Rainy Days From Our First Temporary Home
Ao Nam Mao, Krabi, Thailand
When Dan and I first got to the Krabi region, we beelined for the cliffside beach of Tonsai. Tonsai is beautiful. It along with its sister beach town, Railay, is a climber’s heaven with a lifetime’s worth of climbing routes at every turn. After about a week spent in Tonsai, exploring the beaches and the endless crags it has to offer, we realized the area is most suited towards the short term tourist, or at least not the type of budget tourist that we were, looking to spend no more than 60 baht a meal or at least have access to a local market and a shared kitchen.
So we set our sites on the mainland of Krabi, specifically the towns of Ao Nang or Ao Nam Mao, in search of a long term stay that would provide us a more affordable living situation while still having easy access to the ferries of Tonsai and Railay. Ao Nang is slightly more populated with a long beautiful beach displaying the iconic jungle cliffsides and lone limestone karsts that make the southern region of Thailand famous. Set back from the long stretch of beach is a lively night market and endless rows of shopping, bars, and restaurants.
Ao Nam Mao feels a little more local. It still has it’s share of resorts, a small beach front, and easy access to good eats, but it’s simply…more quiet. And if you go deep down the estuary along the ocean, past a few schools, through a Muslim neighborhood with brightly colored mosque domed peaks, past countless halal spots run out of small family homes, and deep into the marshy mangrove land, you’ll find where we ended up: Chill Out Village (the mainland sister resort of Chill Out Bar and Bungalow where we stayed in Tonsai).
Chill Out was our temporary home for a month after we left Tonsai. We found some incredible crags on the mainland that some of the local climbers would argue rival those of Tonsai: North Wall and Chong Phli. Once a week we still take the ferry over to Tonsai to splurge on some incredible climbing views and eat to our hearts content at Mum’s Kitchen (my favorite restaurant so far in Thailand, that women’s Panang curry cannot be beat). When we’re not climbing, we can simply sit still, read, write, cook some of the Thai dishes we’ve learned and simply ~ chill ~. There’s a garden with a guard rooster that roams around the property, and an endless amount of cats that the owner has taken in and given a home.
Our favorite is Artie. I’ve seriously considered trying to adopt Artie but sadly, logistically it’s not going to work out for us. 🙁
Here’s a little peak into our first spot on a rainy afternoon (Artie and the rooster are clearly the stars here):