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Kayaking with local fisherman in Krabi

Thailand is my favourite destination. Not only is it it my birthplace, it also has diversity of nature and sightseeing. I have been visiting the southern part of Thailand every winter for the past ten years and I have managed to find new places to explore each year. This winter, we went to Krabi, a province nearby Phuket, only quieter, and depending on the location you choose, less touristic.

Taking us around to explore Krabi for the couple of days that we we there, we had a local guide. We went to famous restaurants, beaches, a national park and a fishermen’s village. Our guide told us that the fishermen’s village is not listed in any travel guide. So we really got to experience the authentic life among people in this quite underdeveloped region.

In the village our guide found a local fisherman who agreed to take us on a kayaking trip. While waiting for him, we walked along the narrow alleys and observed life and took some photos of kids playing. We also took part in the local craft and created batik and tie dye textiles with the villagers who made us feel instantly welcome.

The fisherman arrived on his scooter with sidecar and took us to a broken-down pier where our adventure was about to begin.

Challenge 1: Bamboo pier in a mangrove forest

The pier was made of bamboo and broken in many places with missing steps and everything. And with the mangrove forest being muddy and slippery, getting into the kayak was obstacle number one. The fisherman, however, not afraid of the elements, did not hesitate to jump into the mud and pull the kayaks into position in order to ease the descent for the rest of us.

Challenge 2: Water level dropped dramatically

Since we were kayaking in the afternoon, the water level quickly dropped dramatically. At one point, while paddling away from a hidden cave, the kayak that I shared with my boyfriend touched the bed of the river and got stuck. Luckily, our local fisherman once again came to the rescue and pulled us out. Otherwise, we would quite possibly have been eaten by mosquitoes. Or maybe not.

Because of the sudden drop we couldn’t keep on kayaking. So our fisherman instead asked his friend to take us back to the village — our kayaks tied together with ropes to his motorised longboat — so we would be able to enjoy the view from the riverside.

Challenge 3: Rain, storm and thunder

As with the water level, suddenly the weather changed as well. All the sudden the skies opened and rain and storm and thunder, as well as the occasional lightning, enthralled us. That was quite scary since we were in the middle of the open sea with no places to hide.

Even though our fisherman had let us use his rubber cover to shield us from the rain, upon arrival back in the village about half an hour later, safe and sound, we were completely soaked. Top to bottom.

We were pleased that the local fisherman stayed with us all the time. He took us to many unseen places. To name just a few, a cliff surrounded by military bombs, a cemetery of sea gypsies and an island that once provided the backdrop for an international reality show. Even though we now know the names of these places we don’t want to give them away. We better keep this place secret and keep it untouched as long as possible. We don’t mind answering your questions, though, should you be interested in trying out a similar adventure yourself.

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