About half year ago, some of my friends asked me if I’m having any vacation plans during the May/June holiday season with my girlfriend, Ivy. Given that we’ve been consistently spending our mid-year holiday on Island trips for several consecutive years, obviously they’re curious where we’re heading to this year.
Frankly speaking, I totally missed out this year’s May/June holiday season! When I came to realized of the date, hotels are already fully booked especially on the weeks that comes with public holiday. I guess working lifestyle has taken a toll on my sense of holiday, because back in university days, we’d be having semester break during the May/June holiday season and we would plan for it much more earlier. Public holidays are just regular weekday bonuses. Hahaha! But now, we’re just left with company annual leave and public holidays. Based on Malaysian company’s annual leave track record, I can see why Malaysian’s are so looking forward for public holidays.
Read on for my kind of brief experience of travelling to Ao Nang, Krabi. Of course hope you enjoy the photos as well. All taken with LX3 whilst the portrait photos are taken with Nexus 5.
Back to the topic, initially I wanted to go to Perhentian Island / Lang Tengah trip as I’ve been to Tioman and Redang Island. Since the Islands are located at the east coast, the monsoon season (late Sept – late March) comes after the peak season (May – August). That means even if I still have the option to book for the month of August or September, but we’re reaching the end of the peak season and it won’t be as much fun as early peak season which is somewhere around May.
I personally believe that the among the 3 time slots – Pre-Peak, Peak and Post Peak, the best time to visit is during the Pre-Peak because the place seems cleaner and less packed with tourists.
Nevertheless, after much consideration and discussion with Ivy, we decided this year we’re going to Krabi’s Ao Nang Beach. Though it is not an Island, but hey there’s a beach and tonnes of wonderful places to visit, be it on the mainland or the nearby islands.
Not sure why every time I loads up my Facebook news feed, there will always got a few peeps keep travelling here and there like they have lifetime free airfare + deep pockets. Left us plebeians who can only travel locally due to budget constraints.
That aside, part of the reason why we choose Krabi is because Ivy never been on a plane before. Neither she’s been to Thailand as well.
Anyhow, she’s pretty excited for the plane ride and found out that AirAsia’s standard seat is not as good as what she expected.
Upon arrival, it rained for a while and the taxi driver says it’s pretty normal as it approaches the raining season.
The weather settled down after a few drops.
As expected, their main transport is either motorbike or 4×4 pickup truck.
Don’t be surprised that when you see this scenery despite there are quite a few road signs on helmet reminder or police patrols around.
At least they don’t ride as reckless as what we seen in Malaysia. Can I call this chaotic-ly organized?
Our Honda Civic cab.
Unless your accommodation provides airport transfer, else you’re pretty much left with the choice of:
- Taxi – 600 baht per car
- Van – 100 baht per head
- Shuttle bus – 150 baht per head
- Walk – 0 baht per head
I have no idea why shuttle bus is much more expensive than the van. Since we have 4 person, we took the cab and share the cost which is a steal. Did I mention I went with Ivy and 2 of our colleagues?
It translates – “Beach” “Beach” “Beach”.
But then, just look at those rain clouds.
Thank goodness it only starts raining heavily after we step into the hotel.
The sky cleared just before we get ready for our dinner.
Night stroll along side the shops by the Ao Nang Beach.
Prepare your legs for longgggg stroll.
Night time at the beach.
First I was stunned looking at this sign. But then came to realize that we’re actually not in Malaysia!
This also shows how blessed we Malaysians are and how unprepared we are in regards of natural disasters.
This path is not so happening when compared to the main street.
Superb if you want a quiet stroll by the beach.
That pretty much sums up what we did on the first day.
Brilliant weather on second day as we’ll be having island tour for the day.
Sunrise view from our balcony.
Do keep in mind that if you purchased a tour package that includes any kind of transfer service, always get ready and wait at the waiting spot as the drivers are extremely punctual.
We missed our first transfer and while we wait for our 2nd transfer, I quickly grab the chance to snap some photos because I foresee that when the time we came back from the island tour, we would be extremely exhausted.
They have this Muay Thai advert truck driving around the town.
I love how the truck keep broadcasting “Muay Thai, Muay Thai”.
Various types of transfer vehicles.
Island tour begins.
Not sure if they overloaded the boat or not, but I’m one of the few lucky fellow to enjoy the warmth of the sun.
