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This post is the continuation of the First day of Heineken Star Final at Krabi that was published in this blog about a week ago.

After getting back from Aonang beach the night before and having decided that there isn’t exactly anywhere to have authentic Thai food at the area, Mell and I decided to seek local food elsewhere.

thai beef noodles at Krabi
Thai beef noodle, with beef balls and meat

Instead of having lunch provided by Heineken at Sheraton, we walked out of the hotel and chanced up upon this little beef noodle place just a block away to the south. With some finger pointing and my super limited Thai language, we managed to order a bowl of beef ball noodle for Mell, and another bowl of mixed beef and beef ball noodle for me.

The portion was quite small, reminding me of hawker food in Penang, but they do however, tastes rather good. The beef was tender and the beef ball had a good texture going on too. I particularly like the abundance of bean sprouts and vegetables served here. It was pretty good for brunch, and it was only 30 baht each.

KY and Mellissa at Krabi
happiness is when you have good breakfast to start the day

While horng and suanie were still on the island hopping trip arranged by Heineken (their accounts here, and here), Mell and I thought about heading to Krabi town. That idea was scrapped as soon as we saw that the hotel shuttle charges 400 baht per person for a round trip ride, which just doesn’t make economic sense.

And I had thought that hotel shuttles are free. Thanks Sheraton, for building your resort so far away from civilization and charge significant dollars for your shuttle services, hmph!

tomyam at Krabi, Mellissa
another nameless Tomyam place near Sheraton at Krabi, Thailand

After brunch, we spent some time walking around the hotel and chilling. We also discovered that there were computers with internet access at the business center for hotel guests, free of charge! That was when I took the opportunity to check my mails and go on twitter for a bit.

Since brunch was relatively light, we got hungry again by early evening. For the early dinner, we again went exploring at the small strips of shops outside the hotel and came to this little nameless restaurant with an old lady as the head chef.

tomyam and fried egg at Krabi, Thailand
two bowls of tomyam (prawn and chicken), and omelet

Again with my limited Thai language, I tried to order a tomyam prawn (tomyam kung) and a basil chicken dish to go with rice. After spending at least 5 minutes pointing and talking, I thought I had nailed it down.

When food came, it was two bowls of tomyam instead – tomyam prawn and tomyam chicken. Mission 50% passed. I then went to the kitchen and ordered an omelet dish so that we have some variety.

The tomyam soups were not as strong tasting as those we had at Pradiphat street in Bangkok, but they were pretty good in their own rights. We finished everything and only had to pay some 200 baht for a couple well fed and satisfied stomachs.

Heineken Star Final at Krabi, Thailand
BBQ dinner with Heineken

At night, we gathered at the hotel for a Thai BBQ dinner that was actually pretty delicious. Highlights of Champions League games were played and we met quite a few hardcore fans in the ballroom. It was hilarious how some of the fans from Cameroon reacted when Eto’o failed to score as if it was a live game. VJ Utt from MTV Asia hosted the event with another pretty lady, but I didn’t pay much attention.

Mell and I decided to take some rest before the game and we ended up sleeping in the hotel room while Horng & Suanie danced away at the canopy with giant screen. It turned out to be a decent choice, Suan was too tired to watch the game by the time we got there, and Horng was so spent after the game he ended up not able to go to work the day after. Hahaha

Champions League final, MU vs Barcalona
Champions League Final – MU vs Barcalona

Heineken did put up a great show before and during half time of the game with their over energetic cheer leading squad flipping and jumping to the music. However, the game itself was a bit anticlimactic, MU basically went to sleep after 15 minutes. Two goals later, Mell, being an MU fan, couldn’t take it anymore and so we headed back to the room to watch it on TV instead.

We had an early breakfast at the hotel and headed to the hotel by 10 something in the morning to fly back to KL. It was a pretty enjoyable holiday in spite of the rain that fell quite heavily 60% of the time we were there.

That was 3 weeks ago, I wouldn’t mind another holiday now!

