I just want to share more of my holiday experience in Krabi.
Planning a holiday is never an easy task. We were lucky to get very good deals from a budget airline, which were having cheap flights – return tickets for $125/pax (inclusive of airport taxes and surcharges). Through agoda.com, we chanced upon this 45% discount on The Seahouse Beach Resort, located in Had Yao. While most people, including my brother, recommended that we stay at the commercialised area Ao Nang, we were going to be different. For three nights in an awesome resort, we paid approximately $200. This decision proved to be very critical in shaping the holiday experience to come.
The downside of flying budget was the timing of the flight. Our flight to Krabi was scheduled at 6.40am. We had to be at the airport at 4.40am to check-in; we decided to forgo sleep. We both caught forty winks on the short flight and touched down in Krabi International Airport at 7.30am (Krabi time). After a 40-min drive, we arrived at a secluded spot in Had Yao, Krabi. We were surrounded by lush greenery and the long straight road had little housing along the way. The nearest buildings were the sister hotel and some little houses, estimated 500m away.
Having not slept the night before, we were really beat. We were warmly greeted by the friendly staff. They served us some refreshing orange juice and quickly checked us into the resort. Upon entering our villa, we collapsed onto the comfy king-sized bed and decided to take a nap to recharge! The villa was very well equipped with a large bathtub, a day bed, a writing desk, two cupboards, mini fridge, safe and a toilet with a separate shower. The rooms also had a TV and dvd player. This was complemented by the resort’s large library of DVDs and books for your selection. So while you were far away from the city, you could just laze in the villa or by the beach just 20m outside your door. The infinity pool was yet another option the resort provided.
The resort provided free bicycles for us to explore the area. There was nothing much to see, besides the occasional cows and goats grazing in the greens, I would hardly consider them a sight. Yet it was a very therapeutic experience; no cars, no crowds, no loud noises. We ended up cycling all the way to the nearest cross-junction where there was a house-cum-mama shop and purchased some supplies and snacks.
3. The Scooter Incident
On the second day of the trip, the girlfriend and I wanted to head to Ao Nang. We had a few options: (1) Taxi: 1200Baht/trip, (2) Car: 2000Baht/8hrs or (3) Scooter: 300Baht/day. Economic reasoning was the tipping point as we decided on (3) Scooter. At that point in time, we had failed to consider other factors – neither of us knew how to ride a scooter nor did we know how to get from Had Yao to Ao Nang. Anyway, armed with a map, two helmets and a scooter, off we went on our adventure. As best as I could, I was trying to ride safe and fast while trying to read the sporadic road signs with English. After 3 hrs of riding and getting lost, ending up in Krabi Town for a bit, we finally arrived at Ao Nang, it was 3pm. We were burnt from the long hours in the sun.
We quickly found a tiny little restaurant where we had Pad Thai and some Noodles Soup for about 200Baht. The ice cold milk tea was a cheap luxury after the arduous journey. We walked around in Ao Nang for abit but we could not stay long as I did not want to ride back to Had Yao in the dark. We planned to leave at about 6pm. In this short 3 hours, we managed to squeeze in a fairly decent massage! Here are the photos I took before we left.
As I planned an early departure, we left at approximately 6pm but the ride was not any easier on the way back. Though I now have some recollections of the landmarks along the way, the traffic was also much heavier and I did not dare to ride faster than 50km/h on the highway. I had also failed to realise that in the rural areas, it gets dark much earlier. By 7pm, although we were very near our resort but the area had already turned pitch dark. I could see no further than 10m, as far as the two tiny headlights could shine. Unknowingly, I had missed a turn in the Had Yao area. We approached this shophouse that was screening the Man Utd vs Liverpool match. At least 30 men were gathered there, all engrossed in the game and they ignored the girlfriend. Thankfully, I remembered the one line of Thai that could save my life. I approached an old lady eating next door and asked,”Seahouse you-tee-nai?” She pointed in the direction of the road and carried on eating. We hopped back onto the scooter and rode off into the darkness once more. Slowly, we saw some lights in the distant, we had arrived at the sister boutique hotel! From yesterday’s exploration, we both knew we were one 500m straight road away from our resort. At 8pm, thankfully, I had brought two of us back to the safety and comfort of the resort. We will never know if it was our distraught faces that prompted the resort staff to give us a 15% discount off dinner with room service.
4. Visit to Krabi Town and Bumming at the beach
We joined the resort’s free tour of Krabi Town on Mondays. We visited the town, which we already saw some parts of it when we lost our way and chanced upon it the previous day. There was nothing much to do, so we decided to try out a small local massage parlour. It looked dodgy on the outside plus it was located in a small alley. It was not bad but as our skins were burnt, rubbing against it proved to be a questionable decision. After visiting a famous temple in the city, we returned back to the resort and decided to bum at the beach, in an attempt to even out the ugly tanlines.
5. Flight CANCELLED!
The girlfriend had to check her email regarding work and we found out that our flight had been cancelled! We had the option of choosing another flight within 7 days of the original flight. This was really problematic as she had to call back to office, settle some administrative issues and we had to find another hotel to stay at. Deciding to take things in our adventurous spirit, we chose the next flight the next day. Having earned an extra day, we found another hotel at Ao Nang and decided to make use of the extra day to go island hopping and snorkeling! It was quite an experience as we visited some really nice beaches such as Bamboo Island, Maya Bay (the location of the movie “The Beach”) and Phi Phi Island. Snorkeling was a first for both of us. While I fiddled with the disposable underwater camera, the girlfriend found it uneasy to have fishes swim up to her.
It was a great holiday with a just enough amount of adventures. As this Holga photo story might not reveal the full tale, please check out my Flickr photostream to see more of the photos. We brought a Holga 120N, a Goldenhalf, an ikimono, a disposable underwater camera and a Panasonic Lumix. In future posts, I will upload the photos from the other cameras and discuss more details of my favourite shots! Stay tuned!