We took a quick flight from Bangkok to the southern coast of Thailand where we stayed for the remainder of our trip.

We rode on a private convertible bus from Krabi International Airport to Nopparatthara pier. We called it the party bus because our driver played American pop hits and turned on strobing party lights lining the roof of the van. The stormy weather outside couldn’t rain on our party. We had so much fun dancing and singing along that we made sure to hire the same driver for our trip to Phuket later in the week.

Once we arrived at the pier, we waited for a speedboat to take us to our resort under the only cover we could find. I snuck away a few times in my poncho to admire the longtail boats lapping up against the shore.

We stayed at Centara Grand, a charming beach resort nestled in between the jungle and a private bay. The only ways to get to the resort were by speedboat or monkey trail. The monkey trail was a vigorous climb through the jungle and not an option when we had luggage in tow. The speedboats departed each hour and after a rocky ride through the sea we finally saw the resort come into view.

We rolled our luggage down the floating jetty, laughing as we tried to keep our balance each time a wave rolled under us.

Even in the rain, everything about the resort felt exotic and lush.

Our balcony had a stunning view of the bay.

The forecast called for rain all week, but we lucked out with blue skies for most of it. The sea and jungle looked so much more vibrant in the sunlight.

It was so nice out one morning that I opened the sliding doors to our balcony so I could feel the breeze through the screen. Troy was already down at breakfast when a monkey climbed up to our balcony, looked me straight in the eye and pulled open the screen doors with his hands. I started panicking when he ran across the bed and raided the mini bar for snacks. I flew out of the room through our front door, yelling at the monkey to get out. He exited with a bag of chips and I ran back in the room as fast as I could. Trembling, I slid the glass door shut and locked it up. It didn’t take long for several monkeys to start gathering on our balcony. Once I was safely behind glass, it was fascinating photographing them.

We quickly learned that we were sharing the jungle with the monkeys. The resort workers carried around slingshots to shoot pellets at them when they were bothering guests. I had another monkey land on our outdoor breakfast table and steal a roll off my plate while I was sitting there. They were fearless.

The “monkey trail” was appropriately named because we saw lots of monkeys while climbing up and down the stairs. We took the trail most of the time when we wanted to leave the resort but it was not easy. Climbing through the jungle on hundreds of wood planks in the heat and humidity was not for the faint of heart. But it was part of the adventure and quicker than waiting for the speedboat. We succumbed to the fact that we would be sweating buckets on day one, so higher elevation and extra exercise didn’t really make a difference. There was the sweet relief of reaching the top and knowing that the rest of the trek was downward.

The monkey trail led to Ao Nang beach, where we stopped for cheap hour long massages daily. One morning, we hired a longtail boat driver to take us to Railay Beach.

We passed Chicken Island, known for its odd rock formation.

We explored the beach and the caves at Railay Beach.

We heard it was spectacular to eat at Krua Phranang, a restaurant nestled in a cave at the Rayavadee Resort, but they didn’t open until dinnertime.

On the way back to Ao Nang, we jumped off the boat a few times to snorkel.

I couldn’t get enough of those colorful longtail boats.

We loved spending some time at our own resort, where we sat on lawn chairs on the sand in between the pool and the sea.

Let’s not forget the Pad Thai, which I ordered daily.

Our resort had four different restaurants that we rotated through for dinner nightly. We loved the dumplings at the Japanese restaurant so much that we went there a second night to get the dumplings as an appetizer, then hopped to another restaurant for the main course. Troy always ordered mango sticky rice for dessert. On our last night in Krabi, we made sure to catch the stunning sunset from our resort instead of our typical sunset massage on the other side of the monkey trail.

We loved planning and spending our trip with our good friends, Jordan and Kristine. We were too wiped out to do anything post-dinner each night (in fact I was known to fall asleep sitting up at dinner), but we had plenty of early morning adventures that were enriched by the company of friends.

That last sunset in Krabi did not disappoint.

Troy broke his personal rock skipping record.

The view of the jungle behind us was just as stunning as the beach in front of us.

It was one of those sunsets where you think it’s over but then the sky just keeps getting more and more vibrant.

The question we were asked the most after we returned from our trip was, “Would you go back?”

With no hesitation.

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