The train we boarded in Bangkok was older and crappier than the one we got from Chiang Mai. Not as comfortable beds, no privacy and much noisier. Got lucky on the first leg of our journey I think. The toilets on these trains are very efficient – they discharge directly onto the ground beneath. To get to Krabi we alighted the train at a town called Surat Thani and then caught a couple of hour bus ride to Krabi.
Krabi is a gateway town to some of the Thai islands further south. We stayed a few nights in Krabi and it’s adjacent sea resort village of Ao Nang. We did a half day kayak tour through some nearby islands and mangroves including an island which was used in one of the James Bond films. We hired a scooter and enjoyed cruising around the area visiting various beaches and villages and eating at odd road side shops. We scootered to a nearby Buddhist temple – Tiger Cave Temple or Wat Tham Sua. The temple is located about 20km out of town at the top of a steep hill. There’s around 1200 steps to reach the top. It’s very steep, quite an arduous hike. Although the rise in elevation is only around 300m the extreme steepness and large steps makes it difficult. Don’t do it in the middle of the day in the tropical heat – you might die. Plenty of monkeys about.