Krabi

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

So much irony in the first picture because I didn't actually like Krabi very much. The story goes like this. After a much needed early night we woke up at 6.30am and after a quick chat with my boyfriend who was just getting in as I was getting up (I still can't get my head around the time difference), we threw on some clothes and headed to reception to check out. When you're constantly moving around and spending most of your time in pools or on beaches there comes a time when you stop caring what you look like. Your hair will inevitably either frizz or stick to you in the heat which is annoying as hell and any makeup you do put on will sweat, smudge or slide off your face. The trick? Put your hair up and embrace the au natural look. And you know what, I kinda like it. 

I rarely have makeup free days at home apart from if I'm having a lazy or hangover day but it's nice to just get up, chuck some clothes on and go. I put on makeup in the evenings when we go out so I don't look as bedraggled but to be honest, you'd look out of place if you did your hair and wore makeup in the day - there's just no point. We got picked up in a taxi and by 7.30am we were at the pier sat having some breakfast. Luckily it wasn't very busy so when we boarded just before 9am, the three of us each got two seats to ourselves. I could hardly keep my eyes open (I'm reading After Anna and so far so good) so I decided to have a little nap, until I woke myself up by snoring. Attractive, I know. 




After dozing for the majority of the one and a half hour journey we got off the ferry at Donsak and hopped on to a coach straight away. It wasn't half as plush as the first one we got on during our journey to Koh Phangan and it smelt a little funky but I slept for most of the journey. At half one we were dropped in the middle of nowhere and by that I mean fields, billboards and about three other human beings. After being ushered into a smaller bus we handed over 1000 baht to be taken to our hostel for 50 baht each and were given 950 baht change which was a nice start to the afternoon. Krabi is back on the main Thai island but the opposite end to Bangkok, but you could tell that we were back on mainland. It was very built up with actual traffic lights instead of taking your chances trying to cross the road. With the weather overcast, our moods were lifted when we checked into Hogwarts Hostel which we'd previously booked a few days ago.




Don't get me wrong I like Harry Potter, I'm not a super fan like the other two but it was pretty cool I have to admit. They'd clearly made such an effort to make it as Hogwarts as possible with infamous pictures and wooden dining tables in reception. We were all given one large body towel and one small hand towel with H.W embroidered into the bottom corner and our own individual keys which had a Hogwarts sign on them. Everywhere was stone floor and dark wooden furniture and our dorm even had a Hogwarts sign above it. We were in an 8 bed dorm consisting of four bunks and each had its own H.W embroidered pillow, locker at the end of the bed, proper wooden stairs at the side of the bunks to climb up, a curtain to draw for privacy and keycard by our beds to switch on an individual reading light. It was really cosy and pretty homely and everywhere appeared to be immaculate. When we entered the dorm we were all smiles and greetings only to be stared at by the four most unfriendly English people I've ever met. 




After standing in the room in awe, we dumped our bags and went to find a 7eleven to grab some food which was the only familiar thing about the town. We had a little wander and went to what looked like temple, however all the historic information was in Thai which meant after a quick lap of the intricate building and seeing a dog drink out of a plant pot (dogs are everywhere seriously, and not cute ones you want to stroke), we went across the road to Vogue shopping centre, which sounds more glamorous than it actually was. It did however have a Boots, KFC and Dunkin Donuts which was nice and familiar seeing as being in Krabi was the most far away from home we've felt since being away. 

It was the equivalent to an English Debenhams and walking round the perfectly air conditioned building was favourable over the humidity outside. It was interesting to see the standard of shopping and the fashion trends in Thailand. Krabi is a lot like Bangkok - very run down, dirty and quite boring unless you travel out and do something activity-based. I did however learn that everyone behind a counter wears a dentistry mask and that Thailand supplies the ugliest shoes I've ever seen. After having a quick look at the river and enquiring about ferry prices to Phi Phi, we returned to the room to chill.




I managed to FaceTime my boyfriend for a little while which was lovely. It's one thing speaking to someone on the phone or messaging, but it's so nice to see someone's actual face. It makes you feel a little closer to home and definitely made me feel content. Doing the rounds I then called my dad but unfortunately missed my mum as she was at work. Again, nice to catch up with the people that mean the most to me and I miss. After some down time we showered and got ready to go for dinner and drinks. We were unsure on the nightlife in Krabi as it didn't seem like there was that much to do.

