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Blogger Guides is a project I put together to find out tips and insights from local bloggers in each place I was planning to visit. I searched the top bloggers in each area, then Tweeted them to see if they’d be interested, and then interviewed them via email. It gave me a MUCH better idea on what to do, and especially what to pack.
by Alyssa Ramos
Featured Blogger: Nina Ragusa
Can you give a brief description of what/where Krabi is?
Krabi is a province that is located in the south of Thailand and borders the beautiful Andaman Sea. It’s holds some of the most popular tourist destinations, as well as some of the most stunning scenery Thailand offers.
What made you move to Krabi?
Eh, “move” is such a strong word for me. I’m temporarily residing in Krabi Town. Why? Because paradise is in my backyard, and I’m from Florida and I can’t be too far from a beach. Really… That’s why.
What do you do in Krabi?
Like normal people, I do work! It just happens to be online and more flexible than most jobs. When I’m not working, I’m hooping, beach bumming, seeing the sites around my town, or perhaps even going off on a random weekend to another town, city, or island nearby…. or not so nearby. Essentially- I do what I want!
What is your most favorite thing about Krabi?
The scenery. I can’t get over the karst mountains jetting out of the water. I love my beaches, but if there are beautiful rock mountains and islands to make the scenery that much more beautiful, then I’m in love.
What are the people like in Krabi?
Everyone is great! Friendly, helpful, and happy. The Thais and other foreigners who live here alike. Krabi Town is small, so you get to know people a bit better and quicker.
How do you say hi/greet people there?
Like anywhere else in Thailand, with a smile and a friendly “Swadee-(ka/kap)!”
What is the style like and how should a U.S. visitor dress appropriately?
The country is pretty casual as a whole. You will find places to dress up at here and there, but otherwise, casual and beachy, at least that’s what I do.
Walking in the streets with shorts and a tank top are done by many visitors and really, I don’t think it’s a big deal. You might get a few extra stares, but at least you will be just one degree cooler than if you were totally covered up. Walking around in a bikini top, unless you’re right at the beach, is not appropriate, but sometimes you find tourists doing it. Men too- Put your shirt on if you’re walking around the market dude!
Overall, the country is quite excepting of the way foreigners dress, but let’s not take it as you can wear whatever you want. Especially while visiting temples. Shoulders and knees should be covered, and be prepared to take your shoes off. You can usually catch me wearing some hippy flowy pants and a tank top on a regular day.
What are some must-see/do touristy things to do in Krabi?
There are plenty, Koh Phi Phi and Phuket are THE islands to go to for tourists. Island tours are great as well, you get a whole day of boating from island to island…They are absolutely stunning and the snorkeling is pretty decent too. There are tons of different “4 or 5 island” tours depending where you are departing from.
What are some must-see/do non-touristy things to do in Krabi?
There are some things that people miss outside of Krabi Town since it’s usually just used as a transportation hub. Tup Keak mountain and Klong Mueng Beach are usually not frequented by many tourists. Phranom Bencha National Park is a nice spot too that’s not too popular. There are a few islands in the area that you could pay a boat to go to where you wouldn’t find another soul depending on the time of year/day you go!
What is the best way to find cheap airfare/places to stay?
I use Skyscanner.net to get flight information. Air Asia usually ends up being the cheapest. For places to stay, walking around on foot has always brought up the best bargain for me. If I want to book anything online for whatever reason, I use Agoda.com.
What are your thoughts about Phuket? (lol)
Ah Phuket… This spot just isn’t for me. It’s a really big island that is quite expensive compared to the rest of the country. The places are more touristy, and the place is overall very developed and surely not the ‘real’ Thailand anymore. Can you find some hidden things to do and some places without tourists if you looked hard enough? Sure. Do I hate it and never want to go back? No, I wouldnt’ say that. Are there plenty of other spots I would rather check out and spend my money at? Yep!
Have you ever gotten malaria? Do I really need to take the pills to prevent it?
No and no. Thailand isn’t really a malarial country. There are certain areas, but really it’s the surrounding countries that are. So if you’re near the borders, you might have an increased risk of getting it. I was prescribed pills and never chose to take them. I have been in SE Asia over three years now and I’m alive and well. I also traveled to the neighboring malarial countries, Cambodia and Laos, for 6 weeks just using bug spray as a preventative and was fine.
At the end of the day though, I’m not a doctor or an expert, so do what you feel it best.
What are some important safety/health tips?
Overall I think the country is quite safe. I haven’t really felt any danger in the years I have spent here despite being a solo female traveler. I think this is also because I try to always make good decisions.
Don’t stumble home drunk alone at 3 am down a dark alley, guy or girl, don’t get in any weird and sketchy situations involving hookers and drugs, don’t disrespect the people who live here- you will lose, don’t think you are speed racer when you rent a motorbike for the first time, nobody cares that helmets look stupid- wear it, don’t drive your bike home if you’re wasted. Kinda common sense things that I think many people on holiday forget. Just because you are on holiday, it doesn’t mean that something bad can’t happen!
Overall, bottom line- Make good decisions, be aware, and you will be safe. This goes for most places around the world.
If you happen to get sick, just look outside your hotel, I guarantee there’s a pharmacy within 30 yards of your door. I usually try to stick with the freshly made food as it will lower your risk of food poisoning. If worse comes to worse, medical care is pretty cheap here.
What is the claim to fame food fave?
For the country as a whole? Probably Pad Thai. Everyone knows this dish. It’s good, it’s essentially noodles with a tamarind based sauce. I don’t necessarily get the obsession and craze. It’s just what everyone knows.
My favorite? Khao Soi! A northern Thailand curry soup. It’s my obsession. Red and yellow curry with coconut milk, fresh veg, pickled veg, raw onion, lime, noodles and crunchy noodles on top…. It’s a freakin party in your mouth.
What do you do to exercise?
I hoop dance. It’s fun, gets the whole body working, perfect for the beach, and the best part- I don’t feel like I’m exercising.
What is your second favorite and least favorite place in Thailand?
I have a few favorites, not necessarily in any order. I guess I would have to say Pai. A chill hippy town in the north. Surrounded by mountains and nature… If it had a beach nearby, I would be living there.
I’m also partial to a place called Prachuap that people don’t really know about, and Chiang Mai is an awesome city, if I had to pick a city. I can’t really choose a least favorite.
What do you know about the missing Malaysian plane?
I know everything. I mean… Uh, nothing. No really… Where the hell is this plane dude?
I felt more nervous flying in and out of the Kuala Lumpur airport very shortly after it went missing… Weird vibes man. Oh, and I’m flying from Kuala Lumpur again in September. Ekk! But on a happy note, if I make it, I’ll be traveling around the Philippines, starting with Cebu. Yay!
How’s the wifi and where can I go to find it?
Decent, slow at times, but it’s everywhere. Like… I’m pretty sure the wifi availability is far more available here than in the US. Nearly every guesthouse, hotel, and restaurant has wifi. There is a temple on top of a mountain here in Krabi which requires you to climb over 1,200 steps…There’s wifi up there. Yeah…
How popular is social media there?
Have you not read about Thai people becoming depressed because not enough people are liking their selfies? Need I say more…?
What is a common misconception about Thailand?
That people are living in straw huts, showering in rivers, that there’s hardly any development, and it’s like in China or something…Right?
I totally love Thailand! Phuket is the only place I have been, and THAT is Thailand. Totally. You don’t even need to go anywhere else!
So you like live there? But how do you live there as a female alone? It’s so scary and dangerous!
So like, do you go to Full Moon parties all the time?
If you could tell the world one thing, what would it be?
Do something that you love, challenge yourself, see new things, be happy.