Kratie

The bus trip into Krabi was interesting, as crossing an international border always is. After the Xmas party, neither felt very energetic and I even felt a bit sick, so when the bus clerk offered to deal with immigrations for us for a small fee, we gladly accepted. It meant I stayed inside the bus and slept while my passport got its visa on arrival and stamp: not too shabby.

We arrived in Krabi in the afternoon. As we got off the bus, a tuk tuk driver very politely offered us a hotel room for 7USD and a ride there for free, no strings attached. Having nothing to lose, we climbed in and were taken there. To be able to have something to compare it to, we walked around a bit after looking at the accommodation, but the first place ended up being the best. The room was nice and clean, and the hotel had a huge shared balcony facing the Mekong river, with a spectacular sun set view.

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That first night Tim went out to find some local food, and came back with a few snacks he picked up at the local market. One was a type of hash brown (potato cake) with a citrus/tangy sauce that I did not love at that point, but that I tried again fresh and was delicious. I still felt quite weak and without much energy so I ate just a little bit and went to sleep early.

The next day we devoted to exploring the town. Krabi is a very interesting place, and we were excited to experience this new country. People around us were lovely, and even the touts were extremely polite while trying to get business. The river front is simple but quite pretty, and the market full of noise and colours, like most SE markets. The style and architecture on the Buddhist temples was very different from neighbouring countries. We also made inquiries to plan our next adventure.

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The next day we woke up early and rented bicycles. We went out of the city and into the country side. On the side of the road, kids would run towards us, smile and wave goodbye. The humble houses seemed to be filled with happy, active people going about their daily lives. The first stop was one of the few hills in the area, on top of which and few Buddhist temples stood. The first thing to catch our attention were some drawings that depicted ‘hell’. They were very graphical and rather scary. The temples themselves were more modest than their Thai cousins (that are all about the bling) and there were few monks roaming around the place. The view from the hill was quite stunning, as you could see very far away indeed.

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Our final destination, about 15km away from the start was a stretch of the Mekong where the beautiful Irrawaddy dolphins like to hang out. We caught a boat to the middle of the current and drifted slowly while observing these wonderful animals get in and out of the water. They are not as magestic and playful as their salt water relatives, but they are still amazing beasts and we loved the opportunity to see them before they go extinct – there are less that 200 left total in the whole river.

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The next morning we packed up reluctantly  and got ready to leave Krabi and head towards Siem Reap

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