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A Day on the beaches of Krabi

semi-overcast 31 °C

Thankfully when we woke up this morning it had stopped raining so we could go ahead with our plans to visit the beach. We got up early to make a day of it and was sat eating our breakfast on the river by 10am.

One if the most popular beaches in this area is Railay, which is actually two beaches, east and west. Although it is on the mainland the only way to access it is by boat. There are a number of longboats that dock on the riverside that cost 150 baht (£3) per person each way. We tried to negotiate with them but they were having none of it. We think that it is expensive, it is only a 45 minute boat ride and the boat can easily hold around a dozen people so they must be making a killing. Or maybe we are just becoming tight? When boarding the boat Chelsea slipped on the wet jetty and fell dramatically, her feet went over her head before she even started to come back down to earth, luckily the boat and the boatman cushioned her fall and she came away unscathed apart from a little embarressment.

The journey itself is nice but wet, the boat is slow and the small engine is very loud but it is smooth and you pass a very scenic shoreline of limestone cliffs, tiny seculded beaches and caves. At then end of Krabi Town is a fishing area, where small trawler boats were parked up delivering the daily catch and there are several small houses or huts built over the river where people live.

The arrival area on Railay beach is a small beaching and docking area hemmed in by large limestone cliffs and trees. Unfortunately the tide was out and the boat had to stop about 20 feet from shore and we had to wade through the sea onto shore. The sea in this area is very opaque due to the boats so it was a bit unnerving as it felt muddy and like jelly on your feet.


Once on dry ground we headed accross the land past some very up market resorts onto Railay West beach. We were not expecting there to be so many people. The beach is long, and surronded by more tall limestone peaks, more boats are moored to take you to other beaches around the area. There are a few shops on Walking Street and a couple of bars and activity shops. We walked along the beach to the north end where thankfully it was a little quiter and there were no boats so the sea was turqouise and very clear. The beach is stunning, white sand and clear water with huge cliffs however the amount of people and boats spoils it a little. The boats are noisy and it is difficult to find a private spot on the beach.

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We found a place under a tree and sat in the sun until we couldn't take the heat anymore. It goes without saying that Liam was the first to cave and crawled back into the shade. We sat there for a couple of hours then decided to go for a swim. As the water was so clear we were a little braver than we had been in the jellyfish waters off Langkawi. By the time we came out it had just started to rain so we dried off under the tree and left the beach.

As there are so many large limestone cliffs around, the area is a favorite place for rock climbers. We went to another of the beaches before leaving and on the way we saw dozens of people attempting climbs. You walk right alongside the steep cliffs and small caves on the way to the beaches. The walk to the other beach is very interesting, the cliffs have eroded and there are little caves and huge overhangs with vines and trees entwined into the rock. There is a 'path' you can take to the left which leads to a viewpoint up on the tops but it is basically a vertal climb up a steep hill with a rope and tree roots as steps and our footwear (and stamina) was not up for it. We were stunned when we got to the second beach, it is an extemely pretty beach where you can swim right upto the cliffs, the beach itself was quite long but narrow but there were so many people crammed onto the sand, practically sat on each others laps. We watched some of the rock climbers at the rear of the beach but it was far too busy for us so after a couple of photos we made our way back to the boat. Luckily another couple was waiting for a boat back to town so we shared the boat with them.


We came back to the guesthouse to research our next stop Ko Lanta, because we still had no where to stay. We have researched it for two days, everything seemed full, we sent a couple of email enquires but no one has come back to us. Our guesthouse even has a few bungalows to promote - even they were all full. We even got our nice guest house owner to phone around all is contact but nothing within our budgget was available. It got late and in the end we had to concede defeat, we are not going to Ko Lanta as it is peek season we can't risk just turning up with nowhere to stay. Instead we have decided to go further north, we will travel tomorrow to Ranong, stay one night, before getting a ferry to the island of Ko Phayam. Ko Phayam is a sleepy little island, with no cars, no ATM's and even sporadic electricity (solar by day, generator by night). There are a few bars and plenty of beach and the best part, not many people (we are so unsociable). Lucikly we rang up this evening and booked a bamboo bungalow for a week at £6 a night. It claims to have WIFI (not sure how good this will be) so we can continue to update this blog. We had talked about going to Ko Phayam after Ko Lanta, so we will just go earlier and plan another island (at the minute Ko Tao in the Gulf of Thailand) before we jump into the chaos that is Bangkok.

