So after about 7 days in Phi Phi we managed to drag ourselves away to Railay beach which is on the west coast of mainland Thailand although disconnected by the vast mountain range that surrounds the resort. The only way to get to Railay is by long tail boat. So staying there feels like you’re on an island. The first impressions of Railay were that it had beautiful limestone cliffs with dense jungle and with pure white sandy beaches, although the weather was not all that great which would put a bit a dampener on the place.
We arrived along with Rob and Louisa and set about trying to find somewhere to stay for a few nights. Once again we found ourselves trekking around trying to find somewhere to stay and every place we tried was either full or way too expensive, and of course the rain also then set in as we were trying to find a place to stay. We spent a good hour searching for accommodation at the main beach and were not in much luck as places were full or out of our budget, so we decided to head to the other beach which apparently had cheaper accommodation!
A short boat ride across the small bay took us to another beach with the cheaper accommodation. The girls were knackered at this point so had a drink in a bar on the beach while Rob and I set off to look for somewhere to stay, at this point it was now pitch black other than the dim lights from the small bars. We looked for a further hour and finally found somewhere to stay bungalows, with cold water shower (Girls not impressed!), and no electricity between 9am and 5pm (Quirky), it did however include breakfast which probably sold it for us to be honest.
After dumping our stuff in the rooms, we then all met in the resorts restaurant as we were all starving, we sat down and had a really enjoyable meal the food was really tasty! Railay was a weird kind of place and you either embrace it or you don't enjoy it, its set in dense jungle and the accommodation is pretty basic and the bars all made from bamboo, there are no roads there are only small dirt tracks, but the place definitely has something about it.
We headed to a small bamboo bar which was deserted but for the guy behind the bar and a couple of his mates at the bar. We sat down and I'd like to say had a few beers but we were all hanging from Phi Phi and decided on soft drinks, we are hard core! There was a power cut and all the lights went out as well as the music, so we were left with just candle light which was pretty cool. The guy behind the bar came over and offered us a guitar for one of us to play, if any of us played? None of us could play the guitar however I thought I'd give it a go and think the guys really enjoyed my rendition of James Blunt's Goodbye My Lover, and David Brent's Free Love on the Free Love Freeway! or you may want to ask Laura for her opinion on my singing skills! Rob also had a go and sung a funny song his granddad taught him which was really funny.
The next morning we had a buffet breakfast which was actually pretty good, loads on offer and Laura and I tucked in to get our money’s worth. We
All headed off for a day of exploring Railay. We headed out along our beach to see if we were able to get over to the main beach however there was a rocky climb and a bit of a steep one at that. Boy's being boys seeking a little bit of adventure Rob and I decided to give it a go in flip flops I might add, which I don't think qualify as adequate climbing shoes. The girls opted to take the boat across the bay instead as this was far more pleasant way to get across. The climb was not what you would call rock climbing but was still a little bit of an adventure and just what we needed. We ended up actually beating the girls across to the beach, god knows how as it took us a good 20 minutes to get over.
Once over at the other beach we set off to see what Railay had to offer. The beach was immaculate and not particularly touristy as other beaches we had been to; it was just a shame about the weather as it was not very sunny. The island is actually beautiful and the scenery out to sea is stunning, had the weather been better we may have appreciated it a little more.
As we were walking around the other side of Railay we bumped into the American couples we had previously met on the coach from Hanoi to Vang Vieng (Laos) and chatted to them for a while for a quick catch up, swapping stories about what we had been up to and what they had been up to and we managed to convince them to try their hands at diving in Ko Tao as we had enjoyed it so much. It is really strange how many times you bump into the same faces over and over again when travelling.
I decided to have a massage that night and opted for a Thai massage, basically this old bird was beating me up, she had her knees in my back had me bent over her with my back cracking, she cracked my neck. It was actually so nice though and after I felt relaxed and was happy to pay £3.50 for an hour’s massage.
I made my way back to the bungalows and did not find Laura in our bungalow where she said she would be? So I went to Rob and Louisa’s bungalow to see if she was there sure enough she was there and in a little bit of distress. She began to tell me how she had seen a rat on her bed in our bungalow and how she had run out screaming. So we make our way back to the rodent infested bungalow and I have to make sure that it is no longer there by prodding things, I wasn't quite sure what Laura really wanted me to do as I didn't know how to catch a rat? The rat it appeared was no longer there (we think) but then the lights went out! So I then went down to speak to reception that we had a rat in our room and also that we had no electricity? The guy sorted it out and we headed off for dinner.
After dinner we headed back to the little bamboo bar which we went to the night before and we played cards. Rob proceeded to teach us the game "s*** head" which is a game where you have to get rid of your cards as quick as possible with the last person with cards being the s*** head, surprise surprise turns out that I was the ultimate s*** head losing 2 games with everyone else losing just the once. Again we decided against drinking and we stuck to the iced coffee's (they were so nice) instead as we had done enough drinking in Phi Phi to last us a while.
We headed back to our delightful bungalow to a night with the thought of the rat on our minds. As we had to single beds in our bungalow Laura refused to sleep in hers as she had seen the rat on it and we squeezed into mine for a night’s sleep which wasn't the most comfortable as we kept thinking what's that noise or what if the rat crawls over us? (Bet the Mum's and Nan's are loving this reading!)
Awaking the next morning it appears that nothing too bad happened in the night. We headed for our free breakfast which had to be the best thing about the place rather than the bungalows. We headed for the pier and our boat just round the corner to Ao Nang where we would get a taxi to Krabi Airport for our flight to Kuala Lumpar.
So that's it from Thailand next stop Malaysia! That's 4 out of 11 countries down so only 7 more to go!