Monday, August 22, 2011

THAILAND -- Krabi: Part I

*Skip to paragraph three if you so choose to avoid my ramblings on about dogs in Korea and strictly want to hear about Krabi. :)

Ella Belle and a sneak preview of my
new decor (fabrics from Thailand) :)
Well, it's been an exhausting one, but I'm finally home from Thailand and a 4-day English camp, and settled into my new apartment (I moved to a larger city nearby, Andong). I'm currently dog sitting the cutest little pup on Earth, Ella. Remember these dogs? (halfway down the page) Ella was one of the puppies of the mamma dog next door that I always used to feed in Yecheon (she's the one facing the camera in the picture). My friend, Anna, adopted her and is currently spoiling her rotten. A lot of people have said that it's selfish to get a dog in Korea, because we all live in one-rooms. Excuse me but I beg to differ. Unfortunately, most dogs I've seen here in Korea are either tied up tightly next to a storefront with hardly any slack to walk around, or are crammed inside of tiny cages. That's why I always try to feed and love on them; give 'em a good scratching behind the ears. They don't exactly get a whole lot lovin' from their owners. I don't understand why a lot of Korean people have dogs. I really don't. :(

Which is why Ella is so lucky to be with Anna (and me). She's not locked away in a cage except at night, she gets to be indoors in the air conditioner instead of outside in the heat, she's actually clean, she gets played with, and she still gets to go outside to go to the bathroom and to go on walks. If that isn't the life for a dog, then I don't know what is. I mean, yeah, Anna has to think about Ella before she goes off for the weekend, but that's really the only setback. Boarding is only $10/day here, so it's not too bad. Or you have friends, of course. And in exchange you get lots of puppy kisses and cute companionship. That said, onto Krabi....

Krabi is a beach town in South Thailand, quickly becoming the next Phuket (though it's still gonna be a while. Thankfully.) I highly recommend skipping Phuket and just coming here instead. Or at least staying here and just taking a bus to Phuket for the day. You'll save a ton and probably have a better time (Not to mention, have less vendors in your face, 24/7). I stayed at the Chanchalay Guesthouse. A really nice place with a private outdoor shower and cool blue-painted interiors -- and only 400 baht (thats roughly $13 per night). Rather than staying in Ao Nang (the more touristy area) or Railay Beach (with beautiful beaches, but rather secluded and a bit pricey), we stayed in Krabi Town, which was much cheaper and still pretty convenient. We just caught fan boats to the islands, which were only about $5 each. Of course, the fan boat guys weren't always the most reliable... we often found ourselves sitting there for 30 minutes or more waiting to set off, because we needed "2 more people." But, eh, understandable... they want to have enough people to make the trip worth it, cause gas can get expensive. I wasn't too bothered. We're on vacation, people! 

(Chanchalay Guesthouse and my 35 baht ($1) Iced Coffee, topped with an orchid!)


Hanging out on the fan boat!
Railay Beach:

Phra Nang (below) was the most beautiful beach (other than Phi Phi, which we didn't make it to this time). I've never been in water so clear before, and the cliff overhang was incredible! Railay Beach and the surrounding area is also a great place for rock climbing and its free if climbers bring their own gear! If only I climbed...

I spy Alex. 
Phra Nang is also home to the shrine of a fertility goddess. Note: Phalluses. So. Many. Phalluses. 

In Krabi, you can rent a motor bike for 50 baht (about $1.50) for 24 hours. This was our hot pink ride and it took us to both the Tiger Cave Temple and the Emerald Pool (below). Another perk to staying on the mainland... we could do lots of other cool things besides the beach!

Tiger Cave Temple (Wat Tham Sua): Monkeys galore! 
(Fun fact: "wat" is Thai for "temple," so temple names always start with "wat.")

I was so afraid he was gonna jump me for that cucumber.
1,237 [very steep] steps to the top!

At the top was the most stunning view, a giant Buddha, a temple dog with mange, and delicate Buddhist adornments to die for.

The next day, we hopped on our motor bike and and rode an hour and a half to see the Emerald Pool (and Blue Pool). It was amazing! A crystal-clear swimming pool right in the middle of the jungle! But it was all-natural. And you had to follow along a rather dilapidated wooden deck to reach the Blue Pool, which was worth it, 'cause I've never see anything like it! Swimmers aren't allowed in that particular pool, which was kind of a bummer, but that's okay. I was happy to just breathe in the clear, blue sights and sounds of all the birds (Nature Radio at its best, but live!)

To be continued...

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