We finally arrived at our hotel in Ao Nang, Krabi at about 5 pm. Thats a journey time of 5 hours…
I don’t mean to complain as I know very well that the long transit periods endured by travelers all part of the trip, however what I can’t stand is blatant inefficiency and a journey 4 times longer than it should. If I wanted it to take five hours to get to Krabi I damn well would have cycled myself!
Anyway, after the lengthy journey we were obviously starving and like true tourists in a foreign country we flocked like homing pigeons to a world renowned establishment to seek comfort and shelter. McDonald’s. The meal was a pleasure, sorry bod!
After our gorge on fast food Chungy, Alex and I walked down to the beach front to check out the view and watch the sunset. The beach was gorgeous (although future beaches I would imminently see would put it to shame) and its surrounded cliffs made it look postcard perfect. We sashayed across the sand, dip our feet into the warm bath like water soaking in the last of the sun and taking some great silhouetted shots of the scene.
At the far end of the beach we noticed that there was a path that curved round the mound of rocks that the sun would soon disappear behind and so we decided to climb up in order to get the best view possible. The effort was 100% worth it and the three of sat like side by side in or awe looking out across the bay at one of the most beautiful sunsets I will ever see! It was one of those stunning moments when your travelling when you suddenly remind yourself how lucky you are and you smile at the thought that your sat on Ao Nang beach, Thailand watching the sunset just because you can!
It was a superb and therapeutic ending to what had been a very tedious day and fostered new excitement at the though of what this side of Thailand could offer us!
Day 1. Destination: Phranang beach, Railay. Activity: Chilling.
For our first day in Krabi we decided to head over the Railay beaches which are actually part of the mainland but because of the limestone rocks that separate them from Ao nang they can only be reached by long boat/ taxi boat.
(just to clarify the wind is blowing up my dress, my arse is not that big!)
The ride was only about 10 minutes long and as we rounded the final cove that shielded Phranang beach my jaw dropped. Our guide books claimed that Phranang beach was apparently ranked among the top 10 beaches in the world which we all scoffed at but on arrival we realized just how incredibly beautiful it was. The claims had certainly not fallen short!
The sea was azure blue and turquoise green, the sand was brilliant white and was the softest I had ever felt. We had arrived at the perfect time of mid-morning and so the beach was practically empty and so we walked along the shore in delight!
One oddity we noted on the heavenly beach was that at the cliff side end of the beach there were a couple of great caves that contained what looked like (from afar) religious statues. However as we got closer we realized that they were hundreds of statues of the male phallus in all different sizes for absolutely NO apparent reason! Odd. Next to the these caves however was a large cliff face which was being offered up as a climbing wall for the beach-goers. We had to give it a go.
I’m not going to claim to be some climbing expert but I have a fair bit of experience climbing from my youthful days as well as doing a climbing segment for UoB’s TV channel GuildTV. However due to my noodle arms (see below)
that have no muscle in them whatsoever i feared I would not be able to lug my lumpier (since travelling) bod up the cliff. To it was up to Alex and Chungy to go first to test it out and see how easy it was. They both manged easily to scale the wall and confirmed that I would be capable. Feeling like Lara Croft and a in a bikini, boys swim shorts, strapped to a harness and with chalked up hands I began my ascent. As I climbed I was in fact pleasantly surprised at how easy it actually was, as the wall wasn’t quite so vertically steep the whole way and flat faced as I had thought. In fact my noodles arms ended up being more of a benefit than a hindrance as my long reach enabled me to reach far away cracks and crevasses to pull myself up. It was an extremely worthwhile venture in a beautiful surrounding.For the rest of the day we sunbathed and enjoyed the usual beach activities of frisbee, football and snorkeling, making the most of the good weather! We eventually walked round to the other side of the bay to get some lunch and found that we had definitely chosen the right beach as the actual Railay beach was pretty dirty and disappointing in comparison. Despite this we did see something very coo. It was Alex who spotted it, he said he had just seen a giant lizard and sure enough sauntering in between a row of kayaks heading towards the sea was a sizable Komodo Dragon…!
(^ Google image)
I had never seen anything like it and everyone had gathered round to watch it slip into the sea. Before it reach the waves however a small black dog decided that it would be a good idea to challenge the lizard- it was not wise. The Komodo dragon all but turned its head towards the dog and it bolted off, clearly realizing that it would quickly become a meal ticket if it hung around. The dragon then slinked off in to the sea with its black head bobbing among the blue wave. What a sight to remember.
That night we ended up dinning at an Indian restaurant in order to sufficiently line our stomachs for the night ahead. As you will have learnt by now I love food. I like to analyse, criticize and dissected almost every meal that is served to me, and this meal was no exception. As a well season curry eater I am a very tough critic to please, however I was actually really impressed. In particular I was impressed with the Chicken Dansak (A lentil based curry) which outside of my local takeout is normally crap, but this one was great. Unfortunately despite their great taste our stomachs an hour or so later were not quite as impressed… This came to a head during our pre-drinking session back at the hotel as Alex burped the sweet smell of his chicken tikka in Chungy’s face (ew). Trying to one up Alex, Chungy proceeded to take a big sarcastic breath in, taking in the fumes…This was followed by clear instant regret. As soon as Chungy had inhaled his instantly wretched violently and just managed to make it to the toilet in time to expel the entirety of his dinner. In all its disgustingness it was probably one of the most hilarious things i have seen in so long and we all fell about in absolute stitches of laughter (sorry Chungy).
After and impressive pre-drinks we headed out to Ao nang to find some bars and continue the merriment – without the puking! We didn’t walk far when we noticed a side street that was a blaze with music, bright lights and was bustling with people. As we walked closer however we noticed that the throng of people turned out to be all dancers/ prostitutes/ ladyboys with about 10 punters scattered around the strip of about 12 bars.
In our inebriated state this was an absolute goldmine!! Me and the girls quickly set about dancing with the gender questionable group of ‘girls’ (!?). They absolutely loved us (lol) and tried to show us how to pole dance! In my mind this was us…
But in reality…
The night continued in its hilarity as more drinks were bought and the gender guessing game continued. Ruth and I had a most insightful conversation with one of the lady boys from Bangkok about his/her enhancements- I’m glad that I can’t actually remember the details.
After an hour or so on the strip we decided to head down into the center of Ao nang to check out what was going on down there. However in our drunkenness we had completely forgotten that it was a Sunday evening…not the most lively nights of the week and so the entirety of the center of Ao nang was dead and closed! So we turned back around and headed back to the ladyboys! x