Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Krabi – A Pocketful of Sunshine

I reckon that people who know me, know that how much I love the coastal area. I absolutely enjoy basking myself under the sun, letting myself engulf by the warm sea breeze and allowing the sea water to carry all my burden away. For me personally, coastal area is just the word “adventure” spells with other alphabets. In fact, I love coastal area so much, I even thought of having a beach wedding. But, when I think of all the trouble my guests have to go through, I think it will be better if I stick to the garden wedding plan :P Anyway, one of my dreams for my future travelling plan is to visit most of the stunning coastal areas and Krabi is definitely one of them.     

An opportunity to travel to Krabi came out of the blue when my friend Wen Ji happened to come across a promotion on accommodation in Krabi from Groupon. It was a 3D2N stay at Timber House Ao Nang Resort with daily buffet breakfast for 2. At first it was only Wen Ji and I, then I remembered promising my sister (Sha) on rewarding her if she did well in her STPM and indeed she did =) So, there were 3 of us for this summer vacation. We purchased the Groupon voucher for RM 189.00 with an additional RM 140 (2 nights) for the additional bed.   

Leo leo getting ready to travel.

1st Day:

Since Sha and I were still in Melaka on the 28th Jun 2012 which was our travelling day, we took the 7am bus from Melaka to TBS, KL to meet up with Wen Ji before we headed to LCCT. We reached TBS around 8.50am and after that we took the Starline to Taman Tun Razak to meet up with Wen Ji and her dad who kindly fetched us to KL Sentral to board the bus to LCCT. For those who have transportation difficulty to go to LCCT, always remember to purchase the bus ticket to LCCT from KL Sentral (back and forth) when you book for your flight. Or, you can always board the bus first at KL Sentral and pay later. For us, we bought the bus ticket first while we booked our flight ticket and the ticket price is RM 14.40 (back & forth) per person. The bus ride was around 1 hour and once we reached LCCT, we weighted and check in our luggage. Realising that we were there early, we decided to have lunch, wandering around, snapping photos and letting the excitement bubbled :D


Our boarding passes and passports.

Waiting at boarding area.

Sha’s virgin flight :P

Getting ready for take off.

As shown by some of the photos above, the three of us travelled to Krabi, Thailand by Air Asia. Since it is a budget flight, we did saved up a bit on flight tickets. The flight ticket was RM 360 (back & forth) per person. However, the take off and touch down were unstable and could be intimidating for others especially for the passenger who flew for the 1st time with Air Asia like Sha and I.   

Our departing time was at 1315 (Malaysia time) whereas our arriving time was at 1340 (Thailand time). However, we touched down at Krabi 20 minutes earlier than the estimated time.

Krabi International Airport.

After we had reached Krabi International Airport, we started to look for transportation to go to Timber House Ao Nang Resort. Prior to our travel to Krabi, we had did some research on our travel and discovered that there are different means of transportations provided around Krabi for the tourists’ convenience. We followed our initial plan which was to take the bus to the resort from the airport and only take the taxi/private van when we wanted to go to the airport from the resort. The bus is easy to spot as there will be a representative who can speak in English waiting at the exit of the airport. The bus does not only go to Ao Nang but it also goes to Krabi Town and some places which the tourists requested. The bus ride from the airport to Ao Nang cost 150 baht (RM 15) per person and the ride was around 1 hour. 

As we were sitting inside the bus and observing the scenery which passed by with great interest, I realized that Krabi feels like Malaysia to me personally. The weather, the scenery, the buildings, and etc do remind me of Malaysia. Another thing which we noticed was, there are tons of 7-Eleven in Krabi, it’s like a town made from 7-Eleven, we saw it everywhere! I am curious with this phenomenon, and perhaps, since it is a town which centralized the tourism industry, the huge number of 7-Eleven might due to the reason to cater to the needs of the tourists who are more familiar with this particular store compared to others.

Anyway, once we reached the resort, we had to wait for a while before we check in as there were other fellow Malaysians who were dealing with the receptionist in regards to their rooms. It seemed like there was some misunderstood occurred to their room arrangement and they were not too happy with it. Frankly speaking, I pitied the receptionist who tried to deal with their request politely and I was embarrassed by my fellow Malaysians who stormed on her. One can always be meticulous when it comes to his/her own right but don’t be fastidious and ill-mannered to others who are polite to you and above all, don’t wreck your own summer vacation dumb dumb. (Certain) Malaysians *yawn*. Anyway, one good thing which derived from this incident was, due to their needy request in regards to the room, it seemed like all the Superior Rooms were fulled. Hence, the resort upgraded our room to the Family Superior Room without extra charges :D  

After we had settled our accommodation, unpacked the luggage, and let the excitement set it, we started to walk along the streets. The nearest beach is just within walking distance from the resort we were staying in and there are numerous shop lots and stalls which sell a variety of unique and eye catching souvenirs.   

