Monday, 26 October 2009

Day 1 – First Night in Krabi Town, Thailand

We stayed at The City Hotel in Krabi town, right in the center of the town. Situated between two markets, across the road was the night market with looked more food and vegetable style and behind the hotel, a currently empty space, which became bustling with a more fairground type market on our return trip. The room was quite basic, more of a stay over room than a stay in room. But the essentials had to be checked, while the O.H examined in close detail the quality of what was behind the bathroom door, I checked out the important things like the television. Enough south East Asian channels and a few feeds for the Europeans. As for the bathroom, the toilet flushed so I was satisfied.

Showered and then headed out on the town for a look around and something to eat. Night market across the road which we`d think about checking later and 7-11 next door to the hotel (Always a big plus).

“Taxi Sir”, shouts were coming from a little group men standing at their taxis -motorcycle with bolted sidecar type taxis. These calls for custom were regular and often, but not too pushy to be an annoyance. Walking around town, the time might have been about 7.30 to 8pm, the place was still quite busy and the rain was off.

Weather Monsoon…..

The heavens opened and the streets cleared, luckily most of the pavements (sidewalks) are covered, fortunately we had an umbrella for crossing the road. We decided to stick it out for a while at a corner and wait for the rains to ease. We were not the only ones, sometimes it is tempting to try and strike up a conversation with the locals but the tugging on my arm persuaded me that this would not be a good idea.

IMG_2689 The rains eased and we headed back to the night market which by now seemed to be closing, either the time was late or the rains had driven them away. Passing by the hotel again and heading in the opposite direction towards the river side hunger was starting to become more important than exploration. We came across a IMG_2698 little place, with the front open to the world and what looked like the family living room in the back with mom, dad and the kids sitting watching TV. I can`t remember the restaurant name, but the décor was quite homely – tables, chairs, flower pots, book shelves, pictures, sofas, rugs – it could have really been somebody’s home and they were too polite to tell us to leave.
Well the menu on the table indicated otherwise and we sat down for what was to become a growing trend in the coming days. Great locations, great food, polite, friendly hosts and virtually no other customers.

IMG_2700 Well no customers but we were not alone; the little animals of Krabi came to visit on occasions. First up was a mass of ants that appeared out of no place, streamed along the wall to our table, turning around and went back to wherever they originated and completely vanished. The second visitor was a little lizard, he or she was probably hiding there all along, I may have heard it say “taxi sir” but that could have been the beer affecting me.

Tom Yum koong, again, was on order with a bowl of chicken green curry, some kind of vegetables stir fry with chestnuts and beer. It appears that in Thailand plates with rice are usually used and the two of us prefer bowls and sometimes confusion arises. Life would be much easier is we learned to speak some Thai. But the meal was just as we had expected, great tasting and spicy, and finished it off with another beer (just in case we never realized the warmth of the country and were getting a bit dehydrated). In total the price came in around 400 THB / US$10 for the three courses and two beers. For that price we could sit there and eat all night but I don’t think our bellies would manage to take much more…..

To finish off the evening we took a walk down to the water front. Came across another food market and from the style of dress we fathomed that this might be a Muslim orientated area. Despite the fact that we were not Muslim, and why should that stop us from something tasty:), we went over. Spied a stall and ordered our first pancake roti for this trip. I was still quite stuffed from the meal but the O.H jumped at the chance but was not adventurous enough and just went for the banana roti.

IMG_2707 Deciding it was late we headed back up the waterfront towards the hotel. The place was dark and quiet then suddenly a voice came out of the darkness “where are you from…”. We replied and have a few more back and forth conversation but talking to the darkness IMG_2706is a bit silly so we preceded a bit closer to find a fisherman sitting on his boat coming ashore to meet us. We had a bit of a talk but he was really hoping we would hire him to take us sightseeing up the river the next morning. Just in case we forget what he looked like he suggested we take a photograph which I did, he and the O.H looked a perfect couple.

So ended the evening with a quiet walk in the darkness and back to the hotel. From the quick look we had Krabi town was nice, clean, extremely quiet and friendly and the trip up the river would have been a nice sightseeing trip, the limestone cliff and the mangrove swamps were promised alone with a look as his cows for some reason.

Tomorrow we head for Koh Lanta and the beach.

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