Nopparat Thara, Krabi Province

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Nopparath Thara beach Ang & TashI’ve been meaning to write a post or three about our beach holiday in Krabi Province in southern Thailand. I was having way too much fun to blog about it at the time — which speaks volumes — and settling back home in Australia and starting a new job has left me with little time or energy for blogging. But at home on a (welcome) rainy day on (unwelcome) sick leave, I’ve been sorting through hundreds of holiday photos and reminiscing…

Andrew and I couldn’t believe that in all the time we’d spent in Thailand, we’d never been to Krabi province before. But over 10 days in early January, we realised what we’d been missing. My journal entry at the end of our first day at Nopparat Thara Beach begins, ‘Today has been close to a Perfect Day’ and ends ‘…this is just the holiday destination we needed.’

NT Sunset drinks 2Nopparat Thara is about a 45 minute drive from Krabi Airport, west of Krabi township. Through the helpful website www.yourkrabi.com, we’d booked a bungalow at the family-friendly Sabai Resort and arranged for a transfer from the airport. The Lonely Planet guide Thailand’s Islands & Beaches is a bit disparaging about Nopparat Thara Beach, but it was ideal for our ragtag little family.

Nopparat Thara is a stretch of shell-studded sand with calm, clear water overlooking limestone islands — some close enough to walk to at low tide, others beckoning from the distance. The beach is ideal for small children to swim and build sand castles and popular with Thai families who swim fully clothed to avoid their skin going darker, and gather on the weekends for picnics in the stretch of green that runs alongside the shore.

Picnic 1Women spread out plastic mats, unload rice cookers, home-cooked curries, som tam (spicy green papaya salad), hard boiled quail eggs, pots of tea. They hang caged birds from the trees overhead and wrap newborn babies in towels to protect them from the ‘cold’. Children cajole their parents into buying pinwheels, inflatable toys and fluoro-coloured fairyfloss. Men sit around drinking cheap whisky mixed with lemonade.

Vendors walk around with baskets over their shoulders selling snacks on sticks or fresh fruit. And out of towners like us simply order a feast from one of the nearby restaurants to sai thoong (literally ‘put in a bag’) and eat on the grass. We bought fried chicken and a whole fried mackerel, som tam, and sticky rice for about AUD$10 (270 baht). The meal included the loan of water glasses, a tray and an ice bucket, and we ate in the shade in view of the beach and islands.Picnic 2

For desert there were pancakes/roti sold from vendor carts and topped with unimaginably sweet stuff — think jam and condensed milk and sugar — and long thin icy-poles on bamboo sticks. A woman in a sequined hijab gave Tash a red icy-pole and made her day.

A great place in Nopparat Thara in the evening is at the other, eastern end of the beach, a seafood restaurant on the sand called the Wang Sai — recommended by Tina, Chai and Apple, the friendly and helpful staff at the Sabai Resort. Although the Wang Sai appears to be entirely staffed with drama queens, the Thai food is good and the views of the sunset sublime.

Lantern 2On our first night in Nopparat Thara, we celebrated Andrew’s birthday with dinner at the Wang Sai. At one point during the meal, a man appeared on the beach below our table selling large paper lanterns — the kind they send up into the sky at the Loy Kratong/Yi Peng festival in Chiang Mai to take away bad karma. I bought one for Roo and the three of us walked down on to the sand to set it off.

It was a beautiful sight, watching the red and white rice paper lantern inflate as the man lit a flame beneath it. We helped with the launch and the lantern rose rise like a star and floated through the sky. We watched until it disappeared behind the headland. Magic!

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2 Responses to “Nopparat Thara, Krabi Province”

  1. Patong Hotels Says:

    thanks, your article is very informative.

  2. khim Says:

    Hi Angela,

    Hope you are feeling better..

    Drama queens in a seafood restaurant, eh? Sounds like entertainment that comes with the food…

    What new job have you started? Bon travail ?

    Bisous,

    khim

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