Our tour package includes the longtail boat transfer. Other more expensive package might have speed boats which will cut down your travel time by half.
The island tour includes a few destinations.
First stop is the Ko Daeng, a rock island where we will snorkel.
I was expecting more but other than the wonderful looking island, the underwater view is just meh..
Then after around 30 minutes of transfer, we arrived at the Ko Lahding, our second stop of the day.
It is packed with tourists because this stop is the longest stay for the tour and everyone would have their lunch here.
It’s pre-peak season and it is full of caucasian tourists.
Afterwards, we proceed to the final stop – Ko Hong.
“Hong” means chamber, though it should be called a lagoon, but who cares about the name, the place is marvelous.
We had a brief visit of the lagoon while on the longtail boat before being brought to the Ko Hong beach. The tour includes the sea kayak into the lagoon and we can’t wait to kayak into this majestic place. Thanks to our tour guide, while he guided us all the way from the beach to the lagoon, he even showed us how shallow the water is in the lagoon which is around 1 metre.
Here’s the map of Ko Hong for your imagination.
We’re pretty much exhausted from the first day’s tour, especially the sea kayaking made sure each of us are nicely tanned and what not, our arm muscles are trained as well!
Even crazy is the first stop for our second day tour is the Tiger Cave Temple. Though the temple is located at the ground level, but the attraction point of this place is the 1237 steps to the summit.
So what’s so special at the summit of the cave? Well,
- A golden Buddha statue that stands 278 metre tall
- Astonishing panoramic view of Krabi
- Sense of achievement
- Sore legs
We took the challenge but gave up halfway because we’re running out of time.
That’s the cons of taking tour package.
Then, we went for the elephant ride which we immediately regret for signing up.
Though I’m open with the fact that we as alpha human is dominant over the other species, but when you look at the elephants fully equipped with all those silly chairs and stuff to entertain us, the ignorant tourists, I can’t help but to feel sorry for doing so, even if I do understand that the mahouts are trained and will not harm the elephants.
Let’s not further argue about animal cruelty or alpha human topics, you can join the debate at Trip Advisor if you want to.
Then we proceed to our third destination which is the hot spring waterfall.
The transfer takes around 45 minutes and it rains throughout the whole journey.
We’re blessed that the rain stops when we arrived at the hot spring waterfall.
I didn’t take much photos here cause I’m absolutely thrilled with the hot spring.
As you can see the hot spring waterfall is quite small and the only place you can actually enjoy a dip in the hot spring is at the top of the waterfall.
Imagine during peak hours, you won’t be able to find a spot to take a dip.
By the way, the water looks yellowish is due to the copper and various types of mineral deposit in the spring water.
Afterwards, we proceed to our final stop of the day, the Emerald Pool.
Technically speaking, this is Blue pool instead of Emerald pool.
I totally forgot to take the photo of the Emerald pool not because it is packed with tourists, in fact I’m totally break down after 800 metres of walking from the entrance to the Emerald pool. My feet hurts a lot but that is uncomparable to the pain on my left knee. I don’t know why but apparently the pain would kick in onto my left knee when I walk intensively, for instance during trips.
Even worst, I took another 800 metres of walking distance from Emerald pool just to take a look at the majestic Blue Pool. That alone would spell game over for my leg, nevertheless, I pushed over the limit. Oh, not to forget sums up 1600 metres of walking distance from Blue pool to the entrance. LOL
Both pools are so unique with their colour is due to the mineral deposits in the water. Though tonnes of people are swimming in the Emerald pool, but swimming is prohibited for the Blue pool due to the somehow not-so-human-friendly chemical nature of the water.
I thought we would miss Krabi’s sunset due to the weather and the tour. Thank goodness we made it after our van transfer brought us back to our hotel before the sun sets.
That sums up our Krabi trip as we’re departing back on the next day.
It was an amazing trip, though I feel a bit wasted because we’re taking 4 days 3 night trip instead of pre-planned 5 days 4 nights thanks to company’s annual leave allocation.
The most memorable experience throughout the whole trip is the Ko Hong trip. It is an amazing place and I really mean it. If you take the same island tour, remember to experience the sea kayak as it is an irreplaceable experience especially trying to balance ourselves while trying to kayak through the sea waves. The view inside the lagoon is amazing as well.
I tried to cover as much as I can over here but there’s a limit what I can really convey through typing. Overall, it was an inspiring trip though my knee suffers a bit (my knee is alright already).