Krabi…the story of day three!

This is our 3rd day in Krabi and also the last day here. I got up late and had breakfast at the hotel. Didn’t rush at all and taking everything in so slowly. After that, we went for a walk in the town area and the beach front. Everything seem so calm and serene since it was early. A total contrast on how this place would be in the evenings, mostly hectic and noisy or rather ‘happening’. I also notice that there are many shops are being handed over to ‘foreigners’ to run the place which i feel loosing its authenticity. Also, there are many western/Indian/middle eastern eateries here which over shines the local Thai restaurants which i feel rather off odd about. I hope the locals there will put some control on this matter.

P1070546

Some of the shops which are just opened for business.

P1070549

At the beach.

P1070553

At the beach.

P1070555

At the beach.

P1070557

Along the beach side.

P1070564

Shops at Ao Nang..

I stop by and got souvenirs to be brought back home including a few packets of tom yam paste! Which by the way was really good! Haha. Krabi has been a ‘gentle’ trip to unwind and relax in that 3 days time. I managed to do what  I wanted to do, lots of food and massages. The people here has been good to us and shown us what is good hospitality is all about. As usual, I always liked Thailand for the people and how pleasant they are. Hmm which part of Thailand should I visit next?

Advertisements

Krabi…The story of day two!

Day two at Krabi. We have booked for elephant ride and ATV ride for today. We had breakfast at hotel and waited for our transport which arrived on time. Despite being to Thailand for many times, this will be my first time trying out these activities.

P1070452

Me in the tuk-tuk which is the transport of the day!

The driver picked up other guest from surrounding area before heading on our journey to the elephant ride. It took about 1hour 30minutes for us to reach here. For obvious reason, the elephant ride is located in jungle where elephant feel most comfortable at. Upon arrival we were entertained by a baby elephant show which lasted for about 15minutes. The show was good and the baby elephant was cute. You have an opportunity to take some photos with the baby elephant.

P1070460

The baby elephant show.

P1070466

The baby elephant show.

Here comes the actual reason why we came here, for the ride. We got on an adult elephant, looks kind of old. The two of us sat on the back of the elephant and off we go with the ride. It was slow ride but I would say quite bumpy. The ride lasted about 15minutes going through the jungle terrain which was awesome. It’s amazing how such huge animals are able to keep good balance especially when we are on his back. After a while, the elephant that we were on kept pausing his walk, the handler gave him a couple of really hard knock on his head and the elephant started to move. That thing spoiled the whole experience. We felt sorry for the elephant and for the way it’s being treated.  When we got down from it, we bought some bananas to feed the elephant.

Don’t judge me based on this, I was merely curious to try this out since it is being offered here. It’s a one in a lifetime experience and once is enough.

P1070481

On the elephant..

P1070490

Our elephant ride.

P1070502

Feeding the elephant…

Moving on. We headed for the ATV ride which is about 40minutes away from the elephant place. The driver dropped us at the ATV place and told us that he will be back later to pick us up. We got ourselves registered and waited for our turn. This will be our 1st time with ATV ride. We had to sign a consent form and went through ‘trial ride’ before being handed over with a real ATV. My partner had some hiccups with the ATV so he got a ‘milder’ version of the ATV. The journey begins. We were handed with an ATV for each of us and we followed a guide who brought us along the trail which is in jungle! How cool is that! The ride lasted for about 1hour and went through dry and wet terrain and through jungle.  I really enjoyed the ride and it was so much of fun! When we were done, our driver is already there waiting for us. We took our ride back to Ao Nang and stopped for lunch.

P1070513

The trial track

P1070504

Me on the ATV

P1070507

Both of us on ATV…

We decided to treat ourselves with a nice lunch at this posh looking restaurant in Ao Nang. It’s called Tanta Restaurant. We sat and order our food; Pad Thai (I just love this dish), fish cake and a seafood tom yum noodle dish. For our drinks, we had iced tea and coconut shake which was rather refreshing.

