‘Tis the Sea-Sun: Visit Santa Claws in Krabi

‘Sawatdee Pii Mai’ or Happy New Year from Thailand everyone! 🥳

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Dragon Crest Mountain in Krabi

After a VERY long, roller coaster of a year, I wrapped things up with a Christmas vacation on the beach. This was one ride I was more than happy to jump on! 🏝️🐬

I spent two weeks with my partner in Krabi province. Our journey was literally and figuratively a bit bumpy at times, but we got through it and were left with beautiful memories to enjoy. 🛵

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bumpy roads riding around Koh Lanta on scooter

And before you say, “Megan, I’m dealing with a global pandemic right now and you’re over here sharing VACATION PHOTOS?!?” I’ll respond by saying…“Don’t be a salty beach.” 🤣🌴

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courtesy of Google images

Hah! Really though, the tables are already turning on us right now as we are heading into yet another lockdown, so at least let me share these beautiful photos while I can. And if you are gonna be a hater or salty about it, at least bring the tequila. 😉🍹

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courtesy of Google images

Now, where was I? Ah, yes, we spent two wonderful weeks on motorbike discovering Krabi province, including Ao Nang, Tubkaak, and Koh Lanta. We stayed at four main hotels and tried heaps of different restaurants. Here are the highlights of our journey. ☀️

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Bamboo Beach on Koh Lanta

We flew from Bangkok to Krabi with Bangkok Airways, which took about 1.5 hours. The image on the left shows where we flew and the image on the right shows the three main places where we stayed. ✈️

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Left: Bangkok to Krabi; Right: Ao Nang, Tubkaak and Koh Lanta are starred

From the airport we took a 45-minute van ride to Ao Nang. The private van ride was only 3 bucks more than the bus and much more comfortable. From there we rented a scooter from Mr. Kord. For the two-week rental, we paid about 5 USD per day. They even posted us on their Facebook page for advertisement.

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Our first hotel was the Amari Vogue in Tubkaak. After a 20-minute ride from Ao Nang, we arrived and it was finally time for us to unpack our bags and get into holiday mode. 🍺

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Of course we were ready to celebrate with some happy hour beers, but also enjoy the beauty of a fresh coconut on the beach. The juice and meat is loaded with many antioxidants, electrolytes and healthy fats. It’s absolute heaven! 🥥

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beers and coconuts at the Amari Vogue

And despite how much I love the chaos of Bangkok, it’s nice to trade the city for the beach once in a while. 🌴

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Bangkok on the left and Krabi on the right

In Krabi you’ll look up to find monkeys swinging in the trees, while in Bangkok I looked up to a tree-shaped clump of cords. 🤣 Although both can be dangerous at times… 🤣

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Potential electrical fire or demonic monkeys…choose your hazard 🤣

In terms of activities, we went hiking up Dragon Crest Mountain. It takes about 2 hours each way, but the path is well-marked and the views are spectacular. 🌲🥾

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hiking Dragon Crest trail
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views of Krabi province
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small bits of danger
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the national park takes your name and number when you enter and provides visitors with a map of the trail path

Aside from that, we enjoyed some local restaurants and our stunning 5-star resort. 🤩

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pool and room at the Amari Vogue
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mix of traditional Thai and modern architecture
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eating my greens at the buffet brekkie (green curry, morning glory, rice and poached egg)
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pad krapao pizza at the Amari Vogue (Thai holy basil chicken)
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hotel beach loungers
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beautiful beachfront dining at Di Mare Italian Trattoria in the Tubkaak Boutique Resort (chicken with potatoes)
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sundowners (drinks taken around sunset) at Andalay Beach Bar

After three days around Tubkaak, we relocated to the Ao Nang Fiore Resort, a collection of cottages sprawled across about 80 acres of tropical forest. 🌺

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cottages at the resort
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sculpted garden at the resort
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infinity pool
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hotel brekkie (fried rice with bread and fruit)

I loved the resort’s central location where you could enjoy the beauty of the karst mountains from your balcony and be down by the beach within 10 minutes.

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mountain and beach views

Now I don’t like to be negative, but I will mention that when we first checked in to our room, I found someone else’s pants hanging in the closet! 😱 Obviously I would have preferred a good ol’ towel animal on the bed or a welcome gift, so this was not a fun surprise. It also immediately made me question how thoroughly the maid had cleaned. Excuse me while I go puke! 🤮

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memes courtesy of Google images

That being said, they immediately transferred us to the highest level of the resort and let us choose any of the cottages there, so we decided to stay. After that, our time in Ao Nang was very relaxing, and spent either café or bar hopping along the beach.

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C’MORE Mount Bar
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Café 8.98 (cauliflower frittata with Romesco sauce) with the coffee shop’s resident cat
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The Last Fisherman Bar (chicken larb meat salad)
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COAST Beach Club at the Centara Grand, which is accessible by walking 15 minutes along the Monkey Trail (seafood pizza and bruschetta)
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The Hidden Gem Bar

This was also when we celebrated Christmas. My dad loves wine bottle trees, so this beer bottle Christmas tree made me think of him. So festive!

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snowman in Ao Nang and Chang beer bottle Christmas tree

Although we didn’t see Santa Claus on Christmas, we did find plenty of Santa Claws to enjoy. 🎅 🦀

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We dined on crab and other seafood delights at Lae Lay Grill and Umberto’s.

