[Above photo was taken on a boat driving through Hong Islands, suit by Target]
here we go: part 2 of my Thailand vacation recap. if you haven't read part 1, go read it! we left off on our arrival to our resort, Rayavadee in Krabi, which is in Southern Thailand.
when we had debated where to go in Southern Thailand, we debated between Koh Samui and Krabi. while I have no idea what Koh Samui is like, I absolutely adored Krabi. it's laid back, statuesque, picturesque, and was exactly what I had hoped for.
the resort we stayed at was nestled between two iconic beaches: Phra Nang and Railay Beach - with four restaurants! however, I never felt like I was at one of those mega-resorts, it was so private and calm. you could take a golf cart or walk in between the beaches. the walk was no more than 10 minutes from one end of the resort to the other (and to be honest, I always enjoyed the walks, because the resort was stunning.)
[Above picture taken on Phra Nang beach]
on the Phra Nang beach side, we kayaked around the caves and enjoyed an incredible sunset each night. there was this gorgeous restaurant called the Grotto that was in one of the caves and it offered unforgettable sunset views and such delicious food. I was never disappointed with the food at this resort, but the Grotto restaurant was just surreal.
here's how our lazy days went: we'd wake up, go to breakfast, come back to our room, get changed into our bathing suits, and walk to Railay Beach, where the main pool was. the pool was stunning in itself, with gorgeous views of the mountains of Railay. we'd read, hop in the pool, order some cocktails and then have lunch at the beach (their seafood rice noodle dish was INSANE!) we'd take a couple of walks on Railay Beach, and play cards, watching the long boats pull in and out of the cove. we'd then come back to our villa (it was a two-story gorgeous villa with a pool - we splurged!!), jumped in our plunge pool, then get showered, changed, and headed to have some sunset cocktails at Phra Nang or settle into one of the restaurants and slowly order dinner, soaking up the last hours of the sun and enjoying the sounds of the waves crashing. we were usually in bed by 10pm (AMAZING!)
[Above video taken in the lagoon around Hong Islands]
here's how our adventurous days went: we'd wake up, have breakfast, and wait in the lobby to be picked up for an island tour. on these tours, they'd drive you around on a boat to the neighboring islands for an excursion. we did this two days and the other two days, we chilled. see more below!
[Above photo taken at a cute restaurant along Railay Beach]
so, Krabi isn't like Phuket, which is an area of Southern Thailand known for its nightlife. there's not much nightlife in Krabi. there are about 5 or 6 resorts that line Railay Beach (Rayavadee is the only resort on Phra Nang and the only five-star resort in Krabi) which you can stop at for lunch or drinks, but there aren't any clubs or a crazy bar scene. we did end up finding a little bar that we adored that served fantastic pad thai and cheap cocktails.
this leg of the trip felt the most romantic, the most Thai, and the most relaxing. everything was just beautiful, I couldn't stop taking pictures.
here's our day-to-day itinerary:
Thursday, June 23: first full day in Krabi
this first day, we just hung by the pool. it was amazingly relaxing. we felt like honeymooners! we took long walks on Railay Beach (which is so gorgeous and serene - it wasn't overcrowded and it was very clean.) that afternoon, around 3:30pm, all of a sudden the clouds rolled through and it started to down pour. we ran back to our villa, laughing hysterically. we showered, laid on the couch downstairs, and put the TV on. we watched a movie and then took a long nap. it was absolutely perfect. then we ordered dinner (room service FTW!) and watched another half movie and then passed out again.
[Above picture taken on Phra Nang Beach at sunset]
Friday, June 24: second full day in Krabi
we pretty much repeated the first day! it was perfect.
Saturday, June 25: third full day in Krabi
[Above video is from the boat ride in Hong Islands]
we decided to do our first excursion, which we booked through the hotel. there are different vendors on Railay Beach that sell day excursion trips that are about half to a quarter of the price, but they use the wooden Thai long boats that seem pretty uncomfortable. if you book through the resort, you go in a luxurious speedboat. they bring fresh fruit, water, and they really take care of you. just something to think about if you're staying at Rayavadee and are thinking of booking excursions outside of the hotel!
[Above picture taken in the Hong Islands grotto]
we went to Hong Islands. AMAZING. just being on the water for hours is fun, but having the backdrop of these gorgeous mountains in the middle of the ocean is incredible. with Hong Islands, they first dropped us off at this little beach cove, where we went swimming, walked around, and snorkeled. then, we went to this lagoon that was simply stunning. I can't even explain it, but we anchored there and jumped into the shallow lagoon (which was a sparkling emerald green!) and hung out there for a bit.
[Above video is from the beach in the Hong Islands]
then we were back on the boat and took a nice long boat ride back.
[Above picture taken by the Grotto on Phra Nang: dress by Top Shop]
when we got back, we decided to go out to dinner at the Grotto (the cave restaurant.) we sat on a couch on the beach, watched the sunset, and then ate at the restaurant. the food was OUTSTANDING. beautiful night.
Sunday, June 26: fourth full day in Krabi
we did another day excursion. this time, we did the afternoon excursion, so we spent the morning by the pool, and then started the excursion after lunch. we went to Chicken and Poda Islands, which were gorgeous, more remote, and had some great snorkeling. we stopped at this perfect little beach, listened to music, laid on a towel, and savored our last minutes.
[Above picture taken kayaking at Phra Nang Beach]
we came back to the resort and couldn't resist having dinner at the Grotto again. we slept like babies, especially because we had a 5am wakeup call to fly to Bali in Indonesia!
photos from railway beach:
[Above picture taken at Railay Beach - bathing suit top by Target]