A week in Krabi, Thailand. Do's and don'ts?

pake

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Hi!

So, my wife and I are going to Thailand in a week. Our resort is about 4-5km east from Ao Nang Beach and I guess we're mostly there for snorkeling.

We've traveled a lot but it's our first time in Thailand and since I'm 100% sure there are people here who have been there, what are the things we must see or do? I just bought a TG-5 for the underwater pics but I'm sure we'll travel around to take other pictures (nature, architecture etc.) as well.

Any suggestions or comments? The "don'ts" are also welcome. :D
 

retiredfromlife

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I was there many years ago, and the main thing I remember is that I could eat the street food without getting sick like in Bali.
I tried the chicken from quiet a few street vendors, really nice. But I did not try some of the soupy mixes with rice that was served to a lot of locals.
Kept to the dry fries. Did not try Saty sticks as I have been burnt with them too many times.

If I went back I would look at one of the canal tours in the North if they still do them.

I found the temples too modern, much prefer old restored temples like in Cambodia. I spent a bit of time in the book stores there, as there are some good short titles by locals that used to win awards, but I do not remember what they were now.

I based myself in chang mai and went out on day tours I organised from my Hotel, very easy to do then and probably easier now.

If you like street photography you would not be short of subject there, but I stay clear of that as some locals do not like there picture being taken.

A lot depends on how you enjoy Asian travel. I like it others do not.

Anyway you will enjoy your trip, nice place.
 

pake

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I was there many years ago, and the main thing I remember is that I could eat the street food without getting sick like in Bali.
I tried the chicken from quiet a few street vendors, really nice. But I did not try some of the soupy mixes with rice that was served to a lot of locals.
Kept to the dry fries. Did not try Saty sticks as I have been burnt with them too many times.

If I went back I would look at one of the canal tours in the North if they still do them.

I found the temples too modern, much prefer old restored temples like in Cambodia. I spent a bit of time in the book stores there, as there are some good short titles by locals that used to win awards, but I do not remember what they were now.

I based myself in chang mai and went out on day tours I organised from my Hotel, very easy to do then and probably easier now.

If you like street photography you would not be short of subject there, but I stay clear of that as some locals do not like there picture being taken.

A lot depends on how you enjoy Asian travel. I like it others do not.

Anyway you will enjoy your trip, nice place.
Thank you for the input. Appreciated. :drinks:
 

Jonathan F/2

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Hi!

So, my wife and I are going to Thailand in a week. Our resort is about 4-5km east from Ao Nang Beach and I guess we're mostly there for snorkeling.

We've traveled a lot but it's our first time in Thailand and since I'm 100% sure there are people here who have been there, what are the things we must see or do? I just bought a TG-5 for the underwater pics but I'm sure we'll travel around to take other pictures (nature, architecture etc.) as well.

Any suggestions or comments? The "don'ts" are also welcome. :D
Hey Teemu how was your Krabi trip? I'm planning to head that way myself soon. Would love to hear your experiences?

BTW - Teemu is also my son's nickname! :D
 

Jonathan F/2

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Was in Bangkok and Phuket last year. Pretty easy going. No drugs of any kind. I stuck to hotel food mostly except one n
I have no plans going near Phuket and Pattaya. Trying to keep this trip as family friendly as possible! ;) Bangkok I'm familiar with, I've just never been to Krabi Province, which is known for Ao Nang and Railay Beach, which usually rates at the best beaches in Thailand.
 

Mikehit

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The Thais are very gracious and accommodating and happy to have their photograph taken (a refreshing change from changing attitudes in Europe).
I have found few downsides to travelling in Thailand and never felt personally unsafe, but like anywhere take sensible precautions especially with your belongings. I have travelled extensively SE Asia and never been ill from food in Thailand - most is cooked hot and fresh in front of you. And the street food is often as good as anything you can get in a restaurant at home.

I have not been to Krabi but will suggest that if you want to do early morning photography, do not (if possible) leave your camera in your air-conditioned bedroom overnight. I went out one early morning to take pictures of the fish market and spent the first half hour wiping condensation of the lens. So maybe leave it in the bathroom overnight or turn the aircon temperature up.
 

pake

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Hey Teemu how was your Krabi trip? I'm planning to head that way myself soon. Would love to hear your experiences?

