Susan Hoi and Joy Beach
Updated: Jan 28, 2020
We are still alive!!! I think we made it through the worst of the storm. We all have taken turns catching something that resembles the stomach flu! We stayed locked up in our house from Tuesday till Saturday when we made an attempt at some kind of outing which ended up being a stressful breakfast at a restaurant since Keilan started throwing up on the sidewalk just as we were making our entrance in the coffee shop... it kind of robbed us of our recovering appetite so by the time our food was ready we weren’t as fond of our waffles and molten lava cakes as we had anticipated!
We had been curious as what Thai families did of their weekends... did they spend it running around doing errands like most of us do back home, or bringing kids to extracurricular activities and sports...these are the kind of questions that crosses my mind whenever we are in new settings: how do the people here spend their time, what does a regular/normal day look like for them??
Last weekend, we ended up at a not so touristy beach, filled with Thai families lounging on their plastic weaved mats, sharing food either from little plastic bags bought from street stands or from metal pots and pans from home! They had packed up their kids and grand-parents, from the look of it, in the back of their pick-up trucks and made their way to the shadowy parts of the beach where they shared from my vantage point, some good quality time... and lots of it!
We had had time to walk the low tide, take a few snacks and smoothies, swam in the shallow waters, change back into dry clothes and walked back along the beach to find the same family we had walked by a few hours earlier still put on their mat, kids still playing calmly in the sun while the parents chatted in the shadow of a tree. It was a reminder of the slow life I am so striving for yet find myself uncomfortable living when we actually get these little windows of stillness in our own life!
So this past Saturday, after our not so successful breakfast, we went for a walk close to one of the piers in Krabi Town. There was a light breeze in the air and we found a quaint little park with statues the kids could climb on and partly shaded areas where we decided to lay down the mats that we gave into buying and we just relax! We must have spent a few hours imitating our Thai fellow families and it felt so good to be outside of our house but still not to be running around to see and take in as much as we could! We could just BE!
Good thing we had taken the time to recuperate during the day because once night time came we had a few other incidents with Norah (sparing you the details here) and ended up going to bed well passed 2 am on a bare mattress that held on to not so pleasant smells and sharing a bath towel between Jeremie and I as we had, once again, no more clean sheets!
To top it all off, we have some kind of night lights under our beds that automatically turns on whenever we step close to the bed or off it for a matter of fact! It was kind of nice, we thought, when we first got here, but is something that is now starting to get on our nerves a bit! Bright lights in the middle of the night whenever your partner or baby goes to the toilet is not so fun two weeks in! Jeremie tried a few times to turn the magic eye towards the wall or shut it off for once but without success... all of that to say that, by the time Norah had fallen back to sleep and we had made peace with our sleeping arrangements for the night, that crazy nightlight kept turning on for no reason every 5 to 10 minutes!
We ended up laughing at the absurdness of the situation, what else could we do? And after maybe 30 minutes of lights going on and off we finally dozed off! We might have not been in well enough shape to participate in the festivities of the Chinese New Year that were going on around us but we had our share of light displays and fireworks!!!
Since we didn’t want our little « breakfast adventure » from Saturday to repeat itself either in the water or on a boat we tried to find an activity that wouldn’t involve either. There was one thing that was on our “to-see” list that seemed cool enough so we headed to Susan Hoi Fossil Shell beach. This natural beauty was once the home to a vast freshwater swamp which counted huge numbers of sea creatures including millions of snails. Over the ages the limestone rich water eventually transformed the swamp into layers of fossils which today stands at 40 centimetres thick. At 200 metres in length, the shell cemetery is surrounded by the rocky headlands of Ban Laem Pho where there are three formations in total with thousands of remains covering the rocks.
It was pretty interesting to see these petrified shell plates but the tide wad high by the time we got there so we really could only see a small part of the site that was now under water... the kids soon lost interest and just asked to swim which was prohibited in these waters.
Even in a National Park, there were souvenirs shops and the kids were attracted like magnets by all the seashells and bright colors!
Thanks to Google map, who has become quite a reliable friend on this trip, we could see that there was a little camera icon not too far away(which means something worth seeing for the amateur photographers that we are) and a pier and beach close by!
We took a taxi that brought us to the pier but seemed like we had walked in the backyards of locals... we could not see the beach nor the beautiful landscape that Google had promised! Jeremie being a bit more adventurous than I, politely declined the numerous boat ride offers and when asked where we were going replied “we don’t know” which of course got the boat drivers laughing... we started walking on the debris filled beach towards the location marked on Google map and after a while did find the nicest little oasis promised!
We set our mats under a tree, removed our sand filled sandals, changed into our bathing suits at last, and headed straight for the hot waters!
We had passed a little resto-shack on our walk so we knew we were good food wise, all we had to do now was enjoy the waters and the sun and let our tummies tell us when to eat and our bodies be the clock that would bring us back home.
We shared pad thais, curry pineapple rice, fried chicken, fries and stir fried vegetables for lunch in the shadow of our little hide-out.
I swam with the kids while Jeremie took photos of ants, flowers and us, he loves experimenting with his new found photographer skills and I love looking back on the beautiful moments he captures!
We found tons of little crabs... we now get why this place is called Krabi! ;)
Norah thought they were the cutest things!
By mid-afternoon we started talking about making our way back home but somehow the tide, that is still a big mystery to all of us, had started receding and the beach transformed into a whole new playground! The same landscape where we had played in the water just a few minutes earlier was now the home of little marvellous creatures that captured our curiosity! How could we leave now?
The food shack where we got our lunch from and which, we found out, gives access to a large parking lot where we managed to get a cab ride back home and avoid making the long walk back to the pier!
As we were leaving, we saw just next to the restaurant, a tent where you could get Thai massages while the rest of the family is enjoying the beach! Thai massages are still on our « to-do » list but with four kiddos we were trying to be creative with how we could make this happen! I think we just might have found a way!!!