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 neighbourhood, away from the bustling centre. 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, I decided to wander through the tropical streets of the island in my rented car.
My first stop was the Tiger Cave Buddha Temple. Locals believe that it is this 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 adjacent hill. Since that time no one ever saw the tiger.
Next to the cave stands a 600 meters high hill with a temple on top. The temple has just one stairway of 1237 steps to reach the summit. 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 on 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 is the mecca for backpacker hostels and tour companies, it’s boasted to be the most lively part of the island, one long stretch of road with a pristine 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 nice 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 fruits and cooked food. Only a few places have menus, otherwise, point what you want and enjoy. Maharat Soi 10 market does not sell alcohol. There is also the new Walking Street night market, between Vogue Department store and Vieng Thong Hotel, Friday to Sunday from 17:00-22:00 which sells food and general items such as clothes and handicrafts, and there is a larg-ish seating area.
Not to be missed is the covered morning market (the biggest in southern Thailand) on Maharaj Soi 9 (behind the Shell station). After 08:00 in the evening all the action is subsiding. Just at that time, they play The Thai national anthem when everything comes to a standstill.
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.