Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Krabi ep5.1

Meet Dao Thong, No Gentle

Our view of the rubber plantation

The batik lizard

A hungry elephant this one

see, no seat!

eating tree barks

feeding the elephant

bathing time

this is how the other elephants eat

this is how the male eats.

btw, they are chained so they will not go into the rubber plantation and damage the place

Krabi ep5

For some reason, we were psyched when we saw the elephant ride packages in Krabi. We went back to the same tour operator for the packages because we were too lazy to scout around.

There are few packages you can choose from. One full day, half day, one hour and it also includes jungle trekking, waterfall visit and everything else I do not remember. We opt for the simplest one; 1 hour elephant ride (or was it 2) because we plan to spend the rest of the day lazing by the beach.

They brought us to Nosey Parker’s Elephant Camp about 20 minutes from Ao Nang. Now, I cannot remember how many elephants were there but I remember there was only one male elephant in the camp and he was too old to reproduce.

Yes, that information is important somehow.

And if you are sakai like me, there is this hut thingy where we only have to climb the stairs and slide onto the seat.

Maybe it’s just me, but I got a little nervous sitting on that seat. There was no safety belt and I keep imagining the elephant would run amok and we’ll end up falling with the elephant squashing me to death. Yes, I have a very wild imagination.

While walking to the hut to pick us up, the elephant pooped. A big one. Our elephant’s name is Dao Thong (I think) which means No Gentle. That is not comforting.

We went to the nearby area where we had to cross a river, and hilly side. I am amazed how the elephant manage to balance herself.

I guess she was hungry as she makes a lot of stop to feed herself with leaves and tree barks. She farted too and the smell, OMG the smell was pretty bad.

True to her name, she has a mind of her own and wanted to climb the almost 70 degree hill. *heart attack*

There wasn’t much to see except for the batik lizard we saw on the trees. Oh, and how she uses her trunk to knock down a small tree because she wants to eat it.

So after a while, we finally went back. We get to feed her with bananas and pineapple. Macam vacuum her trunk. We also get to see another elephant shower and them eating the lunch.

Most of the elephants would take the whole stalk of plant and smash it on the ground, hoping it will separate into smaller pieces. The male elephant was smart. He actually stepped on the plant and uses his trunk to tear the leaves apart. *claps hand*

I am pretty sure if you guys take the elephant and jungle trekking you would have a more awesome experience. I am done with the elephant ride though. It was fun, but I rather spend my time enjoying the sun.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Krabi ep4.1

walking towards the boat

I call him the Shell Boobs Boy because of this

The view from the first island we went

This is how they 'park' their boats. do not be afraid to get a little wet!

During low tide, you can see the "path" that connects the two island. On high tide, they look like they are crossing the ocean. coolness.

Snorkeling looks fun from the boat :)

and so does rock climbing

views like this are spectacular

the chicken island.

Let my shoulder and arms enjoy the sun because they deserve it. LOL

Krabi ep4

One MUST DO activity at Krabi is of course, the island trip. Even if you don’t swim, go for the one of the many available island trips. Every time I thought the view was superb, I was surprised with a more magnificent one.

Krabi is blessed indeed.

There are PLENTY of tour agents around Ao Nang but Sam, the Manager of Aloha Inn recommended the Barracudas Tour which is like 2 minutes walk from the B&B.

The ladies at the outlet were friendly and explain to us the many available packages. There were 4 Island Tour, 5 Island Tour, Sunset Tour, Phi Phi Island Tour and if that is not plenty enough, you can also choose to take the speed boat or the long tail boat.

Long tail boat eh? Sounds really exotic no?

So I decided to go for the 4 Islands on a long boat tail. We have speedboats in KK thank you very much. The whole booking took us less than 5 minutes and the nice lady even gave me us a special discount.

The next morning, we gathered at the outlet at 8am sharp and we were introduced to our guide.

I don’t remember his name now but he is very funny and speaks pretty good English.

Oh, there were plenty of good looking men waiting outside the outlet, but to mine and my sister’s disappointment, we ended up in a boat where the only two men who were “women-less” that day were *ahem* more than just friends.

Our guide, let’s call him Shell Boobs Boy, details later, ushered everyone across the street onto this small lorry. We settled down nicely only to be told, that’s not our ride. *hee*

We finally arrived at the jetty which is not a jetty if you ask me. It was the river bank and we had to cross the water to get onto our boat. And because of all the boats were parked in that area, let’s just say the water wasn’t the cleanest. But you know what; when you’re in Ao Nang, do what the Ao Nang people do. No complain. No fuss.

