A few days in Krabi (1): Aonang & Koh Phi Phi

My trip south to Krabi was not entirely of my own making, but a good location to meet my good friend & former Morgan Stanley colleague Ioana. She works in Singapore nowadays and jetted over for the weekend. My journey from Koh Phangan was a straightforward 4,5h boat & ferry combo (seemingly as much time as Ioana needed to clear immigration ;o).

We actually didn’t stay in Krabi town, but rather Aonang (the main tourist hub) some 15km to the west. While there was much to catch-up about, we didn’t last too long on Friday and retired fairly early after a brief look around town, some (Indian) food and a bit of live music. I really loved the aircon, a hot shower and nice bed linen in our ‘kokotel oasis’ hotel after three weeks in a very basic bamboo hut on Koh Phangan. Sleep tight!

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For Saturday we decided on a day trip to the Koh Phi Phi islands by speedboat. It wasn’t straightforward to locate the boat, but worked out eventually. The whole trip (THB2600, lunch/water included) is pretty scenic, gets you to a few different islands and involves some snorkelling too (well, for those that brought their swimsuit). The typical 8hour tour includes stops at monkey beach, maya bay (featured in Leonardo Di Caprio movie “the beach”), viking cave (locals collect swallow nests here), lunch at Phi Phi Don, Bamboo island and Pileh Bay (beautiful lagoon ).

Not sure it’s really good value for money, but given we had done little research beforehand it was a good choice to spend the day. I even got my Russian homework done while we hopped from island to island … puhhh. Initially we thought to just take the ferry to Koh Phi Phi (much cheaper), but unless you go there only to hang out on the beach or to stay there it’s not advisable in my view.

After some ok-ish Thaifood in a family restaurant, Ioana managed to get her Thai massage (a steal for anyone knowing Singapore price levels at ca USD10 per hour) while I enjoyed some good live music in one of the many pubs / bars in Aonang. I kept wondering though where the Thai people were given there were mostly tourists around (which I found reasonably annoying to be frank).

Sunday was already the last day for Ioana in Thailand (though she will be back shortly with her family up North in Chiang Mai). We went down the cultural route and visited the Tiger Cave Temple involving your typical temple buildings, a jungle trek and (for me at least) a 1,200 step hike to a viewing point. The steps are very steep (think of a staircase in a Dutch canal house) and together with the heat make for a good work out. There is free drinking water at the top.

And so quickly time was up! Ioana jetted off to the airport while I made my way back to the hotel for my Russian skype class and pickup for the sunset kayaking later in the afternoon.

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