This is a travel blog for desktop travelers and other ramblers who want to know the world just a little bit better.

Right now I am living in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala where I'll be settled for a while. Thanks for reading!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Krabi, Lively Town, Lovely People

From Koh Lanta we take a tourist minivan to Krabi which picks us up at our hotel and drops of at our new one. It is a luxury not having to deal with a bus tout or tuk-tuk middleman. Rolling into town we see a large welcome sign that says Krabi Lively Town, Lovely People. This sounds promising.

Central Krabi is fairly small and easily walkable in an hour. Krabi town is near two touristy beaches Ao Nang and Railey and is a good launching point for going to the famous Phi Phi Islands. Krabi itself has plenty of hotels and restaurants geared to foreigners, but the town also feels self-sustainable without tourism. Downtown has the ubiquitous sign of South East Asian civilization - a large department store. Out of town there is a mall and very large Tesco (a British Wal-Mart). The center also has a main central market and two night markets. The night market by the river feels bland for Thailand. The stalls all carry the same uninspiring menus. I am not sure if this is just for tourists or not. The next evening we find solace in the larger night market. Most Thai people are getting food in plastic bags to take home while others eat in the market. There are no menus and nothing in English. It is the point, ask price, and eat places that we have come to enjoy everywhere in South East Asia. We eat at different stalls in this market our remaining nights in Krabi. If this is not enough markets, there is also a weekend night market. They close off a street, and people sell crafts. It is Thailand though so there is, of course, a much larger area with food stalls and a live performance cranked to deafening decibels. Overall, the people in Krabi are very friendly, and we like our time here. My official slogan for the town is Krabi, Mildly Active Town, Lovely People.
The night market in Krabi
Loud concert, sleeping baby, and dried squid at the weekend market
We also make some small trips outside of town. Our first is to find the waterfall hot springs. The most economical way to go (apart from hitchhiking) is to rent a scooter for the 50 km (31 miles) journey. To get there we have to ride on the highway. I am not convinced that having a scooter on the highway is a brilliant idea, but Thai people do it. What we call ‘the shoulder” is the motorbike lane in Thailand..

We make a few stops to break up the ride. The first are at some man-made hot springs, but Mika is not impressed. The Japanese know their hot springs. Next we stop for lunch in a small town market. A woman is selling coconut stuffed waffles. I have never seen waffles in Thailand. We get them piping hot right from her waffle iron.

We arrive and a sign leads us to an elevated cement trail through a jungle. We follow a slow stream of warm water that cascades down into five separate naturally formed soaking pools and ends in a larger river. The area is shaded by trees, and luckily not too busy. There is no need to share soaking pools with strangers. We stay in the pools much longer than the recommended 20 minutes.

The ride back is through rain. The mirrors are blocked by the flapping brown plastic.of my poncho so I just hope there is nothing coming from behind that I need to see. Tired and with a sore butt, I push the scooter to 43 mph which, believe me, feels blistering fast on the shoulder of a wet highway. Mika crouches down so my back shields her face. In the end, we make it back safely, so I cannot say that this form of transportation is a mistake. However, I now know that 31 miles (50 km) is far to ride on a scooter. The wind is relentless on the face. My hand cramped from constantly holding the throttle. After our short two-wheeled jaunt, I do not understand why anyone would want to ride a two-wheeled vehicle across country. Screw the Easy Rider/freedom of the open road mentality. Give me a car, give me a windshield and throw in a seat belt while you're at it.
You Jane
Me Tarzan
On our last full day in Krabi after breakfast I rent a scooter again to go see Wat Tham Sua (Tiger Cave Temple). Mika decides to relax at the hotel. The temple sits on top of a mountain, and it is a gruelling 1,237 steps to the top. Before going I knew that I would need to go up 1,237 steps, it is just that I did not quite comprehend what 1,237 steps meant. 1,237 steps with steep vertical climbs in Thailand heat means a lot of sweat. My pants and t-shirt are soaked and being the dummy that I am, I have no water. My sweat is getting more profuse so my breaks get more frequent. At the top by a divine miracle someone has placed a water cooler for pilgrims and idiot foreigners. I cool down with the water and a fresh breeze on top of the mountain. There are gold Buddha statues with 360 degree views of hills, green fields and the sea. I milk it for as long as I can. Not sure if my legs are ready, but I go back down. 

The point on the right is Tiger Cave Temple
Some years ago in a cave outside of Krabi they found a large skull of a humanoid estimated to be 43,000 years old. To honr this historic arc haeological find Krabi built four caveman traffic lights at a busy intersection.


  1. Thanks so much for sharing informative post.Hope that you will be back soon.

  2. Me too. We really liked it there. Thanks for reading.