Thailand-wow what an amazing country; I could feel the buzz of it the minute I stepped off the plane. Having listened to all the advise from TA’s we hot footed to the nearest ATM using a Cash Passport Card drew out enough dough to do us for a few days, on to the café to buy drinks and nibbles to break down the 1000B notes which are virtually useless in Thailand as many times was hard to get change from them! Make sure you keep a good supply of smaller Baht including coins.
QUEENS GARDEN RESORT- On to the taxi line next floor down, into the taxi-‘QGR’ here we come! Eventually anyway, the cabbie just kept saying “Lat Krabang” us saying “Yes, Queens Garden Resort” am reading my instructions (in English) from the net-hmm seems we are going the wrong way, tried to tell him but no English! Being nighttime the area seemed pretty dodgy; in daylight it didn’t look much different! Finally made myself understood, and found ‘QGR’ down a drive off the road someway. Took about half hour to get there, 50B airport fee and 75B taxi fare, me thinks 25B spent getting lost! Had organised transfer back to Suvarnabhumi, had a bit of a panic when I thought we were heading to Don Muang, but had to do one of those 2km U Turns! But alas it took only 10 mins, to airport boy we were lost last night!
Check in was quick and easy, 3 floors up and no lift but staff were great in helping with luggage. The room had double bed and rollaway for 15 yr old Dylan, very hard but big fat pillows! Fridge with cold water, and big toilet/shower, no safe, the place looked half finished, which gave us a bit of a laugh but was clean enough and staff friendly. We even had a balcony with a view-even if it was of wasteland and the expressway, a view nonetheless. Went down to outdoor bar and helped selves to a couple of Heineken’s 60B and a couple more, around 3am by time we hit the sack.
Decided not to have breaky at QGR and wait till we had checked our luggage, heaps of spots to eat 1 floor down from check-in. Were all prepared to have a delay with Air Asia but we left bang on time and arrived in Krabi 15mins ahead of time. Found taxi desk outside baggage claim, 600B pay at the desk and they will allocate a driver. Now that was an experience to behold, did most of the trip from Krabi to AoNang with my eyes closed and clutching at Dylan’s leg- are there no road rules in this country! When I did have the courage to open my eyes I was amazed at the limestone karsts, I just kept saying Wow!
LA PLAYA- We were really happy with our choice here but to keep this report a little shorter I have done an extensive review on the resort under ‘trip advisor reviews’
TOURS AND TRANSPORTATION-Had booked Elizabeth and Sun-‘Anadman Camp and Cruise’ for 2 day trips, 1st day we did a sightseeing tour, watched the monkeys at work coconut harvesting, and went to Tha Pom, a delightful swimming hole frequented by locals. We were to go to Sun’s family for lunch but his cousin was married that day and all the family were at the wedding so we were invited along! Wished that Elizabeth had have warned us prior so we could dress more appropriately for attending a Muslim wedding. She said we would be fine and not to worry! When we got there I think they were more excited than us felt rather strange having all eyes on us as we walked in. We were served much delicious food but could not bring myself to eat the innards soup! The poor Bride and Groom spend most of the day in a brightly decorated tent having their photo taken with the guests who just come and go all day. We had our photo taken and then the bride wanted a picture of just her and Dylan! He was a bit of a hit I think and had lots of young girls walking backwards and forwards checking him out! Also visited Sun’s family home and went to the Giant Catfish, was amazed at the state of the place, although most enjoyable we would just not get away with the conditions and our strict Occupational Health and Safety laws here in Australia. Parents keep a hold of your kids! Stopped at the local market on the way home to sample a few sweets and fruits we had not seen before. The market is a must visit!
For our 2nd day with Elizabeth and Sun, we went out on their longtail, Hong Island was lovely and we were lucky enough to have the lagoon for swimming and kayaking to ourselves for a time before being invaded by a group of loud folk destroying the beautiful tranquility of the place. Stopped at the main beach on Hong to do some snorkeling unfortunately the tides and weather were not most favourable for this so we just explored a bit a lazed around. Good to see all the Tsunami warnings in place with evacuation routes and sirens. Stopped at another couple of islands and had a yummy lunch Sun had prepared for us. Elizabeth and Sun were a delight to spend time with, having someone who spoke English helped us understand the Thai way of life so much more. If anyone is considering a trip with them you won’t be disappointed, if I get back there I will be doing an overnight camp for sure! I just could not drink it all in, the scenery is truly amazing out there!