P1070517

Tanta Restaurant

P1070518

Tanta Restaurant

P1070521

Tanta Restaurant: Iced Tea & Coconut Shake

P1070522

Tanta Restaurant: Pad Thai

P1070523

Tanta Restaurant: Fish cake

P1070524

Tanta Restaurant: Tom Yam Noodle

Guess what we did after lunch? Well, it’s time for massage! We went to the same place we had massage on the 1st day. This time, I had a full body massage with virgin coconut oil which was really good. It is supposed to be ‘cooling’ for your body.

We were walking back to the hotel after the massage when we bumped into a row of stalls selling snacks in the evening. We couldn’t resist and headed over there to check it out. Apparently most of the stall operators here are Muslim hence the foods are pork-free which is fine with us.

P1070525

Yummy snacks

P1070526

Yummy snacks

P1070528

Yummy snacks: Prawn fritters

P1070531

Yummy snacks: Fried spring rolls

P1070532

Coconut water

P1070533

Pad thai…again! I love this thing.

We headed back to the hotel and had a short rest which lead to a couple of hours of nap time! By the time we got up, I was too lazy to head anywhere. We suppose to hang out for drinks in the town but feeling too lazy. We had our dinner at a small restaurant just beside our hotel and ended our day at Krabi.

Krabi…The story of day one!

Well, this trip actually happened in April 2014 so you have to pardon me for posting this so late. Anyway, this is summarized version of what did I do in Krabi.

Day One. This will be my last time using the LCCT terminal in KL. Moving forward, all AirAsia flights will be based at KLIA2 which is a brand new airport.

IMG_3030

We arrived around 5+am and this how chaotic the LCCT was…

IMG_3032

Having my favorite Macchiato at Starbucks!

We flew via Air Asia and arrived in Krabi International Airport at about 7.30am. Since it was early, we decided to take the airport bus to our hotel in Ao Nang. Normally I would have taken a taxi but this time trying something new in Thailand.

IMG_3038

Entering Krabi Airport.

IMG_3039

Got our tickets for Airport shuttle bus to Ao Nang area.

IMG_3048

Thats me.. in front of the Airport shuttle bus.

We arrive at hotel at around 9+am and we managed to check in early which were awesome. You can read about my post on the hotel here: https://brownboyspeaks.wordpress.com/2014/05/05/the-royal-nakara-ao-nang-we-loved-it/

So, since it was darn early, we just took our time and walked along the main area of Ao Nang. Most of shops were not opened as it was rather early. I have heard and read so many reviews on this ‘pancake’ so when i bumped into one, i decided i have to give it a try. Its very similar to roti canai which is available in Malaysia but this one is thinner and crispy and filled with so many type of fillings. Its a very sweet dessert.

P1070421

Pancake stall at Ao Nang.

P1070422

I had the nutella & banana pancake! 🙂

We spotted a massage shop which was just opened and ready to take on customer. We decided to go in for a message.

IMG_3051

At the massage place…

After a couple of hours passed by, we were out and feeling hungry so went to have lunch.

After filling our stomachs with spicy and yummy Thai food we decided to head back to the hotel for a rest.

P1070416

Our lunch.

P1070418

Our lunch, pineapple fried rice.

P1070419

Our lunch, tom yam kooong with rice.

We have booked a night market tour through the hotel earlier which cost us 300Baht per person. The tour agent will provide transport from hotel to the night market and return transportation as well. The transport came on time to pick us up and send us to town where the night market is at. You can find variety of local food being sold here along with merchandises. Everything seems to be looking good here in the market that we are so tempted to try out everything. We had dinner at one of the café just around the market.

P1070425

Tadaa.. the night market!

P1070426

Krabi night market

P1070427

Krabi night market

P1070431

Krabi night market

P1070436

Dinner near Krabi night market. Padthai noodle.