When it came to dinner on our 1st night in Krabi, we were actually facing some difficulty in deciding where to eat due to the reason that there are so many restaurants, food stalls, and street food at Ao Nang. We were actually dazzled by the options. After a long walk and surveyed, we eventually came to agreement to have our 1st dinner at a restaurant named Ao Nang Cuisine.

I got to say that we were very pleased with our choice as the food and drink which were served at the restaurant were great. Our dinner consisted of:

1. White rice (30 baht) – Love how creative they were by shaping it into the shape of “heart”. Put a smile on everyone’s face.
2. Pad Thai (70 baht) – Oh, this food is delicious. It is a must try when you travel to Thailand.
3. Green Curry (100 baht) – I am not usually a big fan of curry because it is too strong for my liking but I like the green curry because they added in some mint to it. Hence, it is more refreshing instead of being too rich and heavy in flavour.
4. Tom Yam (100 baht) – Their tom yam is somewhat different from what we have in Malaysia, Wen Ji noticed that they added in ginger which is rare for Malaysia tomyam. It gives the whole bowl of tomyam a different flare which I like.
5. Satay (80 baht) – For those who are watching their diet or wanting to eat healthily, I would have recommended Thai satay as it tastes lighter and more original. We believe that they do not use that much spices while preparing it and the meat is very soft in texture as well. 

Everyone loves the heart shape rice.

During the dinner, we also talked about the massage and snorkelling package which we shall sign up for the next day as well as settling our transportation to the Krabi Town night market and going back to the airport on the 3rd day. Due to the fact that there are numerous travel agencies, transportation service and massage parlours/centres at Ao Nang, I would highly recommended future travellers to do an advance research before you travel to Krabi (or any countries). Apart from that, if you have ample time in your hands, do not rush in making any decision as different agencies/service providers/centres offer different range of prices for the same package/transportation/massage you are searching for. What we did was, we surveyed different agencies/service providers/centres as we walked around the town and when we had our dinner, we talked it over and made our decision. Having a strategic travelling plan will definitely reduce/cut off the wastage of your time and most importantly, your budget.

While confirming our snorkelling package and transportation service for the 2nd and 3rd day, we also strolled along the street and bought some of the delicious street food which we had been craving for since we touched down.

Refreshing coconut drink which cost 30 baht each.

Pancake and papaya salad stalls.

After that, we went back to the resort, showered, dolled up and went out for a chilling session at a restaurant/bar known as “Blue Mango”. Coincidently, they were having “Buy 1 free 1” happy hour drink promotion that night. I like that restaurant/bar instantly for its cute name, relaxing atmosphere, and friendly waiters. We were glad that the promotion included the non-alcoholic drinks as we wanted to have a wee bit of fun but WenJi doesn’t want to get drunk and me and Sha CAN’T get drunk :P

We ordered non alcoholic Virgin Pina Colada & Virgin Mai Tai. It costs 125 baht each.

Apart from that, we also ordered a sweet Menrigue Suisse as dessert. It cost 135 baht.

2nd Day:

Like Wen Ji said, we actually completed most of the “to do list” on our 2nd day in Krabi. I would have said that it was the most adventurous, exhilarating, and well spent day among the 3 :D

Our 2nd day started with a delightful buffet breakfast provided by the resort which started at 7am.

After the breakfast, we went back to our room, changed into swimsuit, pareo and got ready for our snorkelling activity. The snorkelling package which we signed up for was a package offered by the Ao Nang Resort & Speed Boat. The price which was stated on the brochure was initially 1800 baht (RM 180). However, after we had surveyed different travel agencies on the 1st day, we found out that for the same package, we could get it for a mere 900 baht (RM 90) from a travel agency known as “Let’s Go Krabi”. It was actually 50% cheaper than any other prices offer by other travel agencies for the same snorkelling package. Do your homework, you’ll never regret :D

Anyway, that snorkelling package is the “One Day Tour Phi Phi Islands”, it includes few tourist attractions such as Bamboo Island, Hin Klarng, Monkey Beach, Phi Phi Don, Pi Leh Bay, Viking Cave, Lohsamah Bay and Maya Bay. Around 8.30am, we waited at the resort lobby for the pickup service which transfered us to a local pier. After we had reached the pier, we did an informal register in which they gave out different stickers to us for different packages. We were asked to wait at the local pier for around ½ hour to wait for others who were on their way.

Our speed boat.

Finally, we were allowed to go on board and I would say that boarding the speed boat is one of the most unforgettable memories for all of us. Due to the large number of people who boarded the speed boat, we had no choice but to sit at the front part of the speed boat which was shade less compared to the back. Me being typical me who was in an extremely good mood for my summer vacation, thought that there was no harm in taking the front seat. Little did we know, due to the rainy season which started to hit Krabi recently, the waves were strong and unstable. Despise the advice from the tour guide who told us that it was going to be a bumpy 45 minutes ride to Phi Phi Island, we confidently assured him that we will be just fine. Boy, was I wrong. The bumpy ride was fun at the beginning in which we laughed and made fun of it. However, after 10 minutes had passed, I started to feel a tinge of regret when my bum and neck started to hurt. Those who sat at the front part of the speed boat were literally lifted from their seat to the air whenever the boat encountered or had to cut through the rolling waves. For those who are longing for an adrenalin pumping speed boat ride, I would highly recommended you to chose the front part of the speed boat whereas for those who wanting a comfy ride, PLEASE, choose the back part of the boat.

