One of the perks of living abroad is that you have a number of opportunities to travel during various holidays throughout the year. This year for Chinese New Year we decided to venture south to Thailand. Accompanied by A’s sister, K, we spent a week in the province of Krabi. Specifically we stayed in Ao Nang Beach but traveled via longboat to a number of other islands and beaches within the province. It was a relaxing vacation from all aspects, we enjoyed various pools (including pool side bar), activities (trampoline, ball room, water slides and more) for T at the resort, magnificent beaches, warm and clear turquoise water perfect for swimming, gorgeous weather, delicious food, massages, boating around and even a little (emphasis on little) snorkeling throughout the duration of our stay.
We booked private longboat tours to take us to various beaches and islands. It turns out they are essentially the same cost as purchasing a ticket to ride with many other people. The biggest advantage, in addition to all the space, was the freedom to choose when the boat departed and how long the duration of each stay would be (key when traveling with a toddler).
Andaman Sea, a spectacular balance of land, water and sky that is consistently observed from the many longboats cruising the waters.
A, T and K riding under the canopy.
Phranang Beach, a picturesque beach location not too far from Ao Nang. This location is known for the rock formation where we swam in front of (pictured below).
Showing our respect for CNY by wearing red and displaying a lot of the lucky number 8. Yes, we’re Blackhawks fans too.
T getting some swimming lessons from a couple of talented swimmers.
We arrived early before the crowd but as we left, there were many longboats tied and anchored to the shore.
Chicken Island, a rocky island that has a unique formation shaped like a chickens neck and head (not pictured here but check fb or google). It is a popular spot for snorkeling.
Team snorkeling. Thanks to K we were able to take some pictures in, and under, the water. Lot’s of Nemo’s friends below the surface. Lifejackets were not required but B put one on to free up his arms while holding T, since they didn’t have any super small lifejackets.
Tup Island, this is a very small island but when the tide is low you can walk across the white sand to another nearby rock formation. You can also swim from the island to another nearby. A unique aspect of this island is that its small strip of white sand allows you to go swimming in the same warm and gorgeous water to either side (left or right) of the beach.
B enjoying some of the waves around Tup Island.
Poda Island, not to be confused with Phranang. While they look similar at a quick glance you will notice a difference in the appearance of the rock formations at each beach. Poda was busy by the lunch hour but large enough to accommodate our visit. We purchased some cold drinks, watermelon and corn on the cob to go along with the snacks we brought for lunch. This is a beautiful beach worth visiting.
A longboat anchored and tied to the shore at Poda Island.
Group shot while swimming in the warm and clear waters off of Poda Island.
The water might be clear but, as T found out, it’s still salty.
T enjoying an opportunity to play in the sand while the waves crash into him at Poda Island.
Railay Beach is located a short boat ride away from Ao Nang. It has a number of resorts (only accessible by boat), a nice walking street full of shops and restaurants and is a huge beach. When you disembark from your boat you can walk a good distance in either direction. The beach is surrounded by natural beauty and boasts the same warm and turquoise waters we became familiar with in the Andaman Sea.
Spending a morning relaxing and swimming at Railay Beach.
T playing in the soft white sand at Railay Beach.
Hong Island, a beautiful location roughly 40 minutes cruise from Ao Nang. It’s not as close as some of the other locations and the beach is smaller but it’s worth the trip. The coolest feature of this island is a giant lagoon which could be mistaken for a lake. The lagoon (nicknamed “the room”) only becomes completely full of water after the tide rolls in. However, during high tide you can swim in the warm water, snorkel, kayak or just enjoy the 360 degrees of nature surrounding you in “the room” as you relax on your boat.
A and T enjoying the ride to Hong Island (pictured in the background).
We arrived earlier in the day and were rewarded with a very peaceful morning on Pelay Beach at Hong Island.
Early morning at Pelay Beach on Hong Island.
Pano of T standing in the sand of Pelay Beach on Hong Island. The sun just starting to come over the top of the cliffs and beginning to illuminate the blue waters.
T playing in the soft white sand of Hong Island.
Exiting the lagoon, or “the room” as it’s known, on Hong Island. This is the only way in and out of the lagoon.
Ao Nang, where our resort was located also had it’s own amazing beach. Literally across the street from our hotel was this gorgeous spot (pictured below). During high tide the water seemed to approach the street and at low tide it was as if the tide pulled out to the horizon.
T running on the beach of Ao Nang as the sun sets in the background.
Andaman Sea, the body of water surrounding Krabi and the various islands we visited. Along our multiple boating expeditions we were drawn to numerous views of the sea.
Some people kayaking near a rock formation and just around the corner there was a rope ladder, which was used to climb the face of the rocks and jump back into the water (so cool too bad T is too young for this).
Beautiful sight from our boat ride in the Andaman Sea.
Two kissing rocks out in the Andaman Sea of Thailand.