4 Days, 3 Foot Injuries, 2 Hostels, 1 Amazing Weekend
Since coming to Thailand, several people have told me that one of the best places to visit is Krabi, which is several hours south of Bangkok on the "tail" of Thailand. I took their word for it and booked a long weekend away with Kaitlin, Emily and Laura. Luckily, our school had a field trip up to Chiang Rai on Friday December 8th until the following Monday, which was a holiday, so we had ourselves a few days off from school. Emily and Laura only had Monday off and were flying in Friday night (or so we thought), but a 3 day weekend is better than nothing!
So on Thursday Kaitlin and I packed our bags and took a late night flight to Krabi. BTW, if you're ever in Don Mueang Airport in Bangkok...bring a sweatshirt. We learned this the hard way when we were forced to huddle for warmth under our towels and sarongs.
We had booked 3 nights at Slumber Party, which is a very popular party (clearly) hostel, but they didn't have late night check-ins, so Kaitlin and I booked our first night at Pak-Up hostel in Krabi Town.
Bright and early Friday morning, we set out for Railay beach. This is one of, if not the most, popular beaches in Krabi. You can only get to it by long tail boats because of the high limestone rocks that cut it off from the town. As soon as those rocks came into view, our amazing weekend had officially begun.
We spent the day taking too many pictures of the perfect backdrop (sue me), drinking banana smoothies (mostly just me...or only me because I had two and Kaitlin had zero), and getting slowly burned by the sun (my favorite pastime).
For most of the day we were on the west side of the beach, but a couple hours before leaving we headed to the east side to check it out. Almost instantly after getting there we were bummed we hadn't come sooner. It was smaller, less crowded, and had some really cool caves and rock formations.
A couple of guys were jumping off a 10 foot rock which looked like a lot of fun, so I decided to join in and try it out. I've jumped off of rocks/cliffs before in Maine (not in a weird way but in a fun recreational kinda way yk?) so this was pretty normal. The rocks were kinda rough, but I made it up and easily jumped in. However, I didn't know how deep it was, and my foot ended up getting scraped on some sharp rocks down below the water. It took a nice little chunk out of the right side of my left foot, nothing too crazy, but this is where foot injury #1 comes in (see blog title again).
After getting back into town, we checked out of Pak-Up and headed to Slumber Party. We took a 30 minute ride on the back of a Songthaew (pronounced like song tao), and when I say "back" I literally mean standing on the outside of the truck on the metal platform used to hold extra passengers. Again, what's normal in Thailand could be considered crazy anywhere else, but this has quickly become one of my favorite ways to get around. I love standing on the outside with a nice breeze, and the amazing scenery wasn't too bad either. The fact that the driver was going 40 mph down some winding roads was a bit concerning. Either he didn't know we were there or he didn't care (I believe it's the latter), but I'm still alive so it's all good (*nervous laugh*).
Slumber Party is known as being the biggest party hostel in town, and it did not disappoint. I was slightly worried that I wouldn't be able to rally after the beach but the atmosphere and the people who work there, not to mention all the ~free~ food and alcohol, did a good job of getting everyone excited for the night to come. Every other night they host a pub crawl, Friday being one of them, but honestly we had the most fun downstairs at their bar before going out. Their pre-game was pretty on point when it started off with free barbecue followed by drinking games and awesome music.
Unfortunately, Emily and Laura couldn't join us that night because they missed their flight out of Bangkok, but they'd be joining us the following morning. A perfect mai pen rai moment.
Saturday morning was
a bit very rough for me...need to do better with drinking water and also maybe drinking less alcohol, but we'll see. Emily and Laura got in early and we decided to island hop that day. Isn't it nice that I can just say that in a super casual way? Like that's my life right now. CHOOSING to go island hopping. Ugh luv u Thailand.
So we rented out a long tail boat for the afternoon that would take us to two islands and bring us back around 3 pm.
First we headed off to Chicken Island (lol) about 15-20 minutes away and it was basically right out of a postcard. The name really doesn't do it justice. There were very few people on the beach so it felt like we had our own private island. For the record, there were no actual chickens on the island (that I was aware of).
