April 4

Holiday in Ao Naang during COVID-19 crisis

Personal Experiences

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On our first full day at Ao Naang, we rented a motorbike. Since I don’t have the proper driving license, and Poppy didn’t trust my driving skills because I only have been riding a motorbike once in Koh Chang in 2019, she urged me to sit on the back instead of driving myself.

Even after explaining that I have done motorcross when I was young so I know how to ride a bike, she didn’t trust me enough to let me ride ;-). Maybe not such a bad thing since I’m not used to the traffic rules and driving on the left side.

Anyway, when we arrived at the beach with our motorbike, we noticed that all restaurants were take-away only. It’s one of the rules the local Thai government had made to limit the spread of COVID-19.

It was also quite weird at the beach since there were so little tourists. That resulted in restaurants giving huge discounts on their already cheap food, just to earn a few bucks from the toursists that were left.

Unfortunately, all activities were closed too. No chance to take a boat trip to Railay Beach, go snorkeling, do an island hopping tour, get some drinks at a bar, do some shopping, … everything was closed.

So the next few days, we spent our time at the beach, by the pool and driving around on our motorbike.

Driving around on our rented motorbike by the coast of Ao Naang

It was all fun and I enjoyed everything, however, it would’ve been so much better if we could’ve done more activities. I feel like I really have to go back when everything is normal again to experience the real Ao Naang.

After about 6 or maybe 7 days, the manager of the hotel approached us. He told us that the hotel had to close, even before the end date of our stay. He gave us the option to leave earlier and get refunded for the rest of our stay or we could stay in the hotel room. If we decided to stay in the hotel room, there would be no staff present to help us out if we would need anything. He adviced us to look for another hotel but if we had nowhere to stay, we could stay at the room.

In the meanwhile, Phuket, which was really nearby, got in complete lockdown. Nobody could enter or leave the island. That’s why Poppy and I decided to take as fast as possible a plane to somewhere else.

We decided it would be a good idea to go to the North-East of Thailand, to Poppy her family. In case hotels would close, we would still be able to get shelter at the house of her family.

That meant however, that we would have to stay in quarantine at a hotel room for at least 14 days since we would arrive from another province.

While we would be in quarantine for 14 days, Poppy’s sister could bring us food and beverages to “survive”. Not the ideal situation, but better than being stuck somewhere else without anyone to help.


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