The Andaman Cost: Beaches and Buckets

Arrive to Krabi, we found out there wasn’t much to do in the city. It was pretty much a pit stop for travelers moving on towards the islands on either side of the southern Thailand.

Fairly hangry getting in. We quickly checked into our hotel, through all our stuff down and found the nearest night market. Well the only night market actually. Hesitating too much on dinner, a thunderstorm came down upon on us and left us sitting on the floor our a tourist agency for a good hour… with no food. It seemed like storm wasn’t unusual for the locals here as this city transitioned into its rainy season. People set up tarps, collected their chairs, and some even continued on cooking.

After a good hour, we literally walked to the nearest food stall and feasted  on pad thai, pad se-ew and fried muscles. It was cheap, it was fast, and it was delicious.

And that pretty much sums up Krabi for you.

Next stop: Koh Phi Phi. Thailand’s most famous island on the southeast coast. Having been to Bangkok and Chiang Mai, Thailand’s biggest tourist destinations, I thought I had a good grasp on what tourist developed cities were going to be like. However, I was once again proven wrong when we arrived at the famous island. Walking down the streets of the town, the restaurants all sold burgers, toast, and pizza. All at ridiculous prices compared to the local food. That being said, the local food here was about twice the price compared to Bangkok and Chiang Mai.

The tourist development here was also very different. With bars along every street and the beach, it seemed like people came here solely to party. Everyone on the island looked to be under 30 even.

Enjoying the view of the huge limestone karsts and endless ocean, we unpacked, ate and then headed to one of the “peaks” of the island for a rather surprisingly spectacular viewpoint. Koh Phi Phi truly was a beautiful place and with all the recent development I am quite happy I got to see it as it before more of the trees are replaced with guesthouses.

Having waited out the blazing heat of the afternoon sun, we sat on the beach and a caught blood-red sunset. Wow. I could really do with a seeing a sunset like this every night.

As night drew upon us, the clubs started to light up the beach and since we came to a party island, we had to be a part of it right? The thing that is still cheap on the island was booze. A bucket, literally a bucket, of rum and coke cost less than ten bucks… which is sweet, but which also gets you really hammered if you get too many buckets…

We grabbed a bucket and found a spot on the beach by the music and sat and drank. As rainy season was coming, the skies lit up with thunder and lighting far out into the horizon. Can you imagine yourself on a beach, with a club blaring music behind you, people spinning fire, and once you turn around its just nothing but ocean and lighting in the skies? That was truly an unforgettable site.

Bad decision of the day: getting a second bucket. We had a great night of dancing and rolling around on the beach but we also woke up the next morning in a bed full of sand. Worth it? Maybe not…

The next morning, we were clearly hung over as we barely managed to hold down our breakfast. We took it easy and eventually made it to our boat tour around Maya Bay, late. So Maya Bay is famous of “The Beach” with Leo. A movie that I have never seen myself.

We first stopped at Monkey Beach. A beach of monkeys…such creativity in naming. It seemed like the monkeys were fairly used to the tourists stopping by as they comfortably hopped onto tourists heads as everyone excitedly took pictures. Then we slowly drove around to see the Viking Cave. Clearly I missed the description for this site because I have no idea what is other than a giant cave in the outcrop. We followed up with a site for snorkeling. The idea of it seemed very underwhelming to me at first, but when I dove in and saw the variety of tropical fish centimeters away from my own eyes I ate my words. It was super cool.

Destination: Maya Bay. Resembling the horseshoe nature of Koh Phi Phi. The beach itself wasn’t very exciting. Maybe I am just not a beach person, but to me, it was just another beach. On a positive note, we got some really awesome pictures before heading out again.

As the weather remained cloudy on our way back, we needed the trip early and skipped out on the sunset point.

Arriving back on the island and not wanting to repeat last night again, I gave a shot at a burger challenge at the local bar. An 800g burger and that was only one-third of the meal… I got through the burger, a couple potatoe wedges and maybe one or two onion rings and then I was stuffed. My ego definitely took a blow there but I wasn’t willing to let my stomach explode for less than twenty dollars…

The next day,we got up early (as usual…), packed up and headed out for Railay Beach. Just a little west of Krabi, the island was very similar to Koh Phi Phi with a rather calm vibe to it. An abundance of resorts to replace all the bars, the island was also geared towards tourists with expensive western foods.

As our trip was nearing an end, our productivity dipped significantly and our days became even less planned than usual, if they were planned at all.

Day one on Railay was spent wandering around the town, hanging out on the beach and relaxing through the sunset. The island was more calm and the general age group seemed much older. The change of pace was definitely a nice way to ease out of my hectic but enjoyable trip!

Day two consisted of a short but rather tough trek onto the nearby beach, Tonsai and really taking a day to bathe in the blaring sun of Thailand. As the day came to an end, we eagerly await a long-boat back. The trip was rather long as the boat dropped us off at Ao Namao Pier and the bus took the long way back to Krabi town. However, the ride was enjoyable was we got a quick tour of all the coastal cities and towns of coast.

All in all, the islands and beaches were nice to see. Now realizing I am not much of a beach person, I couldn’t say I found my experience spectacular. However, with that in mind, the experience was still very good and I am still glad I had the chance to see everything the Andaman Coast had to offer!




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