Travel: Exploring Krabi (Ao Nang/Railay Beach), Thailand


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We were in Krabi, Thailand in July this year for a short getaway. We’d wanted to soak up the sun in those turquoise green waters and this was a perfect couple hours’ flight away from Singapore.

Krabi is a resort town near the Andaman Coast known for its majestic limestone karst formations and mangrove forests. Nearby hotspots like Phi Phi island are easily accessible by boat or ferry which is what we did in the latter part of our trip, but let’s start with our stay at the Krabi town area.

We’d arrived in the less crowded part of Krabi Town on Klong Muang Beach after a short less than 30 minute drive from the airport.

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I’d expected something similar to Phuket by way of the number of tourists and activity, but this was a surprisingly peaceful oasis. And while the beach wasn’t huge, I appreciated the quiet and the huge pool for lounging under the sun. After some pool time, we started getting hungry and it was off to try the popular Sawasdee Restaurant that had a pretty good rating on TripAdvisor.

Here’s what we ordered:

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Every dish was pretty much a hit. From the fragrant pineapple rice, to the really spicy tom yum soup, deep fried fresh fish and stir fried morning glory. This was a pretty great start to the trip in terms of quality, simple local fare.

Sawasdee Restaurant 
219 Moo 2, Klong Muang Beach, Nongtalay | Near Sheraton Hotel, Krabi Town, Thailand
 

 

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After that, it was back to more swimming in the warm, clear waters and getting burnt brown in the process! Over the next day, we also managed to rent a kayak to explore the surrounding waters and small islands, some of them filled with mangroves and other interesting fish. It was pretty fun, the waters were calm and clear and the weather held up wonderfully on the first couple of days.

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There are also other activities like jetskiing, parasailing and other sea sports on the other side of Krabi, but we were pretty happy just relaxing on the quiet end of it. I’m frankly not a big fan of the bustle on beach towns.

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It’s really easy to get around by taxi or tuktuks in Krabi, but we were feeling a little adventurous and wanted to try exploring the area on a bike. So here’s my renegade rider for the day whisking me off to dinner in Ao Nang!

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The place Sean found was absolutely delightful. Perched on a hill just about a 30-minute ride away from Klong Muang Beach was the popular Lae Lay Grill. We were there just in time to catch the sunset over the horizon from our vantage point and the weather was cool and comfortable for the casual al fresco dining.

Service was great as well. We were ushered promptly to a seat on the second floor of the sprawling restaurant complex with a magnificent view of gorgeous dusk, and we immediately got down to ordering.

Here’s the gigantic Grilled Seafood Platter of crabs, prawns, squids, mussels and fish. It came with a variety of spicy and savoury sauces for dipping. Everything was so incredibly fresh it didn’t need much accompaniment. This was definitely worth the trip down.

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But on top of that, the other dishes were really good as well. The tom yum soup was spicy and thick filled with fresh, shelled prawns, the pineapple rice was again on point, and we added on some green mango salads and tried this thick spicy and sour soup with coconut milk that I forgot the name of but was really addictive.

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We recommended it to our travel buddies who came back the following evening. They loved the food as well, so give it a shot if you’re in the area!

Lae Lay Grill
89 Moo 3, Ao Nang, Krabi Town 81000, Thailand

Over the next couple of days, we moved over to a hotel on Railay Beach, which is a slightly less populated area between Krabi and Ao Nang. It’s accessible only by boat because of the steep limestone cliffs. It’s a relatively small area and apart from taking boat tours to Phi Phi Islands in the day, it’s a lot of relaxing in small cafes and having cocktails by the beach. It’s not as exciting as the main Ao Nang area, but it’s great for beach bums who want a quiet place to read or just to spend the day snorkelling and swimming around the islands, which we did!

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Island day tours are inexpensive. For about SGD$50 or less, you can do a speedboat tour of up to 7 islands in a day. But packages vary and there are many operators there which keeps the price competitive. We took one around 5 islands and did some swimming, snorkelling and took some beautiful photos of the karst landforms. Generally, it’s not as exciting for snorkelling as Gili Islands in Bali, but we did spot some fish here and there and they swarmed us when we broke loaves of bread out.

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All in all, Krabi is a great spot for an inexpensive, fuss-free break. It’s not as sophisticated or developed for tourism like Bali is, but its waters are gorgeous, I absolutely loved being on the white sandy beaches and the iconic limestone karsts and caves are simply magnificent.

Let me know what your favourite spots on Krabi are? x

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