I jokingly pointed to my sister the sad looking boat and just our luck; it was our long tail boat. It didn’t looked like it will survive the tiniest wave, but I was assured that the boat is strong and it was made without a single nail. Great way to make me feel safe *sarcastic two thumbs up*

So we walked in the water to our boat and “haul” ourselves over board. Oh, don’t worry there was this steel staircase you could climb, but depending on the water level, it could be a little tricky to take the first step up and the last step down. I climbed like a carefree monkey and slide down the boat like a gentle Dugong.

One great tip; DON’T SIT TOO FAR BEHIND, especially next to the motor because it is loud and you don’t get the best photo angle.

I cannot remember the names of the islands because I couldn’t hear a thing what the Shell Boobs Boy said over the loud motor, and their Thai names are confusing for me. Ooh, but I remember Chicken Island, because well it’s an island shaped like a chicken.

The trip was definitely worth it. The turquoise water and the stunning island formation were breathtaking. However, it can get a little tiring and somewhat restless after a couple of hours especially with the not so comfortable seating, so it is important to make sure you get enough room to be able to change your seating position once in a while.

This is important too because my sister and I ended up with sunburn on one arm only!

Lunch is provided but you may want to pack something to munch though most of the island we stopped by have the “floating cafes”. Oh, though they do provide drinking water, but it’s best to bring some your own; either to wash the salty sea water after a dip, or to dehydrate because boy, the heat can be unbearable.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

planning Cambodia

One tip when booking your flight to Cambodia, it is best to arrive at Phnom Penh and depart from Siem Reap or vice versa. When we were doing our booking, my sister only told me to book to Angkor Wat and Angkor Wat was not in one of the destination.

Yes, I am ignorant like that.

I would usually find info on the world wide web, but for some reason, I didn’t and I end up buying the return tickets to Phnom Penh. I mean, it’s the capital city so surely there’s plenty of things to do.

True, but it is not Angkor Wat.

So now I have to figure out our ‘adventure’ to travel to Siem Reap and back to Phnom Penh in four days. *woohoo* Each trip takes about 5 hours but I was assured it would be worth it.

I am sure it would.

By the way, anyone knows a wishing well or a somewhere to make dreams/wishes come true? Hee. It’s for a friend I assure you. But kalau ada, saya pun mau juga. *LOL*

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sunday post

It’s a Sunday afternoon. I SHOULD be chillin’ and enjoying the day off before the new twist to the drama tomorrow, but I am agitated. I have been this way for many weeks now. I call it the June Bug. For some reason I really get depressed around this time of the year.

However, this time I am not alone. *evil laugh* I know it’s a rather mean thing to say, but it’s comforting to know that I am not the only one feeling like in a rut; that I want a new change. Like moving to a foreign country. Or simply leave my job to travel the world. You know, something exciting.

But it is not that simple. I cannot just pack my bags and take Ekiel with me to face something that is not certain nor can I leave him behind and expect my family to be okay with it.

I am not complaining, I am just saying it is not the right thing to do. At this moment.

This is adulthood no? To be sensible and responsible is most time a pain in the arse.

Que sera sera.

Plenty of things are happening for the next two months! First up is the Amateur Open, then the re-launch of the North Borneo Railway (yes finally!!!), the Labuan adventure, then the 11th Sutera Harbour 7K Sunset Charity Run 2011, then the SH Merdeka Month Launching, then my Cambodia trip *woohoo*, then the SH Berbuka Puasa, then the ‘conquering the mountain’ and finally the Hari Raya/Merdeka holiday.

Yes, I also ask myself why I am still bored.

More Krabi stories coming up.
Plus my Miri trip.
I know I need to blog more often.
But my alasan is, susah bah mau blog without your own computer. I have to wait for everyone and that usually is forever. I cannot blog in the office because I was told I am not supposed to be smiling to myself when I am in front of the PC.

Bah, enjoy the cranky & serious me.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Krabi ep3

After we checked-in, our first itinerary was to go to Krabi Town Walking Street Night Market. We found some blogs who recommended a must visit. I must admit it was the food, the mouth watering food photos that got us so determined to find our way to town.

Everyone in Krabi is friendly (except for some shop people) and speaks English so getting around was easy. We asked for direction and we were told to cross the road and wait for the transport. We were not sure what sort of ‘transport’ we were supposed to wait, but you cannot miss the ‘songtaew’ (similar to jeepney in Manila) to Krabi town. There were signage and one of the passengers in the ‘songtaew’ also “asked” us “Krabi Town?” Hee.

Inside the 'songteaw'. A very 'windy' experience

A one way trip is 60BHT (RM6) and it took us about 30 minutes or so to reach Krabi Town. We weren’t sure where to stop and again the nice passengers told us where to stop, where to go and where and what time to find the last ‘songteaw’ to go back to Ao Nang. Such nice people.

