Thailand: the incredible southwest coast!
After Chiang Mai, we flew down to Krabi in the South. A complete shift in landscape and climate, we went from jungle and heavy rains to beach and super hot sweaty temperatures!
Krabi is just a typical beach village, full of restaurants, bars, small shops and, obviously, tourists. But it’s the starting point off to some of the best spots in that area, most of them only reachable by boat.
Railay Beach is probably the most known picture of Thailand. Every postcard, or every travel guide cover has an image of that incredible place. We went on a small boat to get there, but the boat trip was a little scary, I have to admit. The waves were coming from every directon, the boat was shaking way too much and, on top of that, I don’t think the Thai guy really knew how to deal with the situation. But anyway, we were soaking wet by the time we got there, and a little seasick, but it was worth it, the beach was absolutely amazing!
The James Bond Island was also nice, but too crowded. The island appeared in one of the 007’s movies, which obviously made it the most touristic island around there. The place is super protected; it has a huge rock that looks like it’s going to fall at any moment. It’s weird, and really cool!
The downside is, the island was packed with tourists, queuing up to take a photo with the famous rock. It’s extremely annoying, but entertaining at the same time, watching those people trying to get in front of each other to take the exact same picture. Just like in every other touristic spot, here you could also find a very loud group of Italians, several funny Chinese old ladies holding their gigantic iPads to take photos, and also a few children crying and screaming at their parents. This time, there was also a couple of Indians doing a photo-shoot with a real photographer; they were in the middle of the crowd making all kinds of cheesy positions!
On the way back, we stopped in a floating village. Muslim fisherman who came from Indonesia built it on the water, a long time ago, and made it an attraction for foreigners. The houses are very simple and poor, but very colorful, making a nice contrast with the entire scenery.
Phi Phi Islands were our next stop. It was probably one of the best places we visited. Phi Phi Leh is the smallest island we’ve been at, there were no cars or motorbikes and the streets were narrow and disordered. Anyone would get lost very easily, and finding the way back to the hotel was always a problem. But the atmosphere was cool, lots of bars and restaurants, and no one over 30. I think the island had more Europeans than Thais.
Phi Phi is a party island. Even more than the places we had visited so far. In one of those parties there was a mechanical bull, and I figured why not try riding on it? Well, it was funny but very hard; I only lasted for a few seconds!
So, it’s a very fun place and beach parties were different from everything I’ve seen. But, as a consequence, the beach is completely degraded and polluted. To have a good day at the beach we had to go to Long Beach, which is incredible but a 40-minute trekking away.
After Phi Phi, it was time to move to the East Coast, where we spent one more week.
- Krabi and Ao Nang (niizorriss.wordpress.com)