8 February – Ko Lanta – Krabi

We were up and waiting, along with other farang, at the roadside at 7am. Our pickup arrived at 7.15am, and we piled into it, our rucksacks were strapped to the top and off we bounced down the road, to the ferry port.
We had arrived a full hour early for the ferry, so thought we would avoid all the delicious looking bakeries and get a good seat on the boat, meaning one at the back for a less bumpy ride.
Meanwhile everyone else was wandering onto the ferry with fluffy pancakes, fabulous muffins and iced coffees. But we were fine with that, honest!
The journey was predictably beautiful, many tiny islands jutting out of the the sea covered in foliage, the odd beach dotted around, and mostly uninhabited.
We knew we had to drop people off at an island on the way, and assumed that would happen by docking at a ferry port, oh, how wrong we were! Instead when we were near the island the ferry slowed down and about 6 longtail boats came close enough for the passengers to be taken on board and dropped off in the middle of the sea!

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The rest of the journey was uneventful, and we landed in Krabi on time!!!!!!! And then got an English priced taxi to our hotel, I think the taxi Mafia in Krabi lobbied for a ferry port 3km away from the town and then also lobbied for it being compulsory for all companies to charge ridiculous fixed prices for a ride into town, £6!

We were learning from our Joseph and Mary routine so had thought ahead and actually booked a room. However on arrival the kid behind reception flicked through about 20 room bookings of which ours was not one of them! He called his mum, who arrived about 20 mins later, and immediately said our booking was fine and showed us to a massive room, with the now usual TV and fridge, and with the less unusual smell of drains, which we now associate with Krabi. I don’t know if the local council have done away with the drain cleaning department or what, but everywhere you go your senses are overloaded with the drain smell, and quite a few of the massive covers have been covered over to try and stop the smell in a futile way.

Unfortunately the hotel owner had to dash off, therefore we were left with no map or much idea of which way to go into town other than relying on Google maps. So we took the wrong turn out of the hotel, and walked into town the dull and laborious route, passing about 5 7/11’s on the way and were wondering what the hell all the guidebooks and blogs were talking about when describing this place!
We did eventually arrive at Krabi centre and it was lovely with a relaxed atmosphere, lots of backpacker facilities, which now mean coffee shops, Wifi, traveller clothing shops – you know tie dye stuff, fisherman’s trousers (confession: we both are now proud owners of a pair of these) Chang singlets, wooden tat etc. It is roasting hot though and we need to keep visiting 7/11’s which have the coldest air con known to man.

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And the town tourism planner has also come up with some great photo opportunities for tourists in the shape of crabs (for Krabi….geddit?)

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Gorilla traffic lights

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The shops have amusing names…….

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And dummies are alarming

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And cute

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Our plan was to go to a couple of little known islands, Ko Phayam and Ko Chang (little) for the next week or so and go ‘off grid’ as ‘they’ say. Which is a great plan until you realise that there will be no comfortable tourist bus to go on, no hotel pick up and no information at any of the tourist places we asked at, other than go to the local bus station and hope a local bus is going at maybe 8am? After about the 5th place of asking we saw a farang in the street wearing a Ko Phayam T-shirt and so checked with him how he had done the trip, which gave us more confidence that we were on the right tracks.
So, a 6 hour local bus journey awaited us tomorrow, with the possibility of missing the afternoon ferry out to Phayam and so staying in a Thai town which was a bit of a dump.
We thought we would prepare for this by going to the night market and eating loads of strange food and having a beer, not much different to any other night really.

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The food was delicious, exciting and fiery! Guy had various meat things on sticks.

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I had chilli with a small amount of chicken, rice and a load more chilli!

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We found a bar and looked up at the TV and saw LIVE football, the first time we had seen live football since leaving the motherland. And it was Liverpool Arsenal. And there were 4 goals in the first 20 minutes! We were happy, so happy in fact that we decided to supplement the Chang with a small bottle of a new whisky, Hong Thong. This inevitably delayed our plans for sitting on a local bus for 6 hours the next day……

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