Robert & I are back from Thailand. We had a completely lazy vacation (well, almost) with LOTS of food and drink. We flew Thai airways to Bangkok and had a quick connection to Krabi where we were met by the hotel driver who whisked us to our resort about 45 minutes away. It had just finished raining and the sun was setting so were were lucky to catch a few glimpses of the tropical area before nightfall. Once we got out of the ‘city’, we saw lots of cliff-like mountains rising straight up out of the jungle. We saw lots of palm trees (for palm oil) and rubber trees (yes, for rubber). We even passed some elephants. At one point Robert was beginning to wonder if our hotel actually existed…since we just kept getting farther from civilization. We arrived at the hotel around 7pm and had our welcome drinks and a tour of the grounds. We took a quick dip in the pool and were eating dinner by 8:30.
The resort was great. The view was spectacular – it was like being in a postcard, especially during sunset. Combine the view with live music and half-priced drinks and there was no way were going anywhere else in the evenings. We could (and did) take tons of sunset pictures. The service was amazing and the food was very good. The Thai set meal we had was fantastic and the khao niaow ma muang (mango with sticky rice) dessert was awesome! Robert loved the “drunken-style” noodles, and I couldn’t get enough of the curry dishes.
Breakfast was included and we could have anything we wanted. There was a soup table, a pastry table, a fruit table, a cereal table, a manned station for eggs, waffles and roti (thai-style pancakes), and a huge buffet station with potatoes, sausages, bacon, cooked veggies and a few Thai rice and noodle dishes to choose from. We ate so much for breakfast that we were never hungry for lunch. Almost every day we’d walk on the beach then hang out at the pool (or on the beach), read our books, maybe get a message (or two). There were bikes and kayaks to use. We took a walk down to the end of the road where the National Park was and found a trail (which we never took, because Robert found out there are King Cobras in the jungle. I’m not sure I really wanted to encounter any of their large (meter sized) lizards either).
As content as we were, curiosity got the best of us halfway through our stay, so we took a speed boat to the island of Koh Phi Phi. It was another absolutely beautiful, sunny, and calm day – perfect for cruising around the Andaman sea and admiring all the little islands. We loved that part. We first went to Phi Phi Ley arriving at Maya bay (where “The Beach” was filmed) very early before the crowds arrived. We walked around taking pictures and walked to the other side of the island as well. By the time we were leaving, it was getting obnoxiously crowded so our captain took us to see Pi Ley (a shallow fjord like area, well protected from the sea).
The colors in the limestone cliffs, mixed with the turquoise water was really amazing. We then went to view the Viking Cave which houses a family armed with guns to protect the swallow bird nests inside (since they are a delicatessen worthy of stealing we were told). From our distance, we couldn’t see any nests or swallows, but there sure were tons of little tropical fish everywhere. We soon moved on to Phi Phi Don where we stopped to do some snorkeling and then anchored ashore for some lunch and shopping. We both could imagine that Phi Phi was once incredibly beautiful – before it was exploited with all the tourism. The amount of people and trash that has accumulated on these islands was heartbreaking to see. It really made us appreciate even more where we were staying. After lunch we were off to a quiet snorkeling spot near Mosquito Island and then to Bamboo Island just to relax (Robert napped on the beach). From our vantage point on the beach we could watch sailboats in the distance and the afternoon thunderstorms building in the east. We raced back to the mainland fortunately making it back before the rain.
One afternoon it was overcast so we decided to spend the afternoon in the nearest town, Ao Nang, which was 20 minutes away by taxi. We walked up and down the streets which were lined with street vendors, shops, restaurants, bars, tailors, and other tourist attractions. Fortunately, it wasn’t anywhere near as crowded or dirty at Phi Phi. We then followed the beach to the end past several dozen massage tents to a shrine area, a mountain creek, and LOTS of monkeys. We eventually made our way back to the street vendors and ordered a banana roti (yum!) then moved on to get some drinks and an appetizer since it was getting late and a thunderstorm was fixin’ to let loose. We always looked forward to those afternoon/evening storms since it really cooled the temperature down.
Overall, we had an awesome time and would stay at our resort again if we ever found ourselves in this area. We will especially remember all the beautiful plants and flowers, all the jungle sounds (bugs, birds, frogs and monkeys), the tasty food and fruit (especially the bananas and pineapple), and of course, the wonderful Thai people.