Parking on the sand all day to roast every melanin cell for that golden tan was how I planned to spend my Krabi islandic escapade. Never mind about skin cancer or that uncomfortable raspy feeling of sand rubbing between the toes. But there is only so much sun the body can take before turning into human jerky.
So we decided to venture out of our nest at Ao Nang Beach and paid a visit to Krabi Town. Located 20km from Ao Nang, it is not exactly near but definitely worth a day's trip to experience the real Krabi away from the hyper-touristic waterfront.
|Child dancers livened up a night market that takes place every weekend in Krabi Town with impressions of Chatri, a traditional dance of Southern Thailand.|
As we rolled into the provincial capital of the island, a sign welcomed us with the slogan "Krabi - Lively Town, Lovely People". It's a promise that warms the heart. Except, it wasn't quite entirely true.
We visited Krabi Town on two occasions - once on a Thursday night and another for a Saturday day trip; and except for a weekend night market that revived the area, the township seemed rather comatose and the folks weren't big on smiles. We were even chased off a songthaew while trying to make our way back. But I'll leave that incident to the end of the post.
Nevertheless, the township that's home to about 25,000 Thai southerners packs some rather nifty finds especially during the night market on weekends.
|A 30-minute songthaew ride into Krabi Town from Ao Nang Beach costs about 40 - 60bht. This is the main street, Maharat Road (Thanon Maharat) and to the left corner is the entrance to Wat Kaewkorawaram. The quaint all-white temple is definitely shutter time and you can find out more about it here.|
|A hard to miss landmark at Krabi Town is the caveman junction with 4 huge statues holding traffic lights. Archaeological finds suggest that Krabi dates as far back as the Paleolithic Era (age of the cavemen).|
|Shopping centers are scant in town. Except for Vogue Mall that retails typical branded stuff and a 4-storeyed souvenir shop (pictured here with the giant Kitty face), there're not many places to spend.|
|Cocktails in a bamboo tumbler? How's that for a natural high?!|
|Health in a cup for 40bht.|
|Juicy BBQ-ed squid... my carcinogenic weakness!|
|Street food galore!|
|Fragrant fried quail eggs... my cholesterol weakness!|
|With savouries and desserts side-by-side, you'll need a huge appetite to come out of the market alive!|
|The creams may be melting, but these confections were still irresistibly tempting even to a sugar-phobe. Strangely, none of the purchases brought on a smile from the hawkers.|
|The biggest frown at the night market goes to this girl selling loop choop (also spelt luk chup) who had a sour face despite selling something so sweet. Bought a pack of the dessert from her and even that didn't elicit a smile.|
|Made of mung beans coated with gelatine, the adorable loop choop was once the exclusive snack of the royal family until the recipe leaked onto the streets. It's kinda like mini ang ku kueh.|
|Adjourning the food section is a street lined with street performers and stalls for exercising your purse / wallet.|
|A pop-up children's orchestra lifted the atmosphere with classical Thai chords.|
|The girl striking the khong wong lek (gong circle) reminded me of a spaceship console being activated!|
|Can you guess what this intricate etchings are made on? Cow hide. They are really beautiful.|
|Barbies given a Thai ladyboy makeover. One-of-a-kind for Mattel doll fans!|
|Street painting activity to nurture the creative minds of Krabi kids.|
|Hand-painted pouches with customisable names. Great as thoughtful gifts after selecting the caricature that most resemble your family or friends. Finding a match was all the fun!|
|Not far from the Krabi Walking Street Night Market is a fruits and food market that is open nightly. Tried the mango here but it was sour.|
|We came here on Thursday night and were initially confused that this is the Krabi Night Market but it is not. So the best time to visit Krabi Town is on a weekend to coincide with the actual night bazaar.|
The night may not have ended on a happy note and the town didn't feel too cordial, but the overall experience of exploring Wat Kaewkorawaram and the Walking Street Night Market more than made up for it.
Krabi Town may be small and not architecturally sophisticated with few tourism attractions but it is a nice break from the constant whiff of suntan lotion by the beach.
Related Post :
The Immaculate Wat Kaewkorawaram