I’m sitting in a pretty awesome hostel in Krabi, watching and laughing at these guys play this ridiculous drinking game and trying to figure out why I just haven’t been that impressed with this trip. I think that maybe it’s because I had pretty high expectations for the Thai islands. I mean you look at the photos online and it looks like such a paradise but so far it’s been a mix I’ll admit, I’m staying here during the low season so it’s actually a pretty empty city right now and the rain is a buzz kill.
Today I went on the “7 Island Sunset Tour” but I saw no sunset nor did we stop at 7 islands. This tour needs a new name. I want to say there were about 30 of us on a long tail boat. Those boats are big but they don’t seat that many people comfortably. Well those wooden benches don’t seat any amount of people comfortably.
The day started off beautifully. Even though we spent about an hour driving through the city picking up each group, a norm for group tours in Southeast Asia. And then another hour sitting at a dock in Railay waiting for late comers. But at least the sun was out and the water was beautiful!
We stopped at chicken island and did some snorkeling. Most of the coral was dead but there were a few fishes swimming around. The snorkeling didn’t compare at all to the beautiful reefs I saw in Nha Trang. We stayed for about a half hour and then moved to Tub Island, which has a small beach connecting two very small islands. It was beautiful and the water was nice. But you could see the clouds coming in from the distance.
We drove a bit to another beach nearby and that’s where things got rocky. Well sort of. It started pouring. Like pelting rain and it got cold. I tried to stash my bag under the overhang but it ended up pretty wet anyway. A couple of us realized that standing in the cold rain and strong rain, not even under the protection of the overhang since there was so many of us, was worse than just staying in the warm water. We jumped in and watched the boat’s crew struggling to keep the boat ashore.
Eventually the rain calmed down, and we were taken to another island. The crew asked if we wanted to snorkel and most people said no so we went straight to dinner instead. I would have liked to do some more snorkeling even in the rain.
We grabbed dinner which wasn’t impressive and then came back to the boat. By the time we got back to the boat it was dark which meant we were actually eating and not anywhere near the water during sunset. I think it may have rained through the sunset anyway but it would have been nice to still be on the water while the sun went down.
Here comes my favorite part: we drove to a small cove close by and there was glowing plankton! Whaaaa?!?! They light up as you move. By this point we had been on the boat for hours and I still hadn’t completely dried off from the crazy rain storm since my towel was completely soaked. And you can’t see the glowing plankton from the boat so it doesn’t seem like it’s that cool. But one of the girls I had been talking to jumped in and convinced me to get in. Thank God she did. It was amazing! It’s like fireflies in water but you control when they light up. Honestly, the plankton made the whole trip worth it.
Overall as I write it out it sounds like a pretty awesome day but before the plankton it was really just eh. Other than the scenery being beautiful there felt like there was something missing. Maybe it was the uncomfortableness of the benches or the rain but more likely it was just that my tour group didn’t “click.” If you’ve been on a few group tours you’ll know what I mean. Sometimes everyone just gets along. Everyone is kind and welcoming and by the end of the day you end up knowing at least half the group’s names and with a few tips on other nearby countries you plan to visit soon. This group was the polar opposite. A lot of people didn’t seem like they even wanted to be there as in they didn’t smile even once all day. As a solo traveller, I usually love group tours because I get to meet a bunch other people and I usually find one group to chill with to talk to for the day. About half the people on the boat didn’t speak much English and the other half chose not to. I ended up talking to these three British people because they were the only ones that seemed even remotely welcoming but even they didn’t seem very interested in talking to me. It’s always clear when I meet people traveling who has traveled as a solo traveler before. People who are traveled solo before welcome you into the conversation. This group of Brits clearly have never traveled solo. After multiple attempts to ask them about their trips I tried to be content by myself and made some jokes with the boat’s crew instead.
Overall I don’t think I’d recommend doing the 7 island tour, the 5 island one is cheaper and you probably end up seeing the same things. Krabi has been a lot more low key then I was expecting, which yes, is probably because it’s low season. I love my hostel though. I’m staying at Glur, in Ao Nang a bit up the street from the beach. I’m going to try to go to the Emerald Pools tomorrow with some people I met the other day. We’ll see if Krabi can meet my expectations tomorrow.
Check out my snaps from the day below and follow me on Snapchat @adventurousedu