Sorting out the above really stressed us out and we were really hungry by the time we had finished. We went to the street food area we went yesterday and visited a different stall. The place sits you down, gives you a menu with some simple English translations and a pad, you write down what you want and when its done they bring it you. It was just as incredible as yesterday, Chelsea had a Spicy Chinese Sausage Salad and Liam had Noodle Soup with Seafood. Both were some of the best food we have had so far... delicious, fresh and quick. What makes it even better is the table condiments, additional soy sauce, sugar, dried and fresh chilli's so you can spice up your meal. On the way back we walked past a stall selling spicy freshly BBQ'd chicken on a stick, we could not resist so we had a stick each for the walk home for 20p.

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We have a really early start in the morning to make an 8am bus to Ranong. We have enjoyed Krabi, there are quite alot of things further afield that we have not had time to see but we have loved the town. There is great food, cheap bars and although a working town, really laid back. We are looking forward to the rest of Thailand. We are expecting Ranong to be quite different as it is right next to the border with Myanmar and if we like it may stay a few nights after our island retreat.

Posted by Chelsandliam 06:38 Archived in Thailand Tagged thailand krabi railay Comments (3)

Exploring Krabi town.

rain 31 °C
View Southeast asia on Chelsandliam's travel map.

Today we got up late and dawdled to get some breakfast. We went to a cheap place and had eggs and toast, juice and coffee/tea. It has been raining today and has rained since we wandered out of our basement room till late afternoon but has being extremely hot and humid. We walked around some of the streets with our umbrella and walked towards Kaew Grovaram Temple, getting lost a few times and a little muddy and wet. When we arrived the temple was empty as it was raining and was really nice. It had steps up to a big white temple and the steps were decorated with big golden dragons on either side snaking up the steps. The whole temple is pure white and is beautifully engraved and carved. The detailing in the pillars and the roof is really intricate. At the top you can go inside (taking off your shoes on the steps) and it is free to wander around the complex. It is on a pedestal with four smaller building's around it. It was lovely and peaceful as no one was around.


We then wandered a little further on, not knowing where we were going into another complex of some sort with smaller religious buildings that were being worked on to renovate. We are not sure what it was as it wasn't on our map and all the signs were in Thai but there was what looked like a grave yard of important people. The rain was then getting a lot worse so we walked down to one of the main streets and headed inside a cafe for a long coffee until the rain had eased up a bit. Krabi is very much a working town that has be become popular with tourists. It is not picturesque or quaint and the streets are wide, full of shops and restaurants where local people as well as tourists live and eat. There are lots of markets and lots of street vendors especially at night.

We walked around the fruit market looking at all the exotic fruits we have never seen before and then walked towards the Chinese temple that was bold on our map. Contrary to what our map says it is quite far away and took us and long time to get there, we seemed to just be getting further and further away from town and when we got there the temple was disapointing. It was run down and not very pleasing to the eye so we decided to walk towards the river and see all the mangroves.

Liam led us through what must have been the most remote part of town where everybody stared at us from there houses as we walked past. The riverfront is more wild than we thought. There is a path down the river which you can walk for miles. The river is lined with mangroves and has big limestone islands jutting out. On the outskirts we only saw a few men using there longboats for fishing but when we came closer to town every man with a boat offered us a longboat tour of the river. There is a jetty in town on the river where you can catch boats to the beaches that are only accessible by boat so as long as its not raining we plan to visit one of those tomorrow as the scenery is meant to be beautiful. We walked for miles right down the river until our feet and legs hurt and then we had the long walk back to the guesthouse where we sat with a beer to recover.


