Thailand Fling -15...Familiar Territory

Klong Muang, Krabi, Thailand – March 2023

I never expected to feel quite so at home at “the Palace” but as we walked into the impressive lobby at the Ayodhaya Palace in Nopharat Thara, Krabi, the familiarity was welcoming, after months “on the road”.

We first stayed here back in November and although there had been some minor renovations, it still looked a little unkempt and desolate.  However, we received a warm reception and the rooms were superb – they’d even remembered to add a mattress topper to the bed for me!

Back at the Palace

After 6 hours on the sea/road from Koh Tao without a stop for refreshments, we were all starving, so headed off to Risky Business, the café run by Pete the Aussie for a slap-up Tex Mex meal.  We then introduced Dan to the delights of the night market and treated ourselves to ice cream rolls before a stroll along the promenade.

The funky junk

The following afternoon we had signed up for a sunset cruise which we had previously enjoyed so much when we visited the area back in 2019.  The imposing traditional junk was originally a trading vessel over 100 years ago and sailed extensively transporting goods all over South East Asia. The friendly crew welcomed us aboard along with a large group of very boisterous young Indian student doctors.  We were later to learn that they were on holiday to celebrate the end of their studies, and actually received their successful results during the cruise!

Sailing into the sunset

Stopping off at several points for snorkelling, kayaking and paddleboarding, supplemented by copious cocktails and snacks made for a fun afternoon all round.  The highlight was watching the sun set, as the full moon rose above the limestone karsts, and then snorkelling amongst the bio luminescent plankton, before we made our way back to shore.

Ao Nang…or downtown Miami??

We took a taxi into the tourist hotspot of Ao Nang the next morning to top up our phones and visit the nail salon!  Dan and I shared a lovely “mother and son” experience, sitting side by side while having a manicure and a pedicure (I’ll let you guess who had what!). We left Dan to explore the area by scooter for the rest of the day, nipping out that evening for a quiet drink on the esplanade followed by a quick bite at the night market.

Our favourite sunset view

We were collected the next morning by Alex, the manager of the condo up the road in Klong Muang, where we first stayed on our arrival in Thailand.  Although we were in a different apartment, it was wonderful to finally have a bit of space to unpack, sort out our washing and relax on the balcony as we watched the sun set.

Learning the ropes (glad our guide was better at abseiling than he was at photography!)

For Dan’s final day, we planned a bit of excitement and were picked up by the zip-wiring company we’d discovered the last time we visited Thailand.  Back then it was hammering down as we flew through the treetops but at least the weather was dryer and hotter this time.  That (and the fact that we are a few years older now!) proved absolutely exhausting, but still great fun, and I think Dan was quite proud that his old mum managed the course.

Life’s a beach – part 2

It was finally time to say “goodbye” and we’d hired a car to drive Dan to Phuket airport the following day.  The exertions of the previous afternoon and the long drive there and back began to take their toll so we turned in for an early night. 

It’s at times like this that you begin to realise that old age is creeping up on you, but we’re determined to keep having adventures for as long as we can!

Ian doing his “Del Boy” impersonation!

We’d decided to stay put for a week or so and managed to move back into our original apartment after a couple of days. It almost felt like “home” and we passed the time reading, sitting by the pool and enjoying the odd “home cooked” meal.

We took a scooter to the immigration office one morning to extend our visa exemption for another 30 days – our last month or so in Thailand and our return to the UK was approaching fast. Paying a visit to our favourite café to collect a loaf and some baguettes, the young Brit who ran it explained that he’d had to stop serving food due to the lack of staff.  This seems to be a countrywide issue and we’d seen many businesses empty, despite the influx of tourists in high season.  Apparently, a lot of Thais and migrant workers returned home during Covid and failed to return, or found alternative jobs.  Quite sad really, as Jake’s was a thriving establishment but he was unable to run it on his own.

A long way from home

Next stop was the hair salon to try to rectify my disastrous attempt at covering my grey roots! Trying to find a colourant close to my sun kissed blonde mop in a country full of dark-haired people, I’d settled for “light golden brown”.  What I didn’t realise was that it was intended for brunettes and to my horror turned my hair a dark mousey “sludge”. I felt like I was on the run, or in witness protection! Thankfully, several hours and hundreds of “baby” highlights later, I looked like my old self again. I was even treated to a “hair spa” and wonderful head massage.

Dreamy dinner at the Dragon View

Apart from a trip up the hill to the Dragon View restaurant, where we sipped cocktails and ate a delicious meal whilst watching the sunset, we didn’t venture far for our final few days at the condo. The temperatures were hitting the mid 30’s most days, so sitting by the pool or in our air-conditioned living room were the most comfortable options.  We almost missed the thunderstorms and rain of our first few weeks in Thailand, but certainly didn’t miss the sleet and snow that had returned to the UK! Roll on springtime…

Next Stop: To “Infinity” and beyond…

More photos…

Cocktail time - make mine a "Sea Breeze"
Or perhaps a "Tequila Sunset"?
Or a shot of this???
Dan finds his "sea legs"
You can see who's doing all the work here!
Bad moon rising
Treetop views
Screw pine...or Pandanus (I wonder how it got that name!)
Ghost crab artworks

And finally… The oldest swinger in town! :

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7 thoughts on “Thailand Fling Part 15 – Familiar Territory”

  1. That place remembering you liked a topper on the mattress: priceless!! So nice you had that time together w your son, too.

  2. Christine Hollis

    So admire your adventurous spirit. Lovely that you got to spend time with Dan. Great pictures and always so interesting. Keep it coming xx

    1. Great to have shared some of your adventures with Dan. Fab photos and entertaining writing, as always. Getting old?? Never!! 😄😘

  3. The sunset cruise looks amazing and you are very brave zipping along the zip wire! Home from home, time is whizzing by. Can’t wait for a face-to-face catch-up with you.

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