BTW - Teemu is also my son's nickname! :D
Well that's nice to hear. :D

I think it sums it up nicely if I put it this way: I had never been that interested in visiting Thailand. Neither was my wife. We stayed there for one week and we both want to go back there. Next time we might stay for 2 weeks. :)

We were there after the tourist season which meant we didn't see as many Finns as we thought we would (that's a positive thing btw). Krabi wasn't too crowded and we didn't have to wait too long for anything - in fact most restaurants were pretty empty when we stopped by but it might have been that we had a different "eating schedule" than the rest. The food was great - and cheap! We fell in love with deepfried food found at a small marketplace. So delicious (and cheap). Best quality/price ratio ever. :)

Our resort was great and we had a private pool that we loved. The only negative thing about the resort was that even though it was next to the ocean the beach was awful and we couldn't swim/snorkel there at all so we had to take a (free) shuttle to go to Ao Nang. Unfortunately that wasn't any good for snorkeling either. And the thing is that we (or at least I) mostly went to Thailand to enjoy warm weather and snorkeling but most of the decent snorkeling waters were already getting dark and sandy (the autumn was coming which ruins the clarity of the water). We tried to find a decent place but couldn't - despite good recommendations found on the internet. But we did take our chances with a scuba/snorkeling boat trip which saved the snorkeling part of our trip. We had to sail 1,5 hours south to find crystal clear waters with nice views. And as an icing on the cake we saw 2 or 3 black tip reef sharks swimming nearby while snorkeling. That was awesome! Too bad my TG-5 wasn't up to the task and while I did get photos of them the pics are sooooo noisy and cr@ppy... Also saw a very venomous sea snake and got decent pics. So in overall, we were very pleased with the experience/trip.

We found one (more) thing surprising. We had imagined Thailand to be more "dangerous" and not that suitable for families with children but that wasn't the case with the places we went. But I'm sure you can find trouble even in Krabi if you look for it but we felt safe all the time - everywhere.

The weather was hot every day and we preferred to stay by our pool (or even inside) during the hottest hours and went to the "city" after 3-5pm. But I guess it all depends on what one is accustomed to. The weather in Finland was around 0 degrees Celsius at that time and in Krabi it was over 30, so... ;)

If there are some specific things you want to know, ping me back and I can tell you more.
 
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Jonathan F/2

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Well that's nice to hear. :D

I think it sums it up nicely if I put it this way: I had never been that interested in visiting Thailand. Neither was my wife. We stayed there for one week and we both want to go back there. Next time we might stay for 2 weeks. :)

We were there after the tourist season which meant we didn't see as many Finns as we thought we would (that's a positive thing btw). Krabi wasn't too crowded and we didn't have to wait too long for anything - in fact most restaurants were pretty empty when we stopped by but it might have been that we had a different "eating schedule" than the rest. The food was great - and cheap! We fell in love with deepfried food found at a small marketplace. So delicious (and cheap). Best quality/price ratio ever. :)

Our resort was great and we had a private pool that we loved. The only negative thing about the resort was that even though it was next to the ocean the beach was awful and we couldn't swim/snorkel there at all so we had to take a (free) shuttle to go to Ao Nang. Unfortunately that wasn't any good for snorkeling either. And the thing is that we (or at least I) mostly went to Thailand to enjoy warm weather and snorkeling but most of the decent snorkeling waters were already getting dark and sandy (the autumn was coming which ruins the clarity of the water). We tried to find a decent place but couldn't - despite good recommendations found on the internet. But we did take our chances with a scuba/snorkeling boat trip which saved the snorkeling part of our trip. We had to sail 1,5 hours south to find crystal clear waters with nice views. And as an icing on the cake we saw 2 or 3 black tip reef sharks swimming nearby while snorkeling. That was awesome! Too bad my TG-5 wasn't up to the task and while I did get photos of them the pics are sooooo noisy and cr@ppy... Also saw a very venomous sea snake and got decent pics. So in overall, we were very pleased with the experience/trip.

