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Thailand

Krabi & Ao Nang – The Perfect Base Camp

11 May 2019

Krabi is a Thai province in the South of Thailand. In terms of surface area it’s a small region but because of the surrounding nature it’s a popular location among tourists. It’s located 814 km from the Thai capital Bangkok and can be reached by bus, train or plane. Krabi and/or Ao Nang serves as a perfect base because of the many hotels on offer and a very accessible airport. Both exotic islands such as Phi Phi, Hong, Lanta, Lipe and densely forested nature walks are at the feet of tourists.

 

Activiteiten

Tours

Four Islands Tour

 

 

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A tour we had booked during our time in Krabi is the Four Islands tour. The cost for us was 1400 baht (€40). This included snorkel equipment, soft drinks, water, snacks and lunch. The food and drinks you get is more than enough.

You start in the morning with a hotel pick-up that takes you to the harbour. At 9 am your trip to Phra Nang Beach starts. See white pearl beaches, azure blue water and high limestone cliffs. You visit four islands, so you can’t spend much time here. A short walk, some pictures and you’re gone!

Then you’re off to Tup Island, what makes this island remarkable is the play between high and low tide. At high tide it looks like separate islands and at low tide you have the possibility to walk along a narrow sandbank to all corners of the island. Be sure to ask your tour operator if the planning of the trip is on point for this!

Afterwards the boat will pass Chicken Island. A rock formation that looks like a chicken head, that’s it. However, the beaches of Chicken Island are also worth a visit. It’s not a quiet boat trip, expect a lot of tourists on all the islands. Thailand is not exactly a secret place anymore.

Koh Poda is the last beach stop before you go to Railay Beach. There are a lot of tourists and this blurs the charm of Railay Beach. Don’t forget to walk between the caves of the beach so you can see the stalactites that dangle above the sea. It’s worthwhile to walk from one point of the beach to another. Unfortunately, this place is overwhelmed by tourism. Even longtail boats sell hamburgers and kebabs here.

4 island tour

Railay Beach

 

Remember to book a speedboat tour and not a regular boat trip. Although the regular boat will be cheaper, you will hardly be able to spend time on the islands mentioned above.

 

James Bond Island Tour

Are you a big James Bond fan? Then definitely book this tour. It’s a hugely popular tour with the Asians, so be prepared for crowded beaches, broken coral reefs and overwhelmed nature. The price is the highest of all tours and most likely expectations will not be met.

From Krabi this tour is often combined with a visit to elephant camps, kayaking and/or ATV (quad) riding.

 

Kayak Tour

 

 

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When you’re in the vicinity of Krabi and Ao Nang, you should visit the mangroves. The nature infrastructure is great and discovering it with only a boat and a paddle is the ideal way. Moreover, it’s a good workout!

Be careful who you book your tour with. Our morning kayak tour cost 500 baht (incl. pick-up, drop-off, water and snack). However, the most important thing to pay attention to is the number of participants. During our trip we met groups of twenty to thirty boats. You can imagine that this is not an easy trip between the narrow chaos of the mangroves.

krabi mangroves kayak

The Krabi Mangroves

 

We were with four couples in total. What created a feeling of peace and serenity during our voyage. We also had the ultimate guide who only spoke when he had useful information to tell. As icing on the cake the monkeys came to sit on their tip of our guide’s boat. In short, a sign of authority!

The trip takes two hours, but time flies by. The full trip is about 7km and at the end of the trip your arms feel like spaghetti. 

Almost all kayak tours can be combined with:

  • Elephant camps
  • ATV (quad) riding
  • Full day kayak
  • BBQ
  • Snorkeltrip

If you can imagine it, the tour will be offered in the busy streets of Ao Nang and Krabi Town.

 

Hikes

Tiger Cave Temple

A steep climb of 1237 steps that will take about 45 minutes. Are you willing to admire a beautiful view, then the counterpart is to climb 600 meters high between the monkeys and defy the humidity of Krabi.

Although many people here suffer physically, the view from above is certainly worthwhile. Be sure to bring enough water and a sweet snack so you won’t be surprised. Plan your visit with the rising and setting of the sun. You certainly don’t want to do this climb in the dark!