Sometimes last year I went to a Heineken sponsored event at TTDI Plaza. It was a bit of a last minute plan that Horng and Suan ended up joining me to form a team of 3 and participated in a flash game competition, a game that we ultimately won against the other 9 teams of players. I had previously blogged about the game here.

The prize was a 3 day/2 night trip to Krabi for the 3 of us together with some 280 winners and media guests from all over the world during the Champions League week. Mell decided to join us to the trip as well.

Mell, Horng, KY, and Suan at Krabi
Heineken basically booked the whole of Sheraton

We took an Air Asia flight to Krabi last Wednesday and arrived at the destination at around 1pm, bright and sunny. Heineken had apparently booked pretty much the whole Sheraton for the event.

I had previously stayed at the very same hotel (probably the same block), the room was very nice with its lush bed tastefully done interior design overseeing the huge garden and beach. We were each given a hotel room as the winners of the competition.

Lunch at Sheraton with Heineken
KY, Mell, Horng, and Suan enjoying lunch

After checking in and got our programs all sorted out, we were treated to the buffet lunch at the hotel. I must say that the lunch was a bit lackluster and I had initially expected a lot more out of Sheraton, but well, at least the drinks was good.

It would have been a lot more awesome if we were able to go to the Duck Noodle place instead but the hotel proved to be too far (at least 45 minutes and probably 800 baht worth of taxi ride) from where the restaurant is located.

kayaking and swimming at Sheraton Krabi
kayaking and swimming at Sheraton (pic from Suanie.net)

After dinner, we adjourned to the beach for some fun under the sun.  There were kayaking, wind surfing, beach football and a variety of other activities organized by Heineken. Mell decided that she was going to join us in kayaking while Suan was happy to be the photographer. As you can see, Mell did a great job “kayaking”, no?

We then spent some time at one of the two very nice infinity pools, it was both relaxing and tiring. A perfect start of the holiday.

Thai food at Krabi
Thai steamed fish, seafood tomyam, and green curry

Not wanting to risk another bad meal at the hotel, we decided to head to town for some Thai food. The taxi we managed to get was actually not exactly a proper taxi, but the lady who runs a massage place just opposite Sheraton. We negotiated with the lady to send us to Aonang town for 700 baht round trip, and we were there some 30 minutes later, it is that far.

dinner at Aonang town, Krabi
Dinner at one of those touristy restaurants

Aonang is basically a very touristy town that is much like Batu Ferringhi in Penang. We walked for some 20 minutes and before concluded that there were no “authentic” dining place, so dinner was at a touristy restaurant by the name of Krabi Tour Thai Cusine.

We ordered seafood tomyam, green curry, vegetable, and a Thai style steamed barramundi to go with some steamed rice. The food was quite good (especially the fish), but not to the standard of those Mell and I had at Pradiphat street, Bangkok. It came to about 900 baht, a bit pricey for Krabi standard, but at least it tasted pretty good.

Thai massage at Krabi
Thai massage is a must, look at Horng’s facial expression when he saw his masseuse

We walked along Aonang for a bit, the town is littered with shops selling a variety of art works, t-shirts, and souveniers. Suan and Horng bought an soft plastic camera underwater casing for 340 baht that turned out to be a very wise investment.

Before heading back to the hotel, we went for a Thai massage at one of the many massage parlors (for 200 baht an hour). I’ve always enjoyed Thai massage, a bit of stretching and human pretzel actions always make my body feel very relaxed and rejuvinated. Horng was a bit apprehensive of his big masseuse but she turned out to be very good at what she does. Suan, on the other hand, complained that her first massage experience did not go so well as the lady was not strong enough.

We then called our taxi and headed back to the hotel to crash, it was a pretty tiring but very enjoyable first day at Krabi.

Finally processed the pictures taken from my Krabi and Phuket trip organized by Seetho Holidays some three months ago. Here are some of what I saw through the lens from that 5-day vacation that seems to have happened so long ago.

