We headed down south to Krabi, a town on the coast of Thailand facing the Andaman Sea. When visiting the islands you have a few choices: you can go to Krabi or Phuket, which face out to the sea, or you could go to a place like Koh Samui, which actually faces into a gulf. We chose Krabi because we felt we could access more islands from there. Koh Samui is supposed to have better weather (especially during the rainy season), but we got lucky and had great weather most of the time we were there.
We stayed at Amari Vogue, a resort on the Tubkaak stretch of beach. It’s a bit farther from the more populated Ao Nang or Railay Beaches, but that makes it quieter and more private. The resort had great little beach (probably the best beach we saw of the resorts) and our room had a view out to the ocean. If you’re looking for a beach resort vacation, Krabi or Phuket are you best bets (though Krabi is much less crowded). Since we only had a few days, we stayed at Amari the whole time. But if you have more time, I would definitely stay at some of the other islands like Koh Lanta. It’s a little bit more of a trek to get to them, which is why we didn’t go, but I wish we had been able to because it may have been an even better experience (even though we still loved ours!)
The one thing to note about Krabi is that there is not much in the way of towns or food if you are staying at a resort along the beach area. It’s not very walkable—if you want to explore more you’ll need a motorbike. The food at the resorts is not cheap either (we took advantage of the multiple happy hours a day). But, we only spent about one full day at the resort and had activities on the others so it was not a huge deal.
The first day we unwound at the resort’s beach and pool area, walking out into the sand at low tide.
We also got finally got massages—I went for a traditional one but Kevin tried the Thai massage. It was—acrobatic? It was the perfect day to rest and relax before more adventure.
The next day we got picked up at our hotel and taken down to Ao Nang beach for our own private longtail tour around the neighboring islands. You can take longtails (essentially acting as water taxis) out to many of the islands very cheaply, but we chose to avoid the crowds and hire our own boat since it was so affordable!
We used Andaman Camp and Cruise, and they were excellent. They offered us a few itineraries based on what we wanted to see and do, but even once we were on the boat our guide adjusted things so we wouldn’t be stuck anywhere with a lot of tourists.
After a slightly harrowing ride out in a storm, we stopped at Tup Island.
At Tup Island, you can walk across a sand bridge at low tide to Koh Poda, or “chicken” island (so named for the neck-looking rock formation).
After Koh Poda we rode to Bamboo Island for snorkeling. Not huge fans of snorkeling, we went in for a little while to see some fish but spend most of the time lounging on the boat.
The guides had made us a delicious lunch of a green curry with pumpkin and sticky rice. From there we rode on to Hong Island.
We stopped first in a beach area that had absolutely beautiful water. A big tour group was there initially, but after that we had the entire beach to ourselves!
For our barbecue, we sailed into a lagoon on the other side of the island. Some people in small boats came in and out, but other than that we were able to enjoy the lagoon all to ourselves.
Our guide cooked us up some little skewers on a tiny barbecue.
We sailed out the lagoon onto the open water to watch the sunset. It had been cloudier earlier in the day so the sunset wasn’t super clear, but it was stunning nonetheless. Just us on a wooden longtail boat out in the Andaman Sea.
Luckily, we weren’t too far from our hotel so the boat dropped us off right at our own beach.
The private boat was excellent and well-worth the cost. It would be even better with a group!
The next day we headed to Railay Beach, known for its steep cliffs on either side.
The beach was PACKED with tourists, and there unfortunately wasn’t too much to do there. We did enjoy a nice lunch though!
We walked around Ao Nang before heading back to the hotel, but it was mostly gift shops and pubs.
Back at Amari, we ended up getting the sunset we had missed the day before. The colors were absolutely stunning, and the perfect end to our Thailand trip.