My heart started pounding as I peeped out of the window as the aircraft made its final descend to Krabi.
Located in the southern province of Thailand’s Andaman seaboard, Krabi is believed to have been the home to Homo sapiens since C 2500 to 35,000 BCE.
In Krabi, I am a guest of the Tup Kaek Beach resort nestled in the quiet part of the island, much away from the bustling part of the island. My chauffeur drove me through the lush tropical streets, the ride itself was rejuvenating, after a quick check-in process I was escorted to my luxurious villa with an access to a private pool.
As the first light of the sun shined above the Andaman Sea the next day, I decided to wander through the tropical streets of the island on my rented car which is the recommended thing to do.
My first stop was the tiger cave Buddha temple, as the name suggests, Tiger Cave was the place where a tiger used to seek refuge and sleep during the morning sunlight. At times the tiger used to let out a ferocious roar, people who used to come to the forest to hunt animals heard the roar, and started calling the place as Tiger Cave.
Later, the vulnerable Luangpor Jumenean Seeta Settho- chief monk of the tiger Cave temple led a group of Buddhist monks and nuns to live there and practice dharma during 1975 AD, with the monks and nuns having come to live here the tiger migrated in the direction of phanom Mountain Range which extends from the Tiger Cave hills. Since that time no one ever saw the tiger.
Next to the cave stands the 600 meters high mountain. The temple has just one stairway to reach the summit, 1,237 steps lead to the top. Some steps are more than a foot high; the climb is at temperatures around 35 degrees upwards, simply hellish. Monkeys do roam around the stairway so it’s vital to be alert.
Two hours of an arduous climb got me to the peak of the mountain where there is the prodigious golden shrine of Lord Buddha, and the rewarding sight of the island.
My second stop the next day ,was the hot spot for backpackers in the island- Ao Nang Beach.
Ao- Nang Beach is a hub to explore the nearby islands like Phi Phi, Koh lanta and Rai Leh. Ao Nang houses most of the hostels and tour companies, as its boasted to be the most lively part of the island, one long stretch of road with the beautiful Ao Nang beach on one side and restaurants and shops on the other is often packed with cars and tuk tuks.
A wide range of restaurants offering charmingly eclectic menus ranging from Indian Cuisine to Local Thai food or Swiss and Italian delicacies could be found here.
My next stop was the most versatile – Krabi town, known for its cultural representation, museums and Buddhist Vats. At night there is a charming night market close to the promenade next to the piers. Food is good and cheap; From time to time the town organizes shows on a small stage next to the market.
An even better market can be found on Maharat Soi 10 in the centre of town. This market has plenty of fresh fruit and lots of authentic cooked food. Only a few places have menus, otherwise point and enjoy. This market does not sell alcohol. There is also the new Walking Street night market, between Vogue Department store and Vieng Thong Hotel, F-Su, 17:00-22:00 which sells food and general items such as clothes and handicrafts, and there is a largish seating area.
Not to be missed is the covered morning market (the biggest in south Thailand) on Maharaj Soi 9 (behind the Shell station). For early birds only. After 08:00 all the action is subsiding. Exactly at that time you can watch a show of national pride: the national anthem is played and almost everyone comes to a standstill for the duration. The best place to get all kinds of fresh fruit and vegetable, khao niao (sticky rice), Patong Khoo, cha rohn (sweetened Thai tea), or fresh hot soy milk. The section of fresh fish and meat sellers is for hardened stomachs only.
I felt so wretched to drive back to the airport and leave the paradisiac place.