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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Just another day in Paradise;Krabi..-Apr2011-


After waiting for nearly 7 months (and after cancelling our trip way back in Oct 2010), I am so going to Krabi next week!Weehaa! And it's also good to know that I am going there when the raining season is already over! Fyi, Krabi peak season starts from Jan till Apr and low season starts from May till Dec (so you should expect a price spike in accommodation, food,etc)


Accommodation..I have yet to decide where should I stay in Krabi, and I think I should list down everything first so that I can slowly review the pros and cons and make my own conclusion later..:P..

First, one should already decide which area that they prefer to stay in. I have read couple of posts from other bloggers saying Krabi Town is preferred for budget travellers since the price (of food, accommodation, etc) are cheaper there, and there's a pier nearby in order for one to go to Koh Lanta, Railay, Ao Nang, etc.

Ao Nang is always the first choice (since Ao Nang has several famous beaches), so I am guessing I should book a hotel/hostel in Ao Nang area. Ao Nang beach must be like "Kuta Beach" of  Krabi, I guess. We are travelling on budget, but we still want to have fun in Krabi, so I have looked through all accommodation in Krabi with price range RM200 and below/night.

Simple conversion for your info RM10 = 100baht (3.3USD)

So here goes, top 10 TFC's recommended hotels/resorts/guesthouses for you to consider when you are in Krabi (after some serious reviews/blogs reading for the past 3 days..:P)
     
    City view room - photo taken from @Krabi Pura link
  •  @Krabi Pura, 256 Uttharakit Road Paknum, Muang, Krabi Town - among the top most recommended budget hotel in Krabi Town area. Its located just beside the Traffic Police Station along Uttharakit Road. All rooms are equipped with private bathrooms, air conditioning and hot/cold shower. Amazingly 90% reviewers agreed that this place is spotless clean, and offers great service. Nearby attractions: Night Market at Chao Fa Pier, "Walking Street", Thara Park, markets, eateries, public transportations. Check out this website http://atkrabipura.multiply.com/journal . Price range: 600 - 1200 baht
     
    Hotel entrance - photo taken from Baan Sabaidee website
  • Baan Sabaidee - a small boutique guesthouse in Krabi Town. Modern design rooms and all of their rooms are equipped with private bathrooms and fast internet wi-fi access at lobby area. Nearby attrractions: Vogue Krabi shopping centre, Krabi town. Details/photos at www.baansabaidee.com. Price range: 550baht/nite. Additional 100baht for breakfast.


Dream Garden Hostel

  • Dream Garden Hostel, Ao Nang - located 250m (walking distance) away from Ao Nang beach, also short walking distance to shops (exactly in front of SevenElevan), but there is a nearby club which open their business at night, so you would have to bear with the noises. Overall, great location, and also cheap. Check out sawadee.com for details. Price range: 900 - 1200baht (during peak season) 

  • Pan Beach Bungalow -is a natural place where you can relax, but shopping centers, restaurants, etc are not within vicinity. Offers affordable wooden Thai-style bungalows and located on a secluded beach (15-minute boat ride from Noppharat Thara Beach and National Marine Park). Please note that there is no electricity provided from 6pm to 6am (which means no aircon, no TV), and there's no flush in the toilet. Price range: 750baht


Coco Nori - front view
  • Coco Nari Sea Resort, Klong Muong Beach - a small resort located 10mins from Ao Nang beach centre and surrounded by pristine rainforest and limestone mountain. You'll be worried since it is quite far town, but worry no more since they have free shuttles service to Ao Nang beach centre (following certain time schedule). All of their rooms are uniquely designed, and you'll love each one of it. Nearby attractions: Klong Muang Beach, Ao Nang Beach Center (10mins away), Elephant Trekking Area (500m).Check their cool website at http://www.krabicoconori.com/how.html.Price range: 900 - 1500baht
  • Baan Andaman Bed and Breakfast - deluxe room
  • Baan Andaman - small hotel located in Krabi Town, also sister hotel to Baan Sabaidee (more expensive since they offer extra facilities and better looking rooms/hotels).Nearby attractions: walking distance to the city's night life, including the Krabi river, the finest park, local markets, Post office, Krabi immigration office , City hall and Krabi pier to Railay Beach,  Phi Phi islands, Lanta island and a minute walk close by you to local buses stop to Ao Nang beach/bus station or Krabi international airport. Find their details/photos at http://www.krabi-baanandaman.com/. Price range: 1000 - 2200baht

