Travel

Part 4: My First Solo Trip to Krabi, Thailand

If you are waiting for someone to travel with you…..You may end up waiting a lifetime!

ANONYMOUS

Day 4: If you had been following my posts diligently, you will realize that I head to the beach every morning to meditate and self-reflect. Nights are spent pumping and dumping milk (tiring process yes, I salute all exclusively pumping Mothers!). I’m glad this process is over and I can run home to my baby. Today morning, I was back at Ao Nang Beach again, self-reflecting and savouring the moment as this was probably my last time here during this trip – I have an early flight to catch tomorrow to Singapore. Hearing the waves crashing along the sandy shores, makes being at the beach very calming to the mind and soul. Really helps me to declutter my mind.

Savouring the moment

I decided to explore a new breakfast place today which was quite a walk away in the opposite direction from Ao Nang beach. Passed by Dao Art Gallery, a really cool place if you love art, however it wasn’t open yet.

Exuding cool vibes in the morning sun

Buzz Cafe – a compact cafe serving organic and all-natural food and beverages in generous portions with affordable pricing. Can’t believe I’m on a holiday and actually eating healthy! I had snapped pictures of all my food during the trip and shared with my husband, who was so jealous that I was eating all these yummy food without him. Sadly, I could not finish my meal as it was just too filling for me.

Buzz Cafe spotted!
Super healthy breakfast – Tropical smoothie and toast with hummus, mushrooms and vegetables

After breakfast, I headed back to The Verandah Hotel to relax before heading out again to shop for souvenirs. As mentioned in my earlier post, there are numerous street stores selling apparels, souvenirs and gifts at affordable prices. Pssst.. Test your skills and bargain for a good deal with the store owners – most likely you will get lucky! I bought a whole bunch of singlets including matching singlets for my son and husband to pair together. Also bought some sarong pants for my cousins and magnets as a memory of my solo trip. I’m a sucker for buying magnets from countries/places I’ve visited and sticking them on my fridge at home! Don’t you think it’s cool?

Grabbed some of these cute singlets for my son.
These black and white singlets with gold prints are just so classy

By they way, you should never leave Krabi without making a visit to the Krabi Night Market, which is well known for its street food and souvenir shopping. It’s also known as the Krabi Walking Street Night Market and I definitely wanted to check it out to see if it’s as good as the locals say it is. It’s open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 5.00pm until 10.00pm.

After my shopping, I booked a Krabi Night Market Tour priced at only 200 THB for a group tour, which includes pickup and drop-off at my hotel.

My reliable and friendly guide

At 5pm, my guide arrived promptly to pick me up in a minivan along with other tourists from nearby hotels in Ao Nang and Nopparathara. It was about 30 minutes drive to Krabi town. Our first stop was to Wat Kaew Korawaram, the biggest and most important Buddhist temple in Krabi town, situated on a hill. (Don’t panic, there was no climbing of steep stairs involved this time round!) Visitors can assess the temple via the entrance plaza off one of the city’s main streets, which is also near to the night market. The temple’s grand entrance leading up to the main sanctuary is lined with intricatedly carved snake sculptures. As it was already past opening hours, I couldn’t explore much of the temple. However, I could feel a sense of peace and calm as I walked around the temple grounds and made a silent prayer to Buddha for everyone back at home.

The night market was bustling with life as stalls were lined up on both sides of the street, selling interesting handmade products, t-shirts, souvenirs, dolls and intricate trinkets. There were also food stalls with amazing Thai street food and performances by the locals. There are some spots to sit at in front of the stage however, if there is a performance that day, it might be difficult to get a good sitting spot.

Krabi Night Market- Bustling with life

I came across this interesting stall selling various cocktail concotions in a bamboo and I WAS HOOKED! I got myself a Blue Hawaii – a tropical cocktail made of rum, pineapple juice, Blue Cura├žao, sweet and sour mix, and sometimes vodka.

Which is your favourite? A definite must-try!!!
Cocktails in a bamboo

Sipping on the cocktail like a happy adult (not child), I explored the Night Market and bought some T-shirts and souvenirs. The vegetarian food stalls were closed hence, I headed across the road to Cafe 8.98 to have my dinner before my transport arrives to pick me up. Cafe 8.98 serves really good western food with vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options and is a must-try when you head to Krabi Town or Ao Nang. I was starting to feel a little tipsy from that cocktail and gobbled my dinner down quickly before I fall asleep. Thankfully, my guide had arrived early at the stated pickup point and I fell asleep in my seat on the van, during the drive back to my hotel. I reached my hotel room safe and sound. End of Day 4.

