Yes, that's right....I'm talking about "Krabi", the Andaman coastal province that we are familiar with. But today I will tell you small secrets of Krabi. If you are ready, please follow me now!
The first small secret of Krabi that I want to tell you is that you can travel to Krabi in every season. Although many people would think of Krabi only during summer, but believe me, it has a lot to discover even during the monsoon time. As during the rainy season to the beginning of winter, the trees and leaves in Krabi will be lushly green and very refreshing.... In the morning or after rains, there will be a light fog snuggling with the mountain and I have to say that it is very similar to the atmosphere in the North... And this is the origin of the review: Krabi in green season.
I start my mission to find the secret of Krabi with private car as I live in Phuket, only approximately 2 hours and we will arrive there. I'm a little bit envy friends from Bangkok who spend only about an hour with many low cost airlines and they will reach and chill at Krabi, sspecially now that there are so many good promotions... Hmm, in fact, if we are traveling to Krabi during our weekends, we may spend the same amount of money as shopping in Bangkok, hehe.
From Phuket to Krabi is approximately 20 kilometers and before we reach Krabi, we will find these beautiful roads.
This trip to Krabi, I aim to capture the atmosphere and find new experiences. After talking to the local photographers about the beautiful angle for shooting in Krabi, I decided to stay at Klong Muang Beach which is approximately 13 kilometers north to Ao Nang, a familiar beach to many tourists. I plan to stay at Beyond Krabi Resort since it is close to the photography location as recommended by local professional photographers.
But before checking into the hotel, I will stop for a dinner at "Ruen Mai" restaurant which is a famous restaurant in Krabi. It serves delicious authentic southern food that have never failed me. It becomes my favorite restaurant that I have to at least stop by once for my every trip to Krabi...
Previously, this restaurant is located close to downtown but this new one is a bit further out on the way to Shell Cemetery, Ao Nang, Nopparat Thara Beach and other famous beaches including Klong Muang Beach. If you are driving from downtown Krabi, the restaurant will be in a small alley on your right hand side in approximately 2 kilometers further from Klong Jilard Intersection. And if you are coming at night time, you have to carefully look for the sign as it's quite small and you may easily drive pass. Well, let's say if you go and see a big PTT gas station on your left, it means that you already drive pass it, hehe (this is my secret, do not tell anyone as I often drive pass it too, haha).
The sign to the restaurant is a bit small, at night the yellow light will be turned on.
In addition to delicious food, the atmosphere in the restaurant is beautifully decorated with natural materials (I have to admire the owner for selecting the perfect match natural materials). For the menu that I don't want you to miss include Fried Seer Fish in Fish Sauce, Fresh Shrimp Chili Paste (sometimes, it is served with seaweed and fresh vegetable, so yummy), Fried eggs with Bai Liang, Sour Soup with Sea Bass, Fried Shrimp with Shrimp Paste and Sato. And my next secret is, this restaurant offers a refreshing drink that like no other place....mango smoothie... Hmm, you are going to argue with me right? Of how special it could be, it is just mango smoothie. It is special because they didn't use the ripe mangoes but the green mangoes blended with its skin. The taste will have a hit of sour, so so refreshing. If my nutrients knowledge is not too bad, this glass of mango smoothie is giving us quite high in Vitamin C. And if you are not afraid of putting on more weight, you could also try Durian and Sticky Rice as a dessert. This restaurant is using a brown sticky in a mellow taste, not too sweet....OMG....So super delicious!
This is the atmosphere of the restaurant which is decorated in a nature style.
Let's see the menu that I order.
The first menu is Bai Liang Soup, my favorite menu, hehe.
Nam Prik Kung Siab or a Shrimp Paste with a chic bowl, too bad that they didn't have seaweed today T T
The Crab Omelet, a desperate menu, haha.
And this is the drink that I have been talking about... Mango Smoothie.
Deliciously full with our dinner, now let's go straight to the hotel as the sun is about to set and I think the lighting is just rightly beautiful....Once I arrive at the Beyond Krabi Resort, I cannot wait to grab my camera to capture the last light of the day with a white and grey, looking clean color of the lobby immediately. From the view from the lobby, which is a fifth floor of the building, we can overlook to the sea and several Krabi islands in a far distance. The dark blue light from the sky during twilight in contrasting with the lights of the building is gorgeously beautiful, beyond words can describe.
