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Krabi, Day 5, Wednesday

Written on: Wednesday July 11th, 2007

A journal entry from: Elective

We left the National Park at 10am Wednesday morning, in comfortable air-conditioned mini-vans (so much for the local transport Kate!) and spent 2 hours driving to Krabi. It was really interesting, as the trip leader warned us beforehand that the roads in Thailand are very different, and there aren't really the same rules as back home, so to expect a hair-raising ride. However, after being in Nepal and braving the roads there, we actually found it pretty tame!

Upon arrival in Ao Nang, the area in which we are staying, we were greeted with a welcome drink and a huge slice of watermelon at the hotel - the J Mansion. Highly recommend this place if anyone wants to visit on the cheap in future. It's very clean, and the rooms are nice, with great views of the beach. No hot showers here though, unfortunately!

The weather was great when we arrived, so we excitedly got ready and went down to the beach. We had the opportunity to go kayaking, but it seemed like too much hassle to get ready in half an hour and we wanted to chill out a bit instead. It would have been interesting though, as the people that went told us how they had paddled through mangroves, and seen areas that were used to film scenes for Dr No.

Once we got onto the beach, it was amazing. Really clear skies, beautiful blue water with the crashing sound of waves in the background, and the wind dancing around the enormous palm trees. It wasn't long before we were approached by a hoard of Thai women, all claiming to be able to deliver 'the best Thai massage in Krabi'. They seem happy enough if you make out that you might go back later, so that became our weapon of choice! We walked the length of the beach, trailing our feet in the sea as the waves lapped around our toes. The views here are sensational, with islands looming on the horizon and cliffs covered in dense green vegetation, no matter how impossible it seems that anything could grow on the steep edges.

We had planned to sit on the beach for a while, and soak up the sun while we could, but in what can only be described as a blonde moment, we'd both forgotten to bring beach towels. Only one thing for it - hit the shops! We figured if we bought one huge towel it would be plenty big enough, so we strolled back up to the main promenade. We'd only just stepped into one shop when the heavens opened, and it poured down with rain. Unlike in the rainforest, the air stayed warm despite the rain, which was a welcome change. It didn't last long either, passing over almost as quickly as it arrived. The shops were still pretty inviting for a while afterwards though, just in case we were in for a repeat performance. We purchased a few souvenirs, and gifts for friends and family before realising the time (it passes you by so quickly here) and swiftly heading back to the hotel.

The evening's itinerary included a visit to a night-time food market, to begin at 7pm. It was only a short walk from the hotel, and the streets were still brightly lit with all the market stalls. The market sellers continually asked where we were from, replying "Oooh lovely jubbly! Dell Boy, you plonker!" when we divulged that we were English.

The market itself was a bustling courtyard filled with brightly decorated stalls. Lights were strung across the square, to illuminate the tables for the customers, and the effect was quite pretty. There was a definite scent of fish on the air, which was unsurprising considering that most of the stalls specialised in seafood. As we admired the wares, I was shocked to see the sheer size of some of the fish. Prawns almost as big as my head weren't uncommon. It's a real shame I'm not a huge seafood fan, as it would have been paradise for a fish lover. As it was, I ended up having a rather boring chicken noodle dish, and wishing that I'd been brave enough to try the prawns.

Our group leader was 27 yesterday, so we made our way to the Chang bar for a few cheeky cocktails. The drinks don't set you back very much here, so it's easy to get carried away, as a couple of our group found out the night before. Singha beer retails at around 50 baht, which is less than a pound, but at 6.4% it's not to be taken lightly! My poison for the night was Malibu and pineapple juice, which is always a great choice in a tropical country as it's so refreshing. We stayed until after twelve, choosing our favourite songs for the DJ to blast out, and doing some muted dancing while still sitting down. By the time we left, Hannah (the leader) was pretty drunk, and announced that she was going to McDonalds. We were all very disappointed when our trek there was futile due to it being closed, but thinking back on it, it was probably for the best!

The islands trip is tomorrow, so we were doing our best to sleep in order to be fresh for the early start (so many early starts!). Exciting day ahead tomorrow!


From Julie Gilleard on Jul 12th, 2007

Hi Kim, Hope you get this, never done it before! well what a time you are having. like i said 3 yrs ago very proud of you. really enjoyed reading your diary so far. keep it up. ta for sending text. Jules xx

From Mum on Jul 12th, 2007

Fancy forgetting your towel, not something i would do eh!!!! Take care, and enjoy the poison. Love Mum xxx

From Bryan Rite on Jul 12th, 2007

Hey Kim, if you're still in the area (Krabi Province) check out the islands of Koh Lanta, they are a couple hour boat ride or drive from Krabi Town and it was my favourite spot. Very chill.

From Kate on Jul 13th, 2007

Oh, everyone's entitled to take an aircon minibus from time to time ;-) Lovely description, particularly the bit about the wind dancing through the palms - it made me want to get on a plane.