May & Mark was a cute and kitsch coffee bar on the corner of a road nearby which also served dinner. We were enticed by the quote-like story printed on the front of the large glass widow about how it was formed. When the couple met in 1990 in Krabi, they opened a coffee shop and realised that travellers were put off eating food that had been cooked and left to go cold. However after their minds were opened and widened by travellers they met and spoke to, they started making and serving international food as that's what they realised people missed being away from home, and the rest is history.




The decor inside was modern and arty and the menu offered Thai dishes as well as a range of curries, Mexican tacos and enchiladas and English dishes like pie and mash. I went for the steak and kidney pie and mash while Kate had chicken pie with chips and Abby chose chicken enchiladas. We all really enjoyed our meals and it was a nice change from all the pizza and pasta we'd been eating. Bellies full we headed towards the night market which was different to what we expected. It was predominantly a food market with a few clothing stalls dotted around. Amidst those were a selection of authentic stalls offering hand-made paintings, wooden carvings, bracelets and other unique gifts. It was actually very interesting to walk around and see all of the original stock made by the local Thai people. After experiencing a little more of the culture, we tried to find a bar or just a little bit of nightlife but struggled. There was a stage in the middle of the market with local Thai people singing which genuinely disturbed my ear drums a little, so we avoided that.




We found a bar just to the side of the market and ordered a bucket while we played a few games of Jenga. The owner of the bar then came over and introduced himself and invited us to play ring of fire with an American couple he was with. Long story shot it turned out to be the weirdest night I've experienced in a long long time, so around half 11 we decided to head back to the hostel. Considering we were staying in the main town on a Saturday night, the nightlife was non-existent which was surprising. Even the other people in our dorm who we'd spoken to a little more were in before us because they agreed the nightlife was poor. After setting an alarm for 9am, I woke up after a bad night's sleep and we headed down for our complimentary continental breakfast of toast and water.

For the first week or so I slept like a baby but the last three or four nights I've struggled to get to sleep and have been waking up throughout the night. I also woke up with a full blown cold and prickly heat on my bum of all places. Fab. The beds have been comfy and the air con perfect, my body just doesn't seem to want to allow me a restful sleep which leads to napping. Anyway, Sunday was our first and last full day in Krabi so we decided to head to Railay beach which is meant to be one of the most beautiful in Thailand. After a bit of a nightmare haggling down the prices at the pier and waiting for around an hour, we paid 900 baht return for the three of us which was about a forty minute journey (£16 ish). 




I don't know what I expected but approaching the island was a little odd. The sea was more of a green than the crystal blue we were used to and while the towering rocks were beautiful, the beach looked a little messy. We pulled up at the east side so walked through the five minute passageway to the west side which was a lot more beautiful. While I don't think the overcast weather helped, the views were still breathtaking but in a different way to Koh Tao and Koh Nang Yuan. It almost looked like something out of Jurassic Park or Pirates of the Caribbean with an almost eerie vibe about it. There are a few resorts on the island so we grabbed three sun loungers and made our way into the sea which was nice and warm. The rest of the day was spent napping and finishing my book which had SUCH a good ending (After Anna it's called if you want a good psychological thriller to read). 

The last boat back was at 5 so around half 4 we started to pack our stuff up and make our way back to the other side. We went straight to dinner at the Thai equivalent of Pizza Hut where I had vegetable Arabiata pasta which was pretty average and didn't even touch the sides so we treated ourselves to a Dunkin Donut afterwards. We decided to have a quiet night in because a) nightlife doesn't exist in Krabi, b) we had to be up at 8.30 to catch a ferry and c) I felt like shit. We huddled up on Kate's lower bunk, drew the curtain and watched Inbetweeners 2 before going to our separate bunks and chilling. I also spoke to my mum that day which was nice. At midnight I decided to go to sleep but once again my body wouldn't let me, after another bad night's sleep we got up, checked out and hopped in the taxi to make our way to Phi Phi. We're staying in a beach front party hostel and after a few days of no nightlife, we're looking forward to a much more lively atmosphere over the coming days. I also have a feeling we'll be stepping back into paradise. Yay.

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