Sunday, March 15, 2015

Krabi, Thailand: Too Brief Visit

At six days, my visit to Krabi, on the Andaman coast, was too brief: time I could have spent was used up on train journeys, bus rides and other "transfers", as they are called. I made the arrangements with a travel agent in Bangkok's Khaosan Road for a secluded spot with a pristine swimming beach, and I wasn't disappointed.

The resort is called J2B's, and while it got mixed reviews on TripAdvisor, most of them were from people unhappy with the previous management, turned off by the availability of of mainly Thai food in the one restaurant or dissatisfied with the fact that there was only electricity from 6 PM to 6 AM--even though this was clearly communicated in all the literature I saw about the place. I found it to be charming in every way, including the staff and the food.

The resort is situated on a tremendous stretch of private white sand, reached by boat or by a bumpy ride through the mangrove jungle. It is called Napparatthara Beach. The bungalows are set in a coconut palm grove arranged around the pavilion that houses reception and the restaurant.

Other guests came in and out all week, mostly staying for a few days before going off to explore the islands. I was content to lay on the beach, in my own lounger and read, occasionally dipping in for a refreshing swim. Krabi is one of three places in the world where the "karst towers" extend from land into the sea (the others being Halong Bay and the Dalmatian coast of Croatia). I think it was the most beautiful place I've place I've been to.

I did have to spend the night in Krabi Town, as all the bungalows were previously booked (my fault for being tentative in my initial booking). Where J2B was 900 Bt per night, the Apo Hotel located right by Chao Fa Pier was rather more (1400 Bt), but did have A/C, hot water and etc. Not really a lot to see and do, though it is quite a pretty area.

The place to have dinner in Krabi Town is the night market at the pier, where as I usually do, I had some red snapper, beautifully grilled.

Sadly, too soon it was time to head back north to Bangkok, to Suvarnabhumi Airport, and thence to the icy climes of Seoul, where now, over two weeks later, in mid-March, it's still too cold!

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