Thailand has been the ultimate escape for travellers for many years! With their welcoming nature & hospitality brimming from every corner of the country – from local food vendors to the taxi drivers and general population, there are just a few aspects of the country that drives tourists to keep returning – this and the great value for money, the fantastic shopping, the blissful massages & the tantalizing food!
This summer I decided to explore an island I had never been to in Thailand before: Krabi, at the Nakamanda Resort & Spa – a small and idyllic hotel, with just about 40 villas, all with a calming view of the turquoise ocean amid the greenery and bird of paradise flowers that grow in abundance in the tropical landscape.
Here’s a break down of the calming trip!
Day 1: I explored the hotel facilities & wandered around the vicinity to find a stretch of the private beach and multiple seaside restaurants. I had a lovely lunch consisting of the typical Thai papaya salad, spicy fish, butter coated mussels, and a red curry. In the middle of my lunch, the clouds started to gather, with two scary formations in the sky signalling a serious bout of rain. And lo and behold, did it start pouring – all day so I decided to indulge in a lovely aromatherapy massage before calling it a night.
Day 2: The skies were gray again, but that didn’t deter me – umbrella in hand, I made my way to Railay Beach by driving to Ao Nang & taking a boat. The drive was spectacular, with cliffs, greenery & the sea surrounding you – like a storybook setting! It began pouring again so after a nice lunch, I explored the caves instead – which have been around for years & have some of the most beautiful rock formations.
After a 10-minute walk from Railay west to east, I came across a beautiful, serene, private lagoon. Thankfully the rain had stopped, prompting me to jump into the lukewarm water which was as clear as glass.
I ended the crazy day after weathering the storm on a tiny boat back at a Mexican restaurant called Crazy Gringos – which features fantastic food, excellent service, and a great live duo, in the tourist hub for dinner.
Day 3: After fighting the seas, I decided to stay away from the water for a day. Instead, I indulged in a 5 hour Thai DIY cooking class with some guidance from a wonderful, friendly teacher with a great sense of humour, making the experience even more fun! We cooked in an outdoor kitchen, where I learned how to make tom yum soup, papaya salad, green curry (with the paste made from scratch) & the traditional Thai dessert sticky rice with mango. From cutting, slicing, grinding ingredients with a mortar and pestle, to frying & taste-testing. The lesson proved to be educational & very relaxing. This is a must do for people passionate about understanding the balance of flavours in Thai cuisine.
Day 4: A day dedicated to Elephants! Elephant rides were sold as fun, but the mistreatment of them made this activity more upsetting than enjoyable. Later, I had a lovely dinner at the hotel, witnessed one of the most magnificent sunsets I have ever seen, followed by a massage before I hit the hay.
Day 5: The sun was out, the tide was in & it was finally time to hit the beach at the hotel. After breakfast, a 45-minute swim & fresh juice, I decided to make my way to Ao Nang…. again. Another dip in the Ao Nang beach under a cloud-covered sky, with the sun peeking at us swimmers from in between the clouds was just what was needed! Then I indulged in delicious tapas at a nearby bistro called Jenna’s where the spicy tuna tapa was easily the highlight of the meal, I got a relaxing foot massage at a local spa. Don’t shy away from using Trip Advisor for reviews – that’s what led me to a slightly run-down restaurant that specialised in sea food for dinner that night. While the ambience was completely ghetto, the food more than made up for it. Easily one of the best meals I had on the trip.
Day 6: The last day in beautiful Krabi was a sunny day! I booked a tour to visit the natural hot springs and the Emerald Pool. Within minutes of reaching, I was submerged in the warm water. It is said that the magnesium in the water is good for the body’s skin! Since the water is quite warm, the tour guide recommended a maximum time of 20 minutes in the hot springs!
Later, I head to the Emerald Pool – a glistening body of waist-high water, clear as glass, green as jade, surrounded by trees, and a perfect temperature. It was the highlight of my trip! Right after, I had a quick lunch consisting of fresh pineapple juice & delicious pad kra pao, and made my way back to the hotel for my last massage, and then made my way to the airport to head back to reality!