a budget hotel offering small but neat rooms. I freshened up and started for the beach.
It is a brisk 20-minute walk to the Ao Nang beach and it was brimming with tourists. Ao Nang is considered a hub to take ferries to the islands. I have memories of me sitting on the beach and gazing at the horizon, gazing at the boats anchored on the shore and the ones sailing in the heart of the ocean. I could not get tired of looking at the ocean and how calm it was.
Railway beach was next on the list. I took my tickets from a ticket counter on the left-hand side of the road at Ao Nang beach. There are direct ferries to take visitors to Railay beach and bring them back in the evening.
From dusk till night, I kept strolling in myriad intertwined streets which were full of pubs, restaurants, and shops. Enjoyed the live performances, street food till my feet ached and my head started to swirl.
Second Day – To Islands and corals!
I had slept off in seconds and when I got up, the sun was already shining brightly. I took a ferry to Poda Island, Chicken, and Tub island. There are long tail boat island tours available but I opted for a ferry so that I could stay there for long. The ferry leaves you at your chosen island and picks you back at the specified time in the evening.
I had spent my entire afternoon at Tub and Chicken island. As ocean receded, corals were surfaced bare, the sea was turquoise and as beautiful as it could get. It seemed impossible to think of anything other than those waters and submerged karsts. Work was already off my mind and it was just day two.
Chicken Island, Krabi
Chicken and Tub island
Poda island is great for swimming and if snorkeling is on the mind then leave for Chicken island. snorkeling gear can be rented at Ao Nang beach.
One thing I would do if I get to Krabi again, I would take a long tail boat to Bamboo beach and just stay there. My memories of Bamboo beach stand out from the rest of my time that I spent in Krabi. I swam until I got completed tanned and still could not get enough of that place. Sadly, I have no pictures of Bamboo Beach, I just remember being overjoyed, thinking of camera was a distant thought.
Third DAY: A tour package!
I took a six-island tour which included Bamboo Beach, Maya Beach, Monkey island, swimming in a lagoon, snorkeling, and Phi Phi islands. The only downside is that most of these tour companies operate at the same time so you really can not avoid the crowd. Boats stop for 30 to 60 minutes at each of these places. Luckily, our boat started a bit early that gave us an edge. I thoroughly enjoyed the tour and lunch. It was not overcrowded and there was sufficient time given at each place.
If I have to redo it, I would hire a personal boat to only a few places. Bamboo beach, lagoon, and Phi Phi Islands, and give all others a miss. There are numerous islands and snorkeling tours available. It all comes down to what you would like to visit and see.
There is quite to explore in Krabi National Park, nice beaches, islands, and kayaking. I had to give it a miss.
Krabi was the ultimate place for me to let my hair down, dust off all the remaining threads of work from the office and enjoy that feeling of having nothing in mind except blue skies, coconut water, pancakes, and beaches. I was more than ready to face the chaos of Bangkok and a night journey to Sukhothai.