... Rather rainy
This will make you all feel better about being back in Blighty - I wouldn't say it's been a total wash out over the last few days but it has rained every single afternoon since I arrived in Krabi, and it's monsoon style stuff, sometimes brief but on one occasion it went on for hours. I'm most confused as I didn't think the rainy season started til May...
Still, the benefits of rain are two-fold, I have found. One is that it brings the temp down loads and in an evening and at night it's now bearable to be in a fan room, sometimes even rather cool in the early hours - fancy that! And the other is that it puts me in the mood for a cup of tea and I have got into the habit of an afternoon hit of the black stuff which, even though it's not Yorkshire Tea / Twinnings, is still super.
My accomodation in Krabi is the nicest I've had so far, and the cheapest too, so I stuck with my plan of staying here a decent stint. It's been so nice to have a base for a while rather than continually thinking about the next move, so for 6 days Krabi has been home.
It's a town over on the west coast which is basically a jumping off point for islands like Ko Lanta and Ko Phi Phi and it's near the Pha Nang national park and lots of other good beaches and sight seeing spots too.
Getting over here was a bit more of a mission than I expected as even though I have now got into the habit of just booking with a travel agent and making sure they get me from a to b, this journey involved a taxi, ferry, bus, two minibuses, another big bus and another minibus before I fianlly arrived at my accomodation. I was starting to lose the plot by the end as the roads here can hardly be described as smooth... but this is what travelling is all about I suppose?
There is an amazing beach (Raileh) a short longtail boat ride away from the town which is surrounded my massive limestone cliffs so I went there a couple of times and that added a bit of adventure to the beach bumming as you have to find a boat person to take you and haggle and wait for others and then wade through mangrove mud at the other end before you hit the sand. And I also went on a couple of good tours around the stunning islands which litter the bays around here and also up to the national park where you sail through mangroves and walk through jungles and even - and I kid you not - visit the island where the James Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun was filmed - doesn't get much more exciting than that.
A real guilty pleasure for me has been an internet cafe a few doors down from my guesthouse which is really cheap and is a general meeting place for travellers and shows films every evening so I've spent quite a bit of time here, not to mention money.... And how good is Happy Feet? Pretty cute....
The other great thing about the town is the waterfront food market where I 've eaten most evenings. There's a bit array of stands, some just selling one or two things, some offering full menus. All the locals and tourists gather around little metal tables to enjoy the amazing food which is so cheap it's silly and led to me ordering rather more than I strictly need.
I have become completely addicted to Thai food and crave it every day. I really never fancy anything else. I went for pasta back on Ko Tao because I got it into my head that I really should eat something other than noodles or rice but I hardly enjoyed it - give me my sour and spicy soup, green curry or phad thai any day....
I'll have to mention two more things which the ladies among you will find humourous. I won't go into detail but firstly, I found a Boots concession in the department store in town and nearly wept... I didn't even buy anything because I was on my way to visit a temple and didn't want to lug stuff around, but just browsing the shelves was pure bliss. And secondly, I had my legs waxed at this random "salon" where the mad lady just did it right there in the shop with my legs on her knees, people came in and sat next to me to chat with her while she was doing it!
I met lots of cool people in my time in Krabi too so was much cheered by this as, like I have explained before, Thailand is so hit and miss for meeting other travellers....
So, spurred on by the good times in Krabi town, I am headed for my final Thai island stop - Ko Lanta - to see if I can make my peace with life as a lone traveller on the islands (with all the familys, couples and gangs...)
Here's hoping for sun (my tan is very disappointing)....