We kicked off our 2 week trip to Asia with a few days in Krabi, Thailand, a smaller beach resort destination but just as beautiful.
We stayed at the Panan Krabi Resort near Aonang Beach. We had initially booked a room at another hotel right next door, but decided to switch to this resort for the room size, family friendly amenities and lower price. We are so glad we did and definitely took advantage of kid-friendly amenities (so funny how things change when you have a kid). The larger room also allowed for us to stick Aidan’s crib in the short hallway between the sleeping area and the bathroom which created a nice dark space for him to sleep. The breakfast buffet, which was included, was also amazing and had a large selection of food items from personalized eggs to fried noodles, fruit and pastries.
Day 1: Island Hopping
Our first full day was spent boating to Hong Island and some other nearby islands and enjoying the beautiful warm waters. We didn’t make any reservations in advance and were able to rent a private long tail boat from Aonang beach (fixed rates depending on where you go). We paid at a booth, followed a boater to his boat along the shore, and off we went.
First stop, Hong Island, which is part of the National Marine Park. Once you pay the entrance fee, you are welcomed into a beautiful oasis with the clearest blue water you have ever seen. We spent most of our time here playing in the lagoon area.
We then headed to another island about 10 minutes away from Hong Island. But, boats were lining the shores and tourists were piling out. We quickly motioned to our captain to turn the boat around and moved on to the next island.
We went to a couple of smaller islands nearby, which were perfect for swimming and picnicking. By late afternoon, we were sun-kissed, sleepy and ready to head back to the mainland.
Chartering our own boat wasn’t perfect by any means. The boat engine was loud. Our captain was rather disengaged. But, we had some flexibility and enjoyed the beautiful islands and gorgeous blue waters.
In the evening, we got a local recommendation to try a seafood restaurant in Krabi Town. When we arrived, we were a little bit skeptical. We expected an indoor restaurant with A/C because we were hot! But the restaurant was open-air, which we soon realized was most restaurants in Thailand. If you want A/C when you eat, you go to a hotel restaurant and pay for it.
At this seafood restaurant, we got to choose all the fresh seafood we wanted and they would grill and cook everything right then and there, however you wanted it. We ordered crab, baby clams, fish, and large shrimp. Basically, we pointed, they fished out and slapped it on the grill or in a pan. They seasoned with fresh garlic and spices and curry and it was so good! The prices were incredibly affordable and it was clear that the restaurant was a local’s hangout. The waitresses also loved Aidan and played with him as we chowed down.
After dinner, we walked to the night market nearby before heading home for an early night cap.
Day 2: Exploring Ao Nang
The next day, we spent some time enjoying our hotel amenities, including the pool. We also explored the Ao Nang neighborhood. Many restaurants and shops were clearly catering towards the tourists, but it was amazing to be right near the beach. We ended the night was a beautiful beach sunset.
Day 3: Kayaking the Ao Thalane Mangroves
On our final full day in Krabi, we booked a kayaking trip through the Ao Thalane mangroves. It was an incredible experience and so so beautiful! It probably would have been even more amazing if Aidan wasn’t crying for more than half of the kayaking excursion. Yes, we were those people that took our baby on a kayak and it went very badly. While some were sympathetic, others were giving us death-stares.
To be fair, Aidan is normally a very easy baby. He’s easy to please and absolutely loves water. This particular day was not his best. First, he was unhappy that we forced him to wear the infant lifejacket that we hauled to Thailand. Then the monkeys (yes, there are monkeys) stole his crackers which we hid under our seats, but we couldn’t put it past these little guys. They were on us like donkey kong after they spotted a bit of plastic from our seats (we felt terrible that we littered the mangroves with our plastic ziplock bag…). And the cherry on top? Aidan was tired (even though he had napped just an hour before), and we forgot to bring his blanky which he absolutely needs to sleep. So, his cries echoed through the mangroves, and Phil and I sang “The Wheels on the Bus” on repeat to calm him until we reached land. I suppose it made for an interesting story…
We ended the day with a date night dinner (thank you mom and dad for watching Aidan) and some fancy rolled ice cream.
The following day, we were off early in the morning to Chiang Mai! Krabi, you were absolutely what we needed. We will be back!