Friday, September 7, 2018

When in Thailand: Krabi Island (Day 2)

Don't you just love it when you don't have to rush in the morning? We had such start on our second day at Krabi Island. We headed out of our first hotel, Holiday Inn Express past noon and moved to another resort which is just a few steps away. 

Day 2 at Krabi Island
We decided to try Aonang Buri Resort which belongs to a group that also manages Buri Tara Resort and Blue Sotel. 
We were welcomed with some drinks as soon as we checked in, something we did not experience from Holiday Inn Express. 
Priced at half the rate of Holiday Inn Express (sans breakfast), we were able to enjoy a bigger room at 32 sqm. versus 24 sqm. 
The room has a California king size bed and its bathroom even has a bathtub. 
Note: The shower area is restricted by the size of the bathtub so it might be a bit too narrow if you're of bigger built. However, one could tell that this resort is a bit old. Well maintained but you could see marks of aging. 
Just like Holiday Inn Resort, this one also has a balcony for drying clothes. But unlike our first hotel, this one is facing the pool.
We quickly dropped our bags and rushed to the boat ticketing area along the main road (which is across the resort). A long tail boat trip to Railey Beach from Ao Nang costs 100 Baht (PHP160) per person per way via long tail boat. Expect to wait for about 20 minutes or so as the boat will not leave Ao Nang without other passengers if you're traveling with a small group. Another option is to hire a private long tail boat at 1,800 Baht (PHP2,340). Quite a jump though from a regular boat fare. 
The long tail boat takes about 10-15 minutes and it will drop you off Railey Beach West, the opposite side of Phra Nang Cave Beach. Though Railey Beach West is a lot better than the beach in Ao Nang, it is best to take a 20 minute walk to Railey Beach East for more pristine water. 
We crossed through the Railey market where you'd find some interesting local items. Just make sure to haggle as they tend to give "tourist" prices.
If you walk a bit further, you'd reach the popular Phra Nang Cave. 
Just be alert as there are monkeys in the area that might be eying your bag or phone. 
If you're an adventurer, you might want to climb up the cave to reach the viewpoint and bask in the beauty of the lagoon. We skipped that though as the path is very steep and scary. 
There are no guides to help you as well so you're pretty much on your own. 
There were a bunch of visitors when we got to the beach around 3 p.m. but the crowd thinned out fast after an hour. I guess most of them were part of some tour or something as more than half left at the same time. 
Heavy rain hit the beach a bit past 4 and we got worried that we might be stuck in the island. But we were assured by the long tail boat driver that we just have to wait for the skies to clear and we'd be on our way back to Ao Nang safely. And we did, but on the wrong side of Ao Nang. 

We had the option to take the tuktuk which costs 50 Baht (PHP80) per person or walk to our hotel. We decided to walk instead as we wanted to see what's on this side of Ao Nang. 
And we spotted McDonald's! We quickly ordered a 10 piece McNugget meal with upsized fries and soda (263 Baht or PHP420). We headed straight to Aonang Buri after our quick fast food run and had coffee by the balcony as we dry our wet clothes. 
After showering and watching an extremely lame movie, we went out for dinner and tried Ao Nang Night Market for a change. 
It was so weird how most locals tell us that the night market closes at 8 p.m.. We tried our luck and saw that the area was busy at 8:30 p.m.! We're not quite sure why everyone was giving us the wrong information or perhaps they thought we were referring to another night market. 
There are about 4 lanes of stalls offering various food and drinks. There's Japanese sushi as well as a Korean BBQ. The oyster stall definitely made us interested but we opted to go with something more filling and went with Pineapple Fried Rice. 
R got one with Shrimp (70 Baht or PHP112) while I got Chicken (60 Baht or PHP96). 
We also got Thai Milk Tea and Green Tea Frappe for 40 Baht (PHP64) each.
After a filling meal, we looked for the best deal for an island tour to Hong Island. Most offer it at 1,000 to 1,200 Baht (PHP1,600-1,920) for a tour in a longtail boat and covers hotel transfer, tourist insurance, use of snorkeling mask and lunch; but exclusive of National Park Fee which is 300 Baht (PHP480) per person. We came across this travel agency named Aonang Andaman Resort & Tours that offers it at 900 Baht (PHP1440) per person for speed boat including National Park Fee. It was the best offer we've had the whole night and we decided to book with them. 
The agreed time for pick up was at 9 a.m. but the tour guide came by 15 minutes earlier. And since we couldn't check in yet to our next hotel (yes, we opted to check in different hotels for the rest of our stay in Krabi), we requested if we could leave our bags at Aonang Buri till we get back past 3 p.m.. 

Overall, Aonang Buri was bang for the buck given its prime location and spacious room. Though if you want something more modern and new, then this is not the place for you. 

Stay tuned for Day 3 of our Krabi adventure.
For Krabi Island Day 1, click here.

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