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!


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 Curaçao, 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

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

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.


Part 1: My First Solo Trip to Krabi, Thailand

Travelling alone will be the scariest, most liberating, life changing experience of your lifetime. Try it at least once!

Watching the beautiful sunset at Ao Nang Beach, Krabi

Yes, I went on a solo trip to Krabi, leaving behind my 13month old son with my husband and family. Nope, I didn’t think it was even possible nor did I even think of the consequences. I am very blessed with a supportive family, who encouraged me strongly to travel solo – for some ‘me’ time and self-reflection for my future.

A picture with my son before I leave to the airport

So, off I went on a 5 days 4 nights trip to Krabi, Thailand – The Land of Islands or Hidden Paradise as it is known. I had booked the flight about a month back. Online check-in helps to save ALOT of time when you are rushing to catch a flight. All was well till I entered the transit area – felt a little nervous and worried whether was I doing the right thing and will I be able to survive alone, as I turned back to wave goodbye to my family. I was still nervous while changing currencies at the money changer as I was afraid of missing my flight. As I boarded my flight and sat down, I began to calm down and told myself that all will be well and this is what I really need at this time.

It was a smooth flight by AirAsia. I would suggest getting a prepaid card upon landing at the airport since it’s so cheap. I had pre-booked my airport transfer on the hotel website for travelling convenience and my driver was very punctual and efficient. I stayed at the The Verandah Hotel, an affordable 3 star hotel with beautiful Moroccan interiors, located just 30 minutes away from Krabi International Airport and 5 minutes walk to Ao Nang beach.

My beautiful room for the next 4 nights

I had a quick meal at Cafe 8.98 before walking along the streets to book my island tours. Being a vegetarian, it can be quite daunting to source for meals outside but hey, people are always nice enough to customise a dish for you if you ask them. For booking of tours, here’s a quick tip – set aside the last day of your trip for some shopping and R&R because, after all those island tours and activities, your body will be begging for a good ol’ Thai Massage. I booked a 7-Island Sunset Tour and a Jungle Tour to Emerald Pool, Krabi Hot Springs and Tiger Cave Temple.

First meal in Krabi – Pesto Penne

There are numerous tour companies along the streets which you can choose from, to book your tours with reasonable pricing. The streets are also lined with stores selling beachwear and other apparels, souvenirs, hair/ massage outlets and food! You’ll definitely be spoilt by the variety of food from different cuisines here. There’s also a Starbucks and MacDonald’s here if you need a quick fix.

The beach can get super crowded during sunset, so be there a good 20 minutes early to get a good spot and set up your cameras. You won’t regret this!

Oh, I need to mention that I’ve been directly latching my son and so, I had to pack my Spectra S1 breast pump with me on this trip (#BreastfeedingMumLife). I pumped every 6 hours and threw away the milk. Felt very sad to see my milk going to waste but had no choice. I made a courageous decision to travel solo and I believe I became a better and stronger person after this trip. I had a breather, was able to self-reflect and plan my life out plus my son was in good hands.

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

Part 2: Coming up in my next post. Stay tuned!