We found one (more) thing surprising. We had imagined Thailand to be more "dangerous" and not that suitable for families with children but that wasn't the case with the places we went. But I'm sure you can find trouble even in Krabi if you look for it but we felt safe all the time - everywhere.

The weather was hot every day and we preferred to stay by our pool (or even inside) during the hottest hours and went to the "city" after 3-5pm. But I guess it all depends on what one is accustomed to. The weather in Finland was around 0 degrees Celsius at that time and in Krabi it was over 30, so... ;)

If there are some specific things you want to know, ping me back and I can tell you more.
Thanks for the info! I'm very familiar with Bangkok, since I spent an epic street shooting trip there back in 2017, but I haven't been to Krabi province yet so I was a bit interested on your thoughts. Bummed to hear about Ao Nang being dark and sandy. Any chance you were able to visit Railay beach? I read it's only accessible by boat. I plan to rent a car when we get there, since I hear there are places that are easier when driving. We don't plan to do any snorkeling, but we do want our kids to have fun at the beach and absorb the culture and people when we're there. We're trying to plan international summer vacations for them every year now, since travel can be very educational.

Also I'm not too worried about safety in Thailand, living in Los Angeles is probably more dangerous than most cities in SE Asia! I'm actually looking forward to the heat and humidity. My allergies in LA are acting up due to the dry and dustier climate here. We also booked at a small resort with a pool and bar, so I have a feeling we'll be lounging in comfort during the evening! :D
 

Jonathan F/2

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Enjoy your trips, both. I'll keep my eyes peeled for photos! And @pake, I'll gladly risk another buffet dinner on my next visit :) There are worse things than being bed ridden for a day in magnificent resort room with your own balcony pool and great room service ...



I have found very few things in life that bring me as much joy as a nice hotel bar.
View attachment 758024
Last time I was in Bangkok, I ate street food with fresh fruit for breakfast, chicken bbq sticks when on the go and I devoured anything and everything that was spicy. Never got sick, plus I drank a bunch of those yogurt smoothies sold at 7-11 which did wonders neutralizing the spicy dishes! This time around I really want to try eating the fried grubs (insects) just to get it off my bucket list!

I've been sick before while traveling, and it's not fun. I'm also bringing my own stash of quality instant coffee, only places that I could find fresh brew was at Dunkin Donuts and I need my coffee fix! :D
 

barry13

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Hi, some agencies recommend the following for SE Asia:
1. Typhoid / Typhus vaccinations (good for a few years); some American insurance cover this, some don't... about $120 if not covered
2. take Cipro 500 or another antibiotic with you in case of bacterial illness; some insurance such as Kaiser will dispense this as "traveler's antibiotics".
For Cipro, Kaiser recommends taking two upon onset, followed by 1 every 12 hours.
3. Hep A and Hep B vaccinations (and C if prudent). Often covered by insurance. A needs 2 rounds, and B needs 3 rounds for permanent immunity, but are effective a week or so after the first dose.
 
Joined
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Hi, some agencies recommend the following for SE Asia:
1. Typhoid / Typhus vaccinations (good for a few years); some American insurance cover this, some don't... about $120 if not covered
2. take Cipro 500 or another antibiotic with you in case of bacterial illness; some insurance such as Kaiser will dispense this as "traveler's antibiotics".
For Cipro, Kaiser recommends taking two upon onset, followed by 1 every 12 hours.
3. Hep A and Hep B vaccinations (and C if prudent). Often covered by insurance. A needs 2 rounds, and B needs 3 rounds for permanent immunity, but are effective a week or so after the first dose.
Most bacteria are resistant to Cipro. It also makes your connective tissue dissolve.Aneurysms ,ruptured tendons. Bad stuff. Used to travel in Asia. Never got sick. In India you may get sick
 

TheMenWhoDrawSheeps

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Hey Teemu how was your Krabi trip? I'm planning to head that way myself soon. Would love to hear your experiences?

