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Captain Yeller's Treasure Book.

The sixteenth episode: Krabi.

THAILAND | Friday, 3 June 2016 | Views [283]

A smooth flight took me from Bangkok to Krabi, a very small airport but with good public service. I bought myself a ticket and 30 minutes later the airport shuttle bus drove me to Krabi. I stayed in this super nice hostel called "Hogwarts". A Harry Potter hotel with a beautiful wooden design and every evening another Harry Potter movie. I never watched any of the Harry Potter movies but I plan to do so when I get back home. In the beginning Krabi and the south of Thailand weren't in my plan because of the mass tourism and everyone went there but my friends convinced me to do it anyway so I planned 3 full days in Krabi. Something I would not regret. Sadly it rained when I arrived, rain season started since 2 weeks. On the bright side, many things half price and a lot less tourists! I decided to grab some information flyers about tours and start to plan the next 3 days, a little bit later I booked my first tour for tomorrow, half price because of low season, lucky me!

Early wake up, a good breakfast and there was the minibus to pick me up. While we were driving to the other hotels to pick up more people, it started raining and pretty heavy. We stopped at the first hotel and on the way to the next one a fallen tree was blocking the road. I started to wonder what my day would look like. We picked up some more people and stopped at 7/11 to buy mosquito repellant since the driver told us there would be a lot of mosquitos. We drove about an hour until we reached our destination, a beautiful wooden structure on the water with a restaurant. We got some instructions, waterproof bags and a lifevest. Since it would be a rainy day I booked a kayak tour, since you'll get wet anyway. The guy explained some safety instructions and we jumped in the kayaks. Surrounded by the beautiful views of mangroves. This started to feel like Expedition Robinson, great! Slowly passing those beautiful views, we took a sideway and ended up at a cave opening. This looked really amazing, we continued by going thru the cave to arrive inside a small pool surrounded by massive rocks. On the way to their I noticed some sort of creatures who jump out the water and seem to run a little but on it. Inside the little pool I had my first good look on them, its a fish who can live outside the water and jumps, pretty cool animal! We spend about 15 minutes observing this wonderful hidden place to continue our way. The feeling of being in a kayak in such a wonderful place, slowly peddling forwards thru the mangrove is exciting. The little rain that fell out of the sky was very refreshing as well.

Our next stop was another cave beautiful cave entrance but we didn't enter this one, we had a little stop and returned all the way to where we started. We followed the river past our start to end up at Tham Lod Cave, I visited one in Sopping and my Thai friend told me it means cave where water is flowing thru. This one was way bigger then the first one, I said it before but this is like National Geographic in reality. I can't explain how it feels to experience peddling thru a mangrove, get thru small and big caves, those caves look a whole lot different then the ones from Europe, sharp edges hanging on the roof, looking like if they fell down they would split you apart. A little stop on a small 'beach' next to cave entrance showed us those jumping fishes again in the mud but also beautiful colored krabs, bright blue and yellow colors. The guide told us they can't eat them because they are venomous. All those little wonderful creatures made me smile, we continued our trip past wooden, bamboo houses drifting on the water to end up at another cave, this time not to kayak under. We needed to leave the kayaks for this one.

Just when it started to rain harder we could get out of those kayaks and enter a cave on foot, a little climb was necessary. The guide started explaining about the history of the cave and suddenly he used his flashlight to shine right above us. A beautiful prehistorical cave painting, I knew this figure from somewhere and then I reminded, this figure is all over Krabi, they use it as some sort of mascot. He moved his flashlight to the next prehistorical painting, 2 arm and hands, all of those painting were on the ceiling pretty high, I don't know how they did this 2-3000 years go. This cave is famous because they found a LOT of those paintings, he showed us a lot more, almost a complete wall full of them in another wonderfully looking room in this cave with a viewpoint over the mangroves. We spend about an hour there and then it was time to leave, back in the kayaks. Suddenly it started to rain a lot harder but I kind of enjoyed it. When we arrived back at the pier, just as we left the kayaks the rain started became very heavy, great to see and lucky as I am just after I finished my kayak tour. They prepared us a very tasty local meal and drove us to our next stop. I had until we arrived no idea what that was going to be. We stopped at a resort with a beautiful place to swim in a river, something fairytale looking. We had the choice of swimming there for and pick us back up after an hour but nobody of the group wanted to and since it was raining heavily I didn't want to leave my bag with wallet and passport in the rain, so we cancelled the swimming part. I was really tired anyway, he dropped everyone off and stopped halfway to Krabi to make me change cars. A local girl drove me to my hostel, I went out to have a meal and then it was shower and bed time but not before I booked the tour for tomorrow.