P1070437

Dinner near Krabi night market. Tom Yam seafood fried rice.

IMG_3046

Bought this at night market. Its sticky rice with mango which was really really good!

IMG_3056

Bought this too at night market, its called; meng kam. This was very fresh and really good, and cheap! The best i had!

That concludes the day one @ Krabi!

Platinum Mall, Bangkok, Thailand

My last trip to Bangkok in May 2014 was very much about shopping!

Platinum mall is one of the mall you should visit if you want to grab some clothing or accessories at a good low price. The good thing is that most of the shops who operates here are selling to wholesale dealer. Some items can be cheaper if you buy more than few quantity from the same outlet. You can buy them at pretty decent price and perhaps similar price in outdoor markets.

There are 2 buildings next to each other and each building has few floors of shopping space. Ladies will be very happy here as you can find nearly everything such as clothes, belts, hats, bags, accessories / jewelleries, leather products, shoes, socks, inner wear, gloves, sunglasses, dinner bag, dinner dresses etc. For the boys, you can find t-shirts, shirts, cotton shirts, pants, shorts, shoes, belts, hats, sunglasses, socks, underwear, leather stuffs etc.

Do look out as there are some items which are on sale, perhaps a better deal for you. Do make sure to inspect the items before paying for it to ensure it is in good condition and works properly (zip, button etc). Do bare in mind that these are average quality products while some are good quality. The shop operators are not pushy. A good haggling skills will be a good use during your shopping.

There is a food court here which seems to serve decent food. I didn’t have a chance to give a try during my visit here.

The mall can be quite crowded on certain days (local public holiday, weekend, or ‘tourist’ season) as such it will be good to wear comfortable light clothing. For the ladies, just bring a purse or wristlet for you to carry easily while shopping. Happy shopping!

P1070598

Taking a short break in front of Platinum Mall.

Bravo Holiday Inn Express Siam Bangkok! Everything i needed!…

On my last visit to Bangkok, I stayed in sukhumvit area. So this time around, was thinking of staying in central area as shopping was the main itinerary. As usual, I browsed around mainly via TripAdvisor to know more about the feedback on the hotels in central Bangkok, specifically in Siam area.

P1070668

Finally, I have decided with Holiday Inn Express Siam Bangkok. Why did go for this hotel? Well, its well-priced considering central location, good reviews in TripAdvisor, free Wi-Fi, seemed like a safe area and comes with complimentary breakfast.

We arrived in Don Mueng Airport by AirAsia from Kuala Lumpur. We took a taxi from the airport to the hotel, which took us approximately about 40minutes which was not too bad considering the traffic in the city on a Sunday.

Upon arrival, the first impression was… not bad! This is my first time trying out Holiday Inn ‘Express’ brand as the Holiday Inn hotels are much more costlier for obvious reasons. Anyway we were assisted by a guy named Champ (if I’m not wrong) who was pretty efficient and managed to process our check in swiftly. The front desk area is small but nothing to complain as we were only there for few minutes.

P1070575

 

P1070578

P1070579

So we got into our room which was on the 10th floor (#1014). We were given a room with city view which was nice. I was quite impressed with the room. It had everything I needed and spacious. The bathroom is spacious as well. I have seen smaller rooms and bathroom during my travels elsewhere although those was more expensive than here. The room feels airy and nice colour combination of the furnishing. What’s in the room; fridge (it’s empty though which was not an issue as managed to get supplies from Tesco Lotus which is about 5minutes walking distance, nice!), coffee & tea facility, LCD TV (variety of English channels), safe box, wardrobe, hair dryer, and toiletries. Should you need additional toiletries you can get them at reception. The bed and pillows was very comfortable! In fact, there is total of 4 pillows, 2 being soft and another 2 is firm, these are labelled accordingly for your reference. Air conditioner works well and it’s well ventilated as we were in a smoking room. Also, no king bed offered for smoking floors, only queen size bed is offered which is rather odd.