The wifi here is beyond terrible so it took us a long time to research our hopefully next destination Koh Lanta, a Thai island not far from here. By the time we realised it was after 6pm so and we were hungry. We walked down to the group of street food vendors that set up and night and picked one that was busy. The food is amazing here. We both picked something and shared them with rice. Chelsea had pork in a basil and chilli sauce and Liam had chicken in a garlic and black pepper sauce and they were both delicious and cost less than £3 with the drinks. We meant to take a photo of them but we were too excited and had eaten most of it before we remembered. we shared a large beer and walked up to some of the bars. We went into a bar and treated ourselves to a happy hour cocktail (£1.40 each).

Liam found a T-Shirt earlier that he liked to replace the one he shrunk in the dryer in Melaka but didn't want to pay the £4 the lady said it was so we went in and bartered her down to £3, a small victory Liam thought. Haha.

We are enjoying Karbi, the food and drink is cheap as is the accommodation and there is loads you can do using it as a base. We are planning on visiting the beach tomorrow by boat and if we like it maybe staying there a few nights too.

Now we are just sat researching our next move with Man the resident loveable street dog at the guesthouse.


Posted by Chelsandliam 16:00 Archived in Thailand Tagged thailand krabi Comments (3)

Langkawi to Satun...welcome to Thailand!

sunny 30 °C
View Southeast asia on Chelsandliam's travel map.

Today has been a day of traveling and waiting. The ferry to Satun, Thailand leaves Langkawi at 9am but our alarm didn't go off and the usual cockerel that has been waking us up regardless was nowhere to be found. We didn't wake up till 8am. After frantically getting dressed, packing the last bits of our things, checking out, settling our bill and leaving a note for our neighbours who lent us some books we had a speed walk to the taxi rank and arrived at 8.30am. We didn't get to the ferry terminal until 8.55 and there was a huge queue for the ferry. When we got to the front of the queue they were still selling tickets for the ferry that departs at 9am even though it was around 9.15 but the lady assured us we would have time to catch it.

We speed walked through the terminal and through Malaysian immigration and the ferry was still waiting. By some miracle we had managed to wake up and catch the ferry within an hour. To get to the ferry terminal from Pantai Cenang you have to use a taxi as there are no busses and it cost 24 ringitt. The ferry to Satun costs 30 ringitt and leaves at 9am, 1pm and 4.30pm. The ferry is comfortable and plays a movie, today it was Mr Poppers Penguins which Chelsea was enjoying. When you arrive at Satun you fill out an arrival form whilst in the immigration queue and pass through Thai immigration. You then have two options for moving on. You can grab a share taxi to the main bus station and get a local bus onward from there or pay a little more and get a tour company to take you to your destination straight from the ferry terminal. We decided to do the later and got a minivan straight through to Krabi town centre for 500 baht. We had to wait around for a few hours (after being told it would arrive at 11:00, 11:30 and 11:45, it finally turned up at 13:00) for the van to turn up but it took us right into town.

We then set about finding somewhere to stay. Both the guest houses we liked the best were full so we went with our third choice, P Guesthouse. The rooms are 300 baaht (£6) and have there own bathrooms with hot water. There is a tv which is a first for us and wifi (the wifi is useless though) and it is clean even though it looks a little like a basement prison cell. It also has a resident street dog called Man. Is is super maingey but really friendly and we feel really sorry for him. He sits on the front step and wags his tail when people walk back but he is in really bad condition with bald spots and crusty furr. We wish we could take him with us and make him less maingey.

It was late when we arrived so we showered and went out for tea and drinks. We found the night market which is really close to us and had a walk around. The food in the market is amazing. People sell all sorts of things on there stalls. We tried some barbecued pork on a stick, a fresh orange slushy and some spicy rice and roast chicken which the vendor puts in a polystyrene box for you, puts it in a bag and throws some salad in the bag as garnish. It cost us 40 baaht (80p). People were selling desserts, fried bugs like locusts and grubs, drinks and everything you could imagine barbecued on a stick. We will definatey be going back to sample some new things. We had a walk around town and found a bar to sit and play cards for an hour.

On first impressions we like Krabi, we are going to spend tomorrow exploring the town.

Posted by Chelsandliam 16:00 Archived in Thailand Tagged thailand krabi Comments (3)

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