Took a longtail to Poda one morning 300B each return, had to wait 20mins for a full boat, the driver came back to collect us at an agreed time. The cheeky monkeys unpacked out daypack before we had time to hunt them off. Many tourists on the island, so we walked around the other side, which was deserted and spent a lovely couple of hours. Is restaurant on the island but having only been in Thailand for 2 days we were not game to try the food, I had bananas for lunch the boys had a bag of crisps!
Another day we took a longtail (60B each) to West Railey-what a gorgeous place! If I didn’t have a 15 yr old to entertain I would be staying here! Maybe next time. Few shops and cafes, low key resorts and bungalows and not much more, think that is the charm of the place. Took an interesting walk over to East Railey, many resorts and bars but not a terribly attractive place at all and very dirty! Found the caves and the path to Phra Nang Beach just the most lovely beach, even compared to Aussie beaches; I guess living on the East Coast here we are very spoilt with our beautiful beaches and find it hard to compare. Unfortunately the afternoon storms were coming and we had to call it a day. Along with another couple we had to offer the driver extra 200B to leave with only the 5 of us so we didn’t get caught in the storm.
Krabi Night Market was a tour offered by La Playa for 350B pp. Was a great evening out, D stayed at the resort ordering room service and hanging at the bar drinking cokes! We were given 4 hours which was way to long, had we gone to a restaurant for dinner it may have been ok but having been in Thailand a week now we were more adventurous and we stuffed ourselves on market and street food, not knowing what most of it was! The colours, the smells, the noise, were just all so much an experience. Shopping in general was way cheaper in Krabi Town than Ao Nang.
Tuk Tuks were 20B pp anywhere around Ao Nang and usually only used these a couple of times on our way home from dinner when we were too stuffed full to walk!
Taxis were advertised for 400B to Krabi airport but 1st May hit and the prices went up to 500B even the hotel taxi went from 500B to 600B.
There are plenty of travel agents only to happy to help you out with day trips!
OTHER ACTIVITIES-My highlight was my afternoon at school- ‘Ya’s’ Krabi Thai Cookery School, this was fun, Ya had such good English and was able to answer all sorts of questions we threw at her, regarding Thai cuisine, by the end of our splendid feast the pit of my stomach was burning and I was sure I was going to get ill, have never eaten so much chilli in one sitting! Ya let you choose the heat of what you are cooking so you do have some control of what you are eating! Thank goodness for her well-stocked beer fridge is all I can say.
Plenty of massages were to be had, at La Playa 300B, down the street 250-350B and at the salas beyond Ao Nang Villa and Golden Beach Resort only 200B. These all included, Thai/ Oil/Foot/Head and mostly 1hr. I particularly enjoyed the large sala looking out over the beach. Nice way to end a day!
Shopping…what is that saying…”same same, but different” Heaps of surf gear, better selection of sarongs and boardies than BKK. Lots of homewares, souvenirs, etc. As said before Krabi Town is a lot cheaper. Funny, again come 1st May and the prices all went up, but having become an expert bargainer by then I still managed to get a good price, funny how you end up haggling over 50B to us it is pittance! Pharmacies a plenty as are Tailors; I used Europa to get a copy of my work pants. They did a good job in a good quality stretch fabric for 1200B.
FOOD & DRINK-The average price for a Thai dish around 65B, Tried KR Cuisine, Chaba Thai, the Seafood plaza along beach - several places down there all good and buy 1get1 free cocktails, and tiger prawns to die for! Favourite was probably Luna Bar at Hat Nopparat Thara beautiful beach setting watching the sunset. Also went to a couple of Italian places when the boys were hankering for pizza-very ordinary-doh what do you expect, want good pizza go to Italy! Lots of street food and awesome pancakes! Dylan not being adventurous ate lots of “Schitizers and French Frieds” did not have a bad one!
Well that beats the longest JBR I have read yet and I still have another10 days to go!
Please tell me no more if you feel the need!