And here is where foot injury #2 comes in. Our boat driver anchored off to the side of the island, so we had to either walk through the water or over some rocks to get to the beach. Regrettably...we chose the water. There were sharp and slippery rocks along the way, and of course, I cut my left foot AGAIN after being in the water only a couple minutes. Once on the beach Laura had to literally pull a piece of rock out of my foot. Luckily, some nice Thai men working there helped me out and cleaned both of my cuts and bandaged me up.
"How many girls does it take to get a rock out of someones foot?"
A couple hours later I limped my way over to the boat and we were off to Poda Island not too far away. Poda was much more crowded and touristy, but it had great views of some limestone rocks in the distance.
Saturday at the hostel was free vodka night (how could it get any better?) with the same fun games and music downstairs. One of the funnest games involved plastic clothes pins that people would try and pin onto your clothing without you noticing. Once they do, they count loudly down from 5 to 1 and if you don't find and remove the pin in that time then you're supposed to finish whatever drink you had in your hand. It was super entertaining but also created a lot of paranoia, as anyone at the bar or with a bucket was an easy target. Basically trust no one.
The next day we slept in and decided to join the hostel on their "secret kayaking tour" where we weren't allowed phones, cameras, or even to know where we were going. Sounds sketchy af I know but again I'm still alive so we good.
This was the perfect day activity, as I didn't need to do much walking (my limping was pretty pathetic) and my foot didn't have to get wet for most of the day (like really I was just becoming a burden on my friends so sorry plz don't hate me).
A big group of us drove to this ~*secret*~ spot which turned out to be a really cool pond that also had some serious swamp vibes. Luckily, we didn't swim in that area, but we paddled through it and then through some tighter spots until it felt like we were seriously in a jungle. Obvs didn't have my camera, so plz enjoy some pics I took from the hostels Facebook page lol.
If you squint you can see my teeny tiny head in the far back left!
We laid low that night, as we wanted to get up bright and early the next morning for our last day in Krabi, so we enjoyed dinner on the beach with a sunset view, one or two drinks at the hostel (how could we not?), and then off to bed.
Monday we planned on taking the long tail boat to Railay where we could chill on the beach for the day. Oh and on our way to Ao Nang beach to get the boat, Kaitlin tripped and twisted her ankle, JUST as my foot was feeling better. Hello foot injury #3.
Luckily she was alright, because before we plopped ourselves on the beach we wanted to hike a trail that we had walked passed on East Railay on Friday. Some friends from Saraburi had suggested it to us before we left, and their description was literally that "you hike up a dirty ass wall with a vintage rope through Jurassic Park" and I shit you not, that was about as accurate as it could have been.
We were expecting to get muddy, since Kaitlin and I had seen people coming back down from the hike before, so we were well prepared. The majority of the hike was up and down muddy parts of the mountain, but there were tons of places to put your feet and grip onto so it was pretty safe (granted, you could have easily slipped and fell, but this is Thailand so no worries). There was also the huge
old af vintage, and unsurprisingly very dirty, rope that was always available to grab ahold of. First we climbed up and around to a viewpoint of the beach below.
Then we walked around and down through the legit jungle towards a little lagoon. This was where the real mud came in as we slid down dirt walls, slipped on rocks, and climbed down bamboo ladders (v unstable but there were tons of people doing it so heh heh it was fine), and eventually we made it to the water. It didn't take us long to climb our way back out, and the total hike took about an hour and a half. It was honestly one of my favorite parts of the whole trip, so I highly recommend doing it if you go to East Railay beach! Start early and it'll be easier with less people on the trail.
The rest of the day was spent lounging on the beach and enjoying the crystal clear waters. So basically, perfection.
Krabi was a dream, and no amount of foot injuries could stop us from having a great weekend. And good news!!! Kaitlin and I were supposed to be teaching for the next two Saturdays, the 16th and 23rd, but we were just informed that they've decided to cancel those classes, so we're free from 6 day work weeks!! Looking forward to the next getaway.
Check out my personal blog for even more posts on weekend trips and what life is like in Thailand: https://danielleinthailandblog.wordpress.com