Travel Notes from Krabi Town and Ao Nang Beach, Thailand
Loneliness is a pain in the ass. it's time to continue writing on my blog again about my adventures in Thailand. You know what's even sadder is that I'm deliberately postponing writing about my trip in Thailand because it just means that what I'm remembering now is officially part of the past and i don't want that. It's shit and sad, and i don't want to be anymore. More on that later. The picture above is the photo i took of Ao Nang beach in Krabi, Thailand.
So after Tonsai beach, it's time to hit the road or i should say the waters of Thailand to another destination. I woke up after the heavy drinking and high "high" at small bar the next day feeling so wasted. I couldn't move a muscle. Every muscle i have is aching. I just needed to doze off some more. I will be up up again for the next 20 hours or so. I wasn't able to meet up with my new friends from US. We were suppose to meet up at 8AM so we can ride the long boat together. I woke up at 10AM. Wonder if i will see them again in Koh Phangan. Apparently, everyone's going to Koh Pha Ngan. The Canadian guy i met, was already leaving for Koh Pha Ngan, i could go with him but he wants to do everything on his own. Besides, i just couldn't leave yet Krabi. It's too beautiful to leave. After an hour, the Austrian guy i met had arranged a pick-up for his diving trip to Koh Tao. The next hour, i had the room to myself. My two friends left already. It was a little sad because it was only a short time hanging out with them but we're going on different directions. I owned the room for the next 3 hours. And did what i had to do. I left my mark in Tonsai!
I hit the shower. Smoked some cigarette and packed my duffel. The next thing i knew i left the room and said goodbye to the beautiful smiling Thai girls manning the resort at the foot of the mountain, i was walking carrying my duffel again. I passed by Small Bar and saw the friendly bartenders who were asking me if i was leaving. I wanted to stay more, hit some smokes and down some buckets. But a part of me was saying i couldn't be too sentimental wherever i go, it's not how it works. I just said... "Maybe I'll stay for one more day, i will just have my breakfast!" I thanked them and left. They wanted me to stay. I've never felt more special, more at home than in Tonsai.
I went to the same food stall I've been going ever since i got to Tonsai and ate my banana pancakes and Pepsi max, all at around 12NN. I'm officially acidic. I waited for a few minutes and managed to squeeze in to a boat with a couple of Europeans who were leaving Tonsai as well. I plugged my iPod and listened to Moby's Porcelain. I wanted to talk to those who were at the boat, but i needed some time alone so i can say my final goodbye to Tonsai beach. The boat ride leaving the beach was a happy goodbye. I mean, it's sad but I've had my share of Tonsai, it's time i explore the rest of Krabi.
I arrived in Ao Nang beach in Krabi. Yet again, i need to start from scratch as i don't know anyone. I have no clue where to stay, what's the cheapest room and stuff like that. And yes, i have to have everything arranged for me: bus, ferry, taxi... fuck how do i get to Koh Pha Ngan later??? I went to the tourism office. I asked the beautiful Thai ladies where to stay. They were speaking to me in Thai. Ok. Ok. "No thai!" i said.They laughed and called someone over the phone... They gave me a price of 700 baht for a single fan room. I couldn't say "No fuckin' way you're ripping me off!" I'm kinda cordial and rudeness is not really my nature. I just said okay, I'm taking my lunch first so I'll walk around and come back after. The truth is I'm scouting for a cheaper room.
As i walk the busy street with numerous 60 sumthing farangs, i got turned off by the 2 is to 1 ratio of foreigners to local Thais here. I went to the internet shop to find some recommendations. Updated my Facebook and looked over some porn. Just kiddin' And then, the kind lady from the internet shop said... "i have a room for you, cheap"... I asked how much it is? And she said 500 baht. Whattt? I am officially being ripped off by the Tourism Office of Ao Nang beach. Yet, it's still too expensive for me. After paying less than 200 baht for four days in Tonsai, i have to pay 500 baht for one night. It's quite a splurge for me. I checked the room anyway.
Finally, my little taste of luxury. Still a fan room but a huge huge room with two double beds, refrigerator, cable television, bathroom, a nice view of the other room good for peeping toms. Just kiddin'. The room is pretty big for one person who stays out all day and goes back to the room drunk. I went down and talked to the manager again. After a few minutes of good conversation, charming smiles, a little bit of this and that convincing, I got the price down to 400 baht. But i knew i was just staying overnight. I couldn't afford it to stay in Ao Nang a little longer.
So after relaxing a bit, and trying to understand Thai news which was being broadcasted on TV. I left again to walk around. Busy. Busy. Busy. Pad Thai. Art galleries. American hot dogs. Groceries. Beer junks. Everything's here. And overpriced shirts too. I've not been to Bangkok yet, but welcome to little Bangkok down south. Now, if Krabi is touristy, what do you expect of Phuket?
My camera officially died on me. My Sony Cybershot model from the jurassic era i got from my brother was all wet and didn't turn on anymore. The Olympus camera i borrowed from my sister is fuckin' low low bat. It's either i buy a charger for the Olympus or buy another camera, a cheap one. Not another disposable camera. I bought three disposable cameras because the charger for the Olympus would cost me 3500 baht.
I walked around, bought some chips and soft drinks. Went to the beach wearing my new Hawaiian floral shirt. I looked weird because i look like the locals yet i was preparing to hit the beach, to tan. I was lying in the sand, while all the locals were trying to sell to get a little Thai baht out of the rich farangs. It was a pretty weird moment. Everyone was just staring. It was cloudy then as seen in the picture. I couldn't see the sun. It was drizzling a little bit so i used my umbrella to cover my backpack.
