Previously written : Phi Phi Islands
When I thought that I am done with the beach hopping and the next stop is going to be just another beach, Krabi Islands was standing only in front of me, ready to throw a surprise – on my face! Honestly, I slept through the whole ferry ride because I was tired, badly sunburned and was done with the sea waves and sun for some time. I decided to go inside the ferry and take a good afternoon nap. And when I woke up, I was approaching this amazing beach of Ao Nang.
This was the first time that I was living in a hostel. And it was a completely different experience. This hostel has a funky name – Pop In Hostel. And it is not like any of the hostels that you see in any scary movie! This is clean, hygienic and emits exceptionally positive vibes.
As I said, this side of Krabi came with extremely different kind of experiences. Evening at the Pop In hostel was great – meeting other hostelers over barbecue-themed dinner. But I have to admit, people from European countries are terrified of Indian people – in general. We are infamous. Certainly!
Krabi Islands: The cute cafe culture!
We went to explore the streets later in the evening. All the places in Thailand have these li’l cafes, just at the corner of the streets and finding them is just overwhelming!
We bumped into this very amazingly cute cafe called Fin. It had the perfect vibe for a holiday evening. Semi-open, at one corner of the street, and dimly lit with live music. I couldn’t have asked for anything more!
It is always a good idea to try these cafes because they will offer the best of the local food. I had this opportunity to have freshly caught and grilled red snapper with lemongrass. It is traditionally savored with rice noodles and iceberg lettuce. And that is exactly what I did!
And this is when Umang and Rashi (my set of crazy people) decided to give my birthday surprise. The best birthday ever!
After a great night of music and dance, we retired to our hostel because we wanted to explore the town the next day. And that meant getting up early! The beautiful trip was reaching the end! *sigh*
Before going for a good night’s sleep, we detoured to the Ao Nang beach for some sea- calmness. The view was undoubtedly breath-taking!
Exploring Krabi Islands like locals!
The next morning, after a hearty breakfast, it was time for some fun. The breakfast at this hostel was excellent and very, very affordable. The best part about this place was that you could rent scooters to move around. And this is exactly what we did. We rented bikes from the hostel itself (very reasonable – TBH 150 for 24 hours) and started searching for some “cool” places around!
I was a pillion rider with the best driver around. And I have never had such a fantastic pillion riding experience in my entire life!
The roads are simply the way any route should be. Enticing – inviting you to drive. And trust me, with so much of cleanliness and those beautiful limestone walls with greenery all around you, you will fall in love with road trips. In my case, I fell in love with them even more.
And the weather was just the much needed cherry on the top!
And not just the highways, if you by mistake take some wrong turns, you will inevitably end up finding prettier roads.
When they say that the most beautiful journeys are unplanned, they say it for a reason. We had no plans whatsoever of renting a bike and then roaming around. We did that. We had no idea where we should go. We asked Google for help.
We started for the renowned Emerald pool but thanks to the road signage, we changed our route to reach one beautiful place! The best part about the road signs of this place is that they know that they are tourism intensive home and they have put the most beautiful pictures beneath the name.
Nature Walk at Krabi Islands
Inspired by the picture, we changed our destination to Pa Phru Tha Khlong Song Nam. And yet again, one of the best decision ever! This place is a li’l offbeat and away from the major tourist destinations of Krabi. The entry fee here is TBH 100.
This is majorly a mangrove swamp made for a nature walk. This place is the only freshwater area with an elevated trail to dig deeper into the jungle full of banyan trees, crabs and lizards.
All right, so the above description did not come out that well, but yes, this place is a li’l scary. So once you enter here, you see the swimming area and the path leading to the jungles. In case you are wondering about the name, it means a canal with two kinds of water. This is the place where the seawater and freshwater meet.
The walk is beautiful and scary at the same time. Fascinating because you might never witness nature so closely. Scary because you are walking just above the water level and the water looks like it is home to some superb wildlife. And on top of that, the jungle is dense with li’l source of light.
As you walk towards the ocean, the water starts to turn emerald and the roots of the trees are even more visible. And they are as creepy as they can get!