BTW - Teemu is also my son's nickname! :D
in my experience crabi isn´t any good for snorkelling. they have plenty of wildlife resorts though - hot springs, caves, lakes, jungle, lagoons etc. i even did multiple day trip - drove all the way down to ko-lanta(was not worth it) visiting any kind of point of interest on my way there(definitely worth it).
food. is definitely a huge reason to visit krabi. night market culture is awesome, and only time i got food poisoning was after paying quite a sum in a fancy restaurant in Bangkok. try anything you can, except maybe native local food - though maybe you´re boiled blood, and liquified bones type.:)

there is a direct connection to ko phi phi, and other islands. basically a tourist trap, but worth visiting for the view and nature. don´t expect good snorkelling there either. don´t fall for any tours or attractions, it´s a ripoff. rent a kayak for 1/2 day for 20$(yeah, haggle... a lot...) swim around the island, and get to spots tourist can´t visit. climb a mountain, and jump into the sea. there are some spots with reefs, but not that much.

really good snorkelling spots are on the other side - ko panghan, ko tao esp. plus if you´re lucky you might stumble across bar with mushroom milkshakes ;) .

have fun.
 

TheMenWhoDrawSheeps

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Hi, some agencies recommend the following for SE Asia:
1. Typhoid / Typhus vaccinations (good for a few years); some American insurance cover this, some don't... about $120 if not covered
2. take Cipro 500 or another antibiotic with you in case of bacterial illness; some insurance such as Kaiser will dispense this as "traveler's antibiotics".
For Cipro, Kaiser recommends taking two upon onset, followed by 1 every 12 hours.
3. Hep A and Hep B vaccinations (and C if prudent). Often covered by insurance. A needs 2 rounds, and B needs 3 rounds for permanent immunity, but are effective a week or so after the first dose.
i got different info - 3. you have to make all the vaccinations, which takes 1/2-2/3 year, and fully resistant you are like a few moth after last one.
got standart poleo/typhus/tetanus/deuphteria - should be more than enough.
also got dengue feaver, which you actually don´t need.

except for that 7-11 is your best choice - carbon, bug repellent, and anything else you would ever need.
 

Thai-Mike

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Important: Respect the royal family, don't take any "Souvenirs" like flags from the flag pole. Can get jail til 15 years. Don't climb on statues, get dressed properly when entering temples. Just tell you cos so many tourist think they can behave like rowdies). Buddha statue can't taken home as souvenir. Don't be afraid eating on street, asking people taking their photos. (They like it) Don't be afraid talking to people, even if their English is not that good as many tourist expect. Just be patient and polite.

The main thing is: "Enjoy your stay".
 

Jonathan F/2

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in my experience crabi isn´t any good for snorkelling. they have plenty of wildlife resorts though - hot springs, caves, lakes, jungle, lagoons etc. i even did multiple day trip - drove all the way down to ko-lanta(was not worth it) visiting any kind of point of interest on my way there(definitely worth it).
food. is definitely a huge reason to visit krabi. night market culture is awesome, and only time i got food poisoning was after paying quite a sum in a fancy restaurant in Bangkok. try anything you can, except maybe native local food - though maybe you´re boiled blood, and liquified bones type.:)

there is a direct connection to ko phi phi, and other islands. basically a tourist trap, but worth visiting for the view and nature. don´t expect good snorkelling there either. don´t fall for any tours or attractions, it´s a ripoff. rent a kayak for 1/2 day for 20$(yeah, haggle... a lot...) swim around the island, and get to spots tourist can´t visit. climb a mountain, and jump into the sea. there are some spots with reefs, but not that much.

really good snorkelling spots are on the other side - ko panghan, ko tao esp. plus if you´re lucky you might stumble across bar with mushroom milkshakes ;) .

have fun.
Are you saying once you get to Ko Phi Phi rent a kayak? How were the other islands? I don't plan to do any snorkeling with my kids-in-tow! Also you said Ko Lanta wasn't worth the drive, what were the points of interest that were worth seeing? I'll probably split the trip into beach hopping, nature sightseeing and definitely check out the night market in Krabi.

