We are now in the paradise land of Krabi in the Andaman Sea. This area was hit by the 2004 tsunami, but it is now back in swing with many sun worshipers coming to visit the beautiful beaches, see the gorgeous rock formations and participate in great snorkeling and diving. The only leftover signs from the tragedy are the new “tsunami evacuation route” signs found everywhere in case there is another tsunami.
This time of year is peak tourist season and there are many people here sunning themselves on the beaches. Many people; and the prices are higher for accommodation. Ko Phi Phi is famous and popular, and since we have heard that there are many people and the accommodation is scarce (and more expensive), we are staying in the less-glamorous (but charming in-its-own-way) town of Krabi. Krabi town is not on the beach and does not get as many tourists. It has some great night markets where we had foot massages, listened to karaoke, ate some excellent food and wandered around with a mostly Thai crowd at a lively night market.
We took a one-day boat tour of the Hong islands, swam on remote island beaches, did a little snorkeling and kayaked around a massive limestone karst island with a hidden lagoon in the center. Another day we kayaked through a large canyon and mangrove swamps. The mangrove swamps are impressive with thick trees supported by massive root systems. It is easy to see how the mangroves provide tsunami surge protection as the thick jumble of roots and trees would dissipate much of the energy. They send out roots and new trees shoot up, which helps secure the shoreline.
From Krabi we visited Railay Beach, which is beautiful. We hiked to the more secluded section of the beach and watched some impressive overhead rock-climbing. There are many schools where tourists can learn how to rock climb, and the beginner areas were packed with vacationers learning to climb. The scenery is really awesome and the water is beautiful. Even though there are many people here and the beaches are packed, it is still really nice. We hope to head further south to get away from the crowds and get some good snorkeling and scuba-diving in.
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