Haleeva Sunshine - front view

  • Haleeva Sushine Resort, 445 M.2 Ao Nang, Muang, Ao Nang - Beautiful resort located near Ao Nang beach. There is a couple of food stalls nearby so dont forget to try out the local foods and there is also a mosque nearby, so I am guessing its very easy to find "halal" food.  Nearby attractions: Ao Nang Beach (10mins) or 20baht via Tuk Tuk. Check out http://www.haleeva.com/ for details/photo gallery. Price range :1270 - 2500baht at agoda



Areetara room
  • Areetara Resort , 177 Moo 3, Aonang Soi 8 Rd, Aonang, Muang, Ao Nang - located on the popular Nopparattara Beach which is just 150m away from the beach and also provides modern accommodation with plentiful comforts and luxuries. Details at http://www.areetararesortkrabi.com/.Nearby.Nearby attractions:  10 minutes walk to Aonang center and shopping area,  Price range: 1540 - 2400baht at agoda

     
    Aonang Paradise Resort (photo taken from Aonang Paradise Resort and LongStay website)
  • Aonang Paradise Beach Resort - located very near to Ao Nang beach (400m), and and close to the many tourist facilities located in this area. Close to Mcdonald, Seven Elevan, etc.Price range: 1700 - 2500baht



The Beach Boutique Hotel

  • The Beach Boutique Hotel - located in peaceful, unspoilt beach of Had Yao, its not a choice for those who wants to be close to the activities, restaurants, shopping malls, etc. But the setting, the rooms, the hotels are designed so nice, that they suit honeymooners. Check out this website http://www.thebeachboutiqueresort.com/. Price range: 2120 - 3900baht
I've tried to book Baan Sabaidee (the cheapest but most stylish of all) but unfortunately the rooms were fully booked, so I got to decide on which one should I book now. I guess I should find something close to the restaurants, activities, shopping centre rather than being away from the crowd this time since we are new to the island of Krabi. I would highly recommend "The Beach Boutique Resort"  for honeymooners and I just hope there'll be next time for me so I can stay in this hotel (I am pretty convinced with the reviews, but it's not a choice for first timer since it's quite far from beach centre, n its also hard for me to convince my husband too though)...Sigh~

There are couple of top guesthouses recommended by krabiguesthouses.com which are the Baan Toh Guesthouse (http://krabiguesthouses.com/Baan_To_Guesthouse.php and Greentea guesthouse (http://krabiguesthouses.com/Green_Tea_Guesthouse.php) with price as low as 250baht!!But there's not much reviews made available, therefore I cannot consider these, and no, you don't go backpack to places like Krabi and Phuket if you are there for only two days!!

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Just got back from Krabi this afternoon, and I am already feeling like going there again..haha.. Well, if you were to compare between Phuket, and Krabi , I would personally prefer Phuket for the fact that Phuket offers wider range of activities. Phuket is for the singles, friends and those who crave for entertainment, and Krabi is more family-friendly;made special for kids and elderly, honeymooners and backpackers (since it is cheaper). Dont worry, whatever you'll find in Krabi, you'll find in Phuket too. So, you if you were to choose, either one is ok!

When you are in Krabi, it is better to stay in Ao Nang area, well, if you wanna be close to the beaches and those beautiful islands of Krabi! Ao Nang has several famous beaches which inlude Railey east and west and offshore islands such as Ko Poda, Ko Mo Ko Kai and Ko Thap (these places can be reached by a longtail  rented boat from Ao Nang). The famous Koh Phi Phi can be reached from either Krabi or Phuket, but it's lots closer to Krabi. But Ao Nang area is rather expensive if you were to compare to Krabi Town.

Transportation....There's always a tuk-tuk (motorcyle taxi), converted pick-up trucks, taxi or shuttle bus to get you almost anywhere (well, not really anywhere though, only to famous hot spots..:P)

My personal recommendation? Rent a motorbike, and explore Krabi totally in your own way!!For rental as low as 200baht per day, you'll be surprised with what Krabi can offer you! (Got no time to try that this time around, maybe next time when we wanna go backpack in Krabi!)
 

  •  Shuttle Bus
Airport - Krabi Town: 90baht
Airport - Ao Nang: 150baht


  • Taxi
Airport - Krabi Town: 400baht 
Airport - Ao Nang: 600baht


  • Longtail Boat 
Rental full day - 2600baht
Rental half day - 1700baht
Transfer to Railay Beach, Phra Nang and Krabi town (Average 20-30baht depending on your destination)

Self-explained..:P



  • Motorcycle Taxi
Transfer around Ao Nang (20 - 40baht)

We took a shuttle bus to Ao Nang from Krabi International Aiport, as it is cheaper (and since we didnt really bring a big luggage with us), and it took us around 45minutes to reach Ao Nang beach centre

Well, we've finally decided to stay in "Aonang Paradise Resort" two days before we visited Krabi. We have been admiring boutique hotels since the day we went to Kuta Seaview, Bali. And honestly, I trust all the reviewers in TripAdvisor, and the google images too!The reviewers have been saying nice things about AP except the fact that there's a lot of mosquitoes in the resort that might disturb your night (and so we've prepared ourselves with mosquito repellent..LOL).

