KRABI THROUGH MY EYES // PT. 2

To be honest as I start to reminisce on my trip as I’m halfway through. Krabi left the biggest imprint on me. Maybe it was because it was a lot of firsts for me. First real big collaboration, first time seeing Thailand, first time getting involved with the culture and people, first time on a long tail boat. 

It was a lot of firsts - therefore it’s a lot of memories left with me.

If you read my part one of Krabi through my eyes - you’d know that I worked with the beautiful Alisea Boutique Hotel  those first two days. The last two days in Ao Nang was spent with Anana Ecological Resort and if you want the truth.. That was without a doubt the best experience I’ve had staying somewhere. 

Upon arrival we were greeted with cold towels doused in essential oils (MY FAVORITE) and home made juice. I couldn’t stop looking around within the lobby because there’s so much work put into it, from the little plants to the essential oils that fill the lobby. It felt so welcoming. We had to wait awhile for our room to be ready but I didn’t even mind - we walked around and got familiar with the hotel, from the restaurant downstairs and the beautiful pool. I couldn’t believe this would be home for the next 2 nights. 

The guy who had checked us in and helped us with our bags was so informative and sweet. His smile radiated with happiness, it was such a warm hello. He told me that the general manager Pat would want to meet with me for dinner to discuss the work I’d be doing and to get to know me better. I can’t lie I was sort of scared, like I said these two hotels are the first big companies I’ve worked with and got sponsored on by own. What if there were questions I didn’t know how to answer? What if she wanted more from me that I could provide? It was just that scary feeling of doing something completely new and unknown for the first time. 

We got led up to our room and again when he opened the door my jaw dropped to the floor again. The room was so modern and clean, an essential oil humidifier going, a little workspace area, a balcony overlooking into their garden and the beautiful beautiful views of the cliff stone hills right in our backyard. 

After 5 or 10 minutes or so I finally was able to gather some thoughts and even then all I said was “What the hell dude” as I turned to Cierra. I’ll never forget that feeling of Cierra looking over to me and saying “You really did this” I started to cry.. For awhile all of it didn’t seem real like I would get to these hotels I emailed months before and get kidnapped or have it be a hoax. 

But it was real, as real as it could be. A dream turned into reality.

I was so excited I FaceTimed my brother, my mom and my dad just to show them where we were staying at because I couldn’t believe it. They were as amazed as I was and I think that was the best part about it.

It was just such a humbling experience. 

On our way up to our room I saw a sign with all the different things to do on each floor - the vegan coffee shop, spa, sky garden etc.

Not knowing what the sky garden was we hit the button to floor 7. I’ll never forget that feeling when the elevator doors opened and I saw the view.

Tears came streaming down my face as I walked around the most beautiful view I had seen yet. Face to face with those beautiful cliffs that was once shadowed over the car we drove in here. I walked over to the side where they do morning yoga and saw Cierra in comparison to those mountains and felt so damn small. In the best way possible. It’s crazy how insignificant we are in this big beautiful world. How much there is to do here, how much to see, all the people waiting to be met, experiences waiting to be had. We are so insignificant in comparison to the world around us and it’s the best feeling. I could talk about it for hours - maybe a topic for a different day. 

It was about 11:30 AM at this point - still so early because we had woke up for sunrise and Anana is only a 10 minute drive from Alisea. We had the full day with endless opportunities on what to do.. Throwing ideas from just staying at the hotel and swimming, doing a big tour or just heading into town and seeing what happens. So we did just that.. 

Anana has a complimentary shuttle into the town of Ao Nang so we hopped on that and started to walk the streets grabbed lunch and then we both looked at each other and knew what the other was thinking “Long tail boat” 

Honestly for awhile I thought it would be so hard to find transportation around or tours to do. But it’s the complete opposite, you can walk the city and find at least 20 different booths offering all sorts of excursions going to different places. 

So we looked around and compared prices and then agreed to catch a round trip long tail boat to the island of Phra Nang Cave for only 200 Thai baht. ($6 USD) How could we pass that up? 