And then suddenly, we came across the source of the freshwater. It is a small stream coming from some not so far away elevated land. This was a serene sight:
Keeping the haunting vibes aside, this place is beautiful and quiet. And it is worth a visit. I don’t repent not going to the crowded emerald pool or the tiger cave.
This place is sheer beauty. And once you come out of this place, there are small snack stalls with all kinds of seafood and some very local sweets. I tried this fantastic solidified milk sweet, whose name I keep on forgetting. I loved it – so much that I did not even wait to click its picture and finished it.
Then there were barbecued bananas served with condensed milk and coconut. I did not like it much but yes, worth a try. I never imagined that bananas could be eaten like this!
What I loved here the most was the Khanom bueang which is a crispy crepe with any filling that you desire. There were various jams like strawberry and blueberry. And very obviously, I opted for both of them. Very light and yummy, I probably had the best sweet snack in Thailand that day! Locally prepared by a loving Thai aunty, she made sure she was giving the best of her creations!
We then started for the Fossil Shell beach. We were tired and hungry and by now the sun has begun to shine as brightly as it can. Therefore, we decided to skip the tour to the beach. We took our halt near the Fossil shell beach, had a li’l lunch, shopped for pearls and then came back.
By the time everything finished, it was now the sunset time at the Ao Nang beach and there is no sunset on the beach that should be missed. Even if you don’t do anything in Krabi, trust me you can sit at the Ao Nang promenade all day and you won’t regret it.
This side of Thailand is not commercialized much, and you can breathe free – away from people and the crowd. While I was busy enjoying my peace, I heard someone ask to plan for Walking Street at night. No, I was not ready for it. Nope.
But then, I had nothing else to do. The same roads which were so blissful during the day were scary at night. Krabi Walking Street is also known as the Mini Bangkok because of the beautiful shopping market. It was nothing like the walking streets of Phuket or Pattaya. Thank God for that!
Let me reiterate – Thailand is full of cute li’l stuff. I shopped for a lot of lovely things!
I couldn’t take many pictures because I could either shop or shoot. And it’s no brainer that what I decided to do!
Hidden gems of Krabi Islands
For me, the next morning started at five. This side of the town did not let me witness the sunrise, but yes, there was a lot to explore. I began with Aditi. This time on the scooter because our 24 hours of rent was still not complete.
We wandered off towards the villages, and the views were amazing. I could finally spot elephants, real elephants among the limestone ones.
We halted at the dead-end of one of the village roads. There was this small cafe, which was still closed. Nevertheless, it had an open sitting area, and we decided to venture out there.
Once inside, what we saw from there was one heavenly view. God, I have never been left this speechless.
I was, for some time, in a complete state of bliss and shock. I couldn’t believe that I was witnessing something so beautiful, calm and tranquil. After spending our moments of introspection, we started off to go somewhere else, maybe the ocean where this stream met.
But I don’t know how we reached a cemetery on the beach. This beach had no signs of human settlements near it.
I got back and decided to pin these places on the map or maybe do a li’l research to know their names and location. But then I immediately dropped this idea. Some areas should remain as they are perceived – unknown and just in the memories.
Food tour of Krabi Islands
The last meal in Krabi made my sugar high. It was from some street cafe. However, one thing is for sure – Thailand will never leave you starving. There are so many options for both vegetarian and non-vegetarian people. I certainly loved the food here!
The first thing was this extremely sweet Kao Tom Mud which is made of rice, coconut milk and banana. These are served, tied with bamboo stripe.
Usually two Kao Tom Mud are tied together as this sweet is said to symbolize a couple. Sweet!
Then there was this deep-fried bread called Pa Thong Ko, which also represents something interesting – two evil people, fried in hot oil. No matter what, they taste incredibly lip-smacking with the condensed milk/custard dip on the side.
And never miss the traditional Thai coffee. This is super concentrated coffee with condensed milk. And you add water according to your taste, whenever you drink it. I decided to skip the water. The coffee tends to get stronger with time. So here how it goes – I did not add water and drank it after a pretty long time. And I should not talk about my coffee high now!
And with so many amazing memories, the Thailand trip was coming to an end. We started our road trip to Phuket, where we were to spend the last night before saying goodbye to this beautiful and surprising island.
Till we meet again!
(Last day in Phuket)
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