Sunset Cruise in Krabi, Thailand
After Alex and I settled into our hotel in Ao Nang, Krabi, Thailand, we walked down to the beach… And were immediately disappointed. It was crowded, it smelled heavily of exhaust, the water was murky, and the sand was coarse. There was a row of long tail boats in the water, so I guess the beach is used more as a place to catch a boat somewhere else, than a destination itself). We headed back to the hotel pool (and proceeded to calculate the approximate speed a coconut – hanging up in the tree near the pool – would reach once it hit the ground… yup, just a couple of nerds).
The next day, New Year’s Eve, we booked a sunset cruise (it actually started right after lunch and went past sunset) aboard an old Siamese junk (history on our junk). We boarded a long tail boat from Ao Nang Beach that took us to the junk. Another long tail carried passengers from nearby Railay Beach.
The junk was gorgeous! We sat on the deck, eating watermelon and looking at several interestingly-shaped islands (one was called Chicken Island- looked like a plucked chicken), before stopping at our first snorkeling spot. One of our guides told us to bring slices of watermelon, because the fish love to nibble on it. Alex and I were skeptical but we grabbed a few pieces anyway. And I’m glad we did! The fish LOVED the watermelon! Huge schools of fish swam up to us, trying to get a bite of watermelon. They weren’t shy, but they sure were hungry! Back on the boat, the guide said these fish love anything sweet, but given a chance, will also nibble on your calluses (how’s that for a fish massage?) and will even pop large pimples on your back (gross!).
We stopped at a second snorkeling location, before pulling up to a large limestone karst. The guides swam out to the karst with a short rope ladder, and hooked it up to a low ledge. They then encouraged anyone who wanted to try cliff climbing (and jumping), to follow them out to the karst. The guides climbed up the limestone cliff like it was no big deal (many climbing enthusiasts come to this part of Thailand for cliff jumping). Alex and a few brave souls followed the guides. Most people struggled with the climb up the rope ladder and jumped off the lowest ledge. Alex went pretty far up the cliff before jumping down (all I had was our waterproof camera that has horrible zoom, so apologies for the pictures). After swimming in the waters near the cliff jumpers, I started noticing little stings on my arms and legs. Others noticed too. We think there might have been tiny jelly fish in the water!
Dinner was served on deck, and was surprisingly good: pad thai and Massaman curry (a spicy, coconut cream curry) with rice. The sunset wasn’t too spectacular because the sun was hiding behind some clouds. Still, we were full and content, and were amused by the bats flying around in the moonlight! The last part of our trip was a swim in the bio-luminescence near a cave. We were all full and dry, and all except two people (they were told to report back) were happy to just sit in the long tail boats and enjoy the moonlight. I would have liked to swim with the bio-luminescence but I really wasn’t up for getting wet again (it was a bit chilly at night). Next time, I guess?
Alex and I had a really fun New Year’s Eve (the cruise was a splurge but well worth the money!), but we were in bed by 10:30 (yup, just like a couple of old people). 🙂