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Sipping Bacardi in Krabi - Guide To Aonang

Noel and I were on the fence about taking a short trip overseas after the wedding. We knew we were gonna move to our own place and a lot of time and energy would be needed for that milestone. I'm glad I managed to convince him to take a much needed break before the next chapter in our marriage.

A week before the wedding we were still looking at different options. Thailand? Bali? Vietnam? We finally chose Krabi because we both had awesome experiences when we went years ago and we are both not crazy about crowded touristy areas that are over-commercialized and expensive.

We took quite a while to pick a resort because there are so many gorgeous places to choose from. I think we looked at almost 10 different ones before we eventually went with Poonsiri Resortyou can read my post about all their facilities and amenities here.

When we arrived, all we really wanted to do was just lie down and recharge. But when I travel, I also like to see the sights and experience new things. We made a list of the places we wanted to visit but some of them were a little out of the way and transportation would have cost us quite a bit.

The first night we were too exhausted to go anywhere so we ordered in. The next day we decided to take the free shuttle service to the beach and explore the bars and restaurants. Since we were officially on our honeymoon, we thought, why not have a few drinks in the middle of the day? No one's gonna judge us here. If you've ever been to Thailand, you'll know they serve liquor in small buckets. It seemed like a good idea at the time and the bar we visited was so rustic and comfortable, we spent so many hours there! Noel even managed to convince the barmaid to play Bob Marley, it was lovely.

We had buckets of rum!

As soon as we noticed the sun was starting to set, we drunkenly made our way to the beach to take some flattering photos. It was low tide so we could walk all the way out, and there were so many tiny crabs! You can watch my tipsy narration of it here. 

We took what must have been about a hundred photos before walking back to the shore. We spotted a cosy little beach bar with live music so we went in there to have another cocktail (no more buckets for us! I was already falling all over the place and singing WAY too loud) Noel decided to tell the band that I wanted to sing, so the next thing I know, I'm up on stage next to the guitarist singing Amy Winehouse and the Cranberries. I really enjoyed myself and everyone seemed to be having as much fun as we were. 

Noel was slightly surprised that the bar didn't have any food options and we were both starving so we walked over to a random pizza stall across the road after saying goodbye to our new friends from the bar. For some reason Noel thought I wanted to pack the food instead of eating it there (I don't remember saying this but let's give him the benefit of the doubt, we were both tipsy and I probably said it without realizing it) so we bought 2 pizzas and snacked on some other street food like pad Thai and spring rolls while waiting for the last shuttle bus to pick us up. We probably should have saved the drinking for the day after because the next morning we had to wake up super early for a day tour we had booked! The hangover was NO FUN.

We went on a day tour to the Emerald Pool, Hot Spring Waterfall and Tiger Cave Temple. Noel had been to the Tiger Cave before but he kept raving about it so I knew I wanted to experience it too. In hindsight, we should have trained a little before making the trip but it made the whole day slightly more memorable and comical. Clearly we're not as physically fit as we'd like to believe.

The first stop was the hot spring waterfall, and boy was it crowded! Noel and I are not morning people plus we were brutally hung over so we were already quite grumpy in the van on the way there (especially when we picked up a few noisy tourists that seemed to love talking a bit TOO MUCH that early in the day) The weather was extremely hot so it's no surprise that everyone wanted to cool off,  but I don't think that would have been the case since the water in the hot springs goes up to 35-40 degrees Celsius. Even if you paid me, I don't think I would have gone in there! Everyone was just posing for selfies and not giving each other any personal space. Noel and I walked close enough to see it and then we were like kthanksbye.

We were more curious to see the Emerald Pool and the Blue Pool. Those were gorgeous to look at but also very crowded as expected. I wasn't able to convince Noel to get in to the Emerald Pool, even after the arduous trek to see the Blue Pool. I felt that we had come all this way, we might as well experience the water, but as soon as I got in I felt pretty gross because I'm a bit of germaphobe. I started to think about everyone's 'cooties' and I lasted about 5 minutes, got Noel to take a couple of photos before I decided to get out. After that, we had lunch at a nearby canteen (it was included in the package) and we met a really nice couple from India. The last stop for the day was the Tiger Cave Temple. After having hiked for a good hour or so, our energy levels were already dwindling but I knew I wanted to see the view from the top. From the ground, it didn't look that high but of course, as soon as we started climbing, my legs appeared to forget what their purpose was.

