Mass tourism = destruction
We Came to the Krabi region specifically to do a Thai cookery school as there are several good ones in the province.
We had a good day at http://www.smartcookthailand.com/
Learned now to make 7 Thai different dishes each so we now have 14 recipes between us to take home and try out. Met some interesting people on the course and it was a nice sociable experience.
Here is me with the main equipment used in preparations.
Apparently Thai men choose their future wives by the way she handles the pestle and mortar. The faster she is at pounding, then the better wife she will be. Ahem.
Here is Iron chef himself back at the helm.
We were hoping to finish our holiday in this area as its easy to fly from Krabi airport back to Bangkok but after our first night here we realized Ao Nang wasn't to our taste.
Think of the worst parts of Tenerife (las America's) coupled with the worst bits of Salou (carles Buigas) complete with neon everywhere! then factor in loads of daft tacky tourists with hair braids and poor taste. Pakistani PRs outside every business trying to get you to come in using techniques such as:
1. THE BLOCK: the pr just literally stands in front of you blocking your way so you have to swerve around them while they talk shit at you "where you from my friend" "gutten abend"
(very funny - people think J is German since the haircut incident)
2. The spinning menu - PR Stands in front of you trying to impress you by spinning his menu on one finger in the vain hope that you stop and say "please cease this sorcery immediately and tell me about your substandard and overpriced fodder kind sir"
3. LETS BOND - "that's a nice T shirt" "where are you from sir?" Standard response really ought to be Fuck off but we spent two evenings walking about (trying to book our travel out of here ASAP) saying a polite "no thanks"
This style of bombardment of tourists really angers me. What should be a gentle stroll turns into running the gauntlet.
If people wanted a suit making they would bloody well walk into the suit shop themselves.
A man saying "suit sir?" Isn't going to suddenly make you think, "oh go on then".
It's a real shock to the system as the Thai people haven't behaved this way in any other place we've been to in Thailand (and we've been to A LOT of markets)
It shows what a negative effect the Pakistanis/Indians have had on the town. Plus it's dirty, really dirty. No one seems bothered about over full trash cans or litter in the street, Pollution on the beach. The locals have very clear disdain for foreigners it's written all over their faces they really can not stand us.
It's a real shame because I bet as little as ten years ago this was a lovely town.
Phi phi was in danger of becoming overdeveloped but I'm afraid in Ao Nang it's already happened.
We went over to Railey by longtail boat taxi today simply because we couldnt arrange passage out out here until tomorrow so we had to make the most of being here.
It is a nice beach but too many longtail taxi boats are bringing people from Ao Nang which means all you can hear all day is the sound of the LOUD outboard motor engines. All along the beach is broken coral from the damage caused by the engine propellers.
You can really see the negative impact that mass tourism is having on the Krabi coast, here with the coral, Phi Phi with the monkey cove pollution. If they carry on developing at this rate there will be nothing left to visit in ten years time. They don't seem to have any coping strategy for all the new western waste byproducts, empty plastic bottles, cans etc.
On the return back to Ao Nang beach we came across these really tame monkeys who REALLY like Oreo cookies!
Apart from Ko Lanta, I haven't enjoyed Krabi province at all.
Traveling back over to Ko phangnan tomorrow - it will take 7 hours to get there but it will be worth it for our last few days in paradise as opposed to purgatory.