Krabi

Click Pic for Krabi Gallery

Krabi

If you had told me before our trip that we would at some point be on the island of Ko Pa Ngan or in Krabi, these bastions of tourism, these German strongholds outside Mallorca, I would have very much doubt your prediction. Especially with the time we got, I wouldn’t have seen us anywhere near tourist epicenters. Yet here we are in Krabi. We are here because we are slightly restricted in our movement and this is because of the monsoon season. But I can’t really say we are devastated. On the contrary.

Yes, I would have preferred to go to Mu Ko Similan National Park, the diver’s paradise, the place that has a 30-metres view under water and sports one of the most stunning sea life in all of Thailand. But it is closed during the rainy season (mid May-September). So somehow we ended up in Krabi. How exactly, I don’t know.

Both Ko Pa Ngan and Krabi are incredibly nice and beautiful however, and as I have described here, Ko Pa Ngan is more than Moonlight parties and as you soon find out, Krabi is more than just another German holiday colony.

Crapster

We are residing in Krabi town, which is a bit different to the rest of Krabi. No one stays here for very long. It is a hub to go to other, more touristic places in the area, or to some nearby islands.
On arrival, Krabi town seemed like a dead city, with no soul, no life, no identity.
A city that was just placed somewhere, because someone felt the need to place a city somewhere. It’s like in the old days when you played SimCity on PC and your game was going well. You have already built multiple cities that prosper, there is no more need for constant micro-management like in the beginning of the game, your cities have started to generate a steady amount of income and you find yourself with an excess of resources at your disposal. You don’t know what to do with them and at some point you think Screw it!, there is an empty space, let’s build another city and call it “Crapster”.
Nah, let’s call it “Krabi”.
And after you built the very fundamentals, the infrastructure, the electricity grid and water supply and you have sloppily decorated the streets with some statues that resemble crabs, you don’t care about this city anymore. You forget about it. You shift your attention back to the cities you had built earlier. The ones you love.

Sim City - Crapster Edition

This is exactly what Krabi town was like on arrival. It’s also the place where most of the locals live. The tourists are somewhere else. We found the fact that there are mostly locals around to be the best part of this city, everything else about this place seemed grey, dull and dead.

Some Credits to The Chef

The longer we stayed of course, the more we discovered.
A night market close to our hostel was mostly visited by Thais.
There, Eva and I had the same grilled fish basically every single day. This was one of the best fish we’ve had so far on our trip.
No, – This was THE best fish we’ve had so far on our trip.
I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that the fish is prepared by covering it in a pile of salt on the outside, and on the inside it is stuffed with greens and lemon grass and unknown herbs, then wrapped in tinfoil  and slapped onto a BBQ grill.
When the fish is done, the excess salt is removed and you end up with a fish, that makes you feel so incredibly sorry for all the vegetarians out there. So very, very sorry. But please do enjoy that bean burger.

I’m not a food blogger but the Chef deserves credits for his magic on here.

Red Snapper filled with lemon grass, holy basil and other Thai herbs
Eva says it’s a Red Snapper but she wasn’t 100% sure and I got no clue. Anyway, it is fish, filled with lemon grass, holy basil and other Thai herbs I never heard of.

 

Red Snapper in tinfoil on a BBQ grill
Fish in tinfoil on a BBQ grill prepared by God himself.

 

Red Snapper is feeling the heat.
And while the fish was feeling the heat…

 

Crabs are prepared in Krabi, Thailand
… crabs are prepared. Just because he can. It was quite obvious that Eva wanted multiple babies from this guy and so did I.

 

Excess salt is removed from a Red Snapper
Excess salt is removed and then you just fall in love.

Other things we discovered

Next day Eva discovered this cool small Jazz cafe, which might as well be classified as a mix of library and flea market, decorated so nicely and creatively you would think Berlin or London must be its home, not Crapster.
Then there is this other night market with an overflow of all kinds of fresh food and especially my favourite: Spicy grilled squid. I had three of those for €2 each on the same evening. Just delicious.

The “Tiger Temple” just outside Krabi Town was equally impressive, mostly for its surroundings. The temple sits on a massive area that covers a good junk of jungle, that is home to Buddhist monks, caves and Spiders the size of your hand.

Then the oil massage place that drove my body into Ecstasy and was such a relief after hours and hours on a scooter. And there is so much more to discover in Krabi town.

The fact that everything is half price compared to Ko Pa Ngan also helps to like the city. On the island, you get one litre petrol for 40 baht (€1). In Krabi, they fill up all of your scooter for the same price.
I can’t remember off the top of my head how much we are currently paying for our private hostel room, you would have to ask Eva, but it is ridiculously cheap. Maybe €4 each?

When I told you the roads on Ko Pa Ngan with their gorgeously jungelly backdrop were stunning, the roads on Krabi are nothing short of magnificent. We took the scooters out on a 2.5-hour trip to the “Emerald Pool” and the day before on a 1.5-hour trip to “Ao Nang” beach. Magnificent roads through greenery, natural rocks, Buddhist placements and nature, nature, nature.
Nature at its most beautiful.
You scream for joy while riding your scooter, you cry for joy when you stop, and when Eva’s scooter had a puncture, we were first busy taking pics of the surrounding nature before seeking any scooter help. That’s how beautiful it is.

On our way to "Emerald Pool" in Krabi, Thailand
On our way to “Emerald Pool”.

Oh Crapster…

“Ao Nang” and “Railay beach” is where all the tourists stay. We visited Ao Nang. I wouldn’t want to live there because of all the German that is spoken there, but it has got a beach that makes your yaw drop. It makes your ears bleed and your pants tight. It. Is. Beautiful.
When we arrived at 2pm it was relatively empty apart from some Colonistas, but mostly because of the low season. Wow, it was gorgeous and as ever so often, the pics in the gallery don’t do the real place any justice.

The same is true for the Emerald Pool. A natural pool with water as green as mould on a rotten orange. Before you reach the pool, you got to walk 1.5kms on a path, across swamps and lush forests, with the sun flooding in from above. Killer experience. The pool itself is rather warm and was rather crowded when we arrived but not annoyingly so. I’d prefer this to the crowd in any western public pool any day.

Following a jungle trail around the Tiger Temple area was as scary as it was exciting. Both Eva and I are not big fans of spiders but they are hard to miss in there. We have seen their spider webs spanning at least 1.5 meters in size, glistering in the sun with its hand sized creator sitting comfortably in the middle. We were shitting ourselves when we took some pictures, just waiting for the spider to jump onto our heads.
On the same jungle path we have seen trunks of trees unlike any I have seen before. While this doesn’t mean much, as I can’t remember the last time I went into any kind of forest, the trunks were huge and shaped in a beautiful, almost carved out way, like from some kind of fantasy forest.
Quite appropriately, the path was leading to a place called “Wonderland”.

I don’t know how many times we have extended our stay in Krabi Town already, but it is often. Tomorrow we move on. We have to. Other Islands are waiting to be discovered, other roads longing to be driven, other fish already prepped to be eaten and other jungle paths to be fallen in love with.

Update 25.7.17
We have just extended our stay in Krabi Town. Again.

 

I take you back.