A month already passed since our trip to Southeast Asia. Winter sights and grey colors that we see everyday on our way to work don’t look unfamiliar anymore. Pictures from the trip, on the other hand, seem to originate from a completely different world. World that we were able to escape to for a while but that fades away now. I guess, blogging is just another method to get back in those days, awaken the memories and store them in a more reliable form. I invite you to join my reminiscence and travel with me to 3 countries of Southeast Asia. What I promise from my side is (hopefully) beautiful pictures, (probably) useful advice and (supposedly) witty comments.
Well, we had an ambitious plan: 10 days in Ao Nang – Krabi (Thailand) → 2 days in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) → 3 days in Singapore (Singapore ;)) → 2 days in Bangkok (Thailand) → back to Moscow. Total of 5 flights (2 of which were connection flights) & one bus + transit to/from airports + subway. Not without a pride I can say that we carried out the plan on time in full.
But trip didn’t start all that awesome as you could imagine. In addition to being tired after work I also got sick on the exact day of departure. Then add 4 hours of Moscow-Ahgabat (yes, we had a connection in Turkmenistan) + 4 hours of waiting in Ashgabat + 7 hours of Ashgabat-Bangkok + 14 hours of waiting in Bangkok airport and finally + 1.5 hours of Bangkok-Krabi and you kind of get the picture. Nonetheless, it was totally worth it.
Turkmenbashi airport in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. Boardings are announced in loud voice of personnel. No need for expensive screens if you have only few flights each day!
Eventually we got to Thailand. In Bangkok we arrived to Suvarnabhumi Airport. Name can compete with the one of that Icelandic volcano I think… Airport is actually huge and was opened only few years ago. So, it’s modern and beautiful at the same time.
Although, it’s still not comfortable at all to sleep there waiting for your connection flight… When will we actually have 100% comfortable sleeping lounges in airports, I wonder?!
One AirAsia (awesome!) flight later we finally got to Krabi and took a bus to Ao Nang.
The hotel we found on TripAdvisor and enjoyed staying at.
From now on I’ll try to switch from a personal story to more of a guide style answering popular questions, hope you’ll find it useful.
Where and what to eat in Ao Nang?
There are many of places offering a variety of food. So, it pretty much depends on your taste, you can actually find everything from Thai seafood to English breakfasts. We especially liked the restaurants by the beach. Unbelievable view and delicious food. Life is not all that hard after all.
I was so amazed by the beauty that even recorded a short video:
BTW, make sure to try a crocodile steak!
Another option is cheap street food. You can see the prices in local currency below:
Currently, one US dollar = 30.9 baht.
Where to see a Muay Thai boxing in Krabi?
The biggest event takes place in Ao Nang Krabi stadium. You will see and hear (believe me) announcements all over the place. This is the place to go if you want to see the real fighting. On the event we’ve been to they started with juniors and gradually got to senior fighters. Whether you’ll like it or not depends on your attitude towards martial arts and violence. But keep in mind that this not just fighting, but a part of culture. I personally enjoyed it because I had a brief practice myself about 3 years ago and it’s always interesting to watch the professionals in sport you tried.
One thing I would definitely advise against is watching a Muay Thai in a nearby restaurant or hotel. Not that you should actively avoid it, but just keep in mind that it has nothing to do with the real fighting. We’ve seen of those shows after visiting the real competition and it made us laugh. Actually, it looked as if they organizers just picked 2 random guys on the street 10mins ago, gave them shorts and asked to imitate a fight…
What are the sightseeing attraction around Ao Nang, Krabi?
In about 40mins drive from Ao Nang you can find the Tiger Cave Buddhist temple. You can get there by yourself or buy a tour from a firm which can be combined with something like elephant riding on the same day.
Where to see a fire show in Ao Nang?
No need to look for a particular place, they just happen around cafes. Most probably, you’ll just randomly come across one of them while walking in the evening or having a dinner. Don’t sit to close though.
Where to buy tailored clothes in Ao Nang?
There are tailors’ shops all around and you can buy a tailored suit, shirt or trousers quite cheap. I heard some stories about tailors deliberately delaying their work after receiving 50% prepayment from you. I personally haven’t had any problem of that kind but make sure you come there in advance as it takes time to get all the measurements and manufacture your cloths. Another thing to keep in mind is to bargain. If you don’t I’m not even sure how many times more you will pay. Also, as you can see fake brands are very popular. There are Ray Ban sunglasses and Lacoste polos in each shop… I personally chose the shop which didn’t try to mimic popular brands (Victoria on the picture below) and was satisfied with a result.
What to beware in Thailand?
You should be careful with jelly fish and other poisonous creatures in the ocean. Especially after the storm and in the night. Another thing that some warn against is snakes. But we never came across any of them. So, probability is very low I suppose. And beware falling coconuts of course! And I’m not joking. This is urchin, one of those weird creatures you need to be careful not to tread on:
What else to do in Ao Nang?
In addition to things mentioned above you might want to try rock climbing, snorkeling, kayaking & diving. What else? Well, if you still have some time left (which I doubt) you can plan your next travel destination (that’s what we did) or read on of the books you intended to read on a beach…
Also, it’s a very good idea to get out of Ao Nang and visit Ko Phi Phi, Bamboo and other islands around. Here is the video from a speed boat we took to get there:
Bamboo island looks like a Bounty commercial:
Just random pictures in no particular order:
Oh, almost forgot! Yes, they do have Christmas trees… But sometimes they are invisible!