We woke up on this day slightly later than previous days because it was going to be a free and easy day! The only thing we had in mind to do was to visit Krabi Town’s Night Market so we had the whole morning/afternoon to fill. Over breakfast Sheryel and I were discussing on places to visit on our last full day in Krabi. We were considering between the Emerald Pool/Hot Spring, hiking or going straight to Krabi Town. Being Christians, Sheryel and I were not entirely keen on visiting the Tiger Cave Temple despite locals and tour guides suggesting it to us.
However, here’s the plot twist. Buri Tara Resort’s private van to the Emerald Pool would cost us more than $100 SGD and a private cab would cost us $50 SGD which we felt was waaaaay too expensive considering the fact that we would only be there for a mere 2 hours before heading back down. In addition to that, Emerald Pool was a good distance away from our resort which would take us quite a bit of time to get there and back. Thankfully, we overheard the European couple in front of us negotiating with the private cab drivers the price of their trip to visit the Tiger Cave Temple. We then decided to join the couple on their trip to save money on travelling (two poor university students trying to save some bucks).
Wat Tham Sua- Tiger Cave Temple is located approximately 3 km away from Krabi Town. It got its name from the tiger paw prints that are visible on the stones in the cave. The main tourist attraction is the 1,272 step climb up the a limestone tower with a rewarding view of the surrounding countryside and the Andaman Sea. The climb up definitely killed me after four days of eating and zero exercise. I initially thought to myself, “how difficult can a thousand steps be.. It definitely cannot be tougher than running”. Bless me. I was wrong. The steps up were steep and narrow, every step taken requires so much effort to push your body up. Thank God for long legs but they did not benefit me much here. Sheryel was still way ahead of me as I panted and held on to the railings for my dear life. On the torturous journey up, we would chat with fellow tourists we cross paths with. I remember vividly the first woman we met, perspiration drenched her fuchsia blouse. She said to us, “it doesn’t get easier, that’s why I’m heading back down. I didn’t make it to the top”. (HOW ENCOURAGING)
After what felt like forever, this was the view:
Top of the climb
The climb was crazy. I thought the worst was over when we got to the top. The cool wind swept my hair and attempted to dry up the perspiration that soaked my T-shirt. I was wrong. The climb down was so much harder. Being taller, I had a harder time going down because of the steep steps. I felt like I would miss a step and roll down the 1,272 steps (it might actually be a better option) I clung on to the railings even tighter than before, gingerly stepping down each step. “Slow and steady”, I kept repeating to myself. I had never been happier to touch ground. Sheryel and I happy danced our way back to our private cab and we headed to Krabi Town.
Google maps and TripAdvisor has been our best friend for the past four days, and this time around it did not fail us. It brought us to Hong Ming Vegetarian Food where we were greeted by an adorable toddler. Sheryel decided to try the soup noodle and I settled for rice and side dishes. The shop owner warned me as I chose my dishes that the curry would be very spicy. “Freedom of choice!”, I thought in annoyance but only to realise.. she was darn right. Nevertheless, it was such a satisfying meal yet friendly on our wallets. Each of our dishes cost less than $5 SGD and they also serve complementary bananas (3 whole bananas!) and water is free! The mock meats were tender and tasty, I was beyond excited when I found out they served brown rice.
After lunch, Sheryel and I had to find things to do to kill time till the night market opens. We explored Krabi Town but soon realised that there was not much to do and many shops were closed. Eventually, in a small alley, we came across a cheap massage parlour that did not look dodgy. Sheryel got herself a foot massage and I, the neck and shoulder massage. We then also treated ourselves to a pedicure. Still left with 2 hours till the night market opens, Sheryel and I found ourselves in a cute little cafe sipping on smoothies, flipping through travel books. The ambience of the cafe was comforting and time flew.
The night market was a slight nightmare for the both of us. Swarming with people, we had to push through the crowd to move forward. Colourful stalls selling food, clothes, accessories and many more lined the busy streets. Sheryel decided to try the Thai Pancake that was supposedly famous and we bought carrot cake and a chive pancake to share (neither was to our liking). So, Sheryel got herself a Vegetarian Pad Thai and I got a bowl of spicy mushroom soup. We sat ourselves down in the centre of the night market in front of a stage where locals would showcase their talents. A Thai girl sang Mandarin songs so beautifully it reminded us of home- and our parents. The crowd got a little too overwhelming for us and we decided to retire for the day back to the comfort of Buri Tara.