Friday, February 20, 2009

Thai Beaches - Krabi, Railey Beach and Koh Phi Phi

Feb 6
Get to the airport, and luckily running on time as the plane actually takes off 15 min EARLY! Crazy. I tend to leave no fluff time, and one of these days I am going to miss a flight (right Jeff?). Flew through Bangkok, then on to Krabi Airport. Shuttled into Krabi town and found K's Guesthouse for $3 each. I don't think Ed is too happy with only 1 queen bed vs 2 singles - oh well! While hanging out at a reggae bar (big celebration in town - it was Bob Marleys b-day), meet some fellow American travelers (there aren't many in this part of the world). Very interesting couple with some great stories. They were actually traveling with the proceeds of a $100,000 marijuana sale. They grew it in CA and sold it, and supposedly the whole deal was legal, who knows?!?!

Feb 7
Catch the 9:30am longboat to Railey. It was supposed to be a 9am departure, but the boat drivers make you sit around until enough people fill the boat before the leave the dock. The views to Railey beach were spectacular. Beaches surrounded by huge karsts rock formations, I have never seen anything like it! Arrived and Railey beach and huff around looking for lodging. We meet some kiwi's while looking, and decide to join them on a sunset snorkel adventure they had just booked. We get a room at YaYa's on Railey East, and the prices here are steep at $10 each with no hot water. The YaYa resort was very nice, great vibe and large room with great views from the balcony. We leave at 1:30 for the snorkel trip, and had just enough time to fit in another great thai this food! We head out on the boat, and have great clarity and amazing fish. I feel like I am swimming around in the saltwater fish tank we used to have. Great reef and I really enjoy 4 different stops. Best snorkeling I have done in my far. I also see ropes set up for a deep water solo rock climb. This is where you start from a boat rock climbing, then climb as high as you can (or dare to) before just falling back into the ocean - awesome!! We then continue on to a small secluded island with a great beach. The water around the beach is like bath water, so nice and warm! One strange thing on these beaches is that there are no waves, I mean NONE! The water just laps up gently against to the beach,. We enjoy the sunset while floating around, then we have a great dinner on the beach. During the sunset, huge bats (the size of dogs) migrate from one cave to another, so neat to watch! We boat back to Railey and enjoy a few cold beers (Beer Changs and Singha) with our Kiwi friends at a chill bar right on the water. Then we enjoy a fire show and call it a night.

One really cool thing about Railey beach is that it is a very small area with no cars, scooters, etc. The only way to reach it is by boat, so the vibe of the beach is great.

Feb 8
Ed and I decide to take a little adventure before heading to the beach for the day. We take a death-defying hike/rock scramble up to a lagoon and cave. We then continue up to an amazing viewpoint and decide to push on to the highest point on the island with the best view. No one goes up this way, but there is a trail. This trail is extremely technical with razor sharp rocks we have to climb up (I have never felt such a sharp rock - sharper than lava). Ed and I are both trying our best not to slip on anything as the rock would just shred our skin. We make it to the top, with a little tear in Ed's shirt being the only casualty. On the way down, the path gives way under Ed and he catches himself before taking a good fall...yikes! We get back down and earn some well-deserved chilling out time on a beautiful beach with spectacular views of all the karsts jutting out of the ocean. We have dinner on Railey West (just a 3 min walk from Railey East) and enjoy a pretty good sunset. Our CA friends from Krabi are walking by and join us for dinner. We then head to our fave bar, The Last Bar, for drinks and to meet up with friends. We hang out with a group of Australians. As the night goes on, Ed decides to bet me $150 that I would not wade out into the ocean off the bar and walk across a log balance beam. Now I get to thinking, that is the equivalent to 30 nights of lodging, 30 massages, about 50 meals, etc. Ok, I'm doing it. BAD IDEA! On the way out, wading chest high in water, I step on something sharp, VERY SHARP! I get to the log, pull my foot up and instantly the log is covered in blood. At this point, I am quite mad at myself for doing this, as I have 6+ weeks of travelling in front of me. Ugh. Well, you better believe I am getting across that log for pay day at this point. I somehow wobble across it, get back to the bar and am very concerned about my foot. I stop the bleeding with a napkin compression, and hobble home later in the night.