Are you in the Krabi region? Then you should definitely put the Tiger Cave Temple hike on your to-do list!

 

Dragon Crest – Khao Ngon Nak Viewpoint

This will undoubtedly be one of your best views of your entire life. Khao Ngon Nak Viewpoint can easily be reached by taking your motorbike to the starting point of the hike. You have to register at the guard post so they can check that everyone returns from their trip. It’s recommended to give the people there a small tip. After all, they can save your life.

krabi dragoncrest

 

There is some confusion around the starting point of the hike. When you enter Khao Ngon Nak Viewpoint in Google Maps, you’ll be taken to another point. What you do have to enter is Tab Kak Hang Nak Nature Trail. You take the Highway 6024 all the way to the end, in between picturesque meadows. The viewpoint precedes a tough climb where many tourists will quit. Bring enough water and a sweet snack, because the energy tank will empty quickly. The hike took us an hour including some stops at different viewpoints. However, I can quickly imagine that it may take a little longer for the inexperienced climber.

dragoncrest krabi

 

Upon arrival you have to search for the bamboo ladder. When you climb this ladder you’ll be overwhelmed by the breathtaking view. Unlike the rest of Thailand there are no masses of tourists here. It takes energy and perseverance and what do you know? Many tourists just quit halfway.

Dragon Crest viewpoint is known for that one epic shot, to get to that position you have to descend the bamboo ladder and walk back up. On your right side you see barbed wire where you can get in between. After that you can use a cord that guides you to the most epic point of Krabi:

 

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The road down is more dangerous than up. So please beware of going too fast!

 

Hotel

Krabi Inn Resort

Despite the bad first impression this was our favorite hotel during our Thailand trip!

This is not a sponsored post.

Upon arrival there was a communication error, we thought she wrongly charged us 500 baht extra. After all this was cleared up, we were pampered by the friendly staff.

krabi inn resort

Krabi Inn Resort is a bungalow park with about 30 recently built bungalows. They are squeeky clean with enough space for all your conveniences. The price is €25 per night for a bungalow, for an extra charge of €6 you get breakfast with it. Although the latter is not recommended. Breakfast is one thing and if you continue reading, there are plenty of breakfast options in Ao Nang!

The staff will do everything in their power to ensure that you enjoy your stay to the fullest. From a warm welcome to helping with everyday problems. The pool is cramped and big enough to enjoy. You feel like you’re in a more expensive resort than you pay for and that’s how we like it!

krabi inn resort

Restaurants

Cafe 8.98

An all-around place that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and everything in between. A trendy decor with trendy dishes. Check yourself in on Facebook at Cafe 8.98 and receive a free coffee! We went back three times because the menu looked that good. We recommend these dishes:

  • Brownie and vanilla icecream!!
  • Beef Nachos
  • Coffee
  • Moroccan Couscous Salad
  • Chicken Wrap
krabi ao nang

Brownie & Ice Cream

 

Kodam Kitchen

What a relief to see that the number one on Tripadvisor is actually legit a great place. Kodam Kitchen is authentic Thai cuisine eaten on plastic table and chair. Don’t be mistaken, every evening it’s packed and it’s best to book in advance. Kodam Kitchen also keeps average Thai prices. Expect cheap and great food here. What do we recommend?

  • Chicken Satay
  • Duck Red Curry
krabi ao nang

kodam kitchen

Johnny’s Pizza

Although every pizzeria claims to be a true Italian, Johnny is at heart ‘the real deal’. Take some antibug spray with you because you’re outside in a cozy bamboo construction. It may be a bit more expensive than average but I’m sure the whole menu is a feast. You absolutely shouldn’t skip the avocado and prawn toast. Chef Johnny came to tell us afterwards that this is also his favorite dish. It occurs that he can’t resist eating the dish himself which leads to him having to prepare it twice.

Must orders:

  • Avocado and prawn toast
  • Pizza of choice (thin crust!)
  • The dessert of the chef

Chef Johnny will come afterwards to have a chat anyway! A real food artist!

krabi ao nang

Avocado Masterpiece

 

 

 

 

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