Krabi Thailand, one of the most relaxing places on the planet. Stunning scenery, fantastic white sand beaches, a coastline with over 200 islands and a jungle covered interior revealing towering limestone cliffs, caves, waterfalls and exotic wildlife.. this was totally where I wanted to park myself for the New Year count down, I merrily told Cumi.
Ah.. Krabi a place we visited several years ago and had fond memories of. The last time we got off the plane, we were greeted by a big Krabi chill. Yes, it was an unexpected ‘autumn climate’ that hit the Krabi residents by surprise. Everyone was wearing 2 layers and we arrived in tourist style t-shirt, shorts and slippers. Yes, we were shivering! This time it was warm and sunny as we arrived mid-morning in our Honda stallion from Trang. Instead of staying in town like the last time, we ventured into Railay Beach to find an accommodation before 2008 year end celebrations, as it would soon be the 31st Dec 2008. Railay is where the action is.
We headed out to Ao Nang Beach to join the rest of the beach bums. While Ciki sunbathed, Cumi explored further down Ao Nang and returned with freshly fried battered fish (some sort of mackerel) and calamari plus cold Leo Beer.
As Ciki needed to achieve the right shade to blend in with the night..,
Ah, Ao Nang – the town itself is small and if you walk fast it takes only 30 minutes to get from one end to the other. Given the impractical geography and sheer cliffs that don’t readily lend themselves to development, this paradise won’t be paved over anytime soon. By road, Ao Nang is just minutes from Krabi Town and Klong Muang Beach and mere seconds to Noppharat Thara Beach. Via the sea, Railay’s beaches including Ton Sai, Poda Island, Chicken Island and many smaller islands are pretty accessible.
We returned to our favourite place in Krabi town to dine – at the pier, where the locals eat. The food here is still as good as the last visit. This is where you have to eat when visiting Krabi. It has a halal and non-halal section. These pier hawker stalls are dope. Although the food doesn’t taste anything like dope, it does send you to a higher state of consciousness that lingers for awhile until all is digested. The craving is always there.
We saw fresh noodles with sweet-savoury fillings being made. Similar to how Hong Kong Chee Cheong Fun / Flat Rice Noodles is made. The cloth is pulled over the steamer, batter is placed on top, follow by the filling and the cook just flips it around then scrapes the cooked noodles off.
Just looked at the oyster-mussel omelet with noodles above, the combined aroma of the ingredients searing from the heated skillet overwhelmed our olfactory senses and had us drooling like dalmatian pups.
Below, Cumi’s favourite pad thai /thai fried chewy rice noodle stall. If you look closely you will see that the cook is down to her last drop of ingredients. That means she can go home with a thick stack of thai notes and watch her favorite Thai drama series! On the side, all the sweet thai desserts found at a single stall. The dessert stall lady practically has a monopoly here.
Then we walked the pier à la romantic stroll and breathe in the Andaman sea breeze mixed with diesel fumes from nearby transport boats and rotting seafood carcasses. Somehow, it wasn’t as bad as Klang (main port of Malaysia).
Basically a commercial ploy to sell more lanterns and have more rubbish falling back to earth so we didn’t participate but just observed.
This time round, the revelry all around the bars seemed a little artificial. Somehow for us, Thailand has lost part of its charm in terms of wild parties, or may be we are getting jaded. The lady boys are still a-hunting, the overly made up ‘less clothing is best’ bar gals still entertaining and the easily smitten pleasure-seekers were still around to lap it up. Not all bars were filled. Different bar bands, DJs or MP3 player still pumped out the same tired old favorites, then dropped in the latest, cheesy euro beat trash, to attract spending tourists. You could walk into one bar then the next to hear same the collection of music in different rotations.
We bar hopped, and then stopped to join in the countdown on the beach. Finally, the resounding yell and shouts and extra din at the stroke of midnight, and it was all over. No fist fights and bomb hoax to mar the merry making or provide us with some juicy news to document. No Thai mat rempits (a title referring to Malaysia’s hell’s angels in souped up scooters that’s pervasive in several Malaysian states) doing stunts. Where have all the flowers gone?
Ciki is always hungry on a holiday so, on to Burger King. There was a very long wait for the burger, so she just had to twitter, sms, stare at her reflection, practice her cat clawing techniques until her burger arrived to calm all those hunger induced antics.
Tomorrow , we packed up and head on south to Haatyai or Hadyai before balik kampung (going home). This was an excellent trip to say the least. A brand new year awaits us and as this post is released, 2010 beckons.