Day 5 - Ao Nang
At 5:00 pm, we met our AirBnb Host Martin on the Pier itself and proceeded to occupy our rooms in Poonsiri Villa, Ao Nang.
Late in the evening, we hired a bike to roam around the area. The Ao Nang beach has a huge market running along its length. It is the ultimate stop for a good hang out in the area (though we preferred the Wednesday Night Market, to which I will come to later)
In that market itself, we booked a tour for Emerald Pool, Hot Water Spring & Elephant Trekking for the next day. The price of the tour varies depending upon the agent, and your haggling skills (yep!). The one we booked was priced at 1400/head originally and we bargained it down to 750/head (Whoa! But we later realized that we could have done it by ourselves for even less).
Day 6 - Emerald Pool, Hot Water Spring & Elephant Trekking
We started at around 8 with the tour cab picking us up from our place. We proceeded to Khao Pra–Bang Khram Wildlife Sanctuary, which had Emerald Pool and Hot Water Spring. At that point we felt like we only paid for the transportation as the so called "English speaking" guide just left us at the entry and directed us to move further on our own.
Hot Water Spring was a natural Jacuzzi, and it was swarming with tourists when we reached around 10. We should have started sooner. Anyway, we took a dip in it and spent some time in the hot waters. It was good fun. The Emerald pool was pretty close to the Spring, and after entering through the ticket gates we had to walk ~1km to reach the actual spot. It was breathtaking with crystal clear water shimmering in the sunlight. We spent close to one hour in the pool and loved every bit of it.
After lunch, we proceeded to Elephant Trekking tour which was further away from the Sanctuary (close to an hour drive). We sat on the elephants and took a round of the forest area nearby followed by elephant dipping in the pool nearby. Honestly, it was bit of a disappointment. The 'Mahout' wielded a sickle shaped hammer to control the beast and he hit the poor animal on his skull while making him walk his way. Both of us winced at it, and asked the guy to not do it again. That pretty much ended the excursion for us.
After the tour we got out in the evening to check out the Ao Nang local market (a Wednesday only thing, and not to be missed). It had gamut of stalls selling (replica) clothing, accessories, and best of all street food at throw away prices. If one wants to explore the real treat at Krabi, eating at this place is a must.
Day 7 - Kayaking in Bor Thor Caves & Tiger Cave Temple
Realizing that the tours can be arranged of our own if we know where to go, we set out early that day for Bor Thor Caves. at 60 km it was a long enough journey from Ao Nang, especially on the scooter that we had, but we wanted to do this tour our way.
We started at 7, and after a serene ride (assisted heavily by HERE maps, and direction marker at places) we reached the area and rented a Kayak for 800 Bahts. There were two caves around - one accessible by foot where there was a caveman pic of a seahorse like thing; the other we navigated through while kayaking under it. It was a pretty sight. On our way back we saw scores of Kayaks heading to the cave - it was going to get crowded.
Afterwords we headed to Wat Tham Seua a.k.a. the Tiger Cave Temple, around 1 km from Krabi town. The temple boasts a climb of 1260 steep steps to the summit, where one can get a bird's eye view of areas around and far off. It was a taxing journey which took ~40 minutes and we were rewarded with panoramic view of the spot. It was pretty awesome site, almost as great as the feeling of accomplishment climbing so much stairs brought :)
After getting down from the Tiger Cave Temple we headed to Krabi Town and checked out one of the many shopping district in the area. It was not much different from Ao Nang, but still had a vibe to it.
The long day ended with us enjoying a great road side meal consisting of pancakes, pad thai noodles and beer on the Ao Nang beach road.
Day 8 - Transit to Bangkok
Having gone through the adventure of climbing Tiger Cave Temple a day before, we had our calves hurting in the morning. We got out to our customary market near to Ao Nang Beach for our breakfast.
After a lazy day, we headed back to Bangkok form KBV airport.