We waited about 10 minutes for the boat to fill up with 8 people and then we were on our way through the beautiful waters I once I had thought I’d only see in my dreams. I swear every single photo taken from that ride is me just smiling so purely and even to this day it makes my heart happy. 

I want to say it was about a 20 minute ride and I could have stayed on the boat all day, there is so many islands you can hop on and off of. So many cliffs to see. I could get lost at sea here honestly.

But then we arrived to the cave beach and was absolutely blown away.. I was expecting it to be completely full with tourists but there was actually room for us to find a little private spot. We put down our stuff and started to strip into our bathing suits, the heat during dry season is no joke you guys. I could feel myself burning through my sunscreen and over my hat. But the stoke level was too high to even let it affect me.. Ci and I both grabbed our gopros and started running full force towards the beautiful turquoise water. That kind of scene you see in the movies, where you’re laughing and pushing each other into the water and running like bay watch. It felt too good to be true, just like everything else does here in Thailand.

We swam for an hour or so and were as cool as we could get in the 100° weather. So we packed up our backpacks again and made our way all up and down the beach. Taking photos with random strangers and families because for once we were the tourists in a foreign country.

It's honestly kind of weird because I wonder how many random people’s facebooks I’m on, but everyone was just so excited to see us. It felt like we were seeing old friends for the first time in years. That’s the one thing I LOVE about Thai people they welcome you with open arms, giving you hugs and making sure you have everything you need for a good time. Water or food and a good attitude, they’ll give it to you.

I felt so at home, something I was scared I wouldn’t feel. After taking probably a dozen photos with families and feeling like I had a paparazzi we climbed into the cave. Where we read a little bit about the history and saw people praying, it felt like a real experience to be here with locals and get a bit of a back story on it. 

30 minutes or so of hiding from the sun in the caves went by and then we decided it was time to make our way back to Ao Nang and then to our hotel. The sun was starting to eat us alive at this point. 

Again we were hopping on to the long tail boat ready to see which way we took back through the ocean - and man, was it freaking beautiful. No photo could ever do it justice: the colors, the scale of the cliffs, the breeze, the water spraying on you as you cruise through. Nothing will ever fully be able to capture it. But I think that’s what I loved most about that moment, that you’ll never know what it’s like until you’re feeling it and right there. Just more of a reason to go out and do it.. 

We got back to the city just completely speechless on what we had witnessed.. So we did a little walk through the town again trying to remember where our shuttle was picking us up. Found the address on a little slip the driver gave me and realized we had 2 hours to kill until he’d be back to pick us up. 

So we mooched some WiFi from the nearby McDonald’s and sat there going through the moments we were just in and wondering how we even got here. 

It started to pour down rain and we could hear the thunder rolling in - something I thought we wouldn’t see during dry season and while it was 98° out. But Thailand has a magical way of surprising you. So we took cover and watched it pour as people ran around trying to get dry. I wanted to run out there and just dance in it, it felt so surreal. 

After awhile of sitting here and soaking it all in we noticed the driver across the street waiting for us so we dodged all the scooters and tuk tuks and made our way across the street. He asked us what was next once we got back to the hotel and we didn’t have any plans and that’s when we met Pat, the general manager. The sweetest lady that at one time I was scared to meet. 

We showered and freshened up before making our way down to Streats the restaurant in Anana, where the cutest older women approached us and goes “You must be Niki! I’m Pat and so excited to have you here - let’s get you some food and drinks” 

Before I knew it I was adopted by grandma Pat, she made me feel so at home.

The conversation started with asking Cierra and I if we were sisters and after explaining that we basically were since we’ve been friends for 14 years. She whipped out a birth chartnever forget the way her face lit up when she heard both of our birthdays. 

“You guys were meant to be together and have the strongest friendship I can just feel it between you guys and the chart doesn’t lie you both are tigers which means you’ll have a fulfilled life” 

It was a total experience, something that you can’t plan for or make happen. So on that note we went to bed after talking for hours to what felt like a long lost friend. 

Pat had planned a whole day for us the following day - so we woke up and grabbed breakfast down below at Streats (Their own restaurant) 

Making the hardest decision of what to eat from the buffet since it all looked and sounded so good. Everything is picked fresh from their garden across the street.. Peanut butter and different jam’s are hand made. It’s all so good it makes it impossible to not go back for seconds. 

