We’re not resort people as we prefer to explore independently and getting to sample some local life, but when our trip to Krabi turned into an accidental resort life (minus the buffet at breakfast), we found that it’s not necessarily less enjoyable to spend most time at the pool, eat in the same restaurant almost everyday and let people arrange tours for us.
We chose Krabi as our first destination in Thailand after falling in love with pictures of its landscape; the turquoise water dotted with photogenic karts formations and inland cliffs. When we found this property with the postcard perfect view and great facilities, we booked it right away, knowing it’s quite far away from civilisation. The house itself was a gem; with good sized salt water pool, an outside lounge, a view to die for and supplied with everything we needed. However, it is 10km from the nearest village, and 40 minute drive away from the town of Ao Nang, and our neighbours are all other holiday villas. On the day we arrived, we were picked up from the Krabi airport by the house manager, who is the friendliest and most helpful person you can imagine. We originally wanted to rent our own car to get around, but since Chap the house manager charges the same as local taxis to drive us around, we ended up riding with him whenever we needed to go anywhere.
The wonderful house
The other enabler of our resort life was an actual small resort located just 2 minutes walk away from our villa. Khao Thong Terraces across the street has a great restaurant serving Thai and some Western food. It is pricier than the restaurants in downtown Ao Nang, but the food quality was really good. We know it’s always a good sign when there were local people driving all the way from town eating at the restaurant. While we stocked our kitchen for breakfast, snacks and drinks, we didn’t mind coming back to the restaurant almost every day for lunch and dinner.
Besides, it was too hot to be cooking our own food. The temperature during our stay constantly stuck around 35 degrees Celcius, with a small dip in the evenings. Even the pool was not much of a relief, since the water was pretty much the same temperature. It didn’t stop The Kid to live in the water the whole time, though.
The Boat Trip
On our third day, we had a boat trip arranged for us. As it turned out, the house even owned its own long-tailed boat, probably the only one in the whole Krabi bearing a Danish flag (the owner of the house was Danish). The skipper spoke no words in English, so we just trusted him and Chap who gave him the instruction on where to go. The boat picked us up directly from the pier built at the end of the backyard of the house at 9:30 in the morning during high tide, and even though the control-freak in me was dying to know where exactly we’re going, it was easy to let it go after I settled into a comfy position in the boat and just let my eyes and mind wandered on the water and the karsts surrounding us.
Our first stop was Koh Hong. After going around the island, and going its hidden bay, the boat made a stop at the public beach, which apparently a designated first stop to the rest of the national park. We needed to pay a fee with the ticket officer (I think about 350 Baht per adult) and then free to roam around the island. We found the small beach a bit too crowded for our liking. So after a short dip and a swim (and the Kid got a mild jelly fish sting), we packed it up and asked the skipper to bring us to the next stop.
Next island was Koh Lao Lading. We were a bit disappointed when we saw how many other boats were crammed into the small bay, but we got off and walked to the other side of the island to find a quieter swimming spot. We spent some time on the island, and got offered free lunch by another boat tour groups, which was a very kind and appreciated offer, because we were the only boat there without a lunch arrangement (we’re supposed to buy lunch at Koh Hong, but we left before lunch time). After lunch, we we were ready to hit the next island.
Our third island was definitely a charm. Even before the boat was moored properly we were all eager to jump out. Koh Phak Bia was a small roundish island, connected by a sand bridge to another tinier one. We arrived just in time when the tide was out and we could still walk the small sand bridge, and most importantly, there were not many other people. We ended up spending the most time here, swimming around and walking around the island collecting rocks. This time Hubby got stung by jelly fish, which were not dangerous, but plentiful in the area.
We headed back to the mainland at around 3 in the afternoon, being hot, wet, a bit sunburned, but happy. It’s definitely the highlight of our Krabi stay. I usually don’t like the term must-see, but if you are in Krabi, it would be a waste of opportunity not to go on a boat and see these islands.
Aside from the boat trip, we arranged another tour for the Tree Top Jungle Adventure, because The Kid really wanted to go zip lining in the jungle (I’ll write another post on this). The resort across the street helped us organising it, which was quite helpful since we would have struggled explaining where to pick us up otherwise.
In a way, we felt like we have the best of both worlds; we get to stay in a private villa on our own, with our own pool, but on the other hand, when we need help we could either call the house manager, or walk across the street and have something organised. Food was never an issue, and we actually enjoyed spending time in the house, especially because we hadn’t had such a relaxing trip in a long while. The temperature was also a factor in why nobody was getting too ambitious about getting about. If there’s a perfect place to do nothing, it’s Thailand during its hot season.
Of course as a trade-off, we also felt we’re missing out on the local life, and we didn’t get to do anything cultural or seeing the towns properly. We would have seen more of the local landscape if we had our own vehicle. Which is probably a good reason to come back to Krabi another time and do it differently.