Rural Krabi with AIRBNB
For most of us, Krabi is a familiar place where we love to lose ourselves in a perfect beach holiday. Rocking out the old paperback novel with a pina colada while enjoying the sun, sand and sea.
However, It’s filled with the same old usual things like, island hopping, tuk tuks, cheap massages, food, water-sports and what not. Its predictable but we do it anyway because it’s not just affordable, It’s really the only way we know how to relax. The trouble is, over recent years, Krabi , much like Phuket and Pattaya has began to see a steady growth of tourism which leads to the main attractions being more commercialized and not as affordable as say maybe 10 to 15 years ago.
So the thing about my constant love for using Airbnb to travel is how easy it is to live like a local there and I spared no expense in searching for the perfect listing that would take me away from the hustle and bustle of the heavy tourist areas but yet close enough to give me the option to explore it if I should choose to.
and if you know me, you’d know that I have a knack for picking out really kick ass Airbnb listings. So when I first laid eyes on this listing, I immediately fell in love. It was located just 30 minutes away from the airport but yet still located in the mountainous area of Krabi where the air was constantly cool ( maybe it was due to the haze? lol)
The roads there are also very clear with almost or no traffic at all and apparently the everyone knows everyone so its common to see people on different sides of the road tapping their horns at each other to say hello.
so without further ado ladies and gentlemen. Check our awesome Airbnb listing!
it had a huge garden out front where Sarah & I had a game of badminton on one of the evenings but if you come with a group of friends or your family its perfect to just sit and laze on the comfortable and well-groomed grass or play some field games with the mountains as your backdrop.
we were a little disappointed that the haze covered most of the mountain views when we were there (shakes fist angrily in the air at those responsible) but we were too excited to give it too much thought.
It looked so much better in real life and I was secretly patting myself on the back for discovering such an awesome Airbnb listing. A lot of things were not mentioned on the listing because our hosts didn’t see a need to and to them, Its part and parcel of taking care of their guests. They provided the badminton rackets, the swimming pool inflatable , board games and even an entire collection of books.
Our lovely bedroom was furnished nicely with traditional Thai fittings and cleaned daily by our host at no extra cost to us (that is definitely a big plus for us) additionally, we appreciated all the small details like the towels with fresh flowers by the poolside.
The master bedroom toilet also featured an outdoor shower facing the mountains and while it made me feel vulnerable facing nature in my .. full battle order (wink wink) It was so refreshing to be one with nature.
and not to mention this golden bathtub will set your heart skipping a beat or two with its magnificent mountain views.
The kitchen on the other hand is seriously last warning. 100 million times better equipped than mine back home with every imaginable pot, pan, plates cutlery, waffle machine, condiments everything, you name it. on top of that, they left fresh bread eggs , milk and even pancake mix for us!
Raphael is my best friend , our best friend, for years now and the 3 of us shared a common love for travelling together. We’d usually ask most of our friends along but when they couldn’t make it we’d think ah what the heck. Lets just go! and so we did! Anyway here’s us just taking mandatory pictures by the poolside cos it’s just so irresistibly photogenic
Our first stop was just 10 minutes away from our villa within the humble village of Ban Nai Sai, where there was a tri-weekly marketplace in the village center for local villagers to purchase their groceries and mingle.
It’s a friendly environment as locals largely all know each other and though not accustomed to seeing foreigners, they were extremely welcoming to us strolling around the marketplace.
Here you can find anything from preserved foods to fresh seafood, vegetables and even multifold of little stalls selling deep-fried chicken for only 20baht (SGD 0.78), clothing, fresh corn and even toys. It was made known to us that even the nearby hotels & resorts would come here to purchase their fresh food in bulk and thus they were able to make a decent living.
I think by now you should be able to get the vibe that this is not your typical Krabi beach holiday and that’s why I love it so much. I never thought that I’d be able to live like a local unless I participated in a homestay programme or some school exchange but anyway , that’s how I roll.
Our lovely Airbnb Host, anita helped us to arrange for 2 motorcycles so it’d be easy for us to move about the village area. To put your mind at ease, both Raphael & myself have valid international motorycle riding licenses hah!
we had a simple dinner and before you know it, it was night-time and the villa could not be any more beautiful
We had such a splendid time at this villa on the whole and it would a tremendous waste if you were looking for a holiday that’s off the grid in style and didn’t stay here.
If you want to know more about this amazing airbnb listing, you can follow the link and at the same time get $35 off your first trip by clicking on this link to sign up
Getting around Krabi is easy if you rent a motorcycle and since our host managed to get 2 for us at an amazing deal of about 300baht a day (approx sgd12) It got us everywhere we needed to go. The roads are pretty safe and a full tank of petrol costs maybe 100baht (approx $4) which was just beautiful.