All my photos are taken in RAW and exposure bracketing +, - each for 1 stop so that I can adjust white balance and lighting later on.
Enjoying dinner time too much that I'm almost late for the sunset, hehe.
A little too much clouds but still lucky that it has a beautiful lighting....The island that we see in the closest distance or Koh Kwang is the island that I plan to have my photography shooting.
The lobby on the fifth floor of the hotel has quite a beautiful view.
I stay in a Deluxe Sea View room on the fourth floor with a facing sea view balcony that I can fully enjoy the sea view. To about 200 meters further, it situated Koh Kwang which I have planned to take a sunrise shot tomorrow morning, hehe.
For the room, it is beautifully decorated and clean. The wall on one side is painted with the sea-blue color and on the other side along with the floor is in wooden style, making the room looks warm. The bathroom looks modern with the embossing on the grey wall. Overall, this gives us a seaside romantic feeling.
The atmosphere of my room tonight
The first night of the trip and I ended up working late. The hotel provides 2 set of WIFI passwords for 2 guests in which each password can connect to only one device. Therefore, while I use internet on laptop, I cannot use it on mobile phone. But it's not a big problem as my mobile phone can still receive the internet signal from DTAC☺.
The next morning I wake up early to capture the atmosphere of the sea as intended.
Then I walk pass the breakfast room that still unset (as it's not the breakfast time yet), so I quickly capture the place without the crowds.
Even though the weather is not on my side, I capture the tree standing alone close to Koh Kwang as I wish. For this photo I use filter ND to reduce the light so that I can use low shutter speed and the wave becomes the water looking so soft like this.
This marks my first time using the ND that can reduce exposure by up to 10 stops, but the problem is I bought a model that cannot adjust the light. After putting on the filter, you cannot see anything in the viewfinder as it is so dark. For taking each shot, you will have to focus it before hand and then put on filter. This is making it quite complicated. So if you are looking for this kind of filter, I really recommend you to get the model that can adjust the light as I think it will be much more convenient for photo shooting.
The morning swimming pool atmosphere
After capturing some morning shots, I go for breakfast before touring the islands with a tour. The breakfast room is on the ground floor adjacent to the swimming pool. We can also have a sea view while enjoying our breakfast. The breakfast here is a buffet with a moderate line of food. What I like the most is that they use a good quality of raw materials. I specially like the boiled eggs, and here you can choose to boil 3, 5, or 8 minutes, totally depending on your preferences, hehe.
I really don't want to tell you that although there's many options for breakfast, in fact, I just eat the similar menu every time I stay at any hotel. And this is also why I can tell that this hotel uses a better quality of raw materials than other hotels of the same level.
Buffet line of the hotel
I"m so shy. I don't want to post my regular menu for breakfast when I travel...
Fresh latte coffee
After the breakfast, it is just the time that the tour comes pick us up for the islands tour... And my next secret is that the nearby interesting islands that we can go on one day trip is not only limited to Koh Boda or Talay Waek, Moo Koh Hong is also another interesting island to travel to.
If you choose to go visit Talay Waek which is a phenomenon of the sea gradually separated by white sand and limestone beach that will appear to amazingly connect Koh Kai, Koh Tub, and Koh Mo Khao together at low tide. Thus, it becomes the famous Unseen Thailand tourist destination....Another secret of Talay Waek that you might not be aware of yet is that the ideal time to visit is in the morning of 8-10 days before full moon or 5-7 days after the full moon according to the Moon's Phases. In those days, the water will be in low tide, especially before 9 a.m. when the tourists are not yet much so you can enjoy the Talay Waek without having to go though thousands of people. In fact, different day will cause different low tide but I think you meet the least crowds in the morning. But if you really have no choice, you can ask the boat driver as of when you can clearly see the phenomenon of Talay Waek....In fact, the water will be in its lowest tide during the full moon to two days after, but it will happen in the evening time which might be more suitable to capture the sunset moment instead of the bright day view.
Talay Waek on a clear day, another greatest place of Unseen Thailand in Krabi.
After capturing beautiful photos from Talay Waek, please also do not forget to capture some good shots from Koh Poda as the water is so crystal clear.
If the budget allows, I think hiring the entire boat is also interesting. It is 1,700 THB for half day and if it is shared by 4-5 people, I think it's worth the trip as we need not to wait and we can ask the driver to stop at wherever we wish.
