I sat in the airport in Bangkok waiting for my early morning flight to Krabi. I had originally planned to head north at this time. But my plans were turned upside down at the behest of the universe. I listened to her call and went north instead, just in time for Loi Krathong. While I went up there for the festival I was also given a new family of travelers. A family that has now separated: some people heading back home but most headed off on new adventures. I was happy that I was reconnecting with Ebony in Krabi for a couple days. Happier then I expected because I had grown so used to traveling with this community that I almost forgot how to do it on my own. As they called our gate to board I looked out at the tiny plane that was going to take us to our destination and thought back to a comment that was made the last night we were all together sitting under the stars. Someone who had been traveling for longer then I said this was his favorite crew that he had traveled with. Initially I brushed off the statement but now I wondered if maybe it was true. Would I find any travel companions that jelled so completely?
When I landed in Krabi it seemed like all the heat and humidty I had missed while exploring the north of Thailand hit me at once. I got on a shuttle bus thankful for the air conditioning as it navigated its way through the city towards my hostel. Normally my attention is directed out of the window taking in the various sights of my new surroundings but I was hypnotized by a clear take away bag, that contained the drivers lunch, as it swung on the handlebars it was fastened to- reminding me that I was hungry. I got off in front of my hostel ready for a new adventure. It was too early to check in and my friend Ebony hadn’t arrived yet so I left my stuff in the lobby and went to go explore on my own and find some food.
The sky was so blue and full of fluffy clouds that I imagine would taste like cotton candy. There was one main street that took you all the way to the beach. I walked down its wide avenues looking all the different shops. Large lime stone mountains, that kind that instantly signal Thailand, were visible from anywhere you looked. Since I was in the south I figured I would finally eat some seafood, I stopped at the first restaurant and recoiled at the prices. I made my way to the second a few shops down and the sky high prices kept me going. Everything was twice to three times the price it was in Chiang Mai. The prices of some dishes were higher then even Bangkok. Finally I found a place that had crab fried rice for 200 baht ($6) which I thought was high but reasonable. The flavor was delicious but less spicy then the food I was used to eating in the north, but that was nothing a squeeze of fresh lime and some chili oil couldn’t solve. I headed back to the hostel grabbing a bottle of water along the way and snapping pics of the surrounding landscape.
By the time I had arrived back at the hostel Ebony had already arrived and we changed and headed out to Railay Beach. I wore my white shorts with a tan linen crop expecting that this would be a cute trip to the beach and that I wouldn’t have to get wet unless I wanted to. We paid the tickets for the boat and I expected us to be led to a dock where we could board safely, but no they lead us to a beach where the boats bobbed in accordance with the waves that were almost waist high. I placed my phone and wallet in my camera bag which I held high above my head as I waded into the water reluctantly. I tossed them over the deck and climbed up the ladder into the boat. I looked down and saw that the salty water had mixed with the sand slightly staining my freshly washed white shorts. When we were all packed in the rickety boat took us to Railay beach. The water was a beautiful bluish green color and we got a better view of the beautiful lime stone mountains. Despite all the beauty I wasn’t feeling Krabi as much as Chiang Mai or Bangkok. Maybe it was the high prices or the fact that I was still missing my travel crew, or how extremely touristy the area we were staying in.
When we arrived at Railay we hoped off the boat the same way we got in. We got a fruit smoothie before enjoying some time on the beach which was crowded but not unbearably so. We decided to see what else this beach had to offer so we went off in exploration and found a small tunnel that connected to a different beach we had seen on our way over called Tonsai beach. The path there was treacherous because we had to climb slippery rocks covered in sharp oyster shells. On the other side the area the sand was a lot grainer and the tide was pulled out so far that you could see all the rocks that were just under the waters surface. This beach was closer to the limestone mountains so you saw a couple of climbers making their way up and down the rock faces. We realized it was getting late and that we needed to make our way back to the main beach for our return tickets were voided. The tide was coming back in which made our trek even more difficult but halfway through I saw this beautiful rock formation that I knew I needed to grab a picture by, silhouetted against the sun.
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