When you see them, it's time to get off

We got there around 4.30pm and everyone was just starting to set up their stalls. We decided to wonder around the shopping malls/shop lots first.

The main entrance to the Krabi Town Walking Street Night Market

The shopping mall is actually a departmental store called Vogue Department. The prices were a bit expensive so we continued to wonder outside when we saw a staircase going to the basement of the store. We were not sure what it is, but to our nice surprise, there were plenty of smaller stalls selling clothes and everything else at reasonable prices.

Reasonable means, I managed to find a nice 3/4 pants for only RM19. My sister got herself a cool gladiator flats for RM19 as well. *woohoo*

I wanted the flats but the sizes were too small. Me and my big feet dilemma *sighs*

The night market is a showcase of colorful local cuisines, handicrafts and clothing as well.

Colourful treats

Thai artist painting the famous Chicken Island

One of the popular handicraft stall is the “flower soap”. I am pretty sure it is more for decoration purposes, but even the locals were buying it. The lady sits on the road and carved the soap into delicate flowers. The “flower soap” looks beautiful and there were a few flowers that were practically “glowing”. It is available for 100BHT (RM10).

Flower soap

I don’t know where to start when it comes to the yummilicious food. There were PLENTY to choose from and we were so tempted to try everything BUT to waste food is not an option. So we decided to walk one round before deciding what to get.

In the end, we got ourselves

Mini Sushi (5Bht – RM0.50 per piece) because they were so comel!

Prawn Omelet (25Bht – RM2.50 per plate)

Corn Pancake [something like the Kaya balls but lighter texture and of course with sweet corns]

Prawn Fritters

Pad Thai [something like Char Koey Teow but sweeter with lesser condiments]

Leo Beer

I forget what the rest costs.

Everything was so good; I sometime crave for the Prawn Omelet. I seriously do. The girl who cooked the wonderful omelet doesn’t speak English. When she realized I do not know Thai, she went out with the sweetest smile from her counter to look at the photo of the dish I was pointing.

In the middle of the night market area are tables and chairs where visitors could sit and enjoy their meals. There was also one of those inflatable playgrounds for children with the local music blasting on the speakers.

Then something interesting happened. At around 6pm, everyone stood up. Those walking stood still. For a while, I thought something happened when I finally figured out that it was the country’s national anthem.

The 6pm national anthem

I tried to google it for more information, and what I got is this:

“United Thais – Strong Thailand” with the intention to promote unity and patriotism. Thai people normally sing or at least stand for the national anthem twice a day at 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.

A visit to the Krabi Town Walking Street Night Market is a must. It offers something local and different from the scenes at Ao Nang. The night market is only open from Friday to Sunday, 5pm to 10pm.

Apparently there are other night markets in Krabi. For more information, click here.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Today's news

It's funny how they compiled the online news.
Rape report above, women's priority when having sex next and how men need to get good night sleep so it won't affect their sex life at the bottom.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Krabi pt2

We found Aloha Inn through TripAdvisor. There was nothing but good reviews about the place, so we thought hey why not. The price was very reasonable and when we saw that the B&B is only a 3-minute walk from the beach, we were sold!

The booking is so easy. Not long after we confirmed our booking, the owner of the B&B personally emailed us to confirm our reservation and offer their assistance with anything we need. Which we did. We asked lots and lots of question up to a point they got confused because of our very similar names. *LOL* In the end, he replied to both of us and reconfirmed whose name should be on the card when during arrival at the airport.

We checked-in into their “penthouse” because we *ahem* deserved it. The room was huge with a king-sized bed. True to its name, the d├ęcor is very much “Hawaiian” but that only gives the whole place character. I especially like the batik lizard placed at the edge of bed.

For a while, I really thought Krabi lizards were that big!

There was a balcony but the view isn’t the greatest. We were facing some kitchen but it was already mentioned in their website, so we didn’t really care.

View from the balcony

Besides, who wants to spend their time on the balcony?

Nightlife in Krabi is almost non-existent so the B&B provided lots of DVDs for our viewing pleasure, which was great because the local channels are all in Thai. Even the western movies were dubbed in Thai language which was super weird.

They have different types of room available, all at very cheap prices. I prefer a simple and clean B&B compared to resorts and hotels because first, I cannot afford them. Secondly, even if I can afford them, I think it’s a waste as you only spend little time in the room. Unless you don’t plan to come out larr. *winks*

B&Bs also offer a more personal touch. When was the last time you sit and chat with the owner/manager of the Inn? They are always the best person to talk to about the place, where to go and what to do and we had plenty to ask.

This is also one of the reasons why we are going back to the same inn for our next trip! *woohoo*