View from Deluxe Premium Cliff View room
With jazz songs playing on background (I love jazz!!!), tall coconut trees (not the one usually found in Malaysia), scenic limestone cliff and beautiful landscape surrounding the resort, I can say that this is a 90% close to being a paradise!We straightly fell in love with this place the moment we stepped in!

Greeted with cold grape juice on a hot sunny weather, and nice warm smile from the staff, we knew that this stay gonna be awesome! If you have extra cash, stay in their Deluxe Premium Cliff View as it is facing the true nature (we chose superior just because it is the cheapest..haha). This hotel is not similar to those compartmentalized hotel rooms. All rooms in AP are treated like small houses. Everyone get their own house, even though it is small!  And it is also conveniently located near Ao Nang beach centre, and there's plenty of good restaurants (halal/non-halal) and shophouses surrounding it. It's approximately only 15mins walking distance to the beach (20-40baht if you wanna take Tuk-Tuk that passes by every 5 minutes)!

The weather has been very very dear to us. There's a rain shower the moment we arrived (and actually it has been a week of heavy rains before), but it went on for less than an hour. After changing our clothes, we went to have an evening stroll at the Ao Nang beach centre. There's a lot of things you can find in Ao Nang beach centre; shophouses, tour services, restaurants, pier (for transfer to islands, beaches), hotels, guesthouses, McD, Starbuck, Subway, Haagen Dasz, etc

And there's a night market just 5 minutes away from Ao Nang Paradise (near McD), every Friday to Sunday, 6.00pm - 12.00am where they sell goods; clothes, souvenirs, foods, etc. And try those Thai food easily found in the market. Dont worry as most of them are selling halal food. One can get Pad Thai or Tom Yam Koong for only 40baht!! We've been lucky because we visited Krabi during weekend, so this night market trip is not to be missed! (I didnt shop that much, I've been saving for my trip to Korea..:P)

There's a painting shop (next to the Haagen Dasz) that we found near the beachfront, which offers a very very interesting potrait painting. Couldnt share the photo with you now, let's wait until our order has arrived! For 2300baht per canvas, I am really sure, you wont regret having them to paint your face!

That's a lot of tour services you can find in Ao Nang, so you dont have to plan ahead, but there's a lot more in Phuket though (I know, I know, I love Phuket more, what to do!)..haha..Top 5 things to do in Krabi, that I personally recommend;

 1) Island hopping;

  • Phi-phi Island trip (that includes Maya Bay, etc). Phi Phi island group is composed of two rocky, tree-covered islets Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Le. The islands are famous as the location for the movie "The Beach". So ya, its pretty amazing!! Phi Phi island can also be reached from Phuket, but it is much closer from Krabi, so dont ever ever miss this trip
  • The Four Islands: Chicken ,Tup and Poda island trip and Phra Nang Bay. Planned to cover these islands, as it is said as the most beautiful strip sands in the world, but we chose Hong instead since snorkelling is not the only activity we're looking forward for
  • Hong Island trip, part of Krabi Marine National Park and housed many beautiful lagoons. Sea kayaking is also offered as part of the trip with some additional price


Sea kayaking @ Hong Island
2) Kayaking; the ultimate way to explore vast and peaceful mangrove-lined canyon or to enjoy spectacular limestones cliffs and caves of Krabi

3) Rock Climbing; quite famous in Railay and TonSai beach, since Krabi is known as one of the best place in the world for this kind of activity. There is always something to challenge everyone, from the professional solo climber to the complete beginner

4) Cliff Diving; The most popular place for some Krabi cliff diving is on the Phi Phi islands. Cliff jumping on Phi Phi island can be done by the local residents and the tourists with the courage to jump from high cliffs into the sea. This is not a sport for the faint of heart.

5) or Just enjoy the beaches

me @ Ao Nang beach
sunset @ Ao Nang beach
  • Ao Nang Beach - Aonang is located approximately 20 kilometers from the town of Krabi. A large bay with scenic beaches and 83 small islands. Aonang has several famous beaches which include East, West Railay and Tham Phra Nang.

  • Nopparat Tara Beach -The uncrowded beach lined with pine trees and coconut groves, is where the park headquarters is situated.

  • Fossils Shell Beach or Susan Hoi - Susan Hoi features a slab farmed from a huge number of embedded various types of molluscs which can be dated to approximately 40 million years ago.

