We flew into Krabi from Manila and loved it from the first night. We checked into our super cozy hostel and headed to a night market. We were informed by hostel staff that it wasn’t THE night market (which we never made it to) but we loved the one we found. It was full of delicious smelling food, yummy looking desserts, enticing fresh fruit and a killer selection of bargain clothing. I think we went to that market 4 more times during our stay.
The town was small and quiet, but it was a perfect welcome to Thailand for us. We found a cafe we loved called May and Mark’s, they made the most phenomenal smoothie bowls, and roasted their own coffee beans.
We got to Railay beach by boat from Krabi town. We actually ended up there a few times, the first was an individual day trip, the second was on a 4 island boat tour.
Our first time there we trekked up over the mountain to see the viewpoint and lagoon.
It was a muddy slippery path down, and by the time we arrived at the lagoon, our hands and feet were so covered in mud that we couldn’t even really take pictures. We made our way back up pretty quickly because it was starting to rain and we didn’t want to get caught in a landslide. The rest of our time was spent on the beach, in the water. The tall sharp cliffsides made an incredible backdrop for our leisurely float.
We even made a friend and spent an hour or so chatting. The only downside was the tiny little biting plankton. They felt like little pinches…. all over the place. Luckily they stopped hurting so bad after a while. We also ran into this guy!
A few people told us Koh Lanta was quiet due to it being rainy season. It was true, but not in a bad way. It rained… most of the time. But we loved our hostel and made some really cool friends. We were also pretty lucky with timing and managed to make it almost all the way around the island on motorbike (between rain storms). One of the days we rode to Old Town and had coffee at the cutest little ocean side cafe. We sat on the back deck watching the tide go out as it poured… it was a serene moment.
We also got to visit Lanta Animal Welfare which was awesome. They work with cats and dogs on the island (and surrounding islands) to help them recover from sickness or injury, and help them find new homes through adoption. Their other primary focus is to spay, neuter, and vaccinate the animals. They allow visitors to take a tour of their facilities and then either assist with walking a dog or petting some of their cats. Alec took a pup for a neighborhood jaunt while I hung out with the cats in the cat house. We were really impressed with the system they have in place. They have dogs divided into packs and make sure cats are getting along with the others before releasing them to freely wander. They even work with overseas adoptions; by coordinating with travelers going back to their home countries to help transport the animals to their new homes.
Phi Phi Don
Phi Phi island is known for being a party. However, it is also stunning for its scenery. Have you ever seen The Beach? That movie was filmed on Phi Phi Lay, which is an island just off the coast of Phi Phi Don (you can see it from the beach). We didn’t take a boat to the iconic Maya Bay, as we only spent one night on the island. We could only imagine how stunning it looked if it was anything like the surrounding scenery we were able to see. Long Beach was a perfect example of island beauty, with stunning blue water and powder white sand… across the way were jagged cliffsides jutting out of the ocean.
We walked the length of the beach on both sides and had a really fun evening in town. The next day we ran into some friends from Koh Lanta and hiked up to the Phi Phi Viewpoint before we caught our boat off the island. The scene blew our minds a little bit. You really saw the shape of the island, as well as the colors of the ocean and full range and size of the cliffs.
Between the killer beaches, insane views and cool people along the way… Southern Thailand was quite good to us. 10/10 would go again.