We started the day with a shock to the system. It was the first time in a while that we had to use the alarm clock to wake us up. I didn’t get a very good nights sleep, so in a way I was kind of relieved to hear the robotic ringtone coming from my iPhone. We had 40 minutes to get ready, before a minibus pulled up outside. We managed it, but the minibus didn’t. It was running late, so we didn’t get going until 8am, as opposed to the original 7:30 we first thought. We had to switch vehicles halfway through the journey, as certain passengers were heading to Koh Lanta, not Krabi like us. It worked in my favour ultimately as I managed to procure a seat with generous legroom, so, for the following 3 hours I was very comfy.
The surrounding views were stunning as we grew closer to Krabi. Mighty buildings were dwarfed by colossal mountains behind them. It was so picturesque that at points it looked like somebody had placed a humongous painting in the distance. It was almost surreal, I found it very hard to believe what my eyes were seeing. The only time I had seen sights like that before were in books and holiday brochures back home. Our minibus was supposed to take us to Krabi Town, or so we were lead to believe, instead, the bloody driver dropped us all off at a bus station in the middle of nowhere. There were dozens of people sat around, all waiting on minibuses to take them back to Phuket. We were told by one of the female employees that Krabi Town was only 5-7km down the road. It made us certain that we wouldn’t pay the extortionate 200 baht charge one of the minibus drivers was asking for.
In the end we made friends with 2 other girls, they were also going the same way as us, which made the cost of a minibus more reasonable (50 baht each). That was until the lady told us we’d have to wait an hour before one was available, not wanting to join everyone else in the waiting game we chose to walk until we found the nearest bus stop.
The four of us set off (with me carrying the two large holdalls) and within only a matter of 200 metres, a large white truck pulled over to one side and the driver shouted out “taxi?” We were saved! He agreed to take us to our accommodations for just 50 baht each. We joked when we were inside, how we just broke the golden rule taught to us by our parents as children
“Don’t ever get into a strangers vehicle”.
The driver was really friendly and helpful, when it came to finding our places he had no problem locating them. He dropped the two polish girls off first, then drove us to our place. En route he took us to a travel agent, he even waited for Sarah and I as she purchased tickets for our visa run to Patong. When we got inside Mr Clean’s Guesthouse we were unable to check in. We were told we’d have to wait half an hour before the room was ready. We used that time to walk next door and book up a day trip for the next day to 4 beautiful islands. While we were there, Sarah enquired about the cost of a bus to Patong, to which the lady said “590 baht”, that was 160 baht cheaper than what we just paid. “Damn it”, was Sarah’s response. We then waited out the remaining time in our guesthouse’s lobby. When they eventually let us upstairs, I had a quick shower and changed my clothes. The pair of us then went exploring outdoors.
I was quite hungry by this point, having only eaten the remains of Sarah’s pizza for breakfast. So, our first task was to locate food. We settled on a hostel down the street, it had a few people inside already eating, that sufficed as a good enough review for us. I had a Massaman curry, just to mix things up rather than my Pad Thai based diet. It was delicious and cheaply priced. We then looked around a few stores and enquired about prices with taxi drivers, they were extortionate, around 800 baht. For that price we could buy another day trip somewhere. We had a look in the opticians, as seeing as I lost my prescription sunnies in Laos river, I needed to replace them. They were very expensive also, £200 equivalent for some Ray Bans. In the end we made our way back to our guesthouse, with only two shakes and toiletries as our purchases.
We sat in the lobby for a short time, while Sarah looked up accommodation in Patong. The reason we were so forward thinking was because the Chinese New Year was coming up (10th of February) and it tends to fill up quite quickly. Malaysia is supposedly a good place to celebrate the New Year on accounts of it’s high rate of Chinese occupants. With only one place remaining (with minimal spaces) we booked it up there and then. Not wanting old habits to die, we then returned to the room for a little lie down. I’ll tell you, this travelling business is tiring work!
Like two nocturnal creatures leaving their dens for food, we ventured outside around 7pm. We visited the local seafood market, a place of which the driver had told us about earlier that day. They sold most dishes you’d find anywhere else, only for a cheaper price. Like most Asian dishes I have tried, I was once again pleased. It was fantastic. I had the instant noodles with seafood (prawns and squid), Sarah had the noodle soup with seafood. Both dishes hit the spot and came to a total price of 90 baht (£1.80). The whole outdoor eating thing will be something I will sorely miss when we one day leave this place. If England had nicer weather it would be something the country could benefit from, there’s a certain sense of community in it. Plus, all the women would love it as it would mean no more cooking and cleaning – SEXIST!!!
We bought a few more snacks (corn on the cob, sauté chicken sticks and a chocolate/banana pancake) before returning to our hostel. It was half past nine when we got into bed, we listened to some music, put on a movie, then set an alarm in preparation for our day trip the next day.