The quiet side of Krabi
Krabi, Thailand – Every year people flock to its idyllic beaches and leave with a treasured memory of paradise. Ayuni Ayatillah tells her story as she discovers the quieter side of Krabi on a road trip – the Klong Muang beach, north of the popular, lively Ao Nang.
It has been more than twelve hours on the road. Even though the decision to drive from our hometown Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Krabi,Thailand was a sane and conscious decision, slivers of regret came into our minds.
Fatigue has crept up on us. The journey was undeniably long; certainly longer that we expected as we were stranded for almost three hours at Wang Kelian, the Malaysia-Thailand border checkpoint. Thanks to the insurance system that decided to crash when we arrived, we had no choice but to wait for it to come back online.
The sun has set as we finally entered Krabi province, the luminous display of our GPS device stung our eyes. The ETA reads thirty gruelling minutes until we reach our resort – The Elements Krabi at Klong Muang beach, located north of the popular Ao Nang.
The roads started to get darker. Apart from the GPS, we relied on the signboards that mercifully displayed Roman spellings to translate its quirky, curly Thai writings. As we exited Phetkasem Road – the main road that connects the provinces – the new roads became uneven and interrupted with constructions. Dust arises in front of our headlights as we navigated the bumpy road.
“Are you sure we are heading in the right direction?” I asked my husband, breaking the silence. Annoyed, he asked me to take the wheel. I decided to keep quiet.Where on earth could this beach be? We knew that Krabi is a piece of heaven, but the roads have not done any justice so far.
Finally, we made a turn into Klong Muang beach. A look of a beachfront emerged – lines of Thai food restaurants and traditional Thai massage spots nestled between luxurious hotels like Sheraton and Sofitel. There were also a number of smaller, privately-owned guesthouses. It was less bustling though, not the lively kind of a beachfront with dancing lights and loud music; certainly not a place to party.
We drove straight ahead and kept on looking. The number of guesthouses and restaurants became lesser, it was quiet again. Every now and then we had to overtake huge monster-like trucks, the kind that moved painstakingly slow, carrying heaps of powdery substances in its compartments.
Our resort façade loomed ahead. The sight gave us a mixed feeling of relief, joy and accomplishment. We knew that the resort was a quaint exquisite type but we did not expect that it would be literally hidden deeply in Krabi, away from the usual hotspots.
Check-in was a breeze, and the resort staff was nothing but helpful and smiles, although quite astounded with the fact that we drove all the way from Malaysia. Our room welcomed us with an expected Thai flair – exotic and accommodating with a comfortable bed and spacious natural finished interior.
The sun was shining brightly as we woke up the next day, but it was not as humid as Malaysia. After breakfast, we walked to the nearest beach. From the distance, the water glimmers in blue, perfectly mirroring the sky. We had a splendid view of the Andaman Sea, its islands of limestone formations scattering on the horizon. There were only a few long tail boats on the shores, a lot better than the busy Ao Nang shores that we visited later.
We discovered that there was a gypsum quarry nearby. That explained the massive trucks we encountered the night before. A few hundred metres away, our view of the sea was obstructed by a heavily constructed gypsum line that carries the substance to a huge vessel berthed at its end.
Delicious authentic Thai food in Klong Muang, Krabi
Looking for food in Klong Muang was not hard. Thai food was abundant, as was other international delicacies such as Italian and Indian. Best not to burn a hole in the pocket with these foods though, Thai food are always most economical and guaranteed delicious.
We went back to the beach later in the afternoon. The water was cold and the coast was too rocky and shallow for a decent swim. We joined our little daughter building sandcastles and frolicking on the sands instead. Silhouettes of boats emerged as the sun retired for the day, making it an ideal spot for a perfect sunset.
We bid adieu to Krabi after four days of exploring its islands. Our black Focus turned almost brown from the dust of the quarry and reconstructed roads. That aside, Klong Muang was just nice the way it is. But one thing for sure, we are taking the plane next time.
/// Written by Ayuni Ayatillah, Malaysia