Beeches Beaches and More Beaches....... Railay, Phi Phi Island, Trang Islands Koh Lanta and Phuket
After being blasted by freezing cold air conditioning for a 12 hour night bus, we were pleased to arrive at Krabi.
Although it has no beaches or real tourist attractions, we used Krabi Town as our base to explore some of the neighbouring islands and beaches. Most tourists it seems stay at Ao Nang which is 17km from Krabi Town, but being peak season we decided to try and avoid the crowds and take the cheaper option of Krabi Town.
Krabi is actually a pleasant and quiet little city despite being the capital of Krabi Province. Its set along the river, where you can see some of the limestone karst mountains and mangroves...
Also a few little temples and local parks...
And like most places in Thailand - a night market:
Kayaking in Thalane Bay (Ao Thalane)
Apparently Ao Thalane is one of the most beautiful mangrove forests in the whole of Thailand. About 20km from Krabi Town this section of the coast is covered in dense foliage that wraps all the caves cliffs and amazing shaped Karsts as well as small inlets, caves and hidden lagoons!
And what better way form us to explore this area than by Kayak....
The famous Karst mountains provide the backdrop for this area with its complex network of channels than meander through the dense mangroves.
Mud crawlers - covered the muddy banks of the mangroves..
Kayaking through the mangroves... and steep cliffs..
And then heading out to the Andaman Sea..
We came across this beautiful little hideaway... small beach, in a little cave..
with monkeys who will keep you company and apparently try to hitch a ride on your kayak.
What a beautiful way to spend the morning ... tranquil, peaceful and relaxing (especially if your the one taking the photos, not doing the paddling)!
On the ride back to Krabi Town you can see the how the mountains surrounds the islands..
Rai Leh (Railay)
As Rai Leh is a peninsula surrounded by ocean and mountains and can only be accessed by boat. SO we took a Longtail boat from Krabi Town to East Railay.
East Railay: the mangrove side of the peninsula:
3 main parts to Railay: East, West, and Phra Nang:
Phra Nang Beach and Cave
A short walk from East Railay we walk through caves:
And find a fine white sandy beach on the other side....
This lovely beach, has actually recently been voted one of the 10 most beautiful beaches in the world. It has spectacular scenery and you can also watch the rock climbers climbing the caves right off the beach!
Phra Nang Cave also has some wierd Shrine... Dedicated to the spirit of the drowned princess who gave the beach her name.
This shrine consists of dozens of carved red-tipped penis's donated by fishermen seeking her favour!!! Probably the oddest shrine ever seen...
Again only a few mins walk the west seemed to be where most of the resorts and tourists hand out and long-tails arrive from Ao Nang.
The Lagoon & View point is also a worth while, but steep and somewhat dangerous path trek.......
Phi Phi Islands
So after much research and debate, we decided rather than to stay on Phi Phi Island paying peak prices and competing with herds of other tourists we would do a speed boat trip from Krabi to see the main spots.... and boy were there some great spots to see and snorkel!!
First Stop Bamboo Island (North of Phi Phi Don).
Beautiful crystal clear waters, perfect white beach and hardly any people!
Next Maya Bay
Location of Hollywood famous film "The Beach"
Although Terry was not impressed by the shear amount of other boats and tourists - ruining the postcard perfect pictures!!!
Beautiful as it was - you could still imagine Leonardo Decaprio swimming in the water!!
Netx stop the Hin Klarng Experience - snorkeling in the fantastic open sea.
Proabably my favourite spot was Pileh Bay. A simple beautiful and fantastic lagoon. The colours of the water changed with the depth, dropping from 2 meters to 30 meters in a second!
Close to the Lagoon is the Viking Cave....
Water so clear you could see hundreds of fish from the boat..
We eventually reached Phi Phi Don (the main island) where we enjoyed a snorkel,
followed by a really good buffet lunch and sunbathing on the beach....
We also stopped at Monkey Bay and the other a few other spots to snorkel and appreciate the colorful corals and fishes in shallow water.
The speedboat journey its self was so beautiful...
What a great Trip!
From Krabi Town we headed south to make a quick stop at the Trang Islands...
We stayed on Koh Muk home of the beautiful Emerald Cave, but also got to see some of the other islands too as we passed on the Ferry!!
Koh Mook (or Koh Muk)
We took a log tail boat from Trang to and arrived at Koh Mook.
Easily one of the smallest places we have stayed. There must have been only a handful or places to stay on the island... to keep it cheap we were forced to downgrade from a bungalow on the beach.... to a tent!!! (although it did have a fan so not too bad)!!
The beach was spotless with crystal blue waters..
Next day we took another a long tail boat to the Emerald Cave...
The Emerald Cave is an amazing natural lagoon, hidden in the middle of an island! We arrived and parked up the boat!
The entrance .....
The only way in to this amazing place is to swim (or canoe) about 80m through the cave.... (torches needed - pitch black for a few mins)
Once you reach the inside it opens out into the secret bay with limestone cliffs soaring high above you on all sides.
Its a bit like being inside a big, green volcano. As we relaxed on the beach - we wondered how this little hide away was first found!! Apparently pirates used to use the cave to hide their treasures.... you can see why!
Our ferry ride from Koh Mook to Koh Lanta picked up passengers from surrounding Koh Kraden and Koh Ngai......
longboat to the ferry...
Next stop - 3 nights in Koh Lanta.
Koh Lanta like all the other islands we have been to so far.. beautiful beaches and great sports for snorkeling and diving.
Our hostel provided free bikes for guests so we took the bikes for a ride around the island... basically a jungle surrounded by long white beaches and bays.
We stayed in Saladan - the main ferry port. Was a good spot for shopping and had a little night market for a good feed..
it was here we found the best noodles and noodle soup in the whole of Thailand - so tasty, freshly cooked in seconds, for 40 Bath - so under an English pound!!
After cycling, relaxing and eating street food every night we headed to Phuket.... more specifically Patong beach!!!
Patong is a just beach resort, with a massive night life!! Bars, Clubs, Lady shows Galore!
Bangla Road - the main strip... I have never seen so many bars and bright lights packed into one street!! Thai women out front of all the bars... trying to lure men in to buy them drinks...
If you walk from one end to the other you will be asked at least 8 times if you want to see a 'Ping Pong & Lady show' - which only the naive would think means watching table tennis!!! Pretty much anything goes here... people selling cocktails from the sides of the roads and all sorts of different bars!
We decided to sit in a bar of the main strip and people watch... and believe me the safest place to people watch is definitely inside the bar...
So with most of the Thailand and the southern islands done - we head over to Koh Samui for the final leg of our journey...
and await the arrival of Lisa Frost.....