I plugged my iPod to my portable speaker, smoked my 80 baht marlboro lights, ate my kornets and enjoyed, probably the most unsexed beach of Thailand. Seriously, the only tourist i've seen in Ao Nang are either boring couples, moms and dads, or big big families. But i must say, listening to Dido and Sarah Mclachlan while trying to get some sleep is as close as to having a Thai massage on the ears.
I swear that the next time i travel again, i will buy a Lonely Planet guide book. I bought this Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore guide. It wasn't as helpful as Lonely Planet because it didn't cover much of the southern islands of Thailand. I was trying to look for a way out of Krabi going to Koh Phangan. That part/page is either torn out of a brand new book or i need to buy myself some reading glasses and pay close attention. Truth is, it has no Koh Phangan guide on it. Just a brief description as a party island if you want to go out and dance. The Full Moon Party. I spent two hours figuring out at least how to get to Surrathani. Luckily, i found my way going there.
I left 30 mins. after sunset. Took the shower. And then i went out for food somewhere i forgot. It's funny i couldn't remember it now. I was feeling a little lonely when i got to my room. There was no one to talk to. Everyone was pretty busy doing their stuff. The only engaging tourists i saw were two 50 sumthing American women who were smiling at me. I got depressed. After the breakthrough trekking and spelunking, i needed to chill. But not too chill, i thought i was meditating. I slept for a few hours, and left the room at around 10PM. It was pretty sad outside. A handful tourists were inside the Irish pub situated next to my hotel. I tried to walk around looking for the party place. Walked up north and then down south. Till i heard a familiar song...
Madonna's Give it to Me. If you've been reading my travel entries, you must have read that the song is Bohol's National Anthem. The bar i go to every night in Panglao Island plays the same play list while the waitresses shake the mixed drinks, and the foreigners staring at their brown beauty. I walked inside the strip just before the corner near the convenience store. There it was. Krabi's mini red light district. I just wanted to drink a couple of beers so i could sleep better. No hanky panky this time. I was dead set about going to Koh Phangan, it's there where i will party hard!!!
I ordered for Chang beer at KR Bar. This is highly recommended by me. So if you're going to Ao Nang, drop by this bar, it's the first bar you see when you enter. Four small bottles later, i was talking to the friendly bartender. And he was asking me where I'm from. I said Philippines. It took him 15 minutes to finally realize it's three hours by plane from Bangkok to Manila. It's in Asia. He said a Filipino couple was here last year. Ok, that's a bit delayed i said. He said they left early at 9pm and didn't talk much. No wonder Pinoys have a bad impression as boring snob people outside. Who leaves at 9pm? In Manila, we leave at 4AM. We start partying at 12mn. He said i was different because after downing a couple of beers i was still thinking, walking, talking straight. I'm a cool guy. It's 2AM and i was downing my last beer when the bartenders invited me to go with them to the 24 hour bar. Am i up for this? What if they're plotting to kidnap me? Yeah, yeah... a 25 year old brown skinned dude in shorts is a good catch for some money. Of course not. So off we go. Oh yes, 24 hour bar again. I hopped on the back seat of the old beat up motorcycle. We were three in one motorcyle with another Thai girl on my back. She's with the driver though. The other Thai bartender was riding his bicycle. So of course we arrived earlier unless he's Lance Armstrong. It was a 30 minute cruise around the sleepy quiet streets of Krabi town. When we arrived i wanted to order a rice meal but at almost 3AM, that's gluttony. So i just ordered some chicken pad thai and big bottle of Chang. It was absolutely delicious. And the talk was great. I asked if i could totally to live here and how much it would cost me. He said around 4000 baht for one month in a fan room with TV, water, electricity included. That's real cheap! Oh yeah, that gave me an idea.
After eating, i thought i was gonna pay for everyone but we paid for our own meal. we went inside stall because my new bartender friends were going inside to watch a TV show. It's 3AM, everyone's glued watching......... Kung Fu. Yes. Chinese Kung Fu. Yes. Chinese Kung Fu dubbed in Thai. Oh No! I'm officially lost for words. But, i stayed and tried to understand what the fuck was happening. It was really culture immersion. All the local night owls stay up till 3AM to watch Kung Fu. After the show ended, everyone was going back to their chores. It's how they do it in Krabi. Just small talks. Not really a party district.
I actually enjoyed the night. Too bad i had no photos of how my local Thai friends look like. The picture above is taken via Fuji disposable underwater camera. In the morning it's artsy fartsy, when you take pictures at night expect to see everything in black. Well, they look like me a lot. They were the same age as mine. The Thai guy has a girlfriend, the Thai girl who was seated behind me in the motorcycle. The other Thai guy is working and studying. They are really really nice people. Now, i fully understand the concept why Thailand is the land of Smiling People. It's so welcoming here, i feel so loved, taken cared of, looked after. It was a brief goodbye. As they again tried to convince me to stay for one more night so we could go near the mountains to drink and stay overnight. I said I'll try. I couldn't say goodbye. I hopped on again in the motorcycle and in a few minutes i was right in front of my hotel. I actually imagined myself scooting for two more hours, going to the cliffs, mountains and plains but it was pretty late already.
I left the next day waking up to the best morning ever, no hang-over, the sun was just right, it wasn't hot, it was breezy with farangs jugging, locals opening their shops and the beach just divine. It's time to move on... to the Party Island of Koh Pha Ngan.
I'll write about it maybe tomorrow.
x Pinoy Boy Journals