Thailand’s coast is absolutely stunning. Seemingly pristine beaches and turquoise water hug the curvy coastline. Giant rock formations create mini islands, inclusive of caves and lagunas, lined with lush greenery and the occasional food-hungry monkey or lazy cat. How these animals arrived here beats me. A local pet drop off?

Arriving in Krabi, I instantly noticed the change in humidity and the heat of the sun. It was hot. People were as dark as leather, and I’m not talking about the locals, who were often found sitting in the shade or covered head to toe. After turning a nice shade of brown myself, new arrivals to the beach town clearly stood out. They were bone white.

pranang-cave-pano-web

I settled into Krabi Town for a few days and sadly discovered there was no actual beach, only a river leading to the Andaman Sea. Having found the place on google maps, I confidently booked my accommodations, thinking there was lots of beach. Thankfully, I had already planned on visiting Ao Nang, which hat lots of waterfront and beachy sand only a 5 minute walk from my hostel.

Krabi Town has a nice mix of small weekend markets and a delicious selection of food stands at the night market along the river. The great thing is the area is small enough you can usually discover whats going on. One night I found myself perusing the stands on the culture walk, where young boys and girls were coloring, singing and dancing. Locals were cooking and eating delicious foods and selling their hand crafted goods.

While in Chiang Mai, I met Tom, Hannah and Nakayla during a trip to the Elephant Sanctuary. Hailing from Canada, just a few hours from Seattle, in the beautiful mountain area of Kelowna, BC. Somehow we became instant friends. Lucky for me, they were heading to Ao Nang just a couple of days after I arrived in Krabi. We planned on meeting for dinner, but instead spent 2 days island hopping, having lunch, relaxing on the beach, laughing hysterically at the bumpy Longtail boat rides, eating pizza and thai desserts.

Our skipper, Bao, and excellent navigator, shuttled from one beautiful Island to another, arriving at Railay, Poda and Koh Hong Beaches. Phra Nang Beach is famous for its Princess Cave boasting a large shrine, laden with ribbons and wooden lingam’s, left in hopes of the gift of fertility.

Passing by Chicken Island, marked by its distinct shape, our boat headed over choppy waters, often reaching over 5 Feet. But the white sandy beaches of Poda Island and surrounding lagunas were worth it. We snorkeled, (I, for the first time) in a small laguna greeted by tiger fish. Awaiting Bao’s toss of breadcrumbs, they rushed in swarms past us. Clearly harmless, I was still anxious, not wanting to be nibbled on or touched, I jumped back into safety.

What a lovely couple of days spent together with new friends.

I spent my last few days at a hostel in Ao Nang, meeting more lovely people: Nadiya from Austria and Riccardo from Sicily (which according to him is more than just “Italy”). We enjoyed many good conversations, a trip to Koh Phi Phi and yummie street food.