Friday, August 29, 2008

Good food at Ao Nang Beach

Ao Nang is the nearest town (or at least a resemblance of it) to Klong Muang Beach where our resort is at. So to fill our hungry tummies, we set off for Ao Nang beach in search of dinner. Getting into Ao Nang can be very costly. Our hotel shuttle costs THB200 per person both ways, whilst a taxi (which we hailed from outside the hotel) costs THB900 both ways. For all the traveling we’ve done in various countries, this has got to be the most expensive considering it’s just a short 10 minute drive away.

Ao Nang is basically a stretch of hotels, restaurants and shops catering for the tourist masses. Of course, there’s also the Ao Nang beach popular with tourists. The beach overlooks the islands on Krabi’s island hopping trail including Poda Island. The islands dotting the sparkling blue water makes for a picturesque view. Tut-tuts offer a cheaper alternative to the taxis at about THB400 per way to Klong Muang. The tut-tuts here are very colorful and interesting. Shopping in Ao Nang isn’t quite full of choices. Most shops sell the same stuff, save for one or two unique ones. There’s a Burger King, McDonalds and even Starbucks for those who can’t live without their burgers and coffee. Those with more adventurous taste-buds can settle for a nice Thai seafood dinner at the many restaurants as well as open air food courts. There are of course, the obligatory Italian, Swiss and Western restaurants to cater to the western tourists.

We had dinner the first night at Bernie’s which serves a BBQ buffet for about THB200 per person. There’s a spread of items such as sausages, fish, pork chops, corn and beef that guests can choose for the BBQ, as well as a selection of noodles, pasta, rice, soups and salads. It’s pretty good value for the price we paid, but not exactly what we looked for.

The second night we had dinner at the open air food court where we chose fresh seafood to be cooked any style we liked. I liked the ambience here with it's tables covered in batik and area lighted up with little lightbulbs. The food selection was great and the food absolutely scrumptious! It’s one of the best food we’ve had in Krabi. I absolutely loved the Som Tam (Thai young papaya salad) which came with perfect harmony of sweetness and sourish delight! The seafood were very fresh! We also ordered freshly blended mango juice which was thick and smooth and absolutely delicious! For our meal of tom yam koong (Tom Yam prawn soup), steamed fish, mixed stir-fried vegetables with mushroom, hot-plate seafood and chicken, som tam and drinks, the bill came to about THB550 which is extremely good value for such great food.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Beautiful moments with Rara

Say hello to Rara, Sheraton Krabi Resort’s resident baby elephant. Rara comes out to play with guests daily at 10:00am and 3:00pm for an hour each time. And boy, does she play! She frolics in the sea with the guests ……
Kisses them with her trunk …… Walks with the guests by holding their hands with her trunk … Lets them give her a bath …. Raises them on her trunk ….. And takes them on rides to the beach …. We literally waited out at the beach everyday for Rara to make her grand appearance at the beach. She’s incredibly tame and cute. The little children loved her, as well as the adults!

The mahouts obviously adore their cute charge. They feed her with bananas, cajole her to kiss the guests, mockingly chide her for stealing bananas from the bag. It is such a joy to see Rara and her mahouts interacting so perfectly. My daughter loved spending time with Rara so much that when we checked out of the resort, she cried all the way to the airport which was a 30 minute drive away. Big tears for a baby elephant that she missed so much! We’ve assured her that Rara is well-taken cared of, and promised her that we’ll return one day to visit. I certainly can’t wait to go back myself to see Rara. A visit with Rara is almost magical and we’re fortunate to have had so many sweet memories with her.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Fun in the sun at Sheraton Krabi Resort

We celebrated our daughter’s 7th birthday recently in Krabi. We booked the Sheraton Krabi Resort as we thought it would be an interesting experience for our daughter to celebrate her birthday with Sheraton’s resident baby elephant.

The drive from Krabi airport to Sheraton took about 30 minutes through quaint little villages framed by limestone cliffs.
Sheraton Krabi is situated on the exclusive Klong Muang Beach. The lobby was wide and airy and affords guests a view of the beautiful sparkling blue sea. We were welcomed with glasses of chilled lemongrass tea and cool towels folded into the shape of a flower.

Our room is located on the E block which is just a short walk from the lobby but we were ushered into a buggy to be taken to our room nevertheless.

The room came with a king-sized bed and a daybed as well as views of the garden and sea and came with all the amenities which I’ve come to associate with Sheraton.

There are two infinity pools at the resort with deck chairs for guests to lounge in. We were there during low season so there were not many guests at the resort which was great for us! I thought the shower stations at the poolside were cute coz the shower head came in the shape of a crab! I especially loved the hammocks at the beach. It’s wonderful to just lie on the hammock and let the sea breeze lull me to sleep!
The beach was very clean and the sand, white and powdery. The waters were clean and clear too. There’s a Mandara Spa in the resort for those who likes a relaxing massage during the holidays. As Sheraton is also located in the middle of a mangrove forest we had an interesting time looking for crabs, bats, fireflies and fishes!
We even found a puffer fish which was washed up during high-tide! As always, the Kids Club at Starwood Resorts don’t disappoint. Our daughter had her hair braided by the Kids Club Shift leader, Ms. Panda Areechon who was very friendly and professional. I’ve emailed the hotel ahead that Ashley will be celebrating her birthday there, so they arranged for a nice chocolate cake and presents for her. She was surprised with all the attention and absolutely thrilled! It was her best birthday celebration ever and we have Sheraton to thank for it. I am really glad we chose the Sheraton Krabi Resort for our holiday. It’s one of the best we’ve had!