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deep fried soft shelled crab and sea bass loaded with garlic at Lae Lay Grill
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shrimp and mushroom pasta, charcuterie board, and steak with potatoes at Umberto’s

Now you may be wondering, “Megan, wouldn’t you rather have a white Christmas?” Well, let me respond by saying that I’ve spent over 25 years bundled up in my parka in the winter wonderland of Wisconsin, followed by a handful of Christmases in arctic Finland, near the Austrian alps and with snow monkeys in Japan. I’ve had my fair share of snowy nights. ❄️

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Sámi and reindeer in Finnish Lapland, Salzburg viewpoint in Austria and Kinkaku-ji in Japan

When given the choice, for me it’s obvious. 😜

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courtesy of Google images

And of course, despite being far from home, I got the chance to video chat with family and friends, so I still felt that connection to my loved ones. 💖

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Anyway, after our Christmas celebrations, we scooted on over to the island of Koh Lanta. Unfortunately, we got rained on in the beginning of our journey, but we were lucky enough to share the ferry with an elephant, which by far made up for any soggy clothes. 🐘 My partner also got us these cute and colorful rain parkas. So sweet! 🥰

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his and her rain parkas; elephant on the ferry

Now our first hotel on Koh Lanta was the SriLanta Resort.

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Sunset views at the SriLanta Resort

Although the place felt more like an Airbnb than a hotel, I loved the beachfront access and the Japanese interior décor.

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low bed with minimal décor, bamboo accents, and muted tones made for a very Zen atmosphere

I also got a chuckle at the “American” breakfast they offered, which included hot dogs, deli ham and cold salad. 🤔At least they’re trying to be accommodating to Western tastes.

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Thai interpretation of American breakfast

That also didn’t matter too much, because we spent this time diving with Lanta Diver, whom provided breakfast and lunch on board. We dove with the company at the sites Hin Daeng and Hin Muang, which are ranked as some of the top dives in Thailand. The dive sites are two hours away by speed boat, but it was definitely worth the trip. 🤿

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Although I forgot my GoPro this time around, I did make a collage of all the different types of marine life we saw on our dives. My partner even went back on his own and saw a manta on his second dive.

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marine life at Hin Daeng and Hin Muang courtesy of Google images

Anyway, aside from diving, we spent most of our time cruising around on the scooter, exploring the island, and stopping at cafés, restaurants, and beaches along the way.

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Bamboo Beach
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larb meat salad at Shanti Shanti
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tempura vegetables at Khao Yai Restaurant
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pineapple chicken fried rice at Diamond Cliff
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green curry and pork belly at Phad Thai Rock ‘n’ Roll
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lamb gyro at El Greco
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Smoon Café
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vegan banana cake at Full-fill Cafe

I ABSOLUTELY lived this motto throughout our entire trip. “EAT, BEACH, SLEEP, REPEAT.”

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EAT, BEACH, SLEEP, REPEAT

Our course my partner was more than happy to catch me in the act. 😴 No shame! 🤣

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Heck, being a teacher is exhausting. I literally spent my last day of school trying to entertain and serve up rapidly melting ice cream cake to a group of 10-year-olds in 80 degree heat! What a fun semester, but now I needed my rest. 🤣🍦

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holiday/birthday party to end the school term; lovely gifts from my students 

Now as for the New Year’s celebration, we started the night at Lym’s Bar for live music and food, followed by the Layana Resort for fireworks and a fire show, then bar hopping along Long Beach.

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New Year’s at Layana Resort
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nighttime beach shots on Koh Lanta (Patty’s Secret Garden by the Sea and The Ozone Bar)

Our last resort on Koh Lanta was the Rawi Warin Resort and Spa. It had such beautiful grounds, attentive staff, and nice family-friendly activities, like billiards, biking, ping pong, and kayaking. Definitely top notch!

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The breakfast food and atmosphere was the best of the bunch too! 😋

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various stir fried meats and veggies with rice and egg

Overall, 2020 was a pretty challenging year, but at least we started 2021 on the right foot.

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Hope you enjoy this video montage of the trip! ❤️

Side note: the dive footage came from the scuba instructor at Lanta Diver.

Moving forward, as I mentioned earlier in the post, Thailand is going into another partial lockdown. We were lucky to get back to Bangkok without issues, but we’re unsure what the next few months will bring for travel. I will go back to online learning with my students and stay optimistic about a positive future for all. Take care and stay safe everyone! Until next time! 😊

12 thoughts on “‘Tis the Sea-Sun: Visit Santa Claws in Krabi

  1. Yes, COVID has hit the hospitality industry very hard there, so we were happy to support local businesses and enjoy the relatively empty beaches. Absolute heaven!

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  2. Hello again Megan,

    it has been too long since I checked out your blog and this shows why, another great post. That area is one part of Thailand I have not been to and it looks amazing, especially the diving as the vis. looks great.

    You certainly picked some great looking places to stay (unwanted pants notwithstanding) and the food offerings are as good as I would expect in Thailand where they seem to be able to replicate just about any cuisine you mention. What a lovely way to spend your holidays.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, on a positive note, the hotel deals have definitely been outstanding as a result of this pandemic. This is normally the busiest time of year to travel in Thailand, so we’re very blessed to get to enjoy it without the crowds and at half the price. Thanks so much for checking out the post! X

      Liked by 1 person

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