The 2.5 hour boat journey from Lanta sailed you past a mixture of wonderful landscapes: beaches, bays, cliffs and shores, riverside communities, ports, mangroves, and forrestry galore.
We meandered our way up the long estuary to the Chao Fa pier and were pleasantly surprised when we arrived. Unlike Lanta where you were mobbed by taxi drivers and the only toilets available were fly infested and overflowing, the pier was very clean and not too dissimilar to a promenade anywhere else in the world.
We weren’t expecting too much of Krabi town in all honesty. As the nearest beach is a good 20 mins away, we were expecting a bit of a port-town, a computer belt for tourists getting from the mainland (and the nearest airport) to some of the more glorified islands from which we’d already come. Also, the rainy weather over the past number of days had been akin to what we’re used to back home (although a touch warmer at around 27c). This, we thought, would be a bit of a pain – nearby Railay beach was somewhere that we got advised to visit by a number of people, due to its outstanding beauty, but given the rain and the need for us to fly out of Krabi airport within a couple of days, we decided to see what Krabi town had to offer. We were not disappointed….
We easily found the hotel which was a mere 0.2 miles from the Port and cost meagre £8 each per night. It was basic but did have a gym and the staff were very friendly and helpful. The gym was shit but we put it to ‘good’ use for an hour or so before we headed out for a mooch, some food and a few bevs.
We went for a stroll around town and decided that if Lanta was the cat capital then Krabi was the home of dogs. There were literally hundreds of them, especially around the temple grounds (there are a few pics below of the stunning Wat Kaew). There was a family of strays roaming around there and the pups were adorable. We assumed that the monks must be feeding them and in return the dogs were guarding the buddhas within the temple.
Around town there are a number of lively night markets selling fruit, veg, flowers and colourful clothing (see pics). On the first night we made the mistake of eating at a nearby restaurant instead of at one of the markets. One thing they do in Thailand is serve you the food when its ready, not when the whole table’s food is ready. On a number of occasions one of us had finished our meal by the time the other’s had been serviced.
After we’d checked out the local market and I’d eaten my Nutella filled pancake we went to a nearby bar for a booze. It was a lively place which had a live band on, as did a number of bars about the small town. The seats in the place were also wicked – made from recycled barrels (pic below) and I thought Rob would like to see them so he can make us one from the shit he gets off the skip.
We got chatting to two English girls Hayley and Beth who were very nice but also quite young/immature. Hayley got beat at Connect4 and nearly smashed the game to bits, which was rather uncalled for. They also got pissed quite quickly and repeated themselves a lot – but we’ve all been there so I can’t really criticise.
An energetic American lad called Bryce came and sat with us too for a while (we think he was trying to get into Beth’s knickers) and we had a good old few beers before we politely excused ourselves at around 12 midnight (we’ve learnt from our mistakes when it comes to staying out too late).
Coincidence should have it that we ran into the girls the following night – looking worse for wear – and along with telling us they didn’t get in until 3am, they filled us in on the gossip that Bryce got into an argument with the bartender and the bartender broke Bryce’s nose. I only knew Bryce for about 1.5 hours and if I had to bet on who was at fault, I’d be quids-in and Bryce’s bent nose wouldn’t be looking prettier.
For the day after we’d booked in to do a cooking class in the nearby town of Ao Nang. We booked it through the hotel and we got picked up by the owner’s sister and husband, from the hotel, and driven over to their cookery classroom/house in Ao Nang.
Their house in Ao Nang was sort-of set into a hillside over a couple of floors and right next door to it was a large Buddhist monument. We went into our class room and were met by another couple who were partaking. They were a Dutch couple called Malte and Michelle and we had a top laugh with them all day. They’d just come down through Cambodia and Vietnam and had taken some cooking classes there too. We spent the best part of 4 hours rustling up some grub and we even came out with a diploma at the end of it! Don’t believe me? See the certificates we got below. They’re going pride-of-place on the fridge back home they are.
We made 5 courses. Vegetable spring rolls, tom yum, pad thai, massaman curry and my personal favourite; mango and sticky rice. Now we are fully qualified Thai chefs and have the paperwork to prove it, we intend on holding a dinner party and rustling up some of the grub above. There’s only going to be limited space though so get your name down early. Genuinely though, we’ve fallen in love with Thai food – it took us a few days to live with it for 3 meals a day but I think we’re going to miss it! The cooking class was a great shout, anyone going over there should get on one. There’s a few pics from the class below.
Before we left a random French-Canadian fella called Jacque popped up from nowhere to enquire about doing a course for himself. He was a really nice bloke with an interesting story and we shared a ride back to Krabi town with him.
Later that evening and with the knowledge we had an early start the next day (We had nearly 30 hours of travelling and waiting around airports) we decided to keep it relatively low-key and went to a wicked little bar close to the hotel. Again they had live music and the guy even played a bit of Oasis for us. There was some mad manikins in the back room which you had to go past to get to the loo (see pic below). We got chatting to a Portuguese fella (we did get his name but I couldn’t pronounce it then let alone now) and a young French guy called Paul. The conversation was quite hard work given the language barrier but it was nice that we were all at least trying to chat along.
All in all, Krabi town was a really cool place. It was clean and vibrant and welcoming to visitors. There’s a number of hostels there and they all looked quite decent. There’s also a number of other nearby activities you can book on to: Tiger cave and waterfall is one we really wished we had the time to do and there was also a number of jungle treks which we would have been keen to do. On reflection, we wish we had spent more time in Krabi town, or at least a day more anyway.
Anyway, onwards to Sydney via Singapore!
Have a merry Christmas one and all. X