bookmark_borderIn Krabi – The Phi Phi Islands Tour

Rock climbing. Mountain biking. Kayaking. Sight seeing. These are a few activities you can do when you are in Krabi, Thailand. In fact, there is something for everyone regardless of age and gender. Despite being on the mainland of Thailand, one of the famous and must-do activities in Krabi is to go for island hopping. After all, Krabi is a coastal province of Thailand.

Chicken Island

Chicken Island

With more than dozens of islands around the Andaman Sea, there are various types of island hopping (also known as island touring) services available for tourists to choose from. But having said that, not all of those islands are readily available for tourist to step their feet on because most of them are still uninhabited.

Clear Waters

The most notable and common tours are The Four Islands, Hong Islands and The Phi Phi Islands. Not all of them visit the same islands as some tends to overlap one another. And hence, it’s up to tourist’s choice to choose which island they are interested in with some offering different activities such as rock climbing and/or snorkelling.

Mountains at Maya Island

There are two modes of transportation for said tours; longtail or speedboat. Price may vary from one another so as the service providers. Therefore, it’s best for you look around for good deals as some tour agents tend to offer high rates.

Viking Cave

Viking Cave

These islands tours are usually considered as full day tour that could last up to 8 hours. It normally starts in the morning around 8AM and ends in late afternoon around 4PM. Included in the package, tour agents will pick its customers from their respective hotels before proceeding to nearby docking station for boarding (the boats).

Bamboo Island

Bamboo Island

You are advised to bring along a towel and sun block lotions as you will be sun bathing and sea dipping most of the time. It’s best to leave your personal belongings such as mobilephone, passport, and wallet in the hotel room to reduce risk being submerged into the sea.

Warning Sign at Bamboo Island

That said, bring some small change (cash) along for emergency use or if you want to purchase something in Ko Phi Phi Don. The ride can be bumpy especially if you are on a speedboat and while on idle in the middle of the sea, those who are prone to seasick might not enjoy that much. Unlimited soft drinks and mineral waters are provided throughout the tour while fresh fruits will be served towards the end of the tour.

Bamboo Island

Bamboo Island

As I mentioned early, different tour will stop at different islands. The photos shown in this post were taken during The Phi Phi Islands tour. I couldn’t confirm whether every tour agent uses the same route but the one that I was on bypassed quite a few islands along the way for sight seeing.

National Reserve Park at Maya Island

Islands such as Chicken Island, Monkey Island and Viking Cave are viewed from a far for photo taking session while Bamboo Island, Maya Island and Ko Phi Phi Don (island) are the ones that island hoppers stop over for a certain period of time to enjoy thoroughly.

Monkey Island

The sight of white sandy beaches, the touch of crystal clear sea water and the feel of cool breeze, which are commonly found on these unspoiled islands, are a perfect combination to conjure a feeling of being in paradise. With given ample amount of time, one gets to sun bathing, snorkelling in crystal clear water, or laze under the shade of a tree at the beach side and let the sea breeze and sounds of pounding waves soak you into relaxation mode.

Monkeys

Monkey Island

Besides that, island hoppers will be given a chance to snorkel in the middle of the sea. It’s a great experience for snorkelers as they get to view at the beautiful corals found few feet beneath the surface as well as to fool around with the tiny colourful fishes.

Pileh Lagoon

Pileh Lagoon

Upon entering Pileh Lagoon, if that’s if your tour agent brings you there, all one needs to do is sit back, relax and enjoy the breathtaking view of the rock formations surrounding the lagoon with crystal clear water beneath it.

Maya Island

Maya Island

Various stories of histories of the islands are told through the tour. For example, I was told that before The Beach movie was out on the silver screen, Maya beach was relatively quiet with very little tourists knew about it.

Camping Site at Maya Island

Camping Site

But in the year 2000 when the movie was shown, the little quiet island has changed into full blown hot spot with herds of tourists poured in daily to check it out. But little did they know that 20% of the movie was shot in the island itself while the rest was shot somewhere else.

Maya Island

Maya Beach

With a fee (I think), campers can actually stay in the national park on the (Maya) island for a night or so as there are tents set up readily available for them to use.

Ko Phi Phi Don

Ko Phi Phi Don

Or the story of sailors and captains of yester-decades took shelter inside of Viking Cave during treacherous weather and now, it became the main area for harvesting bird nests where Singapore is their main importer for such exquisite delicacies.

Concrete Hut at Ko Phi Phi Don

Lunch at Ko Phi Phi Don

Ko Phi Phi Don is the final stop of the tour whereby lunch is served in one of those concrete huts. For the uninitiated, Ko Phi Phi Don is the main inhabited island of the group and it also was the worst hit area when the deadly tsunami struck both sides of the narrow spur on 26 December 2004. Massive clean up as well as reconstructions have been conducted over the years but there are still signs of the carnage left by the tsunami.

