Excursions on the Southern Seashore
Krabi, Southern Thailand
My girlfriend and I found Krabi an easygoing place with the major sites in close proximity to the seashore. Ao Nang, where we primarily stayed, consisted of beaches donned with coconut palms and felt less disturbed by tourism. Day 1 in Southern Thailand involved kayaking through the magnificent mangrove forest, a first for me on both fronts. The kayaking was absorbing, learning how to row whilst taking in the amazing biodiversity and cave complexes. It also enabled me to jump out of my comfort zone, something I’m regularly aiming for.
Wat Tham Sua (The Tiger Cave Temple)
In the afternoon we drove to Wat Tham Sua an excursion which was truly awe inspiring. Like many temples Wat Tham Sua is elevated and reaching the site involves climbing 1260 steps .Walking up was a fulfilling challenge, knowing the stunning panoramas were to come. The opportunity to encourage fellow visitors, appearing tired due to heat and the steepness, was satisfying too. At the top, the contrast of mangrove forest, the Andaman Sea and areas of coastline contributed to an incredible view. We sampled seafood including Crab Tom Yam Soup, Squid and Fish in a chilli broth with Thai herbs and spices.
On Day 2 in Krabi the weather was slightly overcast. We planned to visit some islands off the coast, yet boat trips to certain islands were postponed due to storms. Nonetheless, the islands we did experience were tranquil and picturesque. These included Ko Poda, Ko Po Da Nok, Ko Mor, Ko Gai and Ko Khom. Colours from the elements were vivid, like a movie scene, and the boat trip was interesting if a little choppy. Afterwards we visited a cafe for an iced coffee and returned to our Ibis Styles hotel. At the hotel we went for a massage and cocktail, before consuming more delicious Thai food.
Phuket, Southern Thailand
During the drive to Phuket we stopped to buy fruits, Sarak, Durian, Rambutan and Mangosteen, from a roadside stall. Once we arrived in Phuket, I tried Durian for the first time. I found it tasty and filling with an interesting texture. This was followed by a red pork noodle dish. We stayed in the old part of Phuket for one night before heading back to Chiang Mai the next day. The old city consisted of traditional architecture in contrast to the more modern developments on the island. We finished the day with an exquisite meal joining other members of my girlfriends family.
Leaving Southern Thailand for Northern Thailand
The final day included a breakfast of Dim Sum and taking in the Big Buddha, a 45 metre marble statue on the mountaintop. Insert a superlative here for a description of the view. The photo of the Dim Sum illustrates the array of choices and colours on offer. On the way to the airport, we entered a small market offering a variety of interesting Thai ingredients, snacks and more. I was very thankful to be driven around by Boonya’s parents so I could witness all of the highlights listed. Krabi in particular seemed very livable, perhaps a future option to escape the ‘burning season’ in Chiang Mai.