Kickin’ it in Krabi

We left Penang early on Friday morning and flew back through Kuala Lumpur to reach Krabi.  We had a several hour layover which meant the kids spent the entire time running back and forth to duty free purchasing chocolate bars with their leftover ringgit, unbeknownst to us! Only after they refused to eat lunch did we realize what had curbed their appetite!

This wasn’t our first time to Thailand on this trip since we started our Southeast Asia journey in Bangkok in October.  Bangkok was our introduction to this part of the world and we were very much looking forward to having Thai food and tropical fruit again! As we left the airport, we saw so many beautiful Limestone cliffs along the drive, reflecting the unique geography here.

We stayed at the wonderful All Seasons Aonang Beach Resort for the week.  They’d clearly undergone a recent renovation as some areas were still a work in progress, but it was a comfortable stay. And, it was the first time we had two adjoining hotel rooms.  The kids only had two twin beds in their room so we pushed them together and the three of them slept across like a set of peas in a pod.  It was the cutest! As we settled in, we went for an afternoon swim and had dinner at a local restaurant on the beach.  Exhausted from our day of travel, we hit the bed early, only to awaken to thumping music a few hours later! It was party central across the street! Thankfully, James is a deep sleeper and I always carry ear plugs so we quickly adapted. 

The next morning, we had breakfast at the Owl Café and then the kids and I enjoyed a morning on the beach while James worked.   We had lunch at 888 Ao Nang and then returned to the hotel for homeschool.  Our typical southeast Asia schedule consists of exploring/an activity in the morning and returning to the hotel in the afternoon for some much needed air conditioning! Back in Bangkok, James implemented a little economy that’s tied into our homeschool lessons.  Motivated by our little economy, the kids typically finish their work with very little whining involved.  It’s a win-win for everyone, especially after being out all morning!

One of our favorite activities in Krabi was a cooking class with Aonang Thai Cookery School. The owner, Sau, picked us up at our hotel and drove us to her kitchen located just outside town.  It was a huge open-air kitchen and we were accompanied by a couple from Germany.  We choose five dishes to prepare with Manji and Bingo helping James and me, and Goose preparing his own.  We chose spring rolls, pad Thai, green curry, panang curry, and mango sticky rice.  Each dish was unbelievably mouthwatering.  I’m not sure if it was the setting, or the fact that we made it, but I declared it the best Thai food I’d ever tasted!

Prepping for Pad Thai

After enjoying our lunch, we stopped by the Mountain Buddha Temple, beside the cooking school, and climbed the steep stairs to the top.  A giant golden Buddha and a beautiful view awaited us! This temple was unusual though, as it had very realistic sculptures of four monks inside of a glass box that overlooked the temple.  It’s incredible to see the level of grandeur these temples have, covered with gold and opulence.  A scene that implies decadence but when everyone has so little.

Climbing so many stairs at the Mountain Buddha Temple

Almost every night, we had dinner at the Ao Nang Landmark Night Market.  The market was huge and catered more towards western tourists, but it was refreshing to see familiar foods.  We indulged in bbq ribs, whole salted fish, grilled prawns, kebabs, buttered corn, coconut ice cream, mochi, and…grasshoppers!

I went to buy more food and that’s when I stumbled across the insect stand.  The stand had scorpions, grasshoppers, crickets, and worms.  I asked the chef which would be best for newbies and she insisted on the grasshoppers.  We all taste tested (except for Bingo who claimed she had a tummy ache) and everyone’s reaction was the same, “eh, not bad!” The market also had nightly live music and the occasional Muay Thai kickboxing fight! It was a lively atmosphere!

Twice in Krabi, we took a longtail boat to Railay Beach.  We rode for 15-minutes and then arrived at a partially shaded beach with clear, beautiful water for swimming.  The beach is another popular spot for tourists and by the afternoon it was packed. But, it worked well for us since that was our time to go back and rest. 

Playing in the sand at Railay Beach

On both trips, we ate at a small, inland restaurant that could only hold our family.  The owner turned away several customers while she prepared our meals and we thought about volunteering to make smoothies while she cooked.  So much missed opportunity for her, but we enjoyed the quiet spot!

Long boat home from Railay Beach

We also visited the hot springs and Emerald Pool on a day tour from Krabi.  The hot springs are tucked away inside a well-maintained park about an hour from Krabi.  The first section was a series of waterfalls to explore, with several pools to relax in as well.  And best yet, all were heated by underground thermal features.  Thankfully, there was a cool-ish breeze that morning and the hot spring felt pretty good.  I can’t imagine attempting it in the afternoon during the boiling heat!

Goose enjoying the hot springs

After the hot springs, we enjoyed a short walk to the Emerald Pool.  Another area heated by thermal feature but not quite as hot.  It was a nice 1km “hike” back to the area.  We enjoyed the setting and the diversity of being in the rainforest area of Krabi.  After the Emerald Pool, we grabbed a quick lunch and headed back to town. 

The kids getting ready to jump in the Emerald Pool

I can see how people arrive in Krabi and decide to stay for a while.  The cheap food and relaxing activities make it an easy place to explore.  It’s also incredibly busy with tourists, but I can see why.  And it has a great vibe, tourists and all.  I hope we come back one day!

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