The night ferry left Koh Tao at 9pm Tuesday night. We met up with a group of British guys and hung with them at a near by bar before the boat left. We were having too much fun because we almost missed the ferry, but we hopped on just in time. Night traveling is the way to go; there are mats lined up with plastic pillows, open windows and fans. I had a travel sheet and a travel pillow, so I slept very comfortably actually, on the boat. Another plus is the price; I only paid for travel, so I didn’t have to spend money on a hotel that night…I didn’t miss out on the daylight, and it is cooler at night. All around, night travel is the way to go.
The ferry arrived in Suratthani at 5am Wednesday morning. From the port, we were shuttled to the bus station, where we purchased our tickets to Au-Nang, Krabi. This was 250 baht each. The bus picked us up at 6am and we arrived in Krabi around 9am. At the bus station in Krabi we were shuttled to another travel agency, where they put us on another taxi that drove us to Au-Nang. We arrived in Au-Nang around 11am. At least all of the shuttleing back and forth was included in the 250 baht.
While at the travel agency we met a young British couple who were headed to Railay Beach…we were told by several people that there was not much accommodation at Railay Beach and it was more of a place to just take a day trip to, but worth the visit. Our plan was to stay a night or two in Au-Nang and visit Railay Beach for a day before heading to the Phi Phi Islands.
On the taxi to Au-Nang we chatted up a Norwegian who was studying abroad in Singapore and using his time there to travel around Asia. The three of us adopted him into our pack and actually ended up staying with him until the next day. Once in Au-Nang we found a place to sleep pretty quickly, 300 baht each for an air-conditioned room with TV. It was called the Sea Shell Hotel or something.
We ate lunch at fancy beach side resort, and the service and food were pretty horrible, and expensive. Never eat at the resorts. The beaches in Au-Nang are nice, long, sandy beaches with deeper water. The beaches in Koh Tao and Koh Phangan were shallow, not even to the knees. This beach went up past the shoulders, quickly. Unfortunately, it was jelly fish season around Krabi though, so we actually didn’t even want to be in the water all that much when we realized this.
Its interesting in Au-Nang on the beaches, how the massage stands operate. They each have stands located beach side and they entise you to use their chairs and buy their water in hopes that you will leave the lazy beaches to get a massage, or pedicure, or something. We didn’t. Instead we collected sea shells and walked a jungle path in hopes of seeing monkeys. In light of the “Warning, Do Not Feed Monkeys for Your Own Safety” sign, we didn’t see any monkeys at all in Au-Nang.
We did eat Indian food at a nice restaurant that night. The service was great and the food better, but it was just as expensive, if not more so, as it would have been in the States. After dinner, the sky began to fill up with lighting and thunder…the rainy season was beginning to creep in.