This set of photos was the photos I took when I came to Krabi on the previous trip in August. The advantage of traveling during green season is that in the good weather day, the sky is so clear that it could exceed the sky in the summer. As in the summer, although it has no rain but the sky may not be as bright. For this trip, I choose to travel to Moo Koh Hong by getting on speed boat from Nopparat Thara Beach Pier.
It's time to get on speed boat.
It takes approximately 40 minutes and we will arrive at Koh Hong. The first stop is Ao Hong or Talay Nai, a shallow emerald lake. The narrow cliff is the only entrance. Inside is the lake surrounded by mountains and mangrove on one side of the bay. We can only visit here during the high tide, otherwise, the boat will not be able to ship in.
The atmosphere inside Ao Hong or Talay Nai
The only entrance to Talay Nai
Mangrove in the Ao Hong
After that, the boat takes us to Pak Bia island which has a narrow beach and shady place for sitting and relaxing. You can also play in the water if you like. But since it starts to drizzle, I need to stop taking photos with my professional camera and bringing out the Go Pro with a waterproof case one.
Drizzle time at Pak Bia Beach
Only a few of above photos are taken by a big camera, the rest are taken with Go Pro. But mostly I take a VDO so didn't get to show them here.
Our next stop is Koh Lao Lading or the Paradise Island. It is a small bay with an emerald water and whitest sand and that explains why it was named Paradise Island. In addition to Siamese Tigerfish that we normally see, there are tens of thousands of other small fish swimming around and this amazed the tourists greatly, especially when they start to jump over the water. This is so an amazing view and it's also my very first time to have such a close contact with them. I'm also very lucky that I have a camera that can capture the under water view as well so that I can have a full record of my new experience....Another secret that I want to tell you is that do not try to chase them in order to let them jump, they will not be scared of you. They jump only because the big fish are attacking so that they need to jump for survival.
The atmosphere at Koh Lao Lading
Simple toy on the island
Fish ... the hero of this island
Tourists are having so great time in snorkeling in a shallow water here.
And the last stop of the tour is the front beach of Koh Hong. It is a beach that connects two bays in a W shape. This beach is an ideal place for swimming or simply resting under the shady trees are also equally enjoyable.
The passage walking to the island
Even on the unclear sky day, Koh Hong is still beautiful in a different refreshing fashion.
We farewell to our one day trip at Mo Koh Hong at around 14.00 p.m. and takes approximately 45 minutes back to the shore. Since there's still time left before the sunset, so I take more shots of the resort as well as try their food. It is a Thai food which is called Fried Salmon with Sato and a Western menu of Pork Shop before ending the meal with dessert of fresh mango and tiramisu cake.... I have to say in addition to good looking, the food is also tasty... The big plate of steak is only left with bones, haha.
The dinner at Beyond Krabi Resort is looking good and tasty, hehe.
The evening time at Koh Kwang, close to our resort
Let's capture the evening atmosphere at the hotel
The next morning, I have a program to wake up early to capture another mysterious tourist place that has yet been a well known destination for tourists. It is a big lake with large limestone mountains as a backdrop, making this place another speechless beautiful place for sunrise photo shooting. Oh, I forgot to tell you that this place is called "Nong Talay". The entrance is close to where you would go for Klong Muang Beach. It is only approximately 15 minutes drive from the hotel. Since this place has yet promoted as an official tourist place, there's no directional sign and you must find the location for photo shooting yourself. I'm lucky that I know the local photographer who are one of the first to publicize the photos of Nong Talay, so I must not miss to see this beauty and take some shots myself.
The beauty of "Nong Talay" is so classically beautiful and not any less than Pang Ung from Mae Hong Son.
Another special thing about Nong Talay is that you will have a 87.6354% chance to come across light mist floating over the water surface in the early morning, just like that of Pang Ung. In short, you will have a very high chance in seeing the mist without having to wait for the winter. If you are lucky, you might see the fog from the top of the mountain which will make it to the breathtaking level... That percentage of chance, I just make it up from asking the locals who come here and see the fog every time. I make it not a 100% in case the mist didn't come and I could got blamed, haha.
Today I have a program to travel to Railay Beach, but this time I mean to also climb the cliff. Actually, Railay is the most famous climbing spot in Thailand but I also don't understand why not so many people are interested in doing it. So I volunteer to try it out. I have another secret to tell you, I have never climbed before and a bit scared of the height. Well, I think only 2-3 hours of climbing, it would be easy and not too bad.
