This past week was Songkran, or Thai New Year, and we had a full week of holiday, so I flew down to Krabi in southern Thailand.
From Krabi airport, I took a minivan to Krabi town, where I stayed for three nights.
I chose Pak Up Hostel for my accommodation, since they had high ratings on hostelworld.com.
Krabi town is small and quaint, and I made sure to leave my mark at the local coffee shop while visiting. Wisconsin ❤
The hardest task here was finding a new bikini, since there’s a large Muslim population, and no two-pieces in sight. Make sure to pack your own. 🙂Anyway, while in Krabi, I booked two tours through my hostel:
- Boating in the Phi Phi Islands
- Rock Climbing on Railay Beach
The packaged tour was actually cheaper than DIY, considering the high cost of ferries in these touristy towns. Both tours averaged 35 USD, including roundtrip transportation.
Tour #1: Koh Phi Phi Islands by Speed Boat
On day one I boated in the Phi Phi islands with the company, Sun-San Travel and Tour. Straightaway I met a girl named Miri- a solo traveler from South Korea. She was quirky and upbeat- the perfect travel companion. 😀The first hour of our tour was spent in a songtaew (a.k.a. a truck with wooden seats) to pick up all the passengers.
Anyway, here was the speed boat tour itinerary:
- Bamboo Island
- Lo Samah Bay and Viking Cave
- Maya Bay on Koh Phi Phi Don
- Monkey Beach
- Lunch on Koh Phi Phi Ley
Our first stop was Bamboo Island– a gorgeous stretch of white sandy beach surrounded by pristine turquoise waters.
It’s less famous than surrounding beaches, so it felt like our own tropical paradise. Miri had a fear of swimming, so I told her I’d go with her in the water for a dip.
I noticed a bunch of jellyfish floating on the surface, but it didn’t seem to stop people from splashing around.
This is where I learned that pink jellyfish are high stinging, and although not deadly, the pain hurts just as bad. 😥Afterwards, we rode through Loh Samah Bay and Viking Cave for gorgeous views of the karst landscape.
Later, we made our way to Ko Phi Phi Don and Maya Bay– the set of the movie, “The Beach,” staring Leonardo DiCaprio.
This beach has the potential to be absolutely stunning- a secluded alcove surrounded by towering cliffs on each side. Unfortunately though, it was so littered with people, it was hard enough to find a spot to stick your feet.
If possible, visit before tours arrive or camp overnight to escape the crowds.
Bathroom sign. 😕Anyway, despite the masses, I managed to find an isolated rock, and some space to call my own. 😀Feeling alive and free! 😀
After Maya Bay, we made a brief stop past Monkey Beach, which inhabits some fairly aggressive macaques. We watched as they ravaged a package of crackers from the hands of a hippie backpacker, and decided not to step foot off the boat.Next up, it was lunch time- a buffet style selection of local fare. This stir fry had a mixture of veggies, fish meatballs and pineapple- the typical combo of salty and sweet found in most Thai cuisine.
After lunch we hopped in the water for some snorkeling, which left something to be desired, but I was impressed by how well the kids behaved on the boat. What cuties! 😀Overall, the tour is one of the area’s most famous, but I found the destinations to be a bit too crowded. I guess I’ll just have to imagine myself and Leo alone in Maya Bay- if only in my dreams. 😛
Tour #2: Rock Climbing Railay Beach
On day two, I was picked up in another songtaew by King Climbers, for a half-day rock climbing tour on Railay Beach.
While on the boat, I met a traveler named Yuki from China- my new buddy on this excursion. 🙂Once we arrived, we were fitted with harnesses, shoes, and powder, then taken to the west side of Railay to practice climbing.The limestone rock surrounding Railay beach is world-famous, and there are enough anchors bolted in these cliffs to occupy a climber for ages.We began with a beginner route, where things started out a little rocky- no pun intended. 😛
That being said, my instructor, Sue, was mild-mannered, and gave me helpful suggestions about where to place my feet when climbing.
With his guidance, I reached the top in no time. 😀 After, I advanced to climb the higher rock faces using my GoPro head mount. My video footage was super shaky, and at one point I smacked my camera against a boulder, so I’ll spare you the nausea, and leave you with some pics I snapped at the top. 😛Now, Railay Beach itself is absolutely stunning, and my favorite spot so far on this trip. 😀It has a great combination of kitschy shops, beach-side restaurants, and swank boutique hotels. I’d definitely recommend staying here if you get the chance. 😀
After climbing, I decided to venture to the viewpoint of Railay- a 30-minute uphill climb to the top.
At least I spotted some local wildlife hanging in the trees on my way down. 🙂These are dusky langurs- a spectacled leaf monkey native to Malaysia and Thailand.After my descent, I returned my climbing gear, took a long-tail boat back to Krabi, then hopped into a minivan towards Khao Lak– the next destination on my journey.
From there, I would be boarding a 4D/4N scuba diving liveaboard in the Similan and Surin Islands. Stay tuned to hear all about it! Until then. 😀