Over the weekend, I was invited by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) to attend two big events in Southern Thailand. These were the Thailand Yacht Show at Ao Po Grand Marina in Phuket and the 4th Krabi Naga music festival on Khlong Muang Beach in Krabi. The trip was four days long but I missed most of the events on the first day as I was busy at school. I flew down by myself in the evening. For those who don’t know how these media trips work, the TAT pays for everything, including flights, hotels, tours, food and attractions. Nothing is given to them for free. This means I have no obligation to mention everything that we did or the places we stayed. If I don’t like something, like dual pricing or bad service, then I will say that. TAT just helps me to get to these festivals, they have no editorial control. The following photos were all posted live during the trip.
Trip date: 22-25 February 2018
DAY ONE: Good afternoon from Suvarnabhumi airport. Today I’m flying down to Phuket for the Thailand Yacht Show.
First time for me in the Royal Silk Lounge at Suvarnabhumi airport. Better selection of food and drinks compared to Bangkok Airways but not as many plug sockets for charging.
Boarding Thai Smile WE283 from Bangkok to Phuket in Southern Thailand. Flight time is about one hour.
My dinner served tonight aboard the Thai Smile flight to Phuket. Nice touch to have a table cloth. I’ve been roughing it a lot lately so it makes a nice change.
19th Phuket Chinese New Year Day and Old Phuket Town Festival from now until late on Friday night.
The Phuket Chinese New Year festival from 21-23 February is centered mainly in Queen Sirikit’s 72nd Anniversary Chalerm Prakiat Park. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/uSjYhYaB7Ax
DAY TWO: Good morning from Phuket in the South of Thailand. Cloudy with an expected high of 31°C. Hopefully it will remain dry this morning as I will be going out on a boat.
Today I’m out on a chartered catamaran boat visiting some islands around Phuket. Presently heading towards Phang Nga bay. Lovely weather this morning. A good breeze. Time to relax and unwind.
Drone photos of our catamaran in Phang Nga bay in Southern Thailand.
The food on the catamaran boat trip looks good, but it’s cold and stale. Not appetizing at all. But everything else was great.
A catamaran trip like this from Chalong Pier in Phuket costs from 2,900 Baht. The VIP experience is 3,900 Baht. Buffet lunch and soft drinks included, but beer is extra. The boat trip is about seven hours. They do stops for snorkeling.
Some of the big boats at the Ao Po Grand Marina in Phuket taking part in the Thailand Yacht Show from now until Sunday. Some for sale, others for charter.
The Azula is an example of a super yacht that you can charter. It’s 34 meters long. One week in the high season is $73,000 for the boat alone. Extras can cost as much as 30% on top of that.
The Ocean Emerald yacht is 40 meters and is normally based in Pattaya. To charter this one costs about $15,000 per day.
Drone photos of Ao Po Grand Marina in Phuket. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/ZUihgcA1zS32
GoBenz in Phuket Town is a famous Khao Tom shop (rice soup). Expect to queue for at least ten minutes and then wait again for your food. But it is well worth the wait. Standard bowl is 50 Baht. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/nsKQgbKDKtp
Big crowd in Phuket Town for the last night of the festival.
DAY THREE: Good morning from Phuket Town in Southern Thailand. The plan for today is to drive to Krabi province to visit some local communities and also to attend the Krabi Naga Fest 2018.
This afternoon we are exploring Laem Sak in Krabi province. First some local lunch and then a boat trip. Map: https://maps.google.com?q=8.329864,98.644401&hl=en-GB&gl=uk
Laem Sak is part of the Village Tourism project that allows tourists to experience local way of life. Krabi and Phang Nga are widely known but this area rarely gets any tourists.
There are many limestone cliffs in Laem Sak. And like in nearby Phang Nga province, they also have their own Nail Mountain. You may know the other one as James Bond Island. But this one is deserted.
There used to be many wild orchids in Laem Sak in Krabi, but locals used to “steal” them. Now the community has a project to return the orchids back to nature for future generations.
A floating fish farm close to Koh Chong Lat Tai in Laem Sak, Krabi.
Some drone photos of Laem Sak in Krabi.
Laem Sak in Krabi is still largely unexplored by tourists. There’s a lot to discover. They even have cave paintings that date back 3,000 years.
Our guide today was Khun Nong. He speaks excellent English & he is very knowledgeable. This is his Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/guidenong.kb
The Facebook page for the Laem Sak community in Krabi is https://m.facebook.com/LaemsakCBT
A very large crowd and great atmosphere on Khlong Muang Beach tonight for the 4th Krabi Naga music festival. Continues until Sunday night.
DAY FOUR: Good morning from Krabi. Lovely blue sky at the moment and an anticipated high of 34°C this afternoon. The plan for today is to explore another community to learn about their way of life.
Drone photos of Ao Nang in Krabi taken this morning. Please. One, this is the bay, not the beach.
Today we are doing a boat tour from Krabi Town. The pier where you rent boats is near the night market. Prices vary depending on the length of tour and number of people. But you can rent a boat for about 500 Baht. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/qsa4Bc4eN4o
Interesting to see solar panels on the roof of these long tailed boats in Krabi. They power the lights during night trips.
We had an enjoyable boat trip from Krabi Town. First to the limestone cliffs, and then through the mangrove forests towards the sea. We saw plenty of wildlife too, like kingfishers, crabs, lungfish and monkeys.
A seafood lunch at Baan Ma Ying on Koh Klang in Krabi. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/BiVYjAnjjim
Some drone photos taken from the pier on Koh Klang. The views are towards Krabi Town and the mangrove forest towards the sea.
A “saleng samlor” tour of Koh Klang, an island near Krabi Town. About 80% of the inhabitants are Muslims. Main occupation is fishing and now tourism.
Learning how to make tie-dye cloth designs in Klong Prasong village on Koh Klang in Krabi.
Drone photos taken from above Krabi Town. Interesting to see the contrast between the city on one side of the river and the mangroves on the other.