If there is no airport or train-station another option is to take the bus.
And believe there are busses going from/to almost every place in Thailand. It is really amazing. Some weird long haul connections that can be made from all the way in South Thailand to the border with Myanmar in North Thailand.
Personally I am not a bus lover. Yes it is cheap, but flights can be cheap also. So I would not take a bus from Bangkok to Chiang Mai but the train or airplane. But going to Bueng Kan in North-East Thailand you will have no other choice as at least a part by bus.
While traveling by bus you should consider safety and comfort. In my personal opinion ... long haul trips with the bus lacks both of them. Especially when taking the bus at night. It is much safer to travel in day-time.
My favourite bus company is "Nakhon Chai Air" because they drive safe and have a very low accident count. Due to the air-condition in the bus I would recommend to take some warm cloths with you. And I would recommend to keep all your real valuables near to you (on your body). Personally I would never take a bus like on the photo, this are most time charted busses for schools or companies. They drive like crazy and most times have very loud music inside.
I love the smell of rain!
Everything will look a bit more green again and the sky will be clear again. But for the farmers and for the water-reservoirs it needs to rain more and more. Personally for me it can stop now for the moment (and start raining in the night again). I have to out today and I am very happy I have a comfortable car. Although I am sure the main-roads nearby our house will be flooded and look like a river.
Krabi is the capital city of a province in Southern Thailand along the Andaman coast. It is along a stunning coast line of limestone mountains and mangrove forrest with many beaches and islands within reach. One of the most popular beach destinations of Thailand!
How to get there?
Airplane : Krabi has it own airport (KBV) and can be reached domestic from Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Koh Samui. And international from Singapore, Malaysia and China.
Train : The nearest major train-station is Surat Thani and from there you can take the bus.
Bus : You can take the bus to Krabi from example Bangkok, Hat Yai, Phuket, Hua Hin.
The name of the island (Hong) means room, because at the back-side of the island is a lagoon that is like a room almost closed of from the sea. The island group consists of about 10 islands, some of the islands have beaches. Be aware that this islands are part of a National Park so non-Thai have the privilege to pay 5 times as much as any Thai. For Thai it is 60 Thai baht entrance fee (yes also for the Thai guy driving a BMW) and for non-Thai it is 300 Thai baht. Some tours include this at the tour price.
So our tour started at Hong Island where is a small bay where you can swimming in crystal clear water and see many fish swimming around you. From there we went to the lagoon on the other side. The boat goes thru the small opening between the high limestone mountains and and moors somewhere in the lagoon so you can dive straight from the boat into the water. Be careful it is not deep!
After that the boat took us via a 20min boat ride between many small island to another island with a small beach. At one side there is again a bay with crystal clear water and many coloured fish. At low tide there is a small sandbar to an small island in front of the beach.
Here we had a nice lunch on a old tree under the mangrove trees at the beach. And before you know it is time to go back to the mainland and back to your hotel.
I would recommend the go as early as possible ... we left at 7:30 and because of that we were at the islands just before more people came.
One of the tour companies doing day-trips on the sea is "Ao Nang Orchid Speedboat".
This is really "on holiday in your home country". Although I have been almost all over Thailand in the past 30 years, I have never been in Krabi. Somehow I always managed to pass it. Although I have been to Phuket and some the famous islands. And actually it must be more as 10 years ago that I did go more south as Hua Hin. Living in the heart of North-East Thailand we first took a Air Asia flight to Don Muang Airport (Bangkok) and then a Thai Lion Air flight to Krabi Airport. From there we took a taxi to our hotel at Tub Kaek beach.
The beach is along an dead-end road and has only 4 resorts and 1 restaurant. And the all beach is a bit upscale in prices. And be aware that there is nothing nearby. No 7/11, no other restaurants, no other hotels, no public transport. But for us that was wisely chosen for exactly that reason.
We did stay at "Tub Kaek Sunset Beach Resort", for a review of this resort have a look HERE. The 3 other resorts are "Amari Vogue" (with a great restaurant "Belinni"), "The Tub Kaek Boutique Resort" (with our favourite restaurant) and "Anyavee Tub Kaek Beach Resort".
We loved the beach and our resort. We had a few time lunch or diner at "Tub Kaek Seafood Restaurant" and at the restaurant of "Tub Kaek Boutique Resort". We made a half-day boat trip to the islands and made a afternoon/evening trip to Ao Nang where we had diner at "Wang Sai Seafood Restaurant" (very good!).
As said Tub Kaek Beach is not a cheap area to stay. The resorts are not cheap, the food is expensive (for Thai standards) and to go anywhere you will need taxi or your own transport. And if you are looking for nightlife ... forget it at Tub Kaek Beach!
How to get there?
There is no public transport, so your will need your own transport or a taxi. The beach is 45km from Krabi airport and a normal taxi costs 800 Thai baht one-way for max. 3 people with luggage. A mini-van for max. 8 people with luggage costs 1.200 Thai baht. A taxi to Ao Nang beach costs 600 Thai baht one-way.
Show on Google Maps: Nong Thale, Mueang Krabi District, Krabi, Thailand
|Arrival at Krabi Airport|
As we were going to Krabi from the heart of North-East Thailand we did fly with Air Asia to/from Bangkok. But due to the very long stop-over time at Don Muang Airport with Air Asia I did choose to fly Don Muang to Krabi with Thai Lion Air. I booked the ticket via their own web-site. For a review of booking my flight ticket have a look HERE.