Our flamboyant guide was very optimistic about us taking only 40 minutes to get to the top and 20 minutes to come back down. What a bloody liar. We had to stop SO many times because both of us were out of breath and constantly gasping for air. Noel was completely drenched in perspiration, I think even his little face towel was soaking wet. It didn't help that there were loads of other people coming and going, we obviously didn't want to be obstacles in their way so we had to find pockets of space to rest and recover. I lost count of how many times Noel asked me "are you sure you wanna go all the way to the top?" I don't know if he was genuinely concerned about my ability to climb steep stairs, or whether he wanted to use me as a convenient excuse to turn around. But I take my hat off to him, because he kept me motivated for the entire duration of the climb. If I had been there alone, I don't think I would have even made it halfway.

Noel would ask every other person on their way down, "are we almost there? How much more to go?" And they'd always reply, "still a long way to go buddy," or something along those lines. There was a lady that was beside us for the first few flights and her phone kept ringing SO loudly, I couldn't understand what she was doing. Was she reporting her journey to someone on ground level? I'm not joking her phone rang at least 10 times while we were near her, and they were always video calls. I was like "come on lady, you're missing out on this experience." Unless she was proving to the person she called "dude I'm really here, I'm legit climbing this mountain." We didn't see her after a while so I'm guessing she gave up and turned around. Probably managed to convince whoever she was calling that she had climbed enough. Or maybe there was no more reception on her phone.

At each mini-stop, we took in the view of the countryside and my heart and mind wanted to get to the top so badly but my body was not co-operating! Soon Noel spotted the couple from our group and they were not that far ahead, the guy soon became our new motivator, probably without even meaning to be. Every time we saw him, we knew the peak was just around the corner.

Someone certainly didn't enjoy walking up the stairs.

When we started to get a glimpse of the last flight of steps, I wanted to jump for joy and shout "Hooray!" but I think I would have passed out. Well, can I just say that every single step we had climbed to get to the top, was totally worth it. The stunning view took my breath away and I felt like I could just spend hours there, with the cool wind in my hair and sunshine on my face. We took a gazillion photos and another sight to behold was a cute little doggo, that oddly enough seemed to have tiger prints on his fur!

Soon Noel started to get anxious and then we realized we would have to get back DOWN! Our legs had already turned to mush so our descent was just as tricky as our climb. Thankfully the other couple went down with us so we weren't  the last ones back on the bus. That night I think I slept like an actual log, I didn't move once!

For our last day we had planned to visit the Night Market but before that, we felt there would have been no better time to get a massage since we were checking out the next morning. We dragged our sore legs to the massage parlor just outside our resort and 90 minutes later, we emerged from the most relaxing experience we had had in a long time. While waiting for our transport to the Night Market, Noel thrashed me at ping pong even though initially I had to twist his arm to play with me.

The Night Market was so wonderful for so many reasons. Noel and I don't do well with big crowds but we didn't feel too bad this time around. Perhaps because there was so much to take in and people were not pushing and shoving so we were able to take our time and see what every stall had to offer. Noel prepared himself beforehand by taking his anti-histamine so he was wolfing down every bit of seafood he could find.

I was more into these fried chicken 'crumbs', essentially it's just all the crunchy bits that's left over when they fry the actual chicken. We were so amazed that none of the stallholders tried to bargain with us either. They had small cardboard signs with the prices written on them and a lot of things were really affordable and not overpriced at all! We bought a small lamp for 300B (approx. SGD$12), some hand painted art for less than SGD $10 and T shirts for 100B ($4) each.

In between we managed to watch some incredible musicians perform on stage in the middle of the market. There was Krabi's very own 'Epic Sax Guy' with so much energy and enthusiasm, he made me want to learn how to play the saxophone! There were also groups of students playing traditional Thai instruments and dancing too. We were only there for just under 2 hours but we managed to eat like kings and shop till we dropped.

The next morning we checked out and said goodbye to Poonsiri Resort and headed for the airport. Some might say our trip wasn't packed with back-to-back activities but we wouldn't have had it any other way. We'll definitely go back and see even more parts of Krabi that have yet to be explored.

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