After eating basically one of everything - Pat came up to us and gave us a hug saying Goodmorning. I felt so at home. She gave us a couple directions to a nearby temple - not explaining much of what was in store for us. Just how we like it so we packed our daypacks and were on our way.

We walked down the beautiful road from Anana amazed at everything we were witnessing. Wildflowers, palm trees, wild dogs and blaring sun.. something we’re not used to at all in Washington. The road from the hotel led to the main highway where we took a right hand turn wondering what we were even doing or where we were going. Since Pat just told us to basically take two right hand turns.. Drenched in sweat, head filled with confusion and a heart full of wanderlust. We just kept walking the main highway, where every store owner or bypasser on a scooter would wave and yell out “Sahwadeeka” (Hello in Thai) I couldn’t help but smile. Cierra and I just felt so welcome and at peace. 10 or 15 minutes passed by when Ci grabbed my arm and goes “Do you see that?” I looked up and saw a huge gold statue in the distance.. This was the second right hand turn we needed to take until we reached the end of the road. Where this beautiful gold Buddha was staring at me.. Monks everywhere chanting their hymns, incense filling the streets. It was my first temple visit and it definitely did not disappoint. I felt like I was apart of it completely. The way the monks were so interested in my camera and wanted photos taken of them, how surprised they were at seeing a Polaroid. I asked if one of them wanted a photo for themselves, he took off his shoes again and walked up the stairs and smiled so big. I hit the button and captured a once in a lifetime moment. Handed it off to him and was thanked with the biggest hug possible and he called me sister. I can’t lie I’m not that religious or know much about their culture but the way I felt apart of it was a life changing experience. I left with tears in my eyes. Trying to figure out how Thai people are the kindest and most genuine people. The 20 - 30 minute walk back was filled with so many smiles and a lot of sweat. It was probably noon now at this time so the heat was at its upmost temperature. Cierra and I started to take guesses on what was going to be next on the agenda of Pat’s plans.

That’s when we got back to the hotel and she was there waiting for us, asking how it was.

We talked a bit about our experience and it wasn’t long before she said that we should get showered up because we had a MASSAGE planned..

I’ve never had a massage before so I felt like an ultimate queen hearing this. Even more when she told us that we would be in their salt room - To say the least it was the best hour of my life. Essential oils on my temples, coconut oil as the base to my massage and the girl even braided my hair afterwards. I have never felt so pampered in my life. It was the best massage of my life (maybe because I’ve never had one before) all because of how much the girls wanted to take care of us. 

After a slow start back into reality from the massage we gathered our things and made it back up to our beautiful room. It was only 3PM or so now, so we went back and forth bouncing ideas off of one another on what to do. That’s when we decided to just see what happens again after getting dropped back off into Ao Nang - where we were the night before. We took the complimentary shuttle to town which is only about 10 minutes away. 

Once arriving into town we just walked the streets again, amazed at how much life there is here. We got to a little ticket booth for long tail boats said screw it and hopped on the next one to Railay Beach - the most known beach in Thailand. 

Disclaimer: before getting to the beach I was strongly against going here just because I read everywhere that it’s too populated and a bit dirty. But my opinion slowly changed about that beautiful island after stepping foot onto it. Maybe it was because there wasn’t as many people as I was anticipating, maybe it was because all of the people on the beach were young just like we were. Whatever it was, I fell in love with it. We spent a few hours on the beach swimming in the crystal clear water, tanning and trying not to get burnt. That’s when we decided to check out the little town of West Railay - and let me just tell you.. This is where I belong. It was so hippie feeling; the little shops, bars and food carts. It just had this ‘feeling’ to it.. I was already too in love as it was then we noticed MONKEYS - our first monkey sightings. 

These little creatures are so cute but thief’s as well, we saw them jumping into peoples backpacks that they had set down. Swinging from trees trying to plot their next victim. It was just such a scene to be witnessing with my own eyes. Something I’ll never forget. Time had started to fly by we didn’t even notice that the last long tail boat was leaving in like 10 minutes. 