Krabi beach reflected on Sun Glasses
Krabi beach in reflection

The reflection on Andy the photographer’s sunglasses. The crystal clear water and soft sandy beaches of Krabi is now as much an optical plaything on the lens as they are in my memory. Welcome back to reality 1.0

fancy a BBQ banana?
want a BBQ corn you corny tourists?

There are stalls on the beaches along areas most popular with tourists. The more imaginative locals sell handy crafts, fabrics, cloths, and accessories, while some stick to the simpler offerings such as this one.

the Giant of Krabi
Giant of Krabi town

There’s a legend at Krabi about these gentle giants from the surrounding jungle. So far as I know, they only exists at a junction downtown tirelessly carrying the traffic lights these days. I guess they were supposed to be docile cousins of Yeti and Bigfoot.

Colourful Sweetness
Am I sweet or do I just look pretty?

The afternoon market at Krabi offers many different types of food, you can find BBQ fish, fresh fruits, juice, roasted chicken wings, and all sorts of other traditional dishes. This colorful plate of candy captured my attention most.

transportation
where do you want to go today?

Traditional fishing is very much alive in this part of the world, with custom made propeller shafts and colorfully painted wooden boats floating on crystal clear water. This photo was captured on the last bridge we crossed on the way to Phuket.

Royal fish farm, krabi
the Royal fish farm at Krabi

The Royal fish farm is an attempt in marine conservation, there are many species of salt water fishes from reef sharks, angel fish, to Nemo. I almost felt guilty by thinking how great most of them would taste after a short trip to the kitchen.

hot spring waterfall
the hot spring waterfall

A small waterfall at the end of Klong Thom hot spring where we soaked ourselves in the mineral rich water. The hot stream joins a cold river after the waterfall, you can actually jump between the two completely different water. The hot spring reminds me of the onsen experience in Japan, if only we could do something about the tropical weather…

A city that doesn't sleep, Phuket
bustling nightlife at Phuket

The bustling night life at Phuket reminds me of Bangkok‘s red light district. Go-go bars, foreign tourists, peddlers, discos, t-shirt stalls, and plenty of alcohol serving joints. Patpong Patong never sleeps.

Boy or Girl? Phuket, Thailand
a frown and a smile

The street is also populated by many female lookalike beings selling their companionship or peddling for the particular go-go bar they represent. As with anywhere else in Thailand, gender confusion is paramount here.

fly boy at Phuket
Fly boy assisted

When the sun rises, Phuket returns to a sort of normalcy expected from any beach vacation spot. Para sailing, jet skiing, and banana boat tours are all available. Kids who slept through the sin city’s night time activities get to do what their parents promised them.

look ma, I found this!
look ma, a shell in my bucket!

Can’t wait to go on another trip.

In the third day of our South Thailand trip last month, we went to the other side of South Thailand, some 3 hours drive to the east, from the coast of Andaman Sea to the Gulf of Thailand. On the way, we stopped by the royal fish farm, visited a traditional soap factory and a fabric factory where mangonsteen is used for the smell in soap, and color in the dying process. We also went to Wat Phra Mahathat Woromaha Vihan for a bit and hung out at the silver street of Nakhon Si Thammarat town.

Surat Thani Seafood, Thailand
seafood restaurant on stilts

Anyway, you can read Kim here and here for a slightly more detailed report on the trip itself. As for me, I just want to tell you about one of the best seafood dinners I’ve had, thanks to SeeTho‘s good taste and willingness to travel far for the best dining experience.

We arrived at this seafood place that is tucked at the end of 4177, a fishing village more familiar with the locals instead of tourists. The name of the restaurant written only in Thai, I can’t tell you what it says, but we went to the middle of the three restaurants at the area.

Surat Thani Seafood, Thailand
cheap oysters and really fat clams

Leading to the restaurant is a little market specializing in all sorts of fresh and preserved seafood. There were some huge salted fish, live crabs, fresh prawns, and plenty of cheap live oysters for sale. I don’t know where could you find live oysters for as low as 5 baht each! The really huge ones were only around 20-25 baht ( RM 2.00 to RM 2.50), very tempting.

