Jethro: Krabi is on the tourist map the same way the M4 is in UK; Most people use it to get around and don’t stay overnight. It’s a locals town which is a crossroads for getting around the popular Phang-na group of islands, and the rest of the coast. We went for their nice shiny private hospital, and stayed 2 nights in the end, until Peach felt well enough to travel.
I had some of the greatest Thai food, at one of the food markets. Fresh fried fish cakes the lady clawed off a mound were incredible, I went back for seconds. These markets look cool in a “authentic, lively, but full of food poisoning” kind of way. So far I’ve been OK with the street food, but it wasn’t the sort of thing Peach could eat after her doctor’s orders.
Peach: I was sick of feeling sick so decided to go back to hospital. The shiny private hospital came very highly rated online and after the lovely hospital in Chiang Rai I had fairly high hopes of this one. Once again everything was lovely and sparkling clean and there were lots of people to show you how to register and where to sit (comfy armchairs and sofas in the waiting room). It wasn’t long before I was called in to see the doctor and after much poking and prodding and a whole lot of questions I was sent away with a bunch of prescriptions and some advice to not eat anything spicy (or basically any other of my favourite food or drinks). Within an hour we were already out of there, sheltering from the sudden and intense rain in the outside part of a closed cafe.
The next day we went in search of ‘safety food’ (I give that name to all food I can definitely eat without feeling overly sick after). Thanks to a bit of a search on TripAdvisor we came across a cafe which served safe and spice-less western food and smoothie bowls so I was able to tuck into a bowl of banana smoothie topped with extra fruit.
Jethro: Despite other travelers disparaging it, I think Krabi town itself is pretty cool. It’s on a wide river which has great views. The markets are great and there’s a sprinkling of western amenities accommodating those who get stuck here.
Inevitably, my brilliant but impractical idea of choosing a random tiny island on Google maps and getting a boatman to drop us off there for the night, was shot down. We decided to boat far south (almost to the Malay border) to an island called Koh Lipe. Our visas were nearly up and storms were rolling in, cutting off our cheeky monsoon respite.
Peach: Imagine being on a twenty passenger speedboat during a rainstorm. We had that joyous experience going from Krabi to Koh Lipe for about 2 hours. It started off sunny so a few optimistic people sat at the back on the part of the boat that wasn’t covered (I wonder if they have been on a speedboat before?) whereas me and Jethro sat right in the middle where we felt like we would stay dry as the sky looked a little ominous. It was almost as soon as we got out into the open water that the torrential rain started and the boat hit a rather large watery speed bump and flew in the air only to slam back down again with some force – resulting in a couple of alarmed screams which was followed by some nervous laughter from fellow passengers (including us). All the passengers who had sat outside ran under cover and everyone squished together to make sure they had enough room to stay relatively dry. It carried on like this for some time. We had life jackets so I personally wasn’t too concerned about drowning if the boat tipped over but more concerned with what sea monsters might be lurking underneath the stormy water. But we made it to the offshore Koh Lipe pier where we got on another boat to take us to the shore of this teeny tiny island.
We stayed in the most adorable bungalow/hut type thing! I feel like it’s more like a glamping hut, it had two single beds on the floor, and electricity, and enough space for our backpacks. These lovely little huts also came in different colours and the owner lady put an anti-bug incense stick outside our door in the evening. It was a bit far from the one and only main street on the island but as it’s such a tiny island we could easily walk to the restaurants, bars and beaches in about ten minutes.
Jethro: We had been meaning to go on another kayak aboot since Cat Ba island back in Vietnam. Various sickness and busyness meant we never got to do it until now! For a couple quid we got a terrible but floaty (what more do you need?) sit-on-top and headed out. Our grand plan to kayak around the island (a few hours) never materialised as we kept finding cool castaway sandy beaches, and it turns out peach has an uncanny ability to geolocate starfish.
One of the reasons we came here was because our next destination was close by, just across the sea border into Malaysia. Up next: Langkawi!