Krabi Front Bay Resort $$
Tiger Temple Climb
Add Krabi to Your Itinerary Right Now
Most people who go to Thailand don’t talk about Krabi, or if they do, it is because they are using it as a jumping off point to get to Railay Beach or Tonsai. Definitely make the trek to both those places, but don’t forget that Krabi is a destination of its own. The sleepy little town hasn’t been overrun with tourists, so it’s still safe to ride a motorbike. It has a kickass night market with some of the best street food I had in Thailand, and enough sites to keep you busy for at least a couple of days.
After our stay on Khao San Road, we were in desperate need of some down time, so we hopped on a flight to Krabi with the intentions of using it as a jumping off point to get to Tonsai, like everyone else. Upon arrival we checked into the coolest hostel. No really, it was my second favorite hostel I have stayed at in all of SE Asia so far. Pak-Up is in the center of town, has locking drawers under each bed that are big enough to fit two large packs, and the beds are definitely above average in the comfort category. There is not one, but two bars inside the hostel, and from what we heard they are the place to be on any given night. Even those unfortunate souls who couldn’t get a rezzy at Pak-Up end up at the bars there. The night we spent there the hostel had organized a beer pong tournament, which we opted not to join, but the option was there.
Cool hostel aside, Krabi was just a cute town. Though it isn’t on the beach, and there isn’t much water around, it is surrounded by limestone cliffs which provide excellent scenery. The morning after we arrived, we met up with our Canadian friend Zoe to visit the Tiger Temple. I hadn’t heard about the temple before Zoe mentioned it, so I was incredibly unprepared for the experience, to say the least.
We rented motorbikes and made the 20 minute ride from Pak-Up to the base of the mountain. My first question was, where is the temple? Then I saw the sign…
Not only would I have to climb 1,237 steps to the top while trying to keep my belongings safe from the monkey, what the sign doesn’t say is that the steps aren’t your typical 6 inch steps. Some of the stairs were a good 2 feet high. In case you are wondering, I am 5’2 so I was not built for this. I had to basically pull myself up the almost entirely vertical ascent. To make it even worse, every step is numbered to let you know how far you have (or haven’t) gone. This is not helpful or nice and I didn’t like it… At all. I tried not to look at the numbers for as long as I physically could. The first time I looked down, I was only on step 300. F*ck. If it hadn’t been for Zoe, I would have quit right there, stolen some photos off of a Google image search and just told people I completed it. Don’t worry, I have proof I was actually there. Pics or it didn’t happen, right?
Even though, at the time, I hated Zoe for making us make the trek up the stairs, the view was definitely worth it (thanks Zoe!). You could see the mountains stretching out for miles in every direction. We got to the top just as the sun was setting and I highly recommend making the trek at that time because it was probably one of the most surreal experiences I have had thus far. The temple was also cool, though the view definitely stole the show.
After the climb down, which is equally as difficult and twice as terrifying, we rode our bikes back (in the dark) to the hostel. Because we had just completed more physical activity than I had in the past two weeks combined, I was FAMISHED. After asking around for the best place to grab a quick bite to eat, we were pointed towards the Night Market which was about 2 blocks from Pak-Up (seriously this place is the best). We wandered down the street to find about 50 food stalls selling everything you could possibly want. It was a foodie paradise. Chris, being the picky one as always, wandered around shouting “Pad Sei Ew? Pad Sei Ew??” Finally, a nice little Thai woman grabbed his hand and told him to sit at her stall. Thus, Zoe and I joined him and I am so glad we did. I ordered fried noodles, which is always my go to from street vendors because I am not a huge fan of Pad Thai (GASP). To this day, it was the best fried noodles I have had. Seriously, we made a trip back to Krabi just to eat at this stand again. It was spicy. They used egg noodles (my favorite), and it had an ample amount of chicken. They also had more chilies on the table so I obviously added some more. My spice tolerance has increased 10 fold on this trip. I am actually afraid that nothing in the States is going to be spicy enough for me now. But I am rambling, anyways, go to the night market. Let the stand choose you. Eat your heart out. Die happy.
Have you been to Krabi? What are your thoughts? I would love to hear about your experience in the comments below!