Day 5: It was my last day at Ao Nang, Krabi. All good things must come to an end. I am very happy and proud of myself for embarking on this solo trip. It was a much-needed trip for me to self-reflect and rejuvenate and I have to thank my husband and family for ‘pushing’ me to take on this solo trip. I am also happy that I’m heading home with beautiful memories of my adventures and stories to tell my son when he grows up. In his eyes, I want to be his role-model, someone he looks up to for strength and courage in times of adversity and this trip would hold witness to that.

However, I’m also feeling sad to leave this beautiful place. There’s so much more to explore in Krabi and yet so little time. I was beginning to enjoy this lifestyle, the freedom to explore, to get in touch with my inner self and enjoy some me-time but reality hits. Anyways, I hope to be back again Krabi. Thank you! Kawp Koon, Lah Gorn (Thank you, Goodbye)

Bon Appetit
Heading home with beautiful memories of my adventure
Bon Voyage
Travel

Part 3: My First Solo Trip to Krabi, Thailand

As you travel solo being totally responsible for yourself, it’s inevitable that you will discover just how capable you are

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Emerald Pool, Krabi Thailand

DAY 3: As I sat on the beach meditating and enjoying the cool breeze, I thought how fast the days were flying past. It’s surprising how I thought I would feel lonely on a solo trip but now, I was enjoying my new-found freedom and independence! I strongly urge all mothers to go on a solo trip for yourself, at least once in your lifetime. Make arrangements with trustworthy family members to care for your children & just go! You’ll be surprised at what you discover about yourself!

Today was a Jungle Tour consisting of a visit to the Emerald Pool, Hot Springs and Tiger Cave Temple. As usual, I had a quick meal at Lion & Shark before my guide fetched me from The Verandah Hotel, where I was staying. Remember to pack insect repellant and put on sunscreen.

Munching on a Caprese Sandwich from Lion & Shark before my Jungle Tour

I had a good nap on the long drive to the Emerald Pool from Ao Nang Beach (about 1.5 hours). From the entrance, I had to walk a good 1.4km into the jungle before reaching the Emerald Pool. The Emerald Pool (Sa Morakot) is a natural pool in the jungle with fresh water flowing down from the hills. The high limestone and mineral content of the pool gives it its turquoise blue colour. The pool is really beautiful but the rocks can be quite slippery, so be careful when entering the waters to swim. It’s only about 1 – 2 meters deep. It’s best to visit the Emerald Pool in the mornings to avoid crowds. Lunch was included in my tour package when I made the purchase. Vegetarian food was catered for me at the canteen just outside the entrance. I must say, it was delicious and heartwarming.

That’s my guide in pink at the entrance to Emerald Pool
The footpath leading to the Emerald Pool
Emerald Pool
Vegetarian Lunch – Rice with Thai tofu curry and mixed vegetables

The natural Hot Springs are a 20 minute drive away from the Emerald Pool. It was pretty crowded but otherwise it was worth the trip soaking in the hot water (42 Degrees Celcius). Just remember to keep an eye on your belongings if you are on your own. There are also changing rooms available if you need to wash up afterwards.

Natural Hot Springs

Next, we proceeded to The Tiger Cave temple, which was a 50 minutes drive away from the natural Hot Springs. I was like gung-ho and ready to conquer these killer steep steps to see Buddha. The guide gave us an hour to climb up and down but let me tell you…., I DIED!! I literally DIED!!

Before climbing up Tiger Cave Temple, looking all happy and smiley
View from above while climbing up the steps.

This is where I decided to give up as I was too tired to climb any further and I won’t be able to come back down in time to meet my guide.

Evidence to show I’ve climbed 723 STEEP steps. I’ll conquer you again next time!

There are many small temples at the foot of the hill. Feel free to explore them and leave a small donation. The ambience was very peaceful and relaxing.

Can you see the stairs that is leading all the way up?
Beware of monkeys as they like to snatch your plastic bags for food. Keep all small items and water bottles inside your bag.

Once I returned to the hotel, I had a quick shower before heading out to dinner.

Beautiful dress from my sister from Sri Lanka.

Today, dinner was at Govinda’s Restaurant, a Vegetarian and Vegan Restaurant at Ao Nang Beach. It was quite a walk from my hotel but I was determined to travel to explore this new eatery. A beautiful restaurant with a garden themed decor and calming music in the background. There’s even a Zen Corner when you can relax with a good book or simply sit in silence for some me-time. Govinda’s Restaurant serves pretty good Indian and Thai food at reasonable pricing. They also serve a good variety of vegan desserts.

Butter Naan with some Mushroom masala gravy and a smoothie

After my meal, I had a good walk along the street back to my hotel. The nightlife scene was buzzing with life as tourists enjoy the night away in the pubs and restaurants. Some were even purchasing souvenirs at a good bargain. Well, I was shagged for the day and happy to retire to my comfy hotel room.

