Adventures in Thailand: Krabi Island Excursions
I'm not sure about you, but JD and I have always been bad at planning excursions when visiting a new place. Part of it is because we like to wander the city and do something that inspires us rather than having a scheduled itinerary. Even though we see a lot without a set agenda, planning excursions in a new city has been one of our goals this year when traveling.
With this in mind, we had 2 places we wanted to explore while in Krabi: PhiPhi Island (aka, "The Beach") and Tiger Cave Temple. Knowing this ahead of time made it much easier to plan our days in Krabi and our hotel made it even easier by booking the excursions for us. And, while relaxing by the beach all day is pure bliss, exploring the islands and learning about the culture is what made our trip to Thailand even more memorable.
PHI PHI ISLAND
The Early Bird Tour
EXCURSION 1: The early bird tour
The "Early Bird" tour was a full day of island hopping around in a speedboat and it took us to Phi Phi Island + 4 Islands around Krabi. We started at 6:30am which allowed us to beat the crowds at "The Beach" and was well worth the early rise. This excursion was definitely our favorite out of the two as it exceeded our expectations.
5 reasons you would enjoy this day trip:
1. The Tour Guide
We had a really cool tour guide, Matt, with Ezytrails- he was down to earth, funny and genuinely wanted to make sure everyone was enjoying themselves. He even took snapshots of everyone throughout the day with his camera which was so nice because it meant we didn't have to worry about not having photos together or missing a photo opp :)
2. the Hospitality
We knew the tour included lunch, but did not expect a buffet on the beach or endless snacks offered. Throughout the day we were served fresh pineapple, sweet watermelon, bananas, cookies and chips. For lunch, we stopped at a beach where they prepared a spread of traditional thai food which included rice, thai chicken, shrimp and roasted vegetables - YUM.
3. the Swimming Spots
One of the pit stops was to Pileh bay, a beautiful lagoon with clear, emerald green water and massive cliffs all around. Here we were able to cool off and take a dip into this jewel toned water :)
4. the snorkeling opportunities
There were 3 or 4 (I can't remember exactly!) different snorkeling opportunities and I would say this was our highlight of the tour! It was so amazing to see all the life under water - literally another world down there.
5. Monkey Beach
I'm not going to lie. I was not looking forward to seeing the monkeys because I was terrified they would jump on me. But! I was surprised how cute I found them to be. It was really entertaining to watch them jump in the water to snag a banana, swim around and interact with each other.
It's safe to say touring around by boat is definitely the best way to grasp how beautiful and exotic the islands are. Pictures just don't capture all the amazingness here, and I would highly recommend booking this tour for an unforgettable experience :)
Tiger cave Temple
EXCURSION 2: TIGER CAVE TEMPLE
If climbing up 1.237 steps sounds fun to you, then you'll enjoy visiting Tiger Cave Temple :)
A few things to know before hiking your way up:
1. The stairs vary in steepness. Utilize the handrails and just watch your step as some steps are uneven and change in height (some are a foot high!). There are also resting platforms along the way for you to catch your breath - I definitely had to stop at one or two on the way up.
2. There are a lot of monkeys here...and, apparently the "not so nice" ones. We were warned multiple times to not make contact with the monkeys as they have been known to bite and steal from tourists on their journey up. From our experience, they kept to themselves, but they had no fear of getting close us. Make sure to not have water bottles or food in your hands as this is the main reason they steal. We heard if you walk up with a stick the monkeys are less likely to interact with you...not sure if this is true or not, but maybe grab a walking stick just to be safe ;)
3. As Tiger Cave Temple is an active Buddhist temple where monks live, you must wear appropriate clothing as a sign of respect. Plan ahead and take a shaw or long skirt to cover your legs/shoulders, or you can rent a wrap for 20 baht before heading up.
While it is challenging to climb to the top, it's doable! Plus, it's worth the view once you make it up :)