Thailand–Ao Luek

We arrived in Thailand after about 17 hours in transit from Prague. While our kids are at the end of their ropes sometimes, they really are world class travelers. As long as they have something they like to eat and a show to watch, a long trip like that goes by without much of a hitch.

Night sky in Ao Luek
View from our house in the jungle
Pond at our jungle home

We chose to go to the Krabi area of southern Thailand, a place that is the less touristy counterpart of Phuket.

I booked us a place on Air BNB that had great reviews but didn’t realize how far away it is from everything. Pretty much a $50 can ride from the main town and beaches. But despite our initial trepidation, it turned out to be an ideal place to spend a week. We stayed at a place called Baan Suan Thip Homestay, and although far from luxurious, it was great.

Road to the homestay. Not a touristy area at all.
We were close to the entrance of one of the National Parks.

We arrived late in the afternoon, and after a nap spent the rest of the day sweating in the heat and humidity and chasing geckos, skinks, and frogs with Nolan (this place is heaven for him).

Nolan found a dirty hot tub full of tadpoles

For our first full day, we took a half day excursion to the local beach, some caves, and a Buddhist temple with a family from the Netherlands.

The kids loved riding in the back of the truck
Kids riding in the back of the truck
Although we did swim, the water here wasn’t great. But it was beautiful.
This cave was used as a school for children 100 years ago.
Nolan and Margaret found a tree that looked like a bird’s nest.
Buddist Temple-still under construction. The temple is completely funded by donations.

That night, we walked into town and had some delicious Thai soup—and what a miracle, every member of our family loved what they got!

Can’t believe we found a place to eat where everyone was happy. $5 total for a family of five to eat, too!

Caught a few toads on the way home, finished home school, and hit the sack.

Took the next day easy, getting some school done and adjusting to the time change (seven hours ahead of Prague). There was a big “kids celebration” in the local town, but I couldn’t get my crew out of bed to go. Seven hours is a big time change.

The next day Ashley did a cooking lesson with the family who owned the soup stand we ate at the night before. They were so excited to teach her how to make the soup. They kept taking selfies with her.

Ashley making noodle soup with morning glory

The next day we took a kayak trip on a river. The river read surrounded by lush tropical jungle.

We paddled through some limestone tunnels……

……….and came out in big lagoon

Then we headed upriver to some caves with paintings from the mangrove cavemen who lived here a thousand or so years ago.

After the kayak trip, we were all famished, so we stopped at a little out of the way place.  It had decent Thai food AND a river to swim in.

Nolan, ready to discover a new species of freshwater tropical fish.

The following day we went on a boat excursion.

Our first stop was to take a look at an island with some limestone caves and overhangs where local fisherman occasionally spend the night.

Our second stop was at a beautiful island, where we swam and snorkeled.

Our family on the island

Next stop was another beautiful island where we hiked along a small stream into a mangrove forest where the trees were FILLED with flying foxes. Flying foxes are bars that eat fruit and are quite large. These ones were the size of crows. It was pretty neat to see. I looked it up, they don’t transmit rabies.

After fruit bat island, we boated over to an island that disappears during high tide.

And then we took a look at some local aquaculture. They raise fish and lobster for consumption, as well as large tropical fish for aquariums.

And then we set sail for home.

We did a couple more excursions while in this area (Ao Luek).

One day at the jungle pools.

Nolan sliding into a jungle pool

And a trek to another limestone cave with a large pool on our last day.

Everyone wants a photo with Margaret no matter what country we’re in. I’m not sure what this guys name is really, but it’s close to Dzhem. He went with us on most of the excursions.
Riding in the back of the pickup with Dzhem.
Our mode of transportation in Ao Luek.
Farm near our homestay. The goats ate all the fallen palm leaves.