TO BE CONTINUED Part 4: My First Solo Trip to Krabi, Thailand.

Travel

Part 2: My First Solo Trip to Krabi, Thailand

Travelling solo does not always mean you’re alone. You meet marvelous people along the way and make connections that last a lifetime

DAY 2: I started off the day, meditating by the beach and people-watching. I thought to myself that I was finally on another country all by myself. A little nerve wrecking but I felt a sense of confidence as I navigated the main street to my breakfast place for the day.

Breakfast at Lion & Shark

Lion & Shark – tasty sandwiches, smoothie bowls and premium fruit juices. They have vegan options on their menu. Rustic ambiance with simple tasty food and a beautiful view of the mountains. It’s been ages since I ate a peaceful breakfast without my son constantly wanting my attention ( Oops sorry baby, Mummy loves you).

Can you believe this?
Toasted caprese sandwich and a glass of orange juice

My guide fetched me at 2pm for my 7-island sunset tour. Remember to have a good lunch, bring along your selfie stick for photo-taking and a waterproof pouch to keep your handphone and other belongings safe. I would suggest buying one of those aqua shoes which are readily available in their shops for these island tours. My slippers gave way towards the end of my tour and I returned to my hotel room barefoot!

I booked the tour from Krabi Amazing Andaman Tours, specifically for night snorkeling with the bio luminescent plankton, which I wanted to experience.

I must say, the tour agencies are well-organised and systematic. At the jetty, the guides quickly directed tourists heading for different tours to their respective boats (big boats, long tail boats etc). They speak basic English and are able to cater to your requests, if you have small children with you. I requested for vegetarian food for my dinner, which was also part of the island tour.

my guide – Mr ‘Funny Man’

First stop was Poda Island – a small island with a white, sandy beach and clear waters which you can take a quick dip in and take lots of pictures. There’s a snack shop where you can buy snacks and drinks. I bought an ice-cream, which was what I needed for the hot weather.

Insta-worthy picture at Poda Island

Next stop was Tup Island. At low tide, a sandbar appears from the waters and connects the larger Chicken island to the two smaller islands of Koh Mor and Tup. It was amazing to walk across the sandbar and take pictures. However, our guide ushered us back to the boat within 15 minutes as the tide was getting higher and also, you wouldn’t want to be stranded on the island when the sandbar disappears!

Chicken Island
Tup Island

Next up, snorkeling near at nearby islands. I last went snorkeling in Boracay with my family and had forgotten how to breathe with the equipment given to me. Nevertheless after a few tries, I finally managed and was able to swim effortlessly. For those who are not confident in swimming, no worries – life jackets are provided and the friendly guide will also swim together with you.

That’s me after snorkelling round 1

At my second round of snorkeling, I was swimming around this huge rock and I was intending to complete the journey back to the boat. However, I realised that it was a far distance for me to swim around the rock and I was getting tired, so I reversed and started to swim back to the boat. As I was swimming, I was getting more tired and I was alternating between breaststroke and backstroke. Everyone else was already on the boat and I was still swimming!! I waved to my guide and thank God, my guide saw me and threw me a flotation device to hold on to while he pulled me in. My heart was still racing as I sat down in the boat. Lesson learnt: Keep close to the boat as there are chances to get tired while snorkeling.

After my 2nd round of snorkelling with the beautiful sunset

Dinner was served at a nearby island – simple, homecooked food. I had a vegetarian option consisting of rice, vegetable kebabs and stir fried vegetables. I was dead hungry after snorkelling and this felt like heaven to me at that moment. I felt like an islander sitting on the sand and having my dinner under the night sky.

Dinner under the night sky

Next up, night snorkelling with the bio-luminescent plankton. Oh my god! It was a thrilling experience for me! At first I was afraid to enter the water as our guide said he was going to switch off all the lights on the boat after we are all in the water, so we can see the plankton clearly. I was bobbing up and down in the cold water close to the buoyancy balls, feeling nervous. Finally, when the lights are off, I waved my hands frantically under water and I saw the bio-luminescent plankton!! They were like small little blue sparks of current dashing around. So beautiful! At that moment, I felt like screaming my lungs out in happiness. Man! I was swimming in the Andaman Sea with the stars above me! I was feeling estactic and over the moon. I would highly recommend everyone to experience this.

Achievement unlocked!

Once back on shore, the guides and crew put up a fire show and displayed their skills. It was amazing to watch their performance as they were very talented. After the show, my tour guide drove me back to the hotel. It was a good, eventful day for me.

My guide’s teenage son showing us his skills

Wait up for Part 3 coming soon!