Food isn't an issue for me, I can pretty much eat anything. On my last trip to Bangkok and I came back feeling like a champ! My biggest issue is that food tasted so bland after eating only Thai native spiciness! I literally had to eat whole Mexican green chilis just to enjoy my food again!
 

Jonathan F/2

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Important: Respect the royal family, don't take any "Souvenirs" like flags from the flag pole. Can get jail til 15 years. Don't climb on statues, get dressed properly when entering temples. Just tell you cos so many tourist think they can behave like rowdies). Buddha statue can't taken home as souvenir. Don't be afraid eating on street, asking people taking their photos. (They like it) Don't be afraid talking to people, even if their English is not that good as many tourist expect. Just be patient and polite.

The main thing is: "Enjoy your stay".
Totally familiar with protocol regarding the royal family. I was quite interested that the current king's father was also an avid photographer. My other half is Buddhist, and we're used to practicing proper etiquette when visiting temples/monasteries and also respecting spiritual landmarks.

Last time I was there, I made lots of friends both local and foreign, it also helps that I blend in and it was easy photography-wise to explore without attracting attention to myself. I also feel photography is way more appreciated there and respected as a craft.

Definitely looking forward to going and I know it'll be a great experience. :D @pake Didn't mean to hijack your thread, it's just that everyone on mu-43 is super helpful! ;)
 

TheMenWhoDrawSheeps

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Are you saying once you get to Ko Phi Phi rent a kayak? How were the other islands? I don't plan to do any snorkeling with my kids-in-tow! Also you said Ko Lanta wasn't worth the drive, what were the points of interest that were worth seeing? I'll probably split the trip into beach hopping, nature sightseeing and definitely check out the night market in Krabi.

Food isn't an issue for me, I can pretty much eat anything. On my last trip to Bangkok and I came back feeling like a champ! My biggest issue is that food tasted so bland after eating only Thai native spiciness! I literally had to eat whole Mexican green chilis just to enjoy my food again!
yop, there isn´t much else to do on koh phi phi. there is a bit jungle, some nice viewpoints, try to visit all beaches. be aware the further away a beach is from a resort the more chances it´s filled with trash. and swiming along the shore on kayak, finding different lagoons to swim was actually best experience - but don´t mess with monkeys, don´t even attend to go on beach with some monkeys, especially with kids. the only tour worth making was 4, or 5 island tour, which visits quite a few memorable spots - i´d rather take a short tour, because 1/2 of the places are just beaches. the biggest ripoff is bamboo island - it is just a beach, to visit which you are paying twice the price, so skip it.

google/youtube. there are quite some nice mentions, sadly can´t remember the most.
railey beach, Buddhist temples in kraabi, emerald pool, khao sok is quite a bit away than bok national park, or actually the one much lower, can´t remember the name - there are quite some caves around, phet cave, clang cave, hot stream krabi, etc. my advantage was, that i rented a scooter, so anything around was in reach of like 1-2h. and even if i didt´tlike my main destination, i could find something interesting not far away. driving was actually pleasant - not as much traffic as in bangkok, also quite a few sites to see.

ko lanta was a mess. high prices, trash everywhere. here and there you could find a nice beach, but it´s rather an exception. water also wasn´t as inviting as crystal clear water on islands.
 

Mikehit

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One other thing I did not mention is on at least a couple of days to get out early. And I mean early....like 5 o'clock. It is when the markets start working and the monks go on their morning tour of the neighbourhood to collect alms and donations. Their saffron robes make a colourful focal point and the often go around in a line, and ages can be 5 years and up.
 

pake

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Thanks for the info! I'm very familiar with Bangkok, since I spent an epic street shooting trip there back in 2017, but I haven't been to Krabi province yet so I was a bit interested on your thoughts. Bummed to hear about Ao Nang being dark and sandy. Any chance you were able to visit Railay beach?
Awesome shots in your Bangkok album! And no, we didn't have (or make) time for Railay beach. We though about it but...

@pake Didn't mean to hijack your thread, it's just that everyone on mu-43 is super helpful! ;)
No worries! Interesting stuff to read and we are going back there some day so I will be reading this thread again before that. :2thumbs:
 

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