Surat Thani Seafood, Thailand
vegetable, grilled fish, crab, and grilled big prawns

Ordering was left to SeeTho since there’s this little problem of language incompatibilities between the servers and diners. We had seven dishes and some rice to wash everything down. Baked oysters, tomyam seafood, petai, mixed vegetable, grilled fish, Thai style crab, and of course, some huge grilled prawns.

Surat Thani Seafood, Thailand
tomyam seafood, petai balacan, and baked oyster

Baked oyster was chosen instead of having them raw for a very good reason, you don’t want to have an upset stomach during a trip where long journey in a van is involved. The oysters were really good though, lightly baked, very fresh and very juicy inside. They were eaten with a combination of sauce and herbs I can’t really name, it was the perfect way to start the meal.

Surat Thani Seafood, Thailand

I also really enjoy the petai and the huge prawns. The tomyam, crab, and mixed vegetable didn’t disappoint either. The grilled fish, however, looked really ordinary but turned out to be really smooth with a very soft texture and really sweet taste.

Needless to say, we ended up overfed again. Seafood with that unique Thai style preparation is a winner if you ask me. If you are going to Ko Samui, Surat Thani is actually pretty close by, try to get yourself to this place, you won’t be disappointed. Alternatively, of course, you can always go with SeeTho travels and request to have this seafood meal included.

If I remember correctly, the meal for 8 of us was slightly less than RM 200.

GPS: 9.31031, 99.47774

After SeeTho brought us to the fantastic duck noodle place for our first meal at Krabi, I thought it’d be pretty difficult to follow up with an equally impressive dinner, but I guessed wrong. We spent some wet time at a hot spring waterfall and walked around Krabi town (more on those in upcoming posts) in the evening, then we were brought to this curious little place that looks more like a garden/forest reserve, which incidentally also serves as the entrance to Ruenmai Thai Restaurant.

Ruenmai Thai restuarant at Krabi, Thailand
beautiful garden setting

The restaurant is also a garden, with huge trees, small streams, little nicely decorated huts, and plenty of plants and flowers everywhere. Hidden among the vegetation were statues and antique objects, very nicely done. We were seated on one of the slightly elevated platforms right in the middle of the garden.

Ruenmai Thai restuarant at Krabi, Thailand
chicken with cashew nuts, ulam, and mango salad

Food was served by the friendly waitresses while we were busy snapping pictures of the beautiful place (and the food too, of course).

Appetizer was the classic mango salad with generous amount of lightly grilled cashew nuts. Then there’s also the Thai style ulam (salad) with cencaluk (preserved shrimp sauce). These two dishes definitely got our saliva flowing.

Ruenmai Thai restuarant at Krabi, Thailand
wild leave vegetable, siakap fish, clear tomyam soup

The main dishes were deep fried siakap fish (baramundi) with sweet and spicy Thai sauce and plenty of cilantro on top. The fish was very fresh and the sauce went well with fragrant steamed rice. There’s also stir fried chicken with onion, spring onion, and cashew nuts.

Of course, there is the rather delicious clear tomyam soup (similar with normal tomyam sans chili oil) laden with all sorts of seafood. However, the one dish that captured my attention was the stir fried “wild leave” that tasted very different from any other vegetable dishes. The leaves were slightly tougher to chew but carries a pretty unique ‘raw’ and authentic taste which I really like. You should try it if you have the chance.

Ruenmai Thai restuarant at Krabi, Thailand
Kim & myself, Nicole, Kel Li, Nigel

It was a really good Thai meal that ended with some mangosteen as dessert. SeeTho had it all planned out nicely, we got there just before sunset but half way during dinner, the sun retired for the day and the whole place was lit up with incandescent bulbs giving it a different and more romantic feel.

Ruenmai Thai restuarant at Krabi, Thailand

A more high end place, definitely costs a bit more than the duck noodle. Then again, it would be probably be half of what you’re expected to spend for an equivalent meal in Malaysia.

GPS: 8.07725, 98.90829
Tel: +6607 563 1797
Tel: 07 563 1797

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