So now the most important thing .... how was my flight?
Well very simple it was a smooth and well taken care of flight from the check-in until arriving at Krabi Airport. Check-in did go quick, flight was smooth and the in-flight service was friendly. We were service a small snack, what I personally think is a waste of effort on such a short flight of only 1hr and 20min. Good timing and no delay. I would fly Thai Lion Air again next time!
Web-site : Thai Lion Air
So if you are in the neighbourhood, drop in have a drink and a look his wonderful and colourful cartoons.
I love his daily cartoons ... sometime a bit too colourful for me but always funny. And sometimes very recognisable about living in Thailand.
About Koen :
I'm originally from Holland, but have been living and working in Bangkok since the late 1980s. During the 1990s my illustrations and cartoons appeared in local Thai magazines and newspapers. I also illustrated books for local publishers and presented my work in several large exhibitions. At the end of the 1990s my production slowed down and I concentrated on other business ventures, but never gave up art altogether. I started drawing again in early 2012, but this time just for fun, usually a few drawings per week. Since then I made several post cards and T-shirt designs.
Yes, although I am more or less living here for more as 15 years I still every year have to arrange a new "Visa" or "Extension of Stay". In the beginning I would return to my home country every year and get a "1-year Non-Immigrant "O" visum" at the local consulate. Since I am married to a Thai national I can applied for an "Extension of Stay based on Marriage" at the local immigration office. And since I am older as 50 I can apply for an "Extension of Stay based on Retirement". And the latter is what I did last week in the place where I live in the North-East of Thailand.
It all went very smooth and easy. The immigration office here is very well organised and works fast, friendly and fair. Very well done sir!
So if you like adventure and meeting locals just take the train!
The main train station for almost all Thailand is Hua Lumphon in Bangkok. From here there are basically 4 train-lines leaving in all directions of Thailand. But there is also a second train station Thonburi, located along the Chao Phraya River (other side) for the Western Line (Nam Tok & Kanchanaburi).
Trains travel both at day-time as at night. At night there are sleeping couches with First, Second and Third class. First and second class is air-conditined. In day-time there is also First, Second and Third class. Again first and second class is air-conditioned, and it is like traveling in an air-plane with a hostess for in-train service. All trains have toilets and long-haul trains also have a restaurant. For more information about the train service see Railway Thailand
The Northern Line with end-destination Chiang Mai. Traveling thru the beautiful mountains of North Thailand. This line is passing Ayuthaya, Phitsanulok, Uttaradit and Lampang.
The North-East Line with 2 different end-destinations. First the line to Nong Khai as transit point to Vientiane in Laos. And secondly to Ubon Ratchathani as transit point to Pakse in Laos.
So if you have limited time just take a smooth flight to almost anywhere in Thailand.
As of 17 April 2016 there are 7 airlines flying domestic routes in Thailand from/to the following places.
Thai Airways is the national carrier of Thailand and flying from Survarnabhumi Airport (Bangkok) and Don Muang Airport (Bangkok), although I think the flights from DMK are all Thai Smile, to Chiang Mai, Koh Samui, Krabi, Phuket, Chiang Rai, Khon Kaen, Ubon Ratchathani, Udon Thani, Surat Thani, Hat Yai and Narathiwat.
|Songkran in Pattaya in 2011|
Despite the fact that it is bloody hot (42℃) and that it is the driest period since 20 years in Thailand, worlds biggest water festival has been celebrated in the past 3 days (13, 14 and 15 April). Well and at some place it will continue a bit longer like in Pattaya and a bit further along the Eastern Seaboard.
I hope you all enjoyed the party and that you did stay safe. The latter is because it is also the most deadly week in road accidents in Thailand due to drunk driving, fast driving and other stupidities.
Due to reasons of signal I want to move from my mobile telephone provider Dtac to AIS. As in Thailand there is a law of "Number Portability" it should be possible to keep using my old telephone number from Dtac when I move to AIS. That all worked smooth when my wife did move from Dtac to AIS last year. So I had never thought of the following (never ending) story ......
8 April at AIS & Dtac shop : I go to AIS to apply for Number Portability from Dtac to AIS. I am accepted and given a new sim-card. Now I have to go to Dtac to tell them that I want to move out. The lady checks all and says it is fine. So the all process is started. I will have to wait until I get a SMS from AIS that I can switch sim-card. This should take 3 - 6 working days.
8 April SMS from AIS : About 3 hours after applying I receive a SMS that the porting of my number is in process and that I will have to wait for a next SMS.
Until now it did go all to plan. As 8 April was a Friday and Saturday / Sunday are not working days (except if you want to buy something) I was not expecting anything in the weekend.
A nice cool morning in Bangkok. So after breakfast I made a walk & relaxed at "Benjasiri Park" (next to Emporium Shopping Mall). Open from 5:00 am to 21:00. In the early morning older Thai-Chinese are doing Tai-Chi and younger people are running the track around the park. While some other people use the fitness in the park. And although you are in the middle of the city you really feel like you are in the nature of a forrest. I love it!