After the 1st experience with the speed boat, the 3 of us decided to sit at different places whenever we re-boarded the speed boat throughout the day so that we can know which seats suit us more. For me personally, I think that the best seat one can get is the back seating which is allocated at the front part of the speed boat. The ride is not as bumpy as the front seating at the front part of the boat, but it is not as boring as the seating at the back part of the boat. Another reason which leads me in disliking the seating at the back part of the boat is because it is confined, the air regulation is not that good and I got nausea easily by that.        

Hasun, our funny and friendly tour guide and his friend.

Bamboo Island

Back to the speed boat.

The gorgeous Maya Bay.

From Krabi With Love.

We came back to the resort around 430pm in which we decided to take a lil’ swim at the nice resort pool to cool off before we shower. It was after my shower that I realized I had a pretty severed sun burn despite the fact that I applied layers of sun block before we went under the sun.  

As the boyfriend said, “X marks the spot” :P

For the night activity on the 2nd day, we decided to go to the Krabi Town Night Market. The distance between Ao Nang and Krabi Town is around 30 minutes if one travels by car/van. Hence, on the 1st day, as we booked for our snorkelling package, we also booked for the Krabi Town Night Market package from the same travel agency whereby they will provide us with a van which fetch us from our resort at 7pm to Krabi Town Night Market and fetch us back to our resort at 9pm. We paid 200 baht (RM 20) each for this package and we were given 2 hours to explore the night market.   

Dolled up.

Waiting at the resort.

Krabi Town Night Market.

I absolutely love the night market, it was exactly how I pictured it before we go there. We were spoiled by a huge variety of street food and souvenirs. We spent the 1st hour solely on food, discovering, buying and eating them. Some of the street food which we ate were mussels, deep fried chicken skin, chicken ankle, grilled squid, coconut sweets, papaya salad, and more. When I looked at the photos, I can’t believe that we actually ate all of them! It was how good the Thai street food is. One can just keeps munching on them without realizing the bloated stomach in making :P   

Look at the food!

After the night market, we decided to go for a massage as planned. The massage was like icing on the cake in which we got to lie down and enjoy a relaxing one hour aromatherapy massage which cost only 350 baht (RM 35).

Massage centre.

Tut tut.

As Wen Ji said, we pretty much accomplished all on the 2nd day. Snorkelling, night market, Thai massage, Tut tut ride. Before we slept, we played the Scrabble. It was indeed a fruitful and beautiful day :)

3rd Day:

On the 3rd day, we woke up and went for breakfast as usual. The only difference was, it was the day to pack our belonging and get ready to go back to Malaysia :( Sometimes, when one travels to such pleasurable place, 3 days seem too short. Anyhow, we decided to not be saddened by this and chose to seize our last day in Krabi. After the breakfast, we went for a stroll and decided to try on the pancake which we saw the other day and also bought some souvenirs for our family and friends. 

For our transportation to Krabi International Airport to catch our 1445 flight back to Malaysia, We booked a private van which cost 500 baht (RM 50) per trip.

Back to Krabi International Airport.

Goodbye Krabi.

Leo leo.

Emo drinks which bought by Wen Ji.


As I was typing this travelogue, it has been almost 2 weeks since I left Ao Nang, Krabi. What I miss most about it is the soft, lapping sound of the morning wave that hit the beach as we sat at the nearby beach and ate our Banana Nutella Pancake on the last day. Compared to all the activities which we had done there, this was the simplest, yet I cherish this memory the most. It must be the simplicity of the coastal lifestyle which has stamped me with a life time memory of contentment.  

3D2N Expanses (Per person)

Accommodation (Timber House Ao Nang Resort)                                    RM   94.50
Flight ticket (2 ways)                                                                                      RM 360.00
Transportation (LCCT bus back & forth)                                                     RM   14.40
Transportation (Bus from Krabi International Airport to Ao Nang)            RM   15.00
Restaurant Dinner (with drinks)                                                                    RM   16.00
Snorkelling                                                                                                      RM    90.00
Transportation (2 way trip from Ao Nang to Krabi Town Night Market)   RM    20.00
Full Body Aromatherapy Massage                                                              RM    35.00
Tut Tut (1 Way)                                                                                               RM     2.00
Transportation (To Krabi Internation Airport) (Per van)                             RM    50.00
Miscellaneous (Food & Beverage, Souvenirs)                                          RM  300.00

TOTAL                                                                                                           RM  996.90