Around 9 hours after I arrived back to the hostel my alarm went off, ready for the next adventure! I shower, go out for a nice breakfast and wait in the hostel for the minibus to pick me up. Sadly enough it didn't show up.. I asked the hostel staff, they called and the tour was cancelled, DAMN!! The original plan was to visit the Hong Islands, which I really wanted to see. I talked with the staff and selected a plan B. They would pick me up a within a few hours and the Hong Islands tour was moved to the next day. I rested a bit and this minibus did show up. WhoopWhoop adventure time! They didn't pick up any other tourists and dropped me off in front of some pier with a local restaurant. I filled in some forms and waited, and waited,... and waited. It took 2 hours before I could enter the longtailboat. I must admit this was kind of frustrating and I had moments that I did not enjoy at all. Anyway this longtailboat picked us up and stopped at a bigger boat. Once this boat started to move all frustrations were forgotten. We passed Railey beach, some beautiful sights before we cruised futher on the sea. The first stop was a massive rock rising out of the sea. This was a swimming stop but they gave us some snorkling gear so we could snorkel. I never snorkled in my life, a first time experience and wauw, I loved this. We stopped above a coral reef and a lot of beautiful colored fishes were all around me. This felt like swimming in someones tropical aquarium. I spend half an hour in above this wonderful coral reef following beautiful fishes. I made up my mind, I will take diving lessons in the future. I really want to see more of this whole new underwater world.

A longtalboat showed up and cruised us to a tropical beach on Poda Island. This Island wasn't very special apart from the beautiful white sand beach and palmtrees and a big mountain, the views were nice but there wasn't anything to do except swimming. On the bright side the views from the island into the sea were like postcards. The longtailboats and the massive rocks all grown over by trees and other green plants. Never seen anything like it and I loved it. I also found a fossil there which I decided to keep as a souvenir. I could enjoy this views forever but it was time to move on. The longtailboat took us to Tup Island. This are two tropical mini islands and on low tides connected with a sanddune bridge. We should have spend half an hour there but it started raining heavily and everyone started running back to the boat, I was one of the last ones and no more space in the boat. The good thing was I got more time to spend on the Islands and since they were empty they made beautiful pictures! This is also a place that looks like you would imagine when you think of tropical islands or of someone that is relaxing on his private island. Just a wonderful sight and experience. The boat returned and picked me and the leftovers up to cruise to the next stop. Another island with a big rocky wall but with a small mangrove beach in front of it. Guess what! It was time to snorkel again! I love this waterworld so much, I could spend days watching this different world under the water. I stalked those beautiful fishes for half an hour and then we needed to return to the boat to continue the tour. We cruised along Chicken Island, its called Chicken Island because a massive rock tower that sticks out the island looks like a chicken head and to make it completle a bump behind it looks like its body.

We cruised along other beautiful small islands and rocks and we could see the sunset starting slowly. Since its rainy season there are a lot of clouds and the combination of sea, clouds and sunset create wonderful colors for sights and pictures. I must have taken a few 100 pictures on this tour but every single one of them is a wonderful memory. Watching the sun slowly falling into the sea, we made our way back to Railey beach, where we stopped and went for a meal while darkness was falling. We finished the meal and were guided towards a few guys who provided us with a fire show. These guys were good. I was already quite tired by then and it was already dark. We walked 20 minutes thru the darkness back to the boat to make one last stop. We cruised a bit further and it was time for some night sea swimming. When jumping and swimming in the water there was one other nice surprise. Since it was completly dark, the plankton glows at night under your movement. So while I was swimming every move I made lighted up by fast moving blue lights in the water. This is another wonderful experience that I will never forget. Sadly enough,no pictures of that because if there is light from a flash the plankton stops glowing. Anyway maybe no pictures but at least I experienced it and will never forget it. I can only imagine and wonder how night diving amongst them would be. We returned to the pier after this and I got a private drive back to the hostel. Same ritual, food, showed and bed and hoping that my Hong Islands tour would leave tomorrow!