We also learnt that petrol is so cheap in Thailand because its subsidized by the Thai government for the people. (Singapore could take a leaf out of their book when it comes to citizen’s welfare)
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Located just 10minutes away from the village centre of Ban Nai Sai, and 2 minutes from our villa is a humble family resort named Krabi Phutara Resort (25/1 Moo 2 T. Ao Nang Muang, Krabi 81000, Thailand +66 75 637 281) that is popular with travellers and a perfect place for brunch
The pride of this resort lies with an approximate 2000 square feet of what they call a ‘natural swimming pool’ which is a cordoned off spot in a freshwater river that runs alongside the resort surrounded by a combination lush greenery and modern wooden verandas. They provide tube floats for resort guests to just laze around or take in an afternoon dip amongst nature. We didn’t see any guest frolicking around when we went there so it was perfect to just sit there for a moment and just talk while we waited for our food.
and yes, to take some nice pictures too 🙂
Phu tara café is the main restaurant of this resort and is a paradise for Instagram lovers. Every element of this little café is carefully thought out and decorated with close attention to detail.
Outfitted with a mixture of long pinewood planked tables to wooden industrial cable spools, customers can choose which dining spot would best accompany their inner-hipster. Patrons are also given a small basket of novels to browse through while waiting for their meals to arrive or if they wish to just spend the day lounging around in the café sipping tea.
One would think this being a café, the menu would be restricted to basic dishes that accompany the caffeinated junkie but it took us by surprise that the comprehensive menu accommodates to both Asian & western travellers with a wide spectrum of Thai to international dishes; though more suitably for breakfast or brunch.
We ordered a simple appetizer of deep fried spring rolls that were crunchy to the bite yet not dripping with oil together with Thai home-made chilli sauce which is my definition of a perfect spring roll, followed by our main dishes of spicy Thai basil pork with egg.
It was a simple yet filling delight with the taste of the minced pork flirting with a mixture of holy basil leaves, slight hints of garlic and a spicy explosion of pounded chilli padi served next a bed of steaming hot fragrant jasmine rice.
Even the presentation of the food looked good. Not bad for something that’s only about 90baht ($3.50plus?) After brunch we took a ride further away from the roads through paths and just stopped to marvel at the mountain views. I told raphael to wear a shirt but he decided on being more gung-ho than me and went with a singlet. He paid the price by being so sunburnt , he looked like the character AXE from DOTA2 .
So Columbia sent me this shirt which has new fabric technology of SPF protection as well as back flaps with lightweight material so it keeps me cool while I was on the move. needless to say, I was not sun-burnt. lol
We wanted to spend the afternoon exploring the tiger cave temple which had some 1237 steps to reach the top but cos of the worsening haze condition we decided against it and instead started riding around exploring the area when we came accross a freshwater stream where you could go kayaking or swimming in the clear river water at.
I’d really love to share more on this lovely location but unfortunately the beauty of this place is that its quite remote and off the beaten track and we happened to just chance upon it. If you’re there, just ask any of the locals on the village of ban nai sai where you stay and they’d gladly provide directions to long klong srakaew:)
when we reached this place, we realized that we were the only tourists there and the rest of the people frolicking about the clear waters were the local villagers themselves! best part is , for an approximate 45 minute kayak ride down the river and back up again through the mangrove swamp cost 250baht (approx $10) per person only! while similar tours near krabi town or ao nang would start FROM 800baht possibly.
I guess that’s one of the good sides of travelling like a local 🙂
It wasn’t until i started waddling in deeper did I remember that my new Columbia outdoor trekking shoes was waterproof so my feet stayed comfortably dry! I still removed them anyway cos there was a huge possibility that I might have fallen off the kayak and lost my shoes in the river.
It seemed to be a humble little family business run by a kind old gentleman who volunteered to look after my stuff. After a lot of hesitation since I had my wallet , money and DSLR(which had no battery at that moment) I left my valuables with him and his family.
He kept everyything safe and sound when we returned. He didn’t speak a word of english but we still managed to share a cigarette and a drink after the river paddle.
We went back to the villa to shower up before taking a 30 minute drive to krabi town where we went to visit the krabi town main night market. Here you can find truckloads of cheap food, clothing, handphone accessories etc.
The night market doesn’t officially start till its dark and it can get pretty crowded so If you do visit, make sure you take good care of your valuables. Its filled with plenty of interesting sights but really the crowds weren’t our thing so we didn’t stay long.
We ate so much food at the night market until we almost ran out of money and knocked out early cos we were so tired from the day’s activities.
