For a few days too brief, PL and I were transported to paradise on earth.
Krabi is famous for the lovely islands dotted off the south-western coast of Thailand in the Andaman sea. Yes, the Andaman sea. In case memory fails, the Andaman was the primary site of the 2004 Tsunami, with tsunami waves demolishing the famous Phi Phi Don island off Krabi. Today, it has been swiftly rebuilt and re-filled with merrymakers. But signs like these dot the narrow bi-concaved bay on the island.
This Bodhi tree tied with ribbons serve as a memorial of the tragedy.
And yet, the surrounding islands are a vision of hidden paradise that gently charms even the most weary traveller. When PL asked me how I would describe the scenery in Chinese, I immediately thought of 碧水蓝天 (bi shui lan tian) – which literally means “turquoise waters blue sky”. Because that’s exactly what it looks like.
Above: At Maya Beach, on Phi Phi Ley. Made famous by the movie “The Beach”, which was how I first heard of Krabi from years ago. The guide says that the Thais owe the spike in tourism to Hollywood. But we say, thank you – Thailand – for the privilege of visiting this beauty!
Island-hopping was done via speedboats or long tail boats, like the one above.
Karst stone cliffs dot the Thai Andaman coast, rising out of shimmering emerald waters that serve as a wonderful cool oasis for a splash right off the boat under the gleaming sun.
On top of it all, we were blessed with wonderful weather on the days we went island-hopping, in spite of forecast of rain. Indeed, there are a lot of things to be thankful for.
And after several days of sun, beach, swimming & snorkelling in these clear waters, having a close encounter with a whale shark (a rare sight) and riding an elephant, we headed down to Krabi Town for the weekend night market. This isn’t my first time to Southern Thailand, but I had forgotten how yummy the food is.
Above: Thai version of nasi kerabu, a yummy concoction of rice mixed with a variety of vegetables & salad drizzled with exquisite sauce that is sweet, sour & hot all at once. Traditionally, the blue-coloured rice is naturally dyed using bunga telang or blue pea flower. Such cuisine is commonly found in south Thailand and the north-east coast of Peninsula Malaysia (where it is commonly called nasi kerabu).
And how can we forget the lovely sunsets on Klong Muang beach on mainland.
This trip reminded me of my first visit about 10 years ago to pristine islands: the Perhentian and Redang islands off the east coast of Peninsula Malaysia. There and then, I remembered being stunned at how the sea in Malaysia – instead of some murky colour that is often the consequence of mankind’s mistreatment – can actually be blue & crystal clear. Pictures such as those in the National Geographic are not fable after all. Years on, after having travelled across continents and waded in oceans both near and far, I get questions on whether do I ever tire of travelling. And miss out these sceneries and nature’s marvels? No way.