Monday, November 7, 2011

Land of Smiles

Wow, it took me a while to get here, with only a few hiccups along the way, but I made it!

My journey started with a flight from St. Louis to Chicago, however when my flight from Chicago got delayed, I missed my connection in Tokyo. So United sent me to another airport in Tokyo and I arrived in Bangkok at 5am which still allowed me to catch my original flight to Krabi.

Pics from the Bangkok airport, a beautiful shrine full of orchids

Pics from the sky on the way to Krabi

Since Lindsay & Amanda were stuck in Beijing, I was a little nervous about arriving in Krabi by myself. However, while I was waiting for my connection in Bangkok I met a really nice girl, Nina, who has been living in Thailand for 5 months teaching English to school children in a town just north of Bangkok. She was kind enough to help me out and take me with her to the beach town Ao Nang just outside Krabi. She had been here before so she and I walked around the town, found hotels, went to the beach, and got lunch... my first taste of real Pad Thai, AMAZING!

Main strip in town

Yes, they have McDonalds and my hotel is across from a Starbucks, hmm...

Views at the beach... surreal

My hotel

My room

View from balcony overlooking koi pond with lillypads

After lunch I went back to my hotel and took a much needed nap! I awoke in the middle to a huge thunderstorm. It's hard to see but the rain was literally like sheets and after only 2 hours the stream next to the hotel had risen 6 inches.

Luckily the rain stopped because I was meeting Nina at 7pm. We walked around town again to work up our appetite. Nina told me the best, and cheapest, food is often had by the street vendors that come out at night. We found a charming woman who had set up shop with a makeshift kitchen consisting of a wok, chopping table, and a small grill. We sat at a small plastic table with tiny plastic stools, similar to what children use to make arts and crafts, and had one of the most fresh and delectable meals! Nina and I shared what I think was a snapper, it was whole, stuffed with leaves and grilled; a cold salad of chopped papaya, carrot, peanuts and green beans with a little spice; and a mixed vegetable medley which they call "Morning Glory" that includes something like spinach and scallions and lot of garlic... it was incredible!

Here is our restaurant

After dinner I was still exhausted so I went back to my hotel and got some sleep.

Day 2:
Lindsay & Amanda arrive! There I was eating at the hotel's breakfast pavilion, starting to get worried because I hadn't heard from the girls, and then they show up at my table... thank goodness they got here without a hitch. After settling in to our new room we hit the beach for some sun and surf. The water here is so warm, like bath water, and really shallow. You can walk out almost 100 yards and it's barely up to your shoulders.

Nina met us on the beach and after a while we decided to go kayaking. We went around the tall cliffs that were in my pictures from the day before. We came across a beach on the other side and chilled for a bit, then came back around again. The walls of the cliffs are eroded and covered in stalactites and stalagmites.

After our tour, we grabbed a bite and had an hour massage and a manicure on the beach... all for about $10!

Nina and I at lunch

Lindsay's first taste of real Pad Thai

That night we just grabbed some food from the street vendors again, for dessert Lindsay had a Thai pancake that was made from a very thin batter folded like an envelope with bananas inside and nutella on top. As everyone was seriously exhausted, we went straight to bed after our meal. For Lindsay and Amanda it was the first time they had slept in a bed in about 48 hours!

Day 3:
This morning we left Ao Nang and took a long boat 15 mins south to Railey; we had basically kayaked there yesterday. Railey is another beautiful beach, smaller than Ao Nang with no big street or town, but it is known for its premier rock climbing. While we had anticipated embarking on such an excursion, we had already had a leisurely morning and the idea of exerting too much energy was not as enticing as vegging on the beach.

Leaving Ao Nang on our long boat

Passing the cliffs we kayaked past the day before

Railey Beach West

Later we had dinner and drinks at a restaurant on the beach, please take notice of our coconut drink people.

After, we saw people setting up on the beach for a fire show so we stuck around

Our "Fire Flinger" show begins

The two guys walked towards each other and eventually were chest to chest, I have no idea how they didn't burn one another!

They needed crowd participation, so obviously we obliged.




The next morning we left Railey early and took a ferry to Koh Phi Phi island.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Ao Nang, Railey; Krabi, Thailand

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