P1070576

P1070577

 

P1070580

We didn’t expect much from the complimentary buffet breakfast (on 7th floor).The buffet spread is decent and sufficient. There are breads (white & wholemeal), jam, butter, margarine, peanut butter, pastries, milk, low fat milk, soya milk, coffee machines which dispenses coffee, hot chocolate, hot mocha chocolate, tea. There is small spread of salads, yogurt, breakfast sausage (chicken), egg omelette, and fried rice/noodle. We had breakfast here (all 3 days) the spread seemed standard every day. I wish they could have different items or spread. Anyway I enjoyed the breakfast there. The foods are refilled on time by kitchen staff. The buffet counter is clean. The waiters are efficient. No room service facility here however you can order from few food establishments who do delivery to the hotel. There is a gym and sky garden at the roof top (24th floor).

20140519_020622931_iOS

It’s about 3minutes walk from hotel to National Stadium sky train station and about 10minutes walk to Siam BTS station, both heading to different direction which was convenient. You can reach MBK mall in about 5minutes walk. Siam Discovery Mall & Siam Paragon is just opposite MBK. We actually walked to most of the malls nearby including Platinum Mall, although that took us about 20minutes. There is a massage & spa outlet right next to the hotel which we tried once during our stay and it was decent. Not much activity at night if you are looking for clubs and late night meals, you probably need to head out elsewhere.

Overall we enjoyed our stay at Holiday Inn Express Siam hotel. I find it good value hotel with friendly service.

Where at: 889 Rama 1 Road, Bangkok 10330 Thailand

 

The Royal Nakara Ao Nang… We loVed it!

One of the important factor while travelling is having a comfortable accommodation which fits the budget. After browsing some reviews online and in my favorite site ‘TripAdvisor’ for accommodations in Krabi, we decided to go ahead with Royal Nakara Ao Nang. It may not be the cheapest place to get but it is reasonable value. What I was comfortable that most reviews say it’s clean and safe. We paid about RM307 (which is about USD93) for 3 days 2 night stay which was booked through Agoda. This is inclusive of breakfast. We booked it through Agoda site which is my first time!

The entrance of the hotel. Not bad eh.

The entrance of the hotel. Not bad eh.

The wall of awards at the reception desk.

The wall of awards at the reception desk.

We arrived on 27th April and stayed till 29th April 2014. We took early morning flight from Kuala Lumpur via AirAsia and by 10am, we are already at the hotel. Upon arrival we were given a drink (refreshing orange juice!) which was a nice way to welcome guest. Most of you would be familiar with ‘more expensive’ hotels practice in giving fruit punch and at times hot/cold towel upon arrival however I didn’t much from this hotel. Off course it’s a small gesture but it was a nice way to welcome guest.

Upon arrival, I was greeted by a lady staff who asked me to acknowledge a pre-filled form. Very simple and done in a minute.  We were asked to wait for the room to be ready but in few minutes time, it’s done! Boy, I was happy that I could get the room so early! The lady informed us that they have upgraded our room to the sea view room! Nice…

The hotel room

The hotel room

Desk

Desk

Bathroom

Bathroom

Bathroom.

Bathroom.

Shower area

Shower area

The huge balcony..

The huge balcony..

There is not lift service in this hotel as it is only about 3 floors. The room which we got (room 603) is located on the 3rd floor. A male staff assisted us with the luggage. I was very happy with the room we got! It was clean, very spacious, has wardrobe, luggage rack, bath rope, a spacious bath, TV, air conditioner, mini bar, jug kettle, coffee & tea amenity, safe deposit box, hair dryer, hot shower, 2 bottles of drinking water (refilled everyday) and FREE wifi. On top of that, the room has a huge balcony overlooking the hills and sea. A nice spot for our cigarette break!

