Monday, 4 April 2016

Exploring Krabi Province - 4. Kayaking in Ao Thalane

I took a month long break from blogging. It wasn't intentional, but it was good. And it's not like there was nothing happening. Au contraire. Easter and Easter preparations took some time. We have finally decided (more or less) on our holiday destination. It's going to be a loong trip! I am taking a month long break from work and we're going to see... a lot. We're planning to visit 6-7 countries on the way. Any ideas where we might be going? I know I gave no clue at all, but I will. Soon. Hopefully. :) Now we're in the midst of preparations for our boys birthday weekend. It's going to be a party weekend. Oh, yes.

But let's get back to the post I started writing a month (!) ago and... Didn't finish then, obviously. I have to keep moving with my Thai story, cause it's taking way too much time to finish.

We decided to go to Ao Nang for two reasons. And no, going to Koh Phi Phi, Maya Beach or James Bond Island wasn't either of them. First, I wanted to see the Emerald Pond (where we discovered the breathtaking Blue Pool). And second, I wanted to kayak through a mangrove forest.

These were my dreams. But when I was planning the trip, sitting in the warmth of my home, I didn't think these were possible. I thought we'd end up, like most people in the area, speedboating to the four islands. Cause we knew in advance that, despite having a beach, Ao Nang is not a good choice for beach time.

The day before our departure from Ao Nang to the island (aka paradise on earth that I'll share with you soon enough), we made a kayaking tour. We were taken to a tiny harbour or, rather, a kayaking centre, where we left our belongings, got waterproof bags to protect our valuables, wallets, phones, cameras, etc (cause you don't want to drown your camera). And before we even knew it, we were kayaking. Yes, it was a big thing for me, as I was doing it for the first time ever. And in such beautiful surroundings.

While we were kayaking, our guide was telling us all about the area. About sea gypsies and their graves in the rocks. About the huge tsunami of 2004. About the animals that used to live in the area before humans got into their way.

We made a few stops on the way, even though we were in a bit of a hurry. Water level was already low when we set off and was still decreasing. There was a real threat that we might be walking back to that kayaking centre with kayaks on our backs ;)

First, we stopped on a tiny beach. We were welcomed by monkey mafia. They were sitting on rocks above the beach, as if protecting their area and trying to scare us off. Ok, I'm exaggerating a bit. They were not really bothered with our presence. But having in mind our adventures with the monkeys from the previous day, I didn't feel welcome. Even though only one or two of the monkeys got interested and started walking around and the rest of them didn't care that we were there at all. Or so it seemed.  Still, they were sitting on the rocks as if protecting the entrance to the beach. We were taking a few pictures around when one of our guides caught my attention. He was holding a cycade. I started taking pictures, so he asked me if I wanted to hold it. "No!", I shouted before I even got to think about it. It's a reflex - you're offered to hold a bug, a huge one, you immediately say no, get it away from me. Simple. Others were eager to hold it, though. And, finally, I also managed to convince myself to hold it for a bit. Like a split second. That split second lasted waaaay longer than I hoped, cause everyone kept having too much fun looking at my face, laughing at the faces I was making. As somebody pointed out (out loud, in my face!), it was hilarious to just look at my face expressions. I know, he was right. But still... He didn't have to make sure everyone noticed ;) And yes, instead of taking pictures of me actually holding that bug (once again, it really was a HUGE thing for me), my husband was taking pictures just of my faces, too. Cause it was funny. Thanks, honey. I really appreaciate it... not! Oh, and maybe that was the reason why nobody wanted to react to my begging and take that little devil away from me...

The second stop was on a piece of land in the middle of water. I suppose that when the water level is higher, it's not even there. We took a few pictures, again, waiting for the rest of the group to join us. This time, our guides got crabs to sit (or rather stay still) on their hands. I honestly had no idea how they did that, cause whenever anyone else wanted to take these sames crabs on their hands, they were running away faster than we could spot them. There was no chance to catch them. After the cycade horror, I didn't even try making friends with the crabs, in case you were wondering.

We made a third stop on another tiny beach. This time we stayed in our kayaks. Why? In order not to disturb the "citizens" of the beach. Sounds strange, I know. It was a crab beach. Populated with hundreds, if not thousands of colourful little crabs. We couldn't see them at first, but once they started moving around the place, it was painfully easy. Wherever you looked, you could see tens of them. My pictures don't pay tribute to the amount of the crabs that we saw. They were just mostly moving around so fast, impossible to capture.

Finally, we got into the mangrove forest. The moment I was waiting for. Seeing it with my own eyes, at hands reach. It felt surreal to finally be there, see these amazing constructions with my own eyes. Something so distant to my country's climate. I was looking forward to this kayaking trip and didn't get disappointed.

We kayaked as far as we could. As far as the water level allowed for it. And as far as the monkeys allowed for it.

On our way back to the kayaking centre, the water level was much lower or beaches much bigger. Monkeys, previously protecting the entrance to the tiny beach at our first stop, were now running around the area. Easily. Looking for food. Or minding their own monkey business ;)

We got back, got some snacks, aka watermelons and pineapples, and were taken back to our hostels.

We got back to Ao Nang in the early afternoon hours, in time to pack our bagpacks (again) and walk around the area one last time, preparing ourselves for the loooong journey waiting for us the following day.

Stop no. 1 - Guards on the rocks and checking our kayaks out
One of many faces...
Stop no. 2 - waiting for the rest of the group and taking pictures of crabs on a hand
Stop no. 3 - the crab beach
"You shall not pass!"
The monkeys on the enlarged beach

Travel Tuesday


  1. I'm taking a totally oddball guess that you're going to South America. But I'm probably wrong. :)

    1. Oh, I wish you were right! The answer is much more down to Earth than that, unfortunately. But I'm working on my Spanish (more or less), and one day, maybe sooner than later... :)

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks, it really was wonderful.

  3. How cool that you got to go Kayaking after all! It looks like a lot of fun. and your month long trip sounds really exciting.

  4. This is my kind of adventure. I try to choose activities that are not that popular or touristy. Love the place where you kayaked.

  5. Amazing pics! Love a kayaking adventure and where it can take you! Thanks for linking up with us on Travel Tuesday!

  6. This is my kind of travel adventure, looks like a site from another world!