I get on the boat at Ao Nam Mao Pier which is the closest pier to Railay Beach.
The cliff, an important symbol of Railay.
Railay Pier atmosphere, it is located on the opposite site to Suay Beach and decorated with mangrove line, looking differently beautiful.
The front beach is very suitable for swimming but with this cloudy sky, I think climbing would be more fun and it's also not hot.
This climbing activity, I didn't do it alone but accompanied by 2 girls. We are taught by a team from Railay Rock Climbing Shop.... We start the training by learning to tie the knots between us and the climbing equipment. Then, I will need to be an assistant for the instructor to take the rope up to mark the place where we will practice rh climbing. We need to learn to give out the rope, make the rope tie and slowly release it so that the instructor can come back down. I think this is a very important step as it seems like the instructor has put his live with me. So I get a bit nervous as I'm afraid that I might make him fall. However, I get more nervous when I have to climb it myself. At first, we will practice the climbing at the height of 8 meters (approximately two-story building) which can bring out some sweat and great adventure.
The passage to climbing training spot
This is the cliff that we will be climbing, Oh no!!! how comes it is so high???
The first training starts at 8 meters.... I have the photos of the two girls who also have never climbed before but can reach the top. I want to tell you that even if with no experience, but with enough determination, we can also climb!
It's really unbelievable right? But we really can do it.
But when we face our second training at the height of 12 meters and we cannot see where to place our feet, it makes me really scared. But I'm afraid to lose face more, so I climb till the destination which is very worthwhile. The view up there is so beautiful and it's even more impressive when we are the one climbing up here, a great experience indeed.
Previous photo is just an introduction, now it is a 12 meter height and I'm a photographer, as usual (as when I climbed, they didn't take photos for me, hehe).
The most fun moment is when you are hanging down just like in the movie.
Oh, I almost forgot to tell you that climbing during this season, you will get an advantage of the sun is not too hot so you won't get too exhausted or tired from the sun. All you need is a good leg strength and a fighting heart, and you can conquer it. For a half day climbing activity, it is 800 THB.
On the way back from Railay, the water is in the low tide so I get the opportunity to see how the resort take their guests from the pier. I think it looks quite interesting, so here I share it with you guys.
I think the atmosphere of the low tide water is also beautiful.
Or even when the rain is about to fall, we also can have a beautiful shot. It's not necessarily to always have a clear sky with a bright sun.
From Railey, I go back into Krabi to find a delicious coffee and cake at Na Napa shop. Here, in addition to yummy coffee, the cake is also soft, fragrant, and delicious as it was made with fresh butter. But as far as I know, this shop only opens from Friday-Sunday (the owner is so having his own style, haha). However, I haven't asked for a long time of whether they still only open three days a week or more. This trip, I also forgot to ask. The shop is located on the main road closed to Chao Fah Pier.
The so delicious cake
That evening before returning back to Phuket, I have the dinner at Lae Lay Grill. It is located at Ao Nang and I have never tried it before. The restaurant is decorated in a very artistic style. They applied the waste materials to decorate the wall. The view is spectacular as you can clearly see Ao Nang and the mountain on the North side of Krabi. The menu here is quite different, not really look like other places. Let's see what I have for my dinner.
Soft Crab with Salt and Pepper
Blue Crab with Salted Eggs
Szechuan Soup (Chef Recommendation)
This menu is called Snow White.
Deep Fried Fish with Fish Sauce
The food here is very delicious. No wonder why there are so many tourists here, both Thai and foreigners. I'm still wondering why I have never heard of it before.....And the price is also reasonable, not cheap but also not exceedingly expensive. If you want a delicious food, great atmosphere, beautiful view, I think this restaurant is a good choice.
Well, I will have to end this review with this food. And thank you very much everyone for coming to hear my small secrets about Krabi. In fact, Krabi still has many more interesting destinations, especially during the green season in which we can escape from the sea to visit waterfalls, Klong Song Nam or the emerald lake. These are all beautiful places. If I have a chance, I would certainly share the beautiful photos as well as interesting information to you guys.
Lastly, a big thank to the Tourism Authority of Thailand in Krabi for facilitating me to meet such a great experience in Krabi this time.