  • Railay Beach -Lined with limestone cliffs and golden sand, Railay Beach is just a ten minute boat ride from Ao Nang. This is one part of the Kingdom which has not allowed itself to be over-run with big, brash resorts.Railay Beach is truly a paradise and the natural beauty surrounding the bay is unrivalled in Thailand. To escape the ever-growing crowds in Ao Nang or Phi-Phi, Railay is perfect.
We didnt spend much time outside, since we wanted to enjoy Paradise; swimming in Paradise Pool, chill out at Sea Love cafe and dine at Bird of Paradise Restaurant.

We chose to spend our day two in Krabi by taking island hopping trip that also includes sea kayaking for only 1100baht!! (That way we can kill two birds with one stone!) We've picked Hong Island for a simple reason; none of other island hopping trips include sea kayaking! We've planned to conquer Chicken, Tup and Poda island but yeah, maybe next time. Well, its totally worth it!The crystal clear water and tranquil surrounding in Paradise island, green lagoon and scenic limestones caves in Hong Island, and colorful sea creatures in Daeng island (or Red Rock island), you'll soon realize, you're already in Paradise!!Kate honeymoon bai~

We chose Krabi Kingdom as a tour provider, as it's highly recommended by the locals. Always and always choose longtail boat trip! I've been in a speedboat before, and I would say longtail boat trip is much more interesting. Yeah, I know, longtail boat will add 15-20mins additional for your trip, but why bother being in a rush,when you want to enjoy paradise?
Longtail boat by Krabi Kingdom

The trip ended at 4pm in the afternoon, and we went straight to hotel, to take shower, and to just enjoy our afternoon at the Paradise before decided that we should eat out that night. In Ao Nang Paradise, one should also try their in-room dining since the food is cheap too (Average of 100baht per meal)

Food...Do not worry as there's wide variety of foods you can find in Krabi; from east to west, you'll be surprised on how much choices you have!And it's lots cheaper if you compared with Phuket (refer to my previous post on Phuket). Seafood is a must-try. There's a small alley next to the second pier (if you walk straight from AP), which housed more than 5 beachfront seafood restaurants.

Ban Lay Thai Seafood Restaurant is highly recommended! Owned by a local Thai named Harun, who is very friendly and accommodative, this restaurant location is so perfect for sunset viewing at Ao Nang beach, and the food is good too!! And hey, the price is not that expensive too. Seafood dinner for two would only costs you 700baht!Well, tell me if thats not cheap enough. Plus, you got to see the perfect sunset view!

Harun is not only owning the place, he's also owns a couple of other businesses too; tour services, transportation, etc. He even gave us good discounts for taxi ride from Ao Nang to Airport. He speaks fluent Malay, and even has that Malay good looks as well, hahaha..

I would recommend you to contact Harun once you're in Krabi, to ask for anything, and I'm sure he'll give good discounts too! Harun Ban Lay 084 407 2159


Know what? I should give you some price reference for your budgeting purposes



  • Longtail boat island tour : 500 - 800baht (per person)
  • Thai one-dish meal in local restaurant: 150baht (per person)
  • Thai one-dish meal - hawker : 40baht (per meal)
  • 4WD car rental (one day, per car) : around 1200baht
  • One litre of petrol (super): around 30baht
  • Moto-taxi around Ao Nang :around 20baht (per person)
  • Half-day kayaking tour : 600-800baht (per person)
  • Krabi souvenir t-shirt: 150-250baht
  • Thai silk scarf: 250 - 350baht
  • Havaianas beach sandals: 150 - 250baht 

Hei ya, got to continue writing later, going to sleep now....................TTYL~
Seafood dinner at Ao Nang beachfront

Our simple dinner; Sweet sour fish, chilli squid, seafood tomyam

me n hubs at Ao Nang beach


me before taking a longtail boat ride to Paradise!



9 comments:

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  6. hi, i will go 4d3n trip at Krabi in peak session. should i book a package or i just can go find at krabi.. kindly please advise.. thanks..

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  7. Hi there, to be honest, I've never been to Krabi during peak season, but from my experience visiting Phuket during both peak & off peak season, all I can see is a price difference on the tour packages , but no issue on limited tours/activities. I have never pre-booked any packages for my trips to Thailand (Phuket and Krabi) due to the fact that there's a lot of tour booths around. If you dont have any budget constraint and travelling with family, you can just pre-book one activity on the web, just to be sure (but usually the price is much more expensive), and find the rest in Krabi.

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  8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  9. Hi..may i know more details regarding the car rental like the company name,drive inclusine/exclusive and etc? Thank you in advance :)

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