Falling In Love With Krabi Town

You might not find a lot of people who will sing the praises of Krabi Town. It seems that holiday makers avoid it like the plague and most backpackers will only stay for one night before jetting off any number of the south islands. A confirmed victim of the harsh words of the lonely planet guide, I feel.

Ok, so Krabi Town doesn't have a white sandy beach, or hundreds of restaurants selling Western food, and on it's exterior there's not much actually in town but you only have to scratch the surface and you'll find lots to do, just like we did.

We arrived after flying from Siem Reap with Air Asia - a completely non-offensive journey of two connecting flights. We had plans of going over the border by land again but after some research, you can only get a 15 days visa when crossing into Thailand overland, but you can receive a free 30 day visa (as a UK citizen) when you fly - job done. It was raining when we arrived, and very muggy but nonetheless we dropped our bags in our guesthouse and headed out in search of some cheap market eats.

One thing you're sure to find in abundance in Krabi Town are food markets (hip hip hoooooray), not only is there one every night, sometimes there are multiple markets and every Friday, Saturday and Sunday there is an amazing Walking Street Market that pretty much takes over most of the town. Every night is packed - I can tell you from experience and it's majority locals walking around, although you will find tourists as well as the usual trinket type stalls. I'm planning on writing a more in depth post about the food markets and reasons to visit so will link them here once I've done so.

We only planned to stay three nights in Krabi Town initially, but ended up moving into a hostel and staying another five nights. Yep, we loved it that much. There are lots of excursions you can book through the many tourist offices in town, including boat trips to all the surrounding islands. We first opted for a 4 Island Day Trip on a longtail boat which cost us 400b each and then and extra 400b for entry to the islands as they are all apart of the protected national park. There's a real concern for the landscape and environment in Thailand and there are so many protected spaces with initiatives to keep the islands and jungles pristine and well-looked after. Big thumbs up.

The day trip was good, we were in a large group of mixed ages, much like your standard tourist fare but it was our first chance at really seeing those famous limestone crags standing in the middle of the ocean like giants. It truly is spectacular and makes you feel incredibly insignificant. Mother Nature doing her thang. I've included some pictures but, they just don't do these islands any justice, it's something I'd recommend for anyone to do.

As I'm saving a whole post for food markets, I'll skip onto what else we did whilst in town. You can do tours to the tiger cave, with a trip to a hot spring and emerald pool for 1100b per person, however, we were only really concerned with seeing the tiger cave and climbing the mountain to the golden Buddha (still maintaining that jumping into a hot spring in 30c heat sounds like the worst thing ever, re:Pai) so we gave the organised tour a swerve and went on our own which ended up being such a brilliant option because we saved ourselves about 1800b overall.

The tiger cave itself is an interesting thing to see and the temples surrounding are beautiful structures, some which are being restored by the monks, but the highlight of the day had to be climbling up the 1237, very steep and winding steps to reach the massive Golden Buddha at the top, which you can actually see from miles away, even from the town. To say the climb is hard would be an understatement. It's literally a rollercoaster of emotions, and we ended up drinking 3 litres of water between us on the way up...! I wanted to give up, cry, laugh with delirium and never move again but we did it, and we made it to the top, eventually. You can see a collage of our before and after photos on Shay's instagram here. I wasn't even posing for the after photo, that was just genuine pain. But after we caught our breath and downed some more water, we were able to take in the most beautiful view that made the climb so worth it. Where the Buddha statue is, is a holy site so you need to bear in mind the modest clothing rule... yes I climbed up in TROUSERS AND A T-SHIRT. And it was so uncomfortable but ho hum, such is life I guess.

After our trip to the tiger cave we went home, had about three showers, a nap, and then off to the Walking Market. And yes, our legs were like jelly for the whole next day.