Feb 9
So, I wake up in the morning to intense throbbing from my foot...once again reminded of my stupidity the night before. I am very concerned as the pain is pretty bad, and I cannot put any weight onto my foot. So, I set out to find a doctor. I find a pharmacy, and sure enough there is no doctor in town (I assumed this would be the case). The pharmacist asks what is wrong, and I tell her I stepped on something. She said she could help me out, and I thought I'd give it a try. So, she started cleaning it out, which was incredibly intense pain. I was actually sweating profusely from pain for the 20 min it took to get it all cleaned out. Good news - no glass in the foot (which I was worried about). I had rock climbing already booked for the day, and I was determined to give it a shot rather than lose my money I already paid. Since I could barely walk, I told Ed that I would just meet them at the wall and to grab some climbing gear for me so I could give it a try. As I hobbled there (at an extremely slow pace), I was sure I would not be climbing. But, we got there, and this climbing wall was true beauty. It was right on the ocean, so you climb up and look out over the ocean, unbelievable. The guides get a good laugh from me hobbling around. We strap on the gear, and I give it a shot. Surprisingly, if I just kept the weight on the tip of my climbing shoe, I was I was in business! We got in about 7 awesome climbs, with one being over 50 meters with the most amazing view from the top. Def a great afternoon, and I am very happy I didn't miss out on it. We were starving after the climb, and decided to check out one of the resort restaurants. Surprisingly, the prices were about the same as the regular restaurants, and the Thai meal ended up being spectacular (possibly best yet on my trip). After dinner I grabbed a well deserved massage in an open air place overlooking the ocean, very relaxing. We went back to The Last Bar at night where they had a Thai boxing match and snake show with King Cobra's, very cool!

Feb 10
My foot has gotten considerably better since "the surgery." I can walk now, but with a limp, still pretty slow. We have a day trip booked to Koh Phi Phi, which are the islands where The Beach was filmed. We hop around to 7 diff islands/locations with a big speedboat. We have some more really good snorkeling at one of the stops. The trip ended up being quite touristy, with lots of speedboats pulling up to the locations and dumping people onto the beach - not really my kind of trip, but cool to see Phi Phi. The price paid was def not worth what we got from it, oh well. Got back around 4pm and hit the beach with some people we met on the day trip. We decide to grab dinner at the next beach over, Hat Son Tai and go through a 15 min rock scramble with our flashlights to get there. This ends up being a bad decision as it was the worst meal of my trip and a very quite nightlife - strange as we heard it was a great scene. Heading back, the tide is too high and we have to take the 30 min jungle hike through the forest. Back on Railey beach, we enjoy a full moon party at a small bar on the water with a group of Aussies.

Feb 11
Last day in Railey, so I hit the beach in the morning then another great climbing session in the afternoon. We hit a different set of walls, and they were more challenging after our successful climbs 2 days ago. Our guides at Thai'd Up really pushed us with some difficult climbs, and it was a bunch of fun! My foot is continuing to get better, so that is good news. We have a late dinner and then meet up with our climbing guides and buddy from CA for a few refreshing Beer Changs.

Feb 12
Catch a boat in the morning for Ao Nang Beach.

Thoughts on Railey Beach:
Great climbing
Crystal clear water and amazing snorkeling
Beautiful karsts formations
Great beaches
No cars, streets or pollution (a nice refresher from other SE Asia areas)
Friendly people
Cool bars with nightly shows
Great Thai food
Everything is too low in Thailand, Ed and I were always banging our heads on something (including door frames that are too low) or toes on uneven sidewalks


Post a Comment

<< Home