I have been away for a while vacationing in Thailand with the family.
We traveled to Thailand once again but this time, we headed straight to the beach in Krabi province before a short visit to Bangkok.
We had a long trip that started with five hours of car from Pune to Mumbai. Then we took Thai airways for four hours before landing in Bangkok airport where we waited for our next flight to Krabi. It was a night trip so by the time we arrived in Bangkok in the early morning we were exhausted. The flight was eventful but I remembered Thai airways to be classier and less commercial. I guess cost cuttings have turned even the best of airlines into average ones. Anyway upon landing in Krabi, we took a cab to Aonang where our hotel was. The cab company called Krabi shuttle was great with a friendly driver, nice car with WiFi inside. The ride was very smooth and we got to enjoy seeing Krabi. Krabi resort, our hotel, was nice with a gorgeous room. It had a view to the the pool and it is a bit far from the restaurant and the beach but I like the decor. Plus it looks relatively new.
Hotel room window
Bathtub with outside view
We did not do much during this trip. The idea was to relax. So we did just that. We woke up early, enjoyed breakfast with a view to the beach, then took a stroll of that beach from one end to another. After that we would either go to the hotel pool or go to the beach. Twice we grabbed a long tail boat to Railay beach where the water was really clear and beautiful.
Just napping beachside
The hotel pool
By noon we would go back to the hotel to clean ourselves and go get lunch. Aonang has lots of restaurants and all kind of cuisines. We did tried some like the Bluemarine restaurant close to our hotel. But the second day of our stay, we discovered some food stalls right next to our hotel that were serving delicious Thai food at a very cheap price. We did not hesitate and for the rest of the trip, we bought all our meals there. And let me tell you that Thai Street food is the bomb: pad Thai, fried rice, green curry, papaya or Mango salad, spring rolls, fried shrimp to name a few. Plus the drinks were off the charts. It was so much better than Starbucks ( and I love me some Starbucks).
Papaya salad stall
The food we purchased: Papaya salad, spring rolls and fried shrimp
Coconut fried rice at Bluemarine restaurant
Pad thai at another hotel restaurant I forgot the name
I would usually order watermelon or coconut shake which was just fresh watermelon or coconut mixed with lots of ice and some syrup. I gotta do that at home. For lunch we would usually eat fried rice or fried noodles and at night we would have soups or these pancakes that resemble the Indian Parotha or Malaysian Murtabak with Mango sticky rice. The best part of that food was that it was Halal as those shops were mostly Muslim run.
The only glitch in our trip ( for me at least) was when the hubby got the genius idea to go on an adventure by taking these shabby looking stars up a cliff to go to a secluded beach. One thing you should know about me is that I am afraid of heights. I used to freeze in higher grounds particularly in the outdoors. Therefore it was a struggle to climb those stairs that look liked they could break under my weight.
The trail- this is the stable part
View from the top
We finally made it to the beach, but I was so upset I did not get into the water. I decided to read to calm my nerves while the kids and the hubby splashed away. It was a really beautiful and peaceful beach, and deserted. But in my book, it was not worth risking my life. To make matters worse, on the way back we saw this monkey colony just sitting in the wobbly path. I also do not like animals. For me they were just created for humans not to starve and admire once in a while but from a far. I have never been this close to a monkey without an iron bar between us. They were friendly enough and did not make any moves towards me. But I was paralyzed. It was just too much. I started crying and screaming. It must have been hilarious for everyone around me to see this grown woman scared to death. But believe me, it was pure purgatory. I finally managed to pass them. I made it to the beach and just kept on walking back to the resort. I did not look back. I never went back amid pressure from the hubby.
The secluded beach
The monkeys - this picture was taken the following day where they came to the beach to attack a tourist holding bananas
A part from that, I really enjoyed Krabi. What I loved the most was the peace and quiet early in the morning. I usually need an alarm clock to wake up. But in Krabi I woke up naturally at 5 AM. And there was absolutely no noise at all: no car honking, no dogs barking. And the air smell fresh. Having breakfast by the sea was also very soothing. The best part was also people watching. There were so many tourists from all over the world so it was a pleasure to just sit by the beach and admire everyone. I saw all kinds of body shapes, skin colors, beach wear, tattoos, attitude...It was mind boggling at times. The world is indeed big.
The last days of our trip was spent in Bangkok, the big city. We were there just for shopping. First we went to the week end market of Chattujak, my favorite place in Bangkok. The market is bustling with so many shops selling all kinds of things from clothes, accessories, souvenirs, even home decor. I enjoy the creativity of Thai people. They do make beautiful things. In one boutique I saw embroidered African printed clothes that inspired me so (needless to say that I will be copying these design when I get the skills).
Shoe store next to Samam Islam restaurant in Chattujak market
Beef curry at Samam Islam restaurant
Shops at Chattujak market
Some of the things I bought both at Chattujak and Pratunam
Other shops mostly sell knock offs but if you are on a budget, it is alright. There so many things I could have bought but I kept telling myself that I would find cheaper at the other market. I did try on several shoes that were always too small for me, mainly loafers. We had lunch at the market at the same place we had lunch four years ago, Samam Islam restaurant. And we found the same people there, the food being still very tasty. Upon leaving the market - I could have stayed all day but it was too hot and boring for the hubby and kids- I saw the thrift side of the market. I so wanted to check it out but I guess it will be for my next trip, GOD willing.
Pratunam market is another story altogether. It is crowded, with many stores right on the streets. But I saw less action this time because the Songkram festival (or Thai new year) was coming soon and most shops closed early. Yet, I managed to score some things like these tunic dresses in jersey knit. They are so soft and fit me perfectly. My only regret was that the shop did not have maxi skirts and dresses in the same soft material. But I was very pleased with what I got.
The last days of our trip in Thailand made me appreciate this city even more. Four years ago, I used to think that Bangkok was crowded and polluted. Now I see it with a more appreciate eye. I can see myself living here in this laid back environment. I am not sure I would like it because there is a big difference between vacationing somewhere and actually living there. Yet I am thinking that this is the kind of laid back environment that my family needs at the moment. Who knows?!!!