Since the last time I posted, I flew across the world yet again. This time, I’m in India for a last minute trip to visit family for a week. While the first few of days were busy, I have another 4 days of no plans so I am back to write about the second city of my 8 city adventure in Southeast Asia – Krabi, Thailand. If you missed the first installment, be sure to read all about my time in Phuket!
Arriving in Krabi
Picking back up where I left off last time, we arrived at the harbor in Krabi after a long day of traveling in the sun. We found a taxi quickly, but as I mentioned in the previous post, paying more than expected for transportation held true and the “30-minute ride” to the hotel really meant about 10 minutes. After we got to the hotel, we tried to settle in but found ants and then a cockroach. It was not pleasant but comes with traveling in tropical countries.
Naturally, our first stop was Krabi weekend night market. With karaoke in the background, we made our way through the outdoor stalls and tried different foods. I had a fried sandwich thing that had corn and mayo (I know, doesn’t sound too appetizing) but it was so good I went back to get another. My friend found a stall that had Pad Thai in an omelet. Apparently, it was so good, it was worth the 30 minute wait. We headed back early so we could wake up for sunrise at the Tiger Cave Temple. On our way out, we found coconut ice cream so obviously, we had to try that too.
Tiger Cave Temple
The next morning, we had every intention of waking up early and heading to the Tiger Cave Temple (Wat Tham Suea) in Krabi for the sunrise, unfortunately it didn’t work out this way. By the time we found a tuk tuk to take us that early, we were running a little late and it ended up being a cloudy morning.
The summit of the Tiger Cave Temple is 1,237 steps up. It is surrounded by a tropical forest and among other mountains so we made sure to wear plenty of sunscreen and DEET mosquito repellant. Some of the steps were over a foot tall so it was a pretty intense hike up. On the way up we only passed two groups on their way down so we had it to ourselves. We also saw a lot of monkeys climbing the trees and stairs.
At one point, there was a fight between the monkeys and some of them were running up and down the steps and screeching. It got a little scary and we didn’t know what to do but after a few minutes we kept going. After 800 steps, we weren’t going to go back down!
It took us about an hour since we stopped for the monkeys and took our time. The view from the top was pretty incredible with a gold Buddha statue overlooking the rest of Krabi.
If you ever go to the Tiger Cave Temple in Krabi, please do yourself a favor and eat at the food stand at the base. This was probably one of the best noodle places we went to our entire trip and we only paid 40 baht each!
Since we went so early, we got back to the hotel in Krabi Town around 9:30am. Our next excursion was to Railay Beach which is a beach on the west coast of Krabi. After walking around to compare taxi and longtail boat options, we were sold a ticket to Railay via private boat. We were told that unlike the regular public boats available at the pier, private boats wouldn’t wait until they had enough people aboard. However, once we got to the pier, we realized the boat wouldn’t leave for another hour due to assigned timings. The regular boat would have been slightly cheaper and quicker in this case. Eventually, more groups arrived and we all headed to Railay.
The beach itself was beautiful. We headed to the East side beach and hung out in the water for a while but there were sticks and other debris. After my trip, I found out that while there were many people, it’s not meant to be a swimming beach.
For lunch, we went to the nearest restaurant which turned out to be a bad idea. If you’re ever in Railay, I’d suggest walking around further inland for more options. We ate what we could and headed over to the West side for the famous Princess Cave (Pranang Cave). Krabi locals give offerings to Phra Nang for fertility and these offerings are what has made this cave so well known.
The beach next to the cave was amazing. The water was much cleaner and nicer so we wished we started on this side.
James Bond Island
Tuesday morning we were picked up early in Krabi Town to head into Phang Nga Bay for a tour we set up the day before. The minivan dropped our group off at Ao Phang Nga pier and we headed off into the national park on longtail boats.
Longtail boats are pretty rocky so fair warning if you get motion sick! Our first stop was kayaking in the bay with a local. He was really into Western music so we were serenaded the entire time. It was a fun excursion!
What’s a trip to Ao Phang Nga without seeing James Bond Island? It’s a tiny beach view point and very crowded but a pretty cool island formation nonetheless! I’m pretty amazed and proud of myself that I was able to manage a shot without anyone else in it.
After the island view point, we took our boat to the floating city of Koh Panyi for lunch. Since I was the only vegetarian, I got platefuls of food to myself! If you’ve ever seen Amazing Race, one of the locations featured was the floating football (soccer) field in this village.
The final stop was Wat Suwan Khuha where we saw a huge reclining Buddha within the cave.
After our busy day, we went back to Krabi Town and got ready for our flight to Chiang Mai the next morning. After haggling a taxi to the airport, we took a motorcycle with a side attachment the 25 minute ride. We were a little scared.
See you next week with photos and stories from Chiang Mai and Bangkok! If you’re interested in more from me, follow me on Instagram to see more of what I’ve been up to. Trying to plan your own Southeast Asian adventure? Check out my post on How To Plan An Epic Trip To Southeast Asia for more info.