Before coming over, I liaised with Partichat from the hotel to assist in preparing a surprise birthday cake for my partner. I believe this is the lady at the reception most of the time. She managed to sort it out and placed the cake in the room on the day we arrive. And it was done complimentary! A very nice gesture from the hotel. She also helped us to book some activities in Krabi. Anyway, thank you again Partichat! Look out for more post soon on Krabi night market, elephant trekking and ATV ride.

The complimentary cake!

The complimentary cake!

We headed out to the main beach area by foot as we wanted to explore the surrounding of the hotel. It took us about 10(+/-) to reach the beach area.  Initially it felt a bit far but we walked from hotel to the beach throughout our stay in Krabi. It’s a nice way to burn some calories after consuming all the Thai food! You can always take a tuk-tuk or taxi from the beach area to hotel. It will cost you 30baht for tuk -tuk. If you are walking back to hotel, please note that the hotel is located on slightly hilly area. So, it will be a slight climb, nothing too extreme.

We got up a bit late on the next morning but manage to have breakfast before we explore Krabi. So what do they serve for breakfast? They had bread (white and wholemeal), butter and jam, cereals, milk, juice, rice, a curry dish (green chicken curry on the 2nd day we were there and it was yummy), vegetable, bacon, sausage (pork), egg station and coffee & tea. You can have your egg anyway you want! The breakfast spread is basic and more than sufficient for us.

Sunny side eggs

Sunny side eggs

A cute tooth pick holder

A cute tooth pick holder

Sauce and additional seasoning for your breakfast.

Sauce and additional seasoning for your breakfast.

The breakfast area

The breakfast area

The breakfast area. Not too sure why the picture looks like as if its foggy there! haha

The breakfast area. Not too sure why the picture looks like as if its foggy there! haha

The breakfast area

The breakfast area

How was the sleep quality? Well, the mattress is on the firm side. If you are not used to firm bed, better check with the hotel on other options available as not sure whether the same mattress used in all the rooms. The bed sheets were clean, no odour or stain marks. The comforter or quilt is thick enough to stand the cold air from the air conditioner.  On the 2nd day, we have requested for additional pillows from the reception however no one got it for us. We reminded the staff at the reception when we went out for dinner. He asked to collect it from reception when we come back later, which was fine with us. No noise intrusion from the next room.

We didn’t have a chance to use the swimming pool. Apparently its being shared with another hotel next door however it looked pretty clean. Overall, loved it!

Where is it: 155/4-7 Moo 3 Ao Nang Beach, Muang, Krabi, Thailand 81000

You can visit their website as well @ http://www.royalnakara.com/

The hotel location

The hotel location

Dangs Phuket…Decent restaurant serving affordable Thai food.

We were wondering around this area and spotted this little restaurant.  Although it was a bit early we decided to have lunch here. Since we were early, we didn’t have to wait to be seated.

The menu offers pretty much Thai food. After browsing for a while, we ordered Seafood tom yam soup, seafood glass noodle salad, papaya salad, green curry chicken and rice. In general, the food is good. I would say that it is not as hot as I expected Thai food to be. Or maybe they have toned down the spiciness since most of the customers are tourist and foreigners. Our food arrived on time and served hot.The portion of the food is sufficient for 3 of us although we ordered the small portions of each dish.

The service was okay, quite efficient despite being crowded for lunch. Arent we glad to eat our lunch early! J Overall we were happy dining at this place.

Visited in November 2013. How would I rate them? The atmosphere 3/5, Service 4/5, F&B 3.5/5.

 

Green Curry Chicken

Green Curry Chicken

Papaya Salad

Papaya Salad

Glass Noodle Salad

Glass Noodle Salad

Tom Yam Soup

Tom Yam Soup

Thai steam fragrant rice

Thai steam fragrant rice

Classic coke bottle.

Classic coke bottle.

The Dang restaurant

The Dang restaurant

The Dang Restaurant Menu

The Dang Restaurant Menu