by Melinda Gallo

From Florence to Krabi

At 7 a.m. when we left our apartment to catch a train to Rome, the temperature was 2C (36F). And after a ten-hour flight, we arrived in Bangkok where the temperature at 6 a.m. was already 33C (92F). I was surprised by how modern, immense, and clean the Bangkok airport was especially after leaving Fiumicino airport in Rome. Before leaving Italy, we had a hard time finding anything to eat and settled on an autogrill (roadside cafe) inside the airport.

Living in Florence :: From Florence to Krabi

Our second flight to Krabi took only an hour and from the air, I saw the lush greenery below. I had never heard of Krabi before, but friends of Alessandro go there every year and suggested we make Krabi our base so that we could visit the neighboring islands.

We arrived around 9 a.m. to our hotel and because our room wasn't ready, they let us take a shower in the gym and we immediately went out to walk along the beach and have lunch.

We walked along a path next to the beach and I took in as much of this new place as possible. There were so many new things to see, like the food stands selling fried pancakes, pad thai (a Thai dish made of rice noodles, bean sprouts, egg, tofu, and sometimes chicken), fruit and fresh fruit drinks called shakes.

I was so excited to see the long beach that extended from one side of the bay to the other. It was rather crowded especially under the trees where people were finding respite in the shade. The last time we went to the mare (sea) was in Ischia back in September, but unfortunately we didn't go for a swim.

We walked around the main street to find a place for lunch and stopped at the first place with a sign boasting mango with sticky rice. I hadn't had it in years and couldn't wait to eat it. For my first meal in Krabi, I had chicken in red curry with rice and then dessert. To drink, I had a mango shake while Alessandro enjoyed a cold Thai beer, Tiger.

Even with the fans blowing at us during lunch, I was still hot. I hadn't planned my first change of clothes well and was incredibly uncomfortable wearing a tank top and cotton capri pants. I couldn't wait to put on my swimsuit and a sun dress.

When we got back to the hotel, they let us in our room and we took a nap. The heat and the long flight took a toll on us and we knew we couldn't make it to 10 p.m. without falling asleep. When we woke up, the sun was still shining and we headed to the beach and laid out where we watched the sun set. The beach at this time was rather deserted and only a few people were walking along it while a handful were running on the sandy beach.

While the streets earlier in the day were rather quiet, at around 8 p.m. things really picked up. Shops were crowded, the streets were filled with people walking around and looking into the various shops, and restaurants and bars were busy.

There are hardly any windows or doors to most businesses. The ones that do seemed to have air conditioning. Most of the shops were just open store fronts with their items out for sale on tables and hanging from the ceiling.

For our first day in Thailand, I was impressed with all the colors, smells, and sounds. I had never heard crickets be so loud that I felt I was in the jungle. Where we are in Krabi, near the Ao Nang beach, there is a noticeable American and British influence with McDonald's, Burger King, and Starbucks. There are numerous British-style pubs and a Tesco (a British supermarket chain) just outside of town that we passed coming in from the airport.

I looked out at a small piece of the ocean from while I stood on the terrace of our hotel room. I wanted to pinch myself because I couldn't believe we made it all the way to Thailand for our luna di miele (honeymoon). It felt like a dream had come true for us because I had always wanted to go someplace exotic and romantic for my luna di miele and here we are.

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