Review: Ao Luek Paradise (Krabi)
It was Fazwan's first time in Krabi so I knew I had to let him have a taste of how it's like to stay at an authentic accommodation. It was also his first time travelling with me, so I had to gauge to see how he really is because although we've known each other for years, I always believed that a person's true colours will be revealed when they are taken out of their comfort zone.
Also, if he can't last a day in the outdoors then.... Houston, we have a problem. Hehehe, just kidding. I guess I'm lucky to be blessed with the "Baby, just book and then let me know how much the total cost is" kind of boyfriend because a) I like that he trusts me enough to make travel decisions but b) isn't the fussy / picky kind of traveller and a lazy planner because c) I like making decisions! Hahahahaha.
If you are the "I only need the space to sleep, so anything will do" kind of traveler who seeks authentic experiences and is not bothered by communal showers or mosquito nettings, then feel free to continue reading, because if you are looking for a unique living experience with a very laid back environment, this is definitely the place you're looking for. However, if you are a looking for a luxurious accommodation in Krabi, I would suggest reading my review on Ao Nang Fiore Resort instead.
99 / 22 Moo 2 Ao Luek Tai, Ao Luek, Krabi, 81110, Thailand
Period of stay: 16th - 17th August 2017
Room booked: Private Bamboo Cottage
Room Price: ฿539 (SGD22) per night
Price Spent: SGD2 per night (Thanks to this Airbnb voucher)
Situated within the subdistrict of Ao Luek, this is the perfect spot if you're thinking of disconnecting from the outside world and enjoying some time with minimal technology. Ao Luek is 40 minutes away from Krabi Town / Ao Nang, and around an hour away from the airport. We had a driver pick us up from the international airport and you can do the same for an additional 800baht (SGD33) per car. It's definitely cheaper, faster and safer than hiring private taxis from the airport itself.
Although this accommodation is right smack within the village area of Krabi and quite a distance from the tourist infested Ao Nang, there are buses available at the main junction of Ao Luek. There is a nearby village called Bor Tor (which we went to kayak) and apparently, there is also a North Market which sells daily necessities and local food for super cheap prices. Unfortunately, Fazwan and I only stayed for one day and one night, so we didn't get the chance to check that many things out.
Each private bamboo cottage has two floors with a mini bamboo bridge in front of it. The first level consists of a small seating area on the outside and an enclosed changing room. The top floor has a balcony / empty seating area and of course, the sleeping area itself that is equipped with two single mattresses, a fan, mosquito netting and one power point.
This may be a concern if you are travelling with someone who is not able to climb the high ladder, up to the second floor. Fazwan and I had tough time climbing up and down whenever we needed to go to the toilet in the middle of the night, but other than that it was pretty cool living in your own cabin. It kind felt like a tree house.
The changing area.
The sleeping area.
View from the second floor.
If I remembered correctly, there are only about five to six bamboo cottages within the vicinity, together with the bar area, the kitchen, a playing area / volleyball court, four communal toilets, six communal showers and what I assume to be the main building because the hosts / staff went there a lot. That's about it. It's a pretty quaint plot of land that is self-contained, with everything you may need within reach.
The bamboo cottages.
The communal toilets. Asians, if this is a concern, there are water hoses!
There are quite a number of cats within the vicinity.
The bar / lounging area at night.
Activities on site:
When Fazwan and I first arrived, we didn't really have anything planned out. Yoke (the co-host) saw us loitering around at our balcony and he suggested that we went on to explore Ao Luek with him instead. There were many activities for us to choose from but we decided to go on the kayaking + caving expedition, which lasted for almost five hours and gave our arms a really good workout.
This is Yoke, one of the co-hosts of this accommodation who also doubles up as our driver, cook, bartender, kayaking instructor and tour guide. He was so chilled and accommodating, which definitely made our stay memorable right from the moment we landed at the airport until we reached our next destination. Genuine hosts are my favourite.
Seeing that it is a self-contained accommodation, all of your meals are available on site, upon request. The owner checked our dietary preferences when we arrived, then you simply let the owner know that which meals you require and he will prepare it for you, then add the total amount to your bill, which you will only settle when you check out.
Fazwan and I did not have breakfast or lunch there. We opted out as we were going to check out right after waking up and would rather have a heavy brunch instead. Surprisingly, we only ate one meal throughout the entire day, which was dinner. The meals here are served based on a fixed price, with an all you can eat "communal buffet" style. There will be rice served with 3 - 4 trays of different dishes at their main counter where you just grab a plate and scoop whatever you feel like having.
What We Liked:
How disconnected we were from the outside world* and how close you can be to nature. How friendly and accommodating the owners of the place were. The concept of the whole place and how value for money it was. It was so laid back and quiet, it felt quite surreal having the whole world just slow down its pace. There were many activities available on site too, you just need the money.
What We Didn't Like:
How disconnected we were from the outside world - this is also a con because we came unprepared - we forgot our power adaptor and cigarettes, and there were no convenient stores nearby. Also, if it is a concern to you, the place sells alcohol.
Would We Stay Here Again?
Probably, yes. However, we would stay for a minimum of two nights and do quite a few things differently - like come prepared with necessities, try out more of the activities offered and visit the village's night market too. It may seem like there isn't anything much to do but there is actually quite a number of things to do to keep you occupied - if you have the money. It was definitely a good experience for the both of us.
This blog post was not written under any pressure, endorsement or sponsorship of any of the parties mentioned. All thoughts and opinions here are as always, our own. Feel free to email me if you have any questions :)