We’d heard rave reviews about sea kayaking in Krabi and we decided we’d give it a go. We went into various’Official Tourist Offices’ and travel agents in Krabi to find the best deal. Every restaurant, hotel and massage parlour also was a travel agent. It was totally bizarre, there’s no diversity… everyone’s selling the same thing. We got various quotes and brochures quoting half a day kayaking from 500 baht (a tenner) to 1700 baht. Those who showed us brochures quoting 1700 baht a person said they were able to offer a 50% discount, which made us think it obviously wasn’t 1700 baht in the first place. Lesson Number 1 in Thailand: everyone is trying to rip you off. In the end we decided to book the sea kayaking through our bungalow’s travel agent just to be safe.
We were picked up in a converted truck at about 8.30 am and were driven to Ao Thalene. We were told to queue up for paddles and lifejackets (ONLY if you couldn’t swim apparently). In England everyone would be required to wear a lifejacket, but that’s Thailand for you!! The paddle Kyle was given was a little broken and when he asked for another one the instructor said:
‘Kayaking is not about paddle, it about power. Not paddle!’
Kyle got a new paddle anyway.
We got into the kayaks and we were told to kayak to the little island in the middle of the sea and wait until everyone was ready. We paddled there and waited for everyone but we got confused about whose group we were in and so we decided to get back in the kayaks and follow another group. We managed to catch up with the group and listened to the instructor talk about how pirates would hide in the limestone caves and crevices. He even showed us some human bones that were 300 years old. He said we could touch them if he wanted! It was then that we realised that we were not only with the wrong group but the wrong tour operator! The instructor from our operator kayaked up to us and started yelling at us to rejoin our group! It was a shame that we had to rejoin our group because we didn’t get the pirate tales in our tour.
We kayaked all morning taking in the breathtaking views of the limestone cliffs and mangroves. After 2 hours though, I was quite tired and Kyle’s bottom was a little sore! We finally made it back to base camp, where we had some fresh watermelon and pineapple before being dropped back at our bungalow.