What happened in Krabi...

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Kenya 2006


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We took a boat from Langkawi, Malaysia to cross the Thai border into the port of Satan.  In true Thai style they are on you in a flash after customs to take your money and drop you wherever.


Thai people are generally so 100mph when there’s money to be made it can scare the shit out of most people so people pay what is been asked.  They approach you as if there is a huge great queue of people to deal with and no time to do it all!  Fact is they are a lazy bunch, so quick deals then relax for the next few hours is their way.  Knowing the above it’s best to just hang back a little as you soon have them eating out of your hands instead…


We wanted to get the bus if possible to Krabi 4 hours away and we knew you had to take a short Songthaew (open back taxi) to the local bus depot to catch one.  But the boat leaving Langkawi was late so we missed the bus connection.  The Thai cab drivers at the ferry port loved telling us that the next one was not until 8pm…and they offered to take us there for a ‘small’ fee via another town that was not on the way to Krabi…


There were only a few backpackers on the boat so after asking most of them where they were going we found a couple from Canada who were going to Krabi as well.  They had spent a lot of time in Thailand so knew the Thai way for doing business.  So between the four of us we acted as if we didn’t need to rush anywhere, which wound up the main guy, then to really wind him up we went and got some car share prices from the locals sat on the side…


In the end we got a great deal after the wheeling and dealing.  A new vehicle with air con straight to the door of our choice in Krabi for a few quid.  The place we choose to stay at was out of one of the guide books which was great.  Really modern, clean and tidy all for £3 each per night.


We had only planned to stay here a couple of days and then get a flight to Ko Samui to save time on the whole bus, taxi, boat etc to get there like normal but being the off season the flights weren’t flying until the middle of October again.


Still there was plenty to do in and around Krabi we were glad we stayed in the end because we did and saw lots in a few days.  We had a day at the Ao Nang beach catching some rays and swimming in the sea.  We got chatting to one of the locals who sells his wares on the beach.  He was saying business is still slow after the Tsunami as this beach was one of the many that got hit.  No deaths, but lots of people with broken limbs and lots of damaged property.


Next day we went out and did some sea kayaking around the various mangroves and isles.  Even fed pineapple and melon to the monkeys on a tiny little beach.  That afternoon we went elephant trekking.  We had to wait a few minutes for the elephant to turn up.  While waiting we saw lots of film crew trucks in the jungle.  We went and had a look to see that Hollywood was in town.  It’s a film called “Rescue Dawn” staring Christian Bale from one of the Batman films.  So we watched them filming a scene…took them ages and several takes to get it right.  Not as glamorous as you might think making a film in the Thailand jungle in 35 degree heat!


We got on the elephant and did our trek through the jungle.  He was as bold as you like because when he saw some water, he headed straight for it even being told not to by the guide.  He then took a drink but then flicked it up over its back only to spray us.  Later it also tore this huge great bush from its roots.  Funny though, there was this almighty crack of machine gun fire and explosives from the film set.  Well the elephant jumped like hell and started running like mad.  We had to hang on for our lives not to fall off the top.  While walking back in we saw the lead man Christian Bale walking along the track after the day of filming.


The next couple of days we did 2 trips island hopping starting from Ao Nang.  We visited Poda, Tup, Chicken and Phranang Cave islands on a long tail boat.  Then visited the beaches around Ko Phi Phi.  We went to Maya Beach, where the film “The Beach” was filmed.  It was absolutely beautiful with clear blue seas, but this island was hit very badly by the tsunami and there were still lots of debris washed up on the beach which was sad to see.  We were lucky over these two days to do lots of snorkelling in clear blue warm seas and see lots of great fishes, as well as swimming and sunbathing…


A lot of this area was severely hit by the Tsunami.  It was great to see things all up and running again.  It’s just a shame people are still scared by it all thinking it will happen again.  The positive after effects of the disaster are that it has made the Thai people get their act together and really clean up and rebuild some great new places to promote their tourist industry.  Ko Phi Phi was scary.  I went there two years ago to think it was well over rated and not like the postcards.  Too many boats and everywhere behind the beach was accommodation or shops.  Tourism gone mad!  But now with so much gone it looks a lot more beautiful but the tourists are staying away and the island is struggling to make money.


The following day we had a flight to Bangkok which we bought a couple of days before.  This certainly saved some time over using buses and trains getting up the country and it was very cheap to buy locally…












Phranang Cave, Railay Beach

Would you believe "Chicken Isle"

Limestone cliff

"The Beach"



A selection of Island pictures...

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