TRAVELOGUE: The Krabi Kronicles – Day 1

14 Mar

DSC003531 AM IST, Meena, Priya and I set off on our second All Girls Trip, as we like to call it ;). Last year was Sri Lanka and this year’s destination was the comparatively lesser known but exotic Krabi Islands in Thailand. Considering it was a night flight, we almost slept through the entire flight and landed in Suvarnabhoomi Airport, Bangkok, Thailand at around 6 am, Thailand time.

The official currency of Thailand is the Baht and just to give you all a fair idea, 1 USD = 29.76 Baht or 1 Baht = 1.84 INR. We had to first get our visas on arrival and that costs us 1000 Baht. Mind you, these have to be paid in Thai currency alone and hence, we had to convert our rupees into Baht and then, stood in the queue to get our visas. Well, actually its not a queue but sheer chaos. People don’t seem to mind overtaking the people in front of them, in order to save a few minutes and that’s quite irritating. But finally amidst all that confusion, we got our turn after standing there for about 20 odd minutes. There were just 2 officers, out of which one was Uncle Scrooge reincarnate. He didn’t seem to speak any English and its beyond comprehension as to why the authorities would keep someone like him to deal with issuing visas to tourists. Meena went first and he sent her away saying “Back Back”. We didn’t understand what he meant, and so I tried going to the other relatively friendlier guy in the other counter. He then directed us to another counter at the back and finally we understood what Scrooge was trying to tell us. And as luck would have it, Scrooge himself comes to the counter at back to deal with us. Why he couldn’t do whatever he had to, sitting in the original counter, God alone knows. He was as usual, downright rude with us again and we heaved a sigh of relief once we got rid of him. If there is someone from the Thai airport authorities reading the blog, it would be great if you could put some friendlier staff at these counters as this does not give out a great first impression on an otherwise fantastic country, Thailand.

Our next flight to Krabi was at 11 and we have a good 4-5 hours of spare time. We decided to catch up on some sleep, explored the wifi options available and had breakfast at Subway, which incidentally was the only vegetarian option we had!
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The flight to krabi was in an airline called Thai Smile, the domestic airline wing of Thai Airways. A one hour journey and we landed in Krabi and checked into our hotel, Mercure. Since we had to hurry up and go for our city tour, we just quickly freshened up, had lunch at Hotel Taj Palace and set off with our guide, Poe (I hope I got her name right!).

Our first stop was the Tiger Caves Temple. There are about 1237 steps to the top from where one would supposedly get a good view of the town of Krabi, but we didn’t venture into that. There are another set of 200 steps which leads to an old tree, of around 1000 years old and where even today, Buddhist monks meditate in the silence of nature. It is said, that a tiger once lived in the caves there and so there is a temple inside dedicated to him. There are other artefacts of various Buddhist monks which have been preserved. Outside, there is even a Ganesha statue and a huge statue of a Chinese goddess.

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From here, we went to the Lotus Tesco Shopping Complex. We didn’t find anything which caught our fancy and so we just bought some essentials and left there in an hour. We were then taken to the Krabi shoreline where there is a model of a huge crab. We then assumed that Krabi got its name from crab, but we later found out that Krabi means sword. So, even though there is no specific reason as to why that giant crab was there or what it was trying to portray, it made for a pretty photo op and we took a couple of pictures there.

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We were then dropped at the famous night market at Krabi town which happens only from Friday to Sunday from 7 to 11 in the nights. Since we were exhausted, we first stopped for an ice-cream at Swensons and then headed to the market. It’s like a huge marketplace with several shops selling food, clothes, souvenirs and the likes. There were some interesting sights and sounds there and after having soaked in the Krabi spirit, we headed back to our hotel.

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That’s the end of Day 1 and keep waiting for our update on Day2, Day 3 and Day 4!

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