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Krabi Island Getaway

4 July 2011 No Comment
A beach at Hong Island

A beach at Hong Island

Remember ‘The Beach’? The movie, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, depicted an isolated beach paradise where travelers, captivated by its beauty and wearied by the worries of the world decided to remain in a secret community. The Travcult crew loved the movie and the novel by Alex Garland from which it was adapted, and was prepared to love the Thai province it was set in. And so we set off to Krabi.

In close proximity to its more renowned cousin, Phuket, Krabi is a somewhat less commercialized area. It is still, however, a place where the people’s livelihood depends largely on tourism. The crew decided to base itself in Ao Nang for our 4 days 3 nights getaway. We took a flight to Krabi International Airport, from which taxis or shuttles can be rented. Ao Nang is approximately half an hour’s drive from the airport, but can also be reached by bus from Krabi town or by ferry from Phuket. The Ao Nang beach is lively and has plenty of tourist conveniences so there is really not much to complain about.

The Ao Nang beach mainly hosts dining, shopping and night-life options. For the real beach experience, many head to Railay beach (about 20 minutes by long-tail boat) and to the many famous islands in the vicinity, including Koh Samui, Koh Lanta and the Hong island. These islands can all be reached by speedboat or long-tail boats. You can buy boat tickets at a small counter on Ao Nang beach. Boat rides  are more expensive after dark so be sure to plan your trips ahead (and try to bargain!).

View of cliffs along the boat rides.

View of cliffs along the boat rides

There are a number of activities to choose from, ranging from water sports like kayaking, rafting or snorkeling, to rock climbing and jungle adventures. These activities, however, are mainly organised as “tours” and can be pricey. Often, the “tours” take place in different parts of Krabi or on different islands, and traveling between these spots may take up a lot of time. Despite this, we found that it is almost always possible to find an option that fits your itinerary, and the locals – being  the good sales people that they are – will allow you to bargain and make adjustments to the recommended tours. After a long deliberation, the crew settled for rock climbing at Railay Beach and kayaking around Hong Island. They were definitely great experiences even for beginners like ourselves. The activities may have required some exertion, but with all the beauty around, they were worth it. Picturesque cliffs dot the Indian ocean and all the beaches are beautiful – the sands white, smooth and cool on your feet, and the waters blue-green.

Krabi night market

Krabi night market

Our last evening was a Saturday, and the Travcult crew decided to visit the night market in Krabi town, provincial capital of the region. It was easily one of the best night markets visits we have had. Despite it being a rainy evening, the atmosphere was barely dampened by the showers. The market was fascinating yet unassuming. There were many locals as well as tourists from all walks of life. At the centre of the night market was a stage where locals entertain themselves and one another by performing anything from traditional Thai songs to break-dancing. Food choices were practically endless – there was so much to sample and discover.

Krabi night market

Krabi night market

Krabi was simple, charming and breathtaking. But as the travellers in the movie found, the paradise experience can’t last forever, and our Krabi adventure, too, came to an end.

Note: Due to their close proximity, some activities on some islands are also featured in many tours offered in Phuket, so if you have been or are planning to go to Phuket, do check out the location and tour details in depth to avoid going on a ‘repeat’ tour!

Travel Info

Ao Nang Accomodation: Ao Nang Paradise. Website: www.aonang-paradise-resort.com
Hotel shuttle service (van for up to 6 pax) to Krabi Airport costs THB 800 one way.
Tour Packages range from THB 500 to THB 1000 upwards.

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