If you're planning a trip to Southern Thailand, don't hesitate. It was so relaxing and beautiful! We had worried before leaving for the trip that maybe it would be difficult to get ourselves to all of the locations we had in mind, but we found that where we stayed in Ao Nam Mao had the conveniences of tourism without the crowds. It was also only about a 30 minute drive from the Krabi airport.
We booked a beachfront bungalow at the Dawn of Happiness, and had the beach to ourselves most days we were there! It cost us about $32 a night for the larger air conditioned room. Our room had a Thai bathroom (an electric shower not separated from the toilet). The shower pressure here is not ideal, but when you're living on the beach life is a little more relaxed and things like this just don't matter anymore.
It was during our time in Southern Thailand that I fell in love with Thai brooms (my obsession has become apparent on Instagram)... they're everywhere, and far cooler than what we have in the US.
This was the beach right in front of our bungalow!
One of our days there we decided to take a 7 island sunset tour. It cost us about 1,000 Baht each (or about $30). We made a few snorkeling stops, watched climbers jump from the rocks, had an included dinner on Poda island, and swam with the plankton once it got dark (they glow in the water!).
At Tup island the beach is white, the water is clear, and a small strip of sand connects the islands.
Poda island has breathtaking views, and was incredible to visit for sunset.
Another adventure we had while in Southern Thailand was visiting Tiger Temple. We rented a motorbike for about $6 for the day, and drove ourselves there. You drive on the opposite side of the street as we do in the US, so it took us a little bit of time to get used to it. But once we did, it was one of my favorite ways to explore new areas!
Monkeys will greet you at the bottom while they play and eat snacks. They're incredibly cute, but it's best not to touch them. We saw a couple of guys pulling on one of the monkey's tails, and understandably made the monkey pretty mad!
I'm warning you now before you see the view that it was one of the hardest workouts of my life to get to the top. But after over 1200 steps in 95 degree heat plus humidity, in sweat drenched clothes, this is what you see...
Worth it, right? We thought so. The difficult hike up to the top also keeps the temple a peaceful place to visit, while many others we've been to are overrun with crowds. If you decide to take the trek up, here are a few tips we wish we knew beforehand:
- Bring water! We only had a small bottle and spent the majority of the trek up majorly regretting that decision.
- Wear sneakers. Even though it's so hot and sneakers might not feel the best, your feet will be happy. I was wearing sandals and that definitely made the trek up more difficult.
- It's ok if you drink all of your water as you go up - there's a drinking water spout at the top where you can refill your bottle.
- If you can find any extra energy after the hike, there's another set of stairs at the bottom where you can explore the Tiger Caves. (We didn't go because the sight of stairs just wasn't that pleasing after making it up to the Temple).
The most important thing while in Southern Thailand is to relax. But if you're jet lagged and awake in the early morning, a walk on the beach for sunrise is pretty magical.
Have you been to Southern Thailand, or are you planning a trip?