1. Vogue Resort & Spa I probably would have loved my Krabi crash pad based strictly on the staff and the sleeping/bathing quarters (Dear hoteliers: When in doubt, leave a fruit basket on the nightstand), but boy did I luck out with the location location location. Nearly every vantage point on campus seemed to offer a clear view of the giant mountain across the street. (Well, not my balcony, but I'm certainly not complaining about the leafy courtyard that greeted me first thing in the morning.) I've never been much of a sit-by-the-pool sort of guy, but I actually spent several hours on two consecutive afternoons writing while parked poolside just so that I could have visual access to that stunning giant rock across the street.
2. The Andaman Sea just before dusk Some two kilometers and an 80-baht tuk-tuk ride from Vogue, on the secluded beach near where the boats depart to and arrive from Koh Phi Phi, lies the most thrilling expanse of water and rock that I've seen since my trip down Great Ocean Drive outside of Melbourne two years ago.
3. The Hot Springs Waterfall Like I've said, I'm not much of a water person, but how could I resist diving (actually, stepping carefully) into a natural whirlpool heated (naturally, of course) at around 40 degrees Celsius on a morning without rain?
4. The Blue Pool People go for the Emerald Pool, but the less-frequented Blue Pool, a short 800-metre hike away, is the real highlight in these parts.
5. The monkeys at Tiger Cave Temple The spot's fierce feline former inhabitant hasn't been spotted there in decades, according to legend, but I went there to see the monkeys anyway.