After our slightly disappointing visit to Koh Samui, we packed our bags and headed for Krabi, on the mainland of the West of Thailand.
We got off the bus and managed to instantly get a great wee resort with our own bamboo hut, free motorcycle and a pool for a mere 400 bhat a night! We stayed in an area called Ao Nang which was recommended to me by my friend who had been a couple of months before. The difference in culture was VERY noticeable!
For starters it is a very muslim area and where you usually see hundreds of temples, they were replaced by mosques. The people were also very different, after staying in the North where everyone smiles and says hello, it was quite a shock to the system when people came across almost rude at times and rarely smirked let alone smiled. The food… was just okay. There were no meals that I thought were amazing and everything was so expensive!!! (Although ‘25% off just for you tonight’ was the phrase just about every restaurant used… every night!!)
And finally (and something that gave me the jitters!) was the Tsunami warnings!
These were EVERYWHERE. It gave signs to follow to reach the Tsunami Safe Point, the evacuation routes and alarms. This should be comforting as it was good to see that after 2004 they had really made sure people knew what to do in the event of another one, however I couldn’t stop having nightmares and dreaming about them!! I must have drove Hannah mad with all my rants and stories about my dreams!
However… all was not lost!
We booked onto an adventure tour and was definitely one of the highlights of the whole trip!! We got picked up from the hotel early in the morning and taken 4 hours on a mini bus into the jungle. They drove us to a lovely waterfall and the first business of the day was going for a swim! The water was BALTIC and certainly woke us up from the long bus ride! The guide then asked if anyone wanted to jump off the top…. in true McKie form (to make my dad proud!) I stepped up… it wasn’t massively high however it was enough to get the blood pumping!
Next we were taken to the start of the rapids to go white water rafting!! It was only a short 5km but was great fun! We got put in a raft with 2 English guys and girl and they were great fun and made for a fun raft! The Thai leaders that were at the front and the back of the rapid’s would deliberately soak you or splash you with the paddles and then if you ever got near another raft each raft would try and soak the other! After doing white water rafting in Austria with my family years ago these rapids did seem very tame (They were only level one) however it was so much fun!!
We stopped for a buffet lunch before heading to the next part of the trip and the elephant riding!! Compared to the last time I went on the elephants (in Koh Chang the week I arrived in Thailand) These elephants seemed so well cared for and the trainers were much nicer to them than the other ones!
We waded through some water and our elephant got slightly stuck after finding some tasty leaves he did not want to leave behind!! Our elephant rider also made Hannah and I a necklace and bracelet made of leaves which he twisted into stars- even had a clip on it to tighten it- so impressed! The elephants were great and the ride only lasted 30minutes- which is actually long enough as they move very slow and can be rather uncomfortable to sit there for longer!
Next stop was onto the shows where we got to see the monkey show and the
elephant show. The monkey show was actually quite sad, the monkey was on a lead and flinched every time the trainer tried to make it do a trick. The tricks were rather impressive… riding a bike, getting coconuts from the tree, doing weights and even showing us how to slam dunk a basketball! Once it was over we moved over to the elephant show, this one seemed less cruel as the (baby) elephant was not tied up and was given treats throughout! He balanced on his front legs, then his back legs, then played the harmonica WHILE spinning a ring on his trunk! Then the elephant gave a demonstration on how to give an elephant massage!!
This one was too good not to try so up I went… the elephant slapped down my legs and back with its trunk then lightly stepped on my bum with his foot and to finish gave my head a pat with his trunk and somehow made a kissing sound as it gave me a ‘kiss’ on the head! I would say it was relaxing…. however the trunk slaps were rather sore on bare skin!!!!!
Last port of call for the day was a baby monkey who was ADORABLE if not ridiculously violent!! We ‘played’ with him for ages (or more like he bullied us!!) at quite a few points he had Hannah’s hair and mine in a vice like grip!! Then he noticed our leaf necklace and bracelet and decided it was excellent food and ripped it from our neck…. This dosn’t sound like the greatest experience however his bites and scratches were not sore due to how small a baby he was!! He really was the cutest monkey I have ever seen and Hannah and I enjoyed him a little too much!
So with that we headed back home where we were joined on the last part of the trip by Andy after an epic 2 and a half day journey to get from Phrae to Krabi! And with the trio complete it was on wards again to my new favorite place….
The beautiful, wonderful, amazing Koh Phi Phi!!