After our second trip to Koh Tao we continued along the normal plan to go to Krabi. We spent two nights in Krabi and, unfortunately, it seemed that the rainy season had begun a little bit early. During our time in Krabi it rained a lot. The first day we spent wondering in the rain to find somewhere to do laundry and dry our clothes. Being that it was so humid, a lot of our stuff wouldn’t dry. This was a bit of a failure; there are no laundry mats or drying machines in Thailand. We hung our clothes in the room and hoped they would dry. We then met up with our friends Gillian and Gavin to have lunch at one of the best Indian restaurants in Aonang beach, Taj Palace. We did not visit Krabi Town due to lack of time. We would definitely recommend trying to head over there though, as it is known for some good street food and night markets.
Taj Palace is right across the street from the Starbucks of Aonang Beach that many of the hotels offer transportation to during the day. They offer 20% off all Indian cuisine, and that is definitely the thing to order while you’re there. To start, we all had masala tea, which was so yummy and really warmed us up on this “cooler” (but still hot) rainy day. We ordered papadum with chutney as well. They were very crispy and reminded us of home. For our main course we had the dahl, which is creamy black lentils cooked with kidney beans. It was very very good, but had a little bit more heat than we are use to back home. We ordered chicken tikka masala, but I think that was a mistake. The chicken tikka masala was very spicy and was not the same sweetness as at home. We have been told over the past few months that chicken tikka masala is definitely a thing that was invented in the UK and not actually traditional Indian food. We decided that next time we eat Indian food, we will definitely order something different that is a little bit more authentic and traditional.
After lunch it seemed as though the rain let up and we were ready to explore. We left the restaurant and headed for the beach. Just as we arrived and walked down the stairs, the sky opened up and the rain came down! We decided maybe it would be best to head back to the hotel and plan our next day together, with hopes that we would get a break in the weather. We decided that, even in a bit of rain, the best place to visit would be the emerald pool and hot springs waterfalls. We hired a taxi that night for 2,300 baht to bring us to both places as well as to drop us off in Krabi town to catch a bus to Phuket. The driver agreed to pick us up at 8:15 am the next day. We shook hands and that was that. One of the beauties of Thailand is the honesty of many of the locals. We have found that we can make an arrangement with a tuk tuk or taxi driver and they always stick by their word and show up the following day. They will drive you around for the whole day and then you pay at the end of the day!
Originally, we planned to go to seafood street for dinner, however we found the restaurants to be much more expensive than expected. We opted to have street food on the road between the beach and our hotel, Deevana. Steven and I enjoyed some freshly fried chicken liver as well as fried vegetable spring rolls. Gillian and Gavin had chicken soup, which was large enough for four people to share and was 40 baht ($1.10)!!! We went to bed on the earlier side to be rested for our big day. When we woke up and walked down to the street, Mr. Bangdom was there waiting for us. We hopped in the car and started the hour and a half ride to the emerald pool. We arrived and found we were some of the first people there since we had left very early.
Mr. Bangdom told us to walk about 800 meters and we would get to the emerald pool. We started walking, paid the 200 baht per person entrance fee and had our tickets checked. The man checking tickets told us to turn right at the sign, which brought us on an elevated path winding through the jungle. We followed the signs and after about 15 minutes walking were a bit confused. We thought it was only 800 meters, why was it taking so long to get there? Finally, we saw a few people and asked how far it would be until we got to the emerald pool. They responded and told us it was very close. We kept walking and before we knew it we were standing in front of the most beautiful and breathtaking pond that was exactly as the name suggests: emerald! We walked around in awe and the got ready to cool off in this serene water. It was so relaxing and tranquil. We enjoyed some time in the water and then we were ready for our next stop. As we were planning to leave, one of the park rangers pointed to a sign that said toilet and exit. He told us that was the way out, which was different from the way we came. We realized that we had taken the long and scenic route through the jungle rather than the quick way down the road.
We got back to the taxi and drove about 15 minutes back towards Krabi to the hot spring waterfalls. This time, even with a few confusing signs, the walk was shorter. We arrived at the hot springs waterfall and were ready to jump in. Just as the name implies, the water is as hot as a hot tub! The most appealing spot to soak is at the top of the waterfall where the water was clear, as the bottom seemed to be a brownish color. The signs suggest to soak for no more than 20 minutes, which is actually pretty hard to do since it is hot both outside of and in the water. After about 15 minutes, I was ready to get out, but stayed for the extra five when I realized how soft my skin was becoming and how relaxing the water was. This was a great way to end our morning adventures and we all felt so relaxed for our ride back to Krabi.
The taxi dropped Steven and me off at Krabi Town bus station, where we bought tickets to Phuket for 240 baht. The bus ride took about 4 hours and we arrived at Phuket Bus Station around 5pm. Unfortunately, we were too late to be able to take the public bus from the bus station to Kata Noi Beach, so we had to take a taxi, which was 500 baht. The taxis in Phuket are the most expensive we have seen on the trip thus far. It is a very touristy island and the costs are tailored to take advantage of this. We were very excited to arrive at the Katathani Beach Resort, where we spent the following two days. We really enjoyed Krabi/Aonang Beach, but wish the weather would have held out a little for us. We did get lucky on our last day and definitely recommend visiting the emerald pool and hot springs. It is not worth going on a tour or organized trip, as it is pretty costly. Just hire a taxi either outside of your hotel or somewhere in town to take you around for the day and visit these places on your own to save some money!
Follow your tummy…
-Jess and Steven
May 25-27, 2016