Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Railay Beach, Thailand - Part 1

Hello Family and Friends -

It is now time for me to recount our time in Railay Beach Thailand with Cuz Megan and Elizabeth...
Saturday morning saw the girls up at 3:30am to catch our 4am taxi.  Poor Sam, as we also woke him up.  L  Megan and Elizabeth got to experience Tiger airways and the budget terminal of Changi airport.  Not much there, but luckily we did find some coffee to wake us up!  We arrived into Krabi early at about 7am, met our transfer and took a van to the pier, where we then got a longtail boat to Railay Beach.   

We were dropped off near our accommodation, the Railay Garden View Resort.   Now this place is at the very far end of the East beach, through the Last Bar (literally that’s the name) and then up quite a few stairs. 
We had our own bungalow overlooking the water and everything was very tastefully done.  It was very basic – no A/C (don’t worry there was a fan), mozzie nets around the beds and no hot water.  But we knew this going in, and you know what we paid per night…$27!  It was definitely worth the price and then some.  We were all very impressed by this place!
We checked in and then went over to the West side (which has the nicer beach where you can swim, the East is basically all mangroves and no swimming) to find some food.  The Flametree would become our favorite place to eat, this really cool artsy bar with paintings all over the wall and ceiling.  We had an amazing meal there to start us off right. 
It had started to rain so we thought, what a perfect time for massages!  We wandered all over trying to find availability for all 3 of us and finally found 3 at the Princess Resort in a few hours.  We killed time back in the bungalow and then had the best massage I think any of us had ever had.  We did pay a bit more than the $10/hour places ($27 for 1.5 hours) but it was so worth it!   And the view overlooking the lake was perfect!  We vowed to return to this place.  J

The rest of the day was spent exploring the west beach and later in the evening we found some caves leading to the pristine Phranang beach were we saw the remnants of sunset.  It was so gorgeous! 

Dinner was at Last Bar for some $3 tom yam soup that did not disappoint.  Given we were up at 3:30 this morning, we had an early night in and bed by 11, after a fantastic 1st day in Railay!

Sunday we were up early at 7:15 to start the day.  During breakfast we saw a local fisherman fishing with his net, and feeding the fish to his pet otter (yes very bizarre.)  We decided it was time to tackle the hike to the viewpoint.   
We had seen the “path” last night and thought there had to be some mistake.  This “path” was literally straight up and there was a rope laid out to assist.  Well, that was the marked path and it was pretty tough but definitely worth it for the views we got of the east and west beaches. 

There was also a hike to a lagoon that was meant to be beautiful, but even with the help of a local guy scouting for us, we did not make it down there. 

We found the path but it looked like a significant drop and scramble down to some rocks below.  Given I had already slipped and cut up my arm, I was ready to go down the way we came up.  So we turned back and gave up the lagoon, but I think the only one broken up over this was Elizabeth.  Sorry gal – next time!  Getting down took quite a bit longer, but we got some great pics that make us look like we’re really hard-core.  But I guess that we were.  LOL!
Next we swam a bit at Phranang beach to cool off and try to wash the red clay off of us.  We also saw some climbers and a shrine of phallic symbols to a Hindu fertility god.  Very interesting to say the least.  It was about noon and we were starving!  It felt a lot later since we’d been up so long.  We ate lunch at Last Bar (see a pattern) and got to see the 2nd half of the AUS-RSA rugby world cup match.  It was an amazing game and the final score was 11-9 Oz.  Woo-hoo!  That was a bonus!
Next on the agenda was some kayaking from the west beach.  We had amazing views of Phranang and the rugged limestone cliffs.  Such a picture perfect scene everywhere you looked!
After kayaking it was time for another massage.  This time we found a cheap $10/hour place and you could definitely tell.  Megan took 1 look at the massage mattresses lying on the floor and said “I think I’ll do a foot massage actually.”  Elizabeth and I braved the neck/back massage, but I think Megan had the right idea.  My lady was terrible and Elizabeth’s dude got up at one point to blow his nose.  Meanwhile, Elizabeth knew there was no tissue in the bathroom, so use your imagination.  He came back and picked up where he left off, massaging her neck before moving to her face!  Yeah, this wasn’t very pleasant for her at all.  We decided to stick with the Princess Resort from now on!  But it made for a good story, right girls!  J

After an amazing sunset and 100 photos later, we had dinner at a place called Diamond Cave Resort and it was fantastic! 
Next was Last Bar for a free drink for the ladies, where we met some other Americans who seemed pretty cool.  We chatted with them and then went over to Bamboo Bar to watch a fire twirler and then some Muay Thai action.  There was just one fight so it was pretty quick.  We were exhausted, so called it a night after another action-packed day in Railay!
Stay tuned for more adventures...
- Jenny, Megan & Elizabeth

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