On the next day, we planned to visit a few of the many beautiful islands located around Ao Nang. We had gone through a few travel brochures at the airport on arrival, and decided to book the Barracudas Tour’s ‘4 Island Trip’. Although hung over with the vibrancy of the Night Market, we looked forward to experiencing the amazing beaches that Krabi boasted of. After a sumptuous breakfast at our hotel, we boarded a tuk-tuk which took us to the starting point at Ao Nang beach.
All the tour operators begin their island tours from this beach, and there was quite a horde of people waiting for the boats on the sea shore.
Long tail boats nestled with speed boats on the beach, and soon we boarded our speedboat to take us to the first island. It was my first time on a speedboat, and I was awed by its speed and power. We traversed about 5 km and reached the first island which was the location of the sacred Phranang Cave.
This is a famous cave that houses a princess Spirit who is respected and worshiped by the local people. The Spirit stands for love, and our guide told us how the fishermen bow to this deity before going off on their day’s fishing. The rocks here are made of limestone, and present a unique geographical formation. For millions of years, they are being eroded by the sea.
The azure waters were teeming with fish, and shoals flitted past us when we waded through the waves. These beaches are a complete contrast to the rough beaches of India. Here, the sand bank stretches for miles to the sea, and waves feel like warm, gentle caresses. We saw even babies swimming and playing in these waters, and we wished for Shreya to be with us (who is having an even better time with Grandparents back in Kerala).
Promising to ourselves to take Shreya here when older, we left for the second island, which is known as Chicken Island, due to its funny rock shape which looks like a chicken.
Here, we snorkeled and explored the underwater world. The sight was a colourful one- coral remains littering the seabed and multi-coloured fishes swimming past us, it was a gratifying experience indeed!
Exhausted after an hour of swimming and snorkeling, we clambered aboard our boat. There, juicy watermelon awaited us, and we thoroughly enjoyed savouring this luscious red fruit. As the cool sweet syrup slaked our thirst, our boat zipped off to the third island named Tup which is connected to Koh Mor Island by a narrow stretch of sandy bank. We reached Tup right at noon, when the tide was low. Lucky us! We walked the sand stretch from one island to the other, and thoroughly enjoyed the soft sands and the emerald blue waters.
Our last island was Poda. This and numerous other islands scattered around Krabi’s west coast are classified under the common name of Mu Koh Poda or Poda Group Islands. Many of them are categorized as National Parks, and Thai government takes great care in preserving the fauna and flora of these places, along with ensuring a litter-free environment.
We had our lunch on Poda Beach, under the canopy of palm trees- a modest buffet consisting of steamed rice and boiled vegetables. Famished as we were, from walking and swimming, this simple food tasted like a seven-course meal! We finished up with tender coconut juice and corn-on-the-cob, freshly served to us from the tiny beach shop.
After lazing around on Poda beach for a few hours, we made our return trip to the hotel. We revived with a spa there, after having been thoroughly tanned by the fiercely brilliant Krabi sun. The evening was spent searching for an authentic Thai vegetarian dinner.
We finally settled into Guru Restaurant’s jungle themed cafe, which served us delectable Pad Thai, steamed rice and Thai yellow curry. Satiated, we made our way back to the hotel, savouring the nightlife of Ao Nang.
Will tell you more about our inland adventures in Krabi on Day 3… Stay tuned!