Krabi Escape

12 Aug

It’s not everyday that your employer takes you on a luxury beach vacation.  For reasons not totally clear to me,  my modest yet generous school has a tradition of once a year taking their “foreign” (that’s me, the foreigner) staff on a great outing.  Typically it’s not just any outing, but to one of Thailand’s best locations. They put us up in an excellent hotel and feed us well.

This year’s destination was Krabi.  Located in the Southern part of Thailand not far from Phuket, we escaped the joys and pains of teaching life for a few days of beach bliss.

Beaches of Krabi

Our journey notably began around 5am.  A group of sleepy teachers collected for our ride to the airport.  Upon seeing our “coach” for the journey, we wondered in the dark morning hours… what is it? Is it a garbage truck?  It turns out our transportation was a vehicle typically used to transport prisoners.  And so …we loaded in back on the rows of benches and held on for our bumpy ride to the airport.

A quick 2+hours later, we arrived in Krabi.  I was impressed with how smoothly our staff managed to get a herd of sleepy travelers checked in, on and off of an airplane.  In Krabi, we were met by our tour guides, boarded our bus and were soon on our way.

The first stop was to nearby Talin Bay for a little flat water kayaking.  Raised a “Missouri girl” filled with summers of river canoe trips, I happily climbed aboard for a little kayaking adventure. My partner for the journey was Jess, a fellow teacher and “worthy” paddling companion.  We headed through the open waters and soon began the twisty journey through more intimate waterways.  It was fun to weave and bend through the turns, mostly avoiding invading trees and other obstacles.  As skilled as we were, we only wandered away from the group and got lost once… in turn leading a whole array of other kayaking teachers down a false path.  But in no time, we were turned around, rearranged and once again correctly on our way.

Kayaking in Krabi

Next we collected in the waters for our “group crab release.”  In truth I am not totally clear about this part.  It seems there is a shortage of crabs in the area where we kayaked and our tour arranged for us to release crabs back into the water.  It looked like a bit of a bad deal for the crabs.  Each one was tied up individually for a dramatic flair.  We were each handed our individual crab and cut the string releasing it into the water.  That said, to say I didn’t enjoy it would… not be true.

Crab Release

When our winding rowing experience was coming to an end there was nothing to do but head through the open waters and return to land.  My competent companion and I confidently set out for the open waters only to be hit by a wall of wind.  We watched… perhaps one could say….younger, maybe… dare I say stronger… fellow teachers pass us by, digging through the water making their way to the shore.  We rowed with little impact against the more powerful wind and waves.  In our own good time, we made it back.

Soon we were on our way to our hotel.  We quickly arrived at our crisp, inviting destination right on the water. My roommate was former rowing companion, Jess.  In a sea of mostly “20-something” teachers, I was grateful to have a roommate who appreciated the quieter side of beach adventures. The room was welcoming and spacious with an affable balcony and the sea not far in the distance.

Room with a View

The next day I joined members of our Thai administration and the small crew of Chinese teachers from our school for an island adventure.  In the moderately early morning we boarded a speed boat that whisked us away through the collection of neighboring islands.  It was a fresh reminder how good it feels to be on a boat, in the water and feel the fresh sea air.  We arrived at our first island destination with a little time for swimming and sunbathing. It was so GREAT to be back in the ocean.  Ah so good.

The afternoon continued as we hopped from island to island.  We swam.  We snorkeled.  I saw a monkey (note… not very friendly.  Perhaps next time stay away from monkeys…). We ate lunch at a restaurant on a remote island location. And then perfectly delighted with proper exhaustion from a day of swimming, sun and sea air, we raced through the waves back to shore.

snorkeling

When we weren’t perusing the beach or swimming in the ocean, we were… eating.  We were hardly neglected as it seemed one meal had just ended when it was already time to depart to our next dining destination.  We dined on islands, on hilltops overlooking the ocean, in water-filled inlets, and beach-front spots. As most Thai food is filled with sugar, my employer was particularly generous to tend to my no-sugar needs, prearranging specially prepared meal for me in all locations.

One particularly fine meal was the buffet spread at our lovely hotel.  There was freshly barbecued meat of all kinds and vegetables a plenty.  As there was plenty in the buffet I could eat, I asked my employer if I should simply eat off the buffet. She generously replied that I should eat whatever I want.  So I joined my fellow teachers and dove into the lovely food.  One fairly full plate later, one of our wonderful tour guides mentioned that the chef had prepared something especially for me.  Oh dear… I thought and offered my “good trooper” smile.  I was soon served a beautiful dish of food with succulent garlic shrimp, beautiful ginger lemon fish and vegetable soup, and a stunning pad thai dish with a delicate egg served on top.

The food was superb and I did my best to enjoy it.  I shared it with other teachers.  Eventually, I went pleading to other tables in our group as I couldn’t stand to see the lovely food go to waste.  In the end when most of the other teachers had left, I was there… like a child left alone at the dinner table to finish her supper…. trying to make my way through the rest of the fish soup. Ultimately, I simply had to call it quits and gave up.

The next day we had one more luxurious morning at the beach before we packed up our bags and headed out. After we left the hotel, you guessed it… our first stop was lunch.  Soon after we made our way further inland for a quick stop at a tropical forest.  And then… surprise! Another meal.  After some extended bus traveling, we tumbled off the bus only to soon board our airplane for another two hours in flight.

Tropical Forest

It was good to arrive back in Chiang Mai.  I find it’s always good to go away but equally good to come home. We were deposited back to our school campus via our reliable prison transport vehicle.  A good night sleep and sleepy Sunday later, it was back to life as usual.  My unusual usual life that is … in the midst of about 6,000 bustling Thai students… nestled in the spirited city of Chiang Mai, Thailand.

 

 

2 Responses to “Krabi Escape”

  1. Cletus Billesbach 12/08/2015 at 17:32 #

    Hi Nancie:Thank you for another interesting story of your adventure. I agree when you go on those trips you get a lot of food. As you say when you finish one meal there is always another one soon. You never go hungry.Everything is going well here. Enjoying fall weather and all of the children are starting back to school already.Spending time with grandchildren before they go back. Will be lost without them.I will soon be great grandmother in September. I have a baby shower to go to Sunday.Take care.Love Millie

  2. tefltravelling 16/08/2015 at 08:07 #

    The first 2 pictures make me want to go.

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