Week 2: beaches, beaches, and more beaches.
Two tuktuks, two buses, and a flight later we arrived in Krabi. A minivan and speedboat ride later we were set ashore amongst the towering linestone cliffs of Railay, and checking into our swish spa villa - hot shower, jacuzzi with t.v., and our very own koi carp in the pond outside our front door. I enjoyed every last bit of luxury knowing I'd be spending the next three months in cheap bamboo bungalows!
We spent lazy mornings in the shade on the beach, though unlucky for us rainy season made an unseasonal preview and we had showers most afternoons. Broke up our doss-time with a few trips, first to Ao Phang-Nga National Marine Park, well-known for the strange rock formations sticking up here, there, and everywhere in the water. Whilst there we went to Panyee, a Muslim village on stilts in the middle of the sea and James Bond Island, so-called because of its starring role in Man with the Golden Gun. As you will see I had some bikini-clad finger-gun poses infront of the famous rock. The ultimate in cheesey! True to form it rained on the boat trip back and I can say that a torrential downpour whilst in a longtail boat is not the most fun of experiences when not prepared with a poncho. Back onland we went to a monkey temple, although it paled in comparison to Lopburi.
After a few days of beachy relaxation we went on another trip to the islands of Phi Phi, where we snorkelled among some of the most amazing coral and fish I've ever seen, me and dad swam after a interesting one for a while until we saw it's teeth and made a speedy retreat. We also saw a Viking Cave, where people who collect bird's nests for the gourmet soup live, and a beach where monkeys live, one of whom was quite disturbingly swigging coke. The highlights of the trip included a visit to a beautiful lagoon and to Maya Bay - 'The Beach' - films becoming a bit of a theme to our excursions!
Although Railay's one of Thailand's top climbing destinations I decided against it; my nails we looking pretty good. I did enjoy watching other people scaling the cliffs though, especially when a helicopter and film crew rocked up and I struck some of my best poses in the water hoping for a cameo. Alas, aside from one of the crew snapping away with what I think was a personal camera, I don't think I'm going to become Thailand's next ferang celebrity!
For once I won't recount everything we ate, although I will say that they included the world's most incredible bbq kebabs (apologies to dad and uncle's!) accompanied by jacket pots, salad, rice, steamed veggies... I was so full come the end of it we had to order more drinks before I could physically move to leave. I didn't learn on our second visit. One night we had a complete veg-out (it was raining) so we got take-away pizza and beer and sat in bed watching The Bucket List.
Also enjoyed some interesting cocktails... at our fave live-music-cushions-on-floor bar I had a lovely pink one, and then asked for something totally different, which should have been blue. What turned up was a different glass with what looked, and tasted, exactly the same as what I'd just drank, think they made too much the first time around and were serving me up the left-overs. Same same but different! Another classic were the cocktails served with cherry tomatoes on the rim... bit of a modern take on the glace cherry perhaps?!
All in all, had a super time in Railay with mum and dad. From there I headed off to Koh Lanta and then Koh Jum, arriving in Phuket today. I think I'm developing RSI so will leave those adventures until the next time I find cheap internet! Will try and upload some piccies soon too so as to make you all suitably jealous of the beautiful beaches!