Rise and Shine! Shower, breakfast and ready for Hong Islands! Yeah right.. Guess what, cancelled again. Okay.. On the bright side time for a little more rest and to look for another plan B and a lot of food this day to recover my energy. I rest a few hours and get out for some food. Also bought some postcards since the ones I did send in Egypt didn't arrive after 4 weeks in Europe. I wonder if they will ever arrive.. Anyway as soon as I got back to the hostel it started raining, and raining, and raining. My plan B was visit the Tiger Cave Temple but in this weather I didn't believe I would make it there. Around 2 hours later it only rained a little bit and decided to take the gamble. Jumped on some jeep/taxi and he drove me to the Tiger Cave Temple. I had no idea what it looked like but when he dropped me off I ended up at a square full of temples in front of a mountain. The idea is to climb this mountain its a little above 1300 stairs, nothing I couldn't handle. I started to climb them and saw the sign "Do not feed the monkeys", "Beware of your belongings". Right I forgot the horror stories about these monkeys. They steal from people, they bite people if they defend them,.. Lets see what that was all about, I climbed the stairs and didn't see any monkeys until I looked back. Some sweet looking monkeys were sitting cute in the tree doing nothing. Maybe because of the rain but they were not active at all. It was quite cool since its the first time in my life I get to see wild monkeys. I enjoyed the view and started climbing futher, and futher, and...futher. These stairs are more like ladders and 1300 is a bit higher then I expected. Hello sweat shower. A local girl noticed me sweating I guess and asked if I was alright and offered me her water. I already felt like the most sweating person in the world but now I am convinced. I friendly thanked her for the offer but didn't accept and continued. The higher I climb the more amazing the views become. I don't know how long I climbed and I did need 2 short stops along the way but trust me, the climb is worth the effort. The views from up there are out of this world. A massive golden Buddha statue and a big golden Stupa standing there, local people praying, mountains in the clouds under you,.. Really refreshing as well! Also they offer free wifi in this temple all the way on top of the hill, the Golden Mount in Bangkok also offered free wifi, quite nice but a little weird. I spend about an hour there I guess and decided to go back before it became too late. On the way down I meet all those body building types looking like they were about to die. I don't work out at all and did a lot better then them.. On the way down I noticed the monkeys were much more active since they stole someones raincoat. No idea what they intend to do with that but quite funny to experence, they left me alone and I could take some pictures of them.

At the bottom of the mountain I visited some great looking temple with green dragons next to the entrance, really lovely before I went back to the "bus stop". As soon as I arrive I see a girl standing there and a police officer from the police station there shouting to me, "TAXI? 400 baht". The girl told me she was waiting for half an hour there and no bus showed up, the police officer told us there are no busses today, but we both took a bus here and different ones but same route. The police officer kept asking us to take a taxi together and split the price. The girl told me a guy on a taxi motorbike told her 40 baht and when she agreed he drove off without her. I started to wonder what was happening here and told her we would wait and worst case scenario we split a taxi price. Around 10 minutes later the guy on his motorbike showed up and came to me. "You, taxi! Krabi town!" I told him that I would not leave before the girl since she was waiting here half an hour longer them me, he kept looking at me and asking to drive me, I kept saying no, not before her. The girl told me I could go but I did not. In the end he took her and I stayed behind and waited, and waited,.. No bus showed up, until one came driving from the parking area, opens his window, I could see it was not an official one, I asked Krabi town and he said yes but didnt stop, while looking at the police officer. 15 meters futher he stops and shouts to me, Krabi Town, come on, time to go, now! I jump in the back and he drives me.. to the end of the street and stops. Still 10km away from Krabi Town. I got kind of annoyed but he told me to cross the big street. I couldn't believe this.. I crossed the street and about 5 minutes later the official minibus/jeep passed and takes me to Krabi town. I don't want to comment on what happened here and how helpful people were but I expect different things from official people next to holy temples.

I went for an early sleep because the next morning I had to fly back to Bangkok. The guy working on the passport controle in Krabi Airport is the same as what you would expect in Belgium, unbelievable rude and completly not helpful. My boardingpass said terminal 1, I go past security, they check my boarding pass twice, then mr nice guy checks my passport and I needed to fill my leaving document and sends me away. I filled it in but I couldn't fill in my leaving flight number since thats in my email and no wifi. I go back in the que and mr nice guy looks at my passport and leaving document then asks my boarding pass only to tell me after 15 minutes of wasting time I had to be in Terminal 2. In a very unfriendly way. I think its time for new horizons.. I'm writing this from a hostel in Bangkok. I need to leave Thailand tomorrow because my visa runs out so all I did today was bank things, paperwork, and preparing for the next country. After these 3 busy days a day of doing nothing energetic is welcome and I'm completly up to date with my blog story before my new country visit starts.

Up to the next adventures!

Oh and for the interested people, I created a google maps with everything added I visited, stayed, airports and bus stops:


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