The next day we took an approximate 15 minute motorcycle ride down to Khao thong terrace (Moo 5, Krabi Mueang Krabi District, Krabi 81000, Thailand, +66 83 107 4400), its one of the recommended place from our airbnb host and they also do delivery to our villa.
It has a gorgeous panoramic view over the Andaman sea and the offshore islands and is a charming waterfront accommodation & restaurant where you can enjoy being with nature and dine with affordable prices yet live amidst a prime residential area where modern luxury bungalow houses are built along the coast awaiting their new owners.
Their main restaurant serves up a good combination of Thai and international cuisine using fresh ingredients from the nearby village fishermen. The area around the restaurant is littered with large shady trees and a natural waterfall which we didn’t see (we assumed its deeper in and meant for the resort guests mostly) . I was tempted to take up a Thai cooking class that the resort organizes but I didn’t think i wanted to spend the money learning to cook when I could pay for actual food being cooked for me while I was on holiday right? haha
We ordered the traditional Thai tom yam soup with seafood which was a unique blend of lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves lime juice and fresh Thai chillies that when put together, creates a semi-spicy soothing broth that will light up your taste buds. We also went with batter-fried Thai soft shelled crabs which were served hot and crispy while the meat inside the shell remained sweet and creamy.
We also ordered a stir fried beef dish that I can’t remember the name of for the death of me and green curry with chicken which is fresh hot, fragrant and well-known for its vibrant green broth. Just like the tom yam soup, diners can have the option of having it served with chicken, pork, beef, seafood or even a mixture.
Just 15 minutes away from the bustle of Ao Nang is a family owned restaurant and country inn named The Frog & Catfish (76 Moo6, Baan Din Daeng Noi,, Tambon Nong Talay, Amphur Muang, Krabi 81000, Thailand, +66 75 644 436)
It is set in a tropical garden surrounded by mountains and forest which is just 2km from the breath-taking scenery of Tha Lane Bay. Here travellers can save cost by chartering a private long tail boat from the locals to take them to the nearby islands for snorkelling and island hopping or to see the wildlife and explore the various mangroves. They are also equipped with pleasant accommodations for weary travellers with all the creature comforts such as air conditioners, beds with Indian cotton sheets and even a swimming pool for guests.
we shared a game of pool even before we sat down and while that may have been quite bastard to do considering that we haven’t ordered our food yet but the staff were patient and best part is they were all so happy. Some of them sat down in a quiet area away from us among the seating and were happily chatting away . While others were just quietly mopping up the bar in soft chatter . They served us with such sincerity and humility that it didn’t feel like we were eating in a restaurant,
it felt like we were eating in someone’s home. A home where it was familiar to all who came and would welcome everyone knew with the same amount of warmth 🙂
The restaurant has an extensive menu of traditional and local Thai dishes with a small but quality western menu. Guests can relax at the bar or even indulge in a game of pool while waiting for their food or the free shuttle bus that the inn provides to ferry guests to the nearby beaches.
After listening to the owner read through his recommendations where he shared on how their restaurant top sellers are prepared and what flavors could we expect from them , we were ready to order! And after eating , here are our favourites!
Pu att hor samun prai is a hearty appetizer of crabmeat, crunchy vegetables & herbs wrapped and served with a 7 herb dip which was a tasty fresh organic starter; perfect for veggie lovers. We ordered our main dish of pla tod samunprai which is basically a slightly under half kilogram of deep-fried white snapper served with a topping of mixed Thai herbs & sweet mango slices. The blend of the herbs and the deep-fried fish left a delightful flavour within my taste buds.
Based on our local friend’s recommendation we also ordered the shrimps in tamarind sauce which was nicely de-shelled and stir-fried with a combination of garlic, herbs, large red chillies, tamarind sauce, and finally drizzled with fresh parsley.
It was our last night in krabi, we shared a quiet meal with absolutely no disturbances. We didn’t need service at all because these guys were NINJAS. My water cup would be empty and the next moment POOF. it’d be filled with water.
On the whole , we had a great trip. Nothing fancy, just 3 old friends hanging out together and that’s the beauty of friendship & love. My best friend is not going to mind me being slow at counting , walking slowly or talking too much. He’s not going to judge me for wearing my boxers around the villa , nor is he going to judge whether i look like shit with morning eye shit . My newly wedded wife on the other hand has no choice. she’s married to me, AND ALL MY BULLSHIT Muahahahahahahaha!
Life is short. we only got 100 years or less (at this rate for me maybe half of that) to live. how much do you get paid a month to give up on your dreams? Travel! let your eyes caress the view and your heart will etch it into memory forever.