I didn’t have enough time to say goodbye.. as we ran to hop on our boat. But the ride back gave me that closure. There’s something so special about watching yourself fade away from island to island, the waves crashing right up against you and feeling the warm breeze of Thailand air. It was just a perfect evening.

We got back into town met up with the sweet shuttle driver where we were taken back to Anana. I’ll say it once and I’ll say it a million times Anana has the KINDEST STAFF.

The guy at reception told us about sunset cocktails on the sky roof and I didn’t need to hear anymore.
I literally ran up to the 7th floor in my bathing suit still, where another guy handed me some sort of pink drink. I don’t know what it was but it was the best tasting alcoholic beverage I’ve ever had.

(If you know me you know I’m not a big drinker so for me to like a drink is huge)

And the sunset.. no words could do it enough justice. It was the brightest pink I’ve ever seen in the clouds. Not letting one section of the sky stay dull. I was at a complete loss for words and even to this day I am. I just knew that the next day was going to be a really hard farewell. I sat here for an hour or so trying to take it all in, as much as I could. Wondering how to appreciate a moment more knowing how much you’ll miss it later. But is there really any way to hold on a little longer?

7AM wake up call - Cierra throwing up was my alarm clock. I creeped into the bathroom where I saw her head just hanging down over the toilet knowing it was the smoothie she had the day before. She just popped up from the toilet bowl and goes “Yeah I know don’t say you told me so” and we both started laughing. I think that’s the one thing I love most about our friendship how in any “horrible” situation we are always finding some sort of good in it and just laughing it off. 

I felt so bad because I knew exactly how she was feeling - if you read my 40 hours of travel blog post you’ll know how sick I was during flights and the first couple days here. 

We were able to extend our check out time a little bit later after explaining how sick Ci was. So I went down to the breakfast buffet again and ate breakfast alone and gathered some toast and fruit in hopes that she could keep it down. I let her have some space and rest for a bit as I made my way down to the garden at Anana. I had been viewing it the past couple days from the sky garden so I had to see it. Pat told me all of the veggies and fruit, jams and meals mostly come straight from that garden! I was honestly shook when I was down there doing some meditating and I saw the chef with a huge basket start plucking from all of the bushes. It was such an experience seeing it with my own eyes knowing I had just eaten an omelette before with so many of the veggies right there. 

I just sat there, doing some mindful thinking along with stretches. Trying to piece together what the past few days had even been. If it was a creation of my own imagination or real life. But then again that’s how all of my Thailand trip was..

After a good hour of a little refresh period I made my way back up to the room to check on Cierra she was feeling a bit better. But we were both worried how she would do on the 3 hour ferry ride over to Koh Lanta - knowing motion sickness could trigger the food poisoning again. Just the little things about travel most people won’t tell you, it’s not always pretty. We threw on our backpacks though, took one last look at our room and made it down to the lobby where we knew it would be so hard to say goodbye to Pat and the amazing staff. 

But she made it even harder when she handed Cierra a bag full of bananas, different sorts of bread and charcoal tablets (good for food poisoning)

It’s the little things like that, that make you feel so welcome at the hotel. They go the extra mile to make sure you’re at home.. Just like Pat said “You’re on the other side of the world so it had to feel like a home away from home” 

And oh boy, do they really live by that. 

We gave our hugs to what felt like family and waved goodbye as we hopped in the taxi and made our way to the pier. Where we boarded a ferry to Koh Lanta.. The most beautiful island we visited on the trip.

Wondering what we got up to there or what to do on that island? Keep an eye out for that next blog post! I’ll be writing a short travel guide with tips and places to see on your journey there! Talking as always a little bit about my own experience as well.. 


If you want to see more of my trip through Krabi though and really jump into my shoes - make sure to watch my vlog and subscribe to my channel to see all of my Thailand Diaries! 


As always though you guys 

Thank you for being Lost in a Dream with me 


With lots of love, 

Niki


Make sure to check out Anana Ecological Resort and Alisea Boutique Hotel if you're ever in the Krabi area! They will make your Thailand dreams come true.

-All opinions are my own as always