Ko Phi Phi Don

Ko Phi Phi Don

Do take a scroll along the beach after you are done with your lunch. There are small stalls selling souvenirs like t-shirts or flip-flops or if you are still hungry, there are hawker stalls selling finger food and snacks at affordable rate. For those who love fresh coconut water, do check out the stall located along the main beach that sells fresh chilled coconuts for 40 Baht.

Ko Phi Phi Don

Ko Phi Phi Don

Overall, Phi Phi Islands Tour is a must for those who have yet to explore / view the group of beautiful islands. I’m not here to say the remaining tours are bad and pale in comparison. The other tours are equally good as well.

Ko Phi Phi Don

Ko Phi Phi Don

But from what I read and experienced, Phi Phi Islands tour is probably the best bang for the buck. The hours maybe long since you are out in morning and back to hotel in the late afternoon but those are easily forgotten after all the exploring and viewing of beautiful serene islands one after another. As mentioned, rates (price) may vary from one tour agency to another but it should lingers around 1200 Baht per person. A word of advice for those who are prone to seasickness. You might suffer as the sea might get a little rough at times. Hence, precautionary steps such as taking anti-seasickness/nausea medication before the tour are recommended.

bookmark_borderIn Krabi – Hawker Stalls Street Food

With tourists flocking along the popular street of Ao Nang day and night, it’s no surprise to see that the street is being peppered with restaurants serving foreign cuisines. Cuisines such as Italian, Swedish, Mexican, Indian and etc. can usually be found every 100 metres (or less) away from one another.

Hawker Stall, Krabi

However, this post isn’t about these swanky restaurants. As the title states, it is about hawker stalls. The ones that can be found every nook and corner of the street selling unpretentious simple affordable local food such as fried rice, noodles and finger foods. The ones that make most people think twice about dining at the roadside especially those who are hygiene freaks.

Hawker Stall, Krabi

Although there are only a handful of them, it is not difficult to spot them. They are usually opened for business during the day and/or night. The choices of food maybe a lot but they are more or less the same genre.

Hawker Stall, Krabi

Despite their shabby uninviting appearance, there’s nothing to be afraid of as they are quite friendly as long as you get your orders clear and precise. Menus (in English) are usually placed at the front of their stalls for customers’ reference.

With a mere 100 Baht, it is sufficient to get you a decent dish to fill your stomach, a drink to quench your thirst and some snack food to munch while walking. I kid you not.

Garlic Chicken Rice

A simple stir-fry dish such as above will set you back 45 Baht. Chicken cubes being stir-fried with garlic, shallots and other seasonings, and then placed on a bed of white rice, it is as simple as you get. Or maybe you can opt for a plate of fried noodles or rice which cost more or less than same price.

Snack Foods

Snack Foods

If those main meals aren’t your thing, maybe you chould try their snack foods. Sausages, fishballs, crabsticks, fried beancurds, meatballs, fried prawns and etc are placed at the front of the stall for selection. I didn’t manage to try those but I reckon they should be alright and affordable too.

Snack Food

Finger Foods

Besides those, pancakes are commonly found everywhere. They might be mistaken for its similar looks compared to Malaysia’s Roti Canai or Singapore’s Roti Prata, but they are more or less identical to one another in terms of taste wise. They are usually served with wide variety of fillings such as banana, honey, strawberry jam, peanut butter and chocolate, or the more weird ones like chocolate with tuna. The list of the fillings can be really long and to choose from the list can be a daunting task but to be on the safe side, always go for the banana with chocolate sauce. You can’t go wrong with that.

Banana Chocolate Pancake

Banana Chocolate Pancake

Generous fillings of the sliced banana wrapped in dough and then pan-fried, these pancakes are a joy to eat as dessert or snack food. Sloppy and deliciously sinful, it goes really well with chocolate or honey syrup.

Banana Chocolate Pancake

If you intend to go all out to spike up your sugar rush, you may opt for sweetened condensed milk as additional topping too. The ones I had were alright but if you are lucky, you might stumble upon a stall that pan-fries its pancakes till crisp. A simple one costs 30 Baht.

Iced Tea

While you are at it, do try their drinks especially the fruit shakes. They are very common in Krabi and they are widely available at hawker stalls and in restaurants. I’ve tried a few but my favourite wasn’t the fruit shakes. It was their Iced Tea that won my vote.

Iced Tea

Iced Tea

It is thick, milky, full of (tea) flavour and sweet and it is usually served with lots of ice in it. A medium-size cup will set you back 30 Baht or so. It was that good that I had two cups in single sitting.

Mango Sticky Rice

Mango Sticky Rice

While these are usually available during the day, it is a different ball game at night as some hawker stalls I saw were selling grilled stuff in addition to stir-fry foods. These ‘heavyweight’ stalls usually come out at night and they are located in front of McDonald’s. So, do try out some of these stuffs if you are an adventurous person or a foodie who loves to explore local food culture.




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