Travel is a balancing act; travelers must create equilibrium between highs and lows, adventures and creature comforts, iconic locations and less traveled paths, socializing and introspection, and splurging and saving.
I don’t mind spending a day in the midst of crowds at popular spots (after all, crowded places are usually crowded for a reason), but I am a serious introvert. After a few hours of rubbing up against other bodies, I need my space. I found that a day trip to crowded Koh Phi Phi followed by some time on secluded Tubkaek Beach in Krabi balanced the scales perfectly.
I couldn’t put off Koh Phi Phi anymore! I’ve been living in Thailand for almost 2 years now, and though I’ve been reluctant to visit because of the extreme crowds, I still wanted to see this iconic piece of Thailand. My boo and I took a boat trip around the islands with Ao Nang Speed Boat Tours. On this busy 7-hour tour, we snorkeled, snapped photos, and explored various congested spots, like Maya Bay.
Maya Bay is extremely touristy, but I expected nothing less. The island may be uninhabited at night, but by day, it’s an unloading dock for boats stuffed with tourists. However, it remains a quintessential Thailand beach featured on glossy magazine covers and in movies…
A young Leonardo Di Caprio once washed up on Maya Bay’s shores in The Beach, which has made this a must-see spot for many. If I had been one of the few wayward characters to settle on this island paradise, I would have worked damn hard to keep it a secret too.
Although it’s no secret,- sorry Sal, cat’s out of the bag- I believe its attention is warranted.
The scenery and energy of Maya Bay overpowered the throngs of people. A crescent of limestone formations, overgrown with mossy green plants, jut out of teal water and protectively surround a patch of fine, white sand. Colors aren’t complacent here; even the garlands that adorn bobbing long tail boats seem ultra vivid.
I was happy to be one of the many faces drinking in this stunning scenery with wide eyes. I want as many people as possible to see beautiful places like this that invoke a tingling feeling- a feeling that assures you you’re witnessing a piece of the world that has some magic left in it.
As we continued the tour in our packed speed boat- I was in awe of the way hues of blue and green dominated my line of sight.
By late afternoon when we finished the tour, my hair was coarse and windblown, my shoulders were nice and rosy, and I was ready to do some relaxing- in a more secluded place.
As happy as I am that others are flocking to the beautiful sites in this world, I’m just as selfish as the characters in The Beach who wanted a simple and secluded beach spot.
Tubkaek Beach is a small, private beach in Krabi that offers a view of limestone islands in the distance and unique, windblown rock formations (above) at the southern end of the beach. It was a quiet, calm oasis (even though Tubkaek Beach, too, has had its claim to fame in the wedding scenes of Hangover 2).
I stayed at gorgeous Anyavee Tubkaek Resort, a large resort with open, Arabian style doorways and a lush outdoor area dotted with lotus flower ponds. I spend a lot of quality time on the beach watching the long tail boats and doing handstands, of course. The scenery here was just as fulfilling to me because I had time- and room- to take it in.
Journey to the famous places of the world even if thousands of others are feasting their eyes on the same sight. It’s important to share the beauty of the world with others, to savor it together, to feel entangled in something bigger, to witness the magic of places with people we’ve never met. But know that a sunset all to yourself- in a quiet corner of world- might be just what your soul needs.
“I still believe in paradise. But now at least I know it’s not some place you can look for, ’cause it’s not where you go. It’s how you feel for a moment in your life when you’re a part of something, and if you find that moment… it lasts forever…” – Richard, The Beach