06.04.2013 - 09.04.2013
Finally, the beach!!! After 2 weeks of city shops, sweltering heat, traffic everywhere we looked and temples galore, we had arrived in Krabi. We were lucky enough to stay in this little beach town called Ao Nang and with its beautiful limestone cliffs and clear blue water for miles, we have reached a little piece of paradise. Not that we didn’t enjoy the amazing city life of Bangkok or temples in Ayutthaya and Chiang Mai, but to finally have some sand beneath our toes and a slower pace of life is something we deeply needed. I (Sean) was super excited about Krabi, as this was a brand new place for me and one that I wish I had seen on previous trips.
Ao Nang was a breath of fresh air for us. This “quiet” beach town intrigued us in a different way than the cities did. There were still the same “mom and pop” restaurants and souvenir shops lining the streets, but the sights to see were quite beautiful. Our hotel, one that we decided we would splurge on, sat perched along one side of the cliff overlooking the ocean below. Staring at us from across the street were more limestone cliffs covered with greenery that were beckoning us to climb them. It was easy to say no though as we are both scared of heights!
As in any beach town, the ocean is the hot spot and that is where we spent most of our time. Our favourite day (I think everyone who travelled with us would agree) was our island hopping day. After some negotiations on where we wanted to go, our long tail boat driver took us to see many different white sand beaches and aquamarine water. Right after pushing the boat from our own beach, his son decided that it was a good time to take a as we made our way to the first island. He jumped up on the bow of the boat, covered his face with his hat and dozed off. We’re really not sure how he didn’t fall off through the waves we encountered!
Overall, it was an incredibly sunny day with a few clouds off in the distance but we really couldn’t ask for anything better. The first island was so spectacular; we didn’t even want to leave. By now, we were feeling the heat of the sun, the water was just right and the white sandy beach couldn’t have been more comfortable.
Unfortunately, there wasn’t much to do there though other than beach combing and swimming, so after catching some rays we decided to head to our next island. After waking up our driver who looked so comfortable sleeping in his hammock, we were on our way. After a few islands in between, we finally arrived at Phranang Beach. This was a beach we fell in love with, where the limestone cliffs had been eroded by the ocean so that we could actually walk through them to see the cliffs and caves left behind. It was stunning to look up, way up, and see how the sun nudged through to shine off the different layers of limestone and rock and to see plants that were growing from the most random and seemingly impossible places. Very hard to describe, but easy to just stand and stare at the wonders of nature.
We stayed at that beach for a while, trying to get a little more tanning in before we turned in for the day. It was quite a wonderful day experiencing a little piece of heaven. It is days like these that have left us wondering if the people who live here actually know how beautiful their country is, or if they take it for granted like we do with the Rocky Mountains. Maybe we’ll do a little more hiking and camping when we get home?!
The ending to this amazing day was something special for me (Lindsay). We were leaving for Koh Samui the next day so we were trying to get as much in that last night as we could. As we were walking down the street looking for somewhere to eat (as usual, somewhere cheap but amazing!), I looked up to the sky and saw something that caught my eye, something that I have always wanted to do whenever I was lucky enough to visit Thailand. It seems somewhat cliché, but special to me none the less; I have always wanted to light a Chinese lantern on the beach and let it fly away in the night sky.
I have had many opportunities to do this on other beaches, on different vacations, but I knew that I needed to wait for the beaches in Thailand. I don’t know why it had been so special to me, or why I wanted to wait until this particular moment. Maybe there was something inside of me waiting, yearning, for this to be the place where I could finally let go. Finally prove to myself that I could make it to another part of the world, do something I have been craving to do my whole life. When I lit the lantern, watched it fill with hot air, start to rise in front of my eyes and fly off into the star filled sky, somehow a weight was lifted off my shoulders. What a great end to an even better day, and thank you Sean for capturing that moment in my life!
We had a great time in Krabi and enjoyed every day we spent there. Our entire group, including Sean all said it was one of the highlights of this trip. What an exceptional beginning to island life.
NEXT STOP – KOH SAMUI & KOH PHANGAN