Thursday, March 13, 2014

Thailand: The Beaches

After Cambodia, we traded in temple hopping for beach hopping.

Thai beaches truly lived up to their reputation.
The water was warm, the sand was like sugar and the weather was perfect.

We stayed at Phu Petra Resort and were upgraded to a poolside villa. Hooray for looking like newlyweds!
It was tucked away in the mountains and was about a 20-minute walk to the beach.

While Phuket gets all of the attention, we opted to stay across the bay in the quieter Krabi.
Ao Nang beach is the perfect launch pad for island hopping.

Want to find monkeys? Find the crowds on the south end of Ao Nang beach.
Beware: if you have food in your hand, the monkeys will climb up you to steal it.

Monkeys can even be found holding up stop lights!
Krabi is a magical place.

Island Hopping

We used Ao Nang beach as a base to island hop. We joined speedboat tours to visit and play at islands each day. Lunch and water was included.
While I am usually against organized tours, there is really no other economical way to visit the islands.
Plus, we LOVED befriending our tour mates.

Warning: copious amounts of pictures with turquoise waters and sun-bleached beaches.
Bamboo Island.
If I had to be shipwrecked, I would want it to be here.
 Water so warm and clear we could see our feet when we were chest deep.
L-R Clockwise: beach posing | incredible bay | snorkeling | jell-o waters

Jumping off the boat to snorkel was a highlight.
I more tumbled off the boat, but you get the idea.

Around the bend from Ao Nang is Railay beach, accessed only by boat.
It is famed for its rock climbing and phallic cave.
We used the beach to relax, eat seafood and sea kayak.

Fancy a little seaside food?
Thai beach version of a food truck. Genius.
I LOVED sea kayaking.
Mostly because Jacob did most of the paddling. :)

How to visit Thai Beaches in 4 short days:

  • Establish a good base and island hop from there. It is too short of a time to be moving to new hotels each night.
  • Bargain! Even if the prices are listed for the island tours, bargain! I showed a little hesitation and the price was initially chopped 30% off.  Don't book at your hotel. It's cheaper at the shops by the beach.
  • Wear sunscreen. The UV index is high. Save your skin.
  • Photography: take a wet sacto safeguard your camera (similar found hereand here). I left my SLR at our hotel and just took our trusty Canon PowerShot . (Also note the hilarious trend of sexy photos at the beach. You know, for posterity.)
  • Talk to everyone you can. We met some amazing people on our tours (Jewish couple from Long Island & besties from NYC: hope our paths cross again!) and at our hotel. This is what truly made our trip magical.
  • Be safe. We saw a lot of people get injured by coral and rocks on certain beaches. Listen to your guide. They aren't kidding.
  • Relax. It's the beach.

If you visit Krabi

See: islands, islands, islands
Eat: Soi Sunset (western end of Ao Nang beach)
Do: rent a sea kayak
Stay: Phu Petra Resort

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