We were excited to leave crappy Tonsai beach today for the more beautiful Railay. We decided not to wait for a longtail boat (it could be hours before there were enough people to fill it, and we didn’t want to pay the full boat price) and instead walk over the cliff path. I was carrying about 35 lbs in my pack by this point, and also a front pack. By the time we hiked the steep walk to the other side – in 37 degree heat – I was about ready to pass out.
But the reward was on the other side:
We walked up the beach to our hotel which was situated at the end of the beach, right ON the beach. We were able to drop our bags and check in, but our room wasn’t ready so we just went to the pool, the interior one closer to where our room was to be.
It wasn’t long before they came to find us and tell us that our room was ready, so we went to grab our bags and take them to our room. It was a cute bungalow, a giant room, really, with a nice verandah.
We decided to go check out the climb up the hill to the viewpoint. The path warning made us wonder if we should rethink it:
It was a steep climb, and it was even hotter now that it was afternoon. We finally made it to the giant ladder, and some rock climbers told us to get to the viewpoint we had to climb that ladder. It doesn’t look so bad in the photo, but it is actually suspended over a huge drop over the rocks. It was a very scary and difficult climb up that ladder, I went slow as molasses, I did not want to fall!
Once we were up the ladder, the path was tiny, creeping along the rock wall, with nothing to hold on to. We decided we were in way over our old people heads, and it was time just to climb on back down to safety. That was even harder than going up! I did get a good pic before we went down, though.
There are some other small hikes around Railay, and lots of people practice rock climbing. For the next three days we pretty much just sat by the pool relaxing after our pretty hectic trip thus far. The hotel had a great pool on the water, so we’d spend time by the pool and in the sea, both were nice.
We were basically on a little peninsula, accessible only by boat. You could walk through the hotel grounds to the beach on the other side, which had a boardwalk with businesses all along it, and the beach there was made up of mangroves, so not for hanging our or swimming at. But you can follow the boardwalk south for a couple of minutes and you come to the path that leads you back to the other side of the island, to the beach that is supposedly the nicest beach in all of Thailand, Phra Nang. It was pretty darned beautiful!
This one sure has an interesting shape….
The beach is one of the most beautiful we’ve seen. Soft, white sand, shallow clear turquoise water. So photogenic!
These boats were all lined up, selling food and drinks.
Some kind of penis offering for a God of some sort. So strange!
Back at our hotel, I had the best Thom Kha Gai of my life while we watched the sunset.
This little guy was on our window. How cute are those feet?
One day we decided to rent a kayak, and we wished we had done it more often. We had a really great time out on the water.
Muy Thai Boxing on the beach.
The next morning we were up early to enjoy a leisurely buffet breakfast at our hotel (included) and then walk over the Phra Nang for one last visit.
Then it was time to retrieve our bags and head to the dock to catch a boat back to the mainland, to Krabi where we’d get a bus to take us back to the overnight train, which we’d take into Bankok for our last three nights.
Very strange way to display streetlights in Krabi:
Bus station in Krabi:
The falling-apart bus for our 3 hour bus ride from hell back to Suran Thani where we’d catch the train. The whole time I thought at any point we were going to be in a news story about dead tourists in a bus accident. Horrible driving!!
It was dark when we arrived at the train station, and I wasn’t feeling well, I had a bit of stomach trouble. We tried to find an open pharmacy, but were not successful, and the 7-11 didn’t have any pepto or stomach ailment fixes. I was not looking forward to a night on the train with horrible squat toilets and a stomach ailment…ugh.
Our train was due at 11pm, so we had a couple hours to wait. I noticed a little snack stand, and I went over and looked for something for my stomach. The man asked me in broken english what I needed, and I rubbed my stomach and groaned. He pointed to a little bottle on the shelf and said, “Thai tummy fixer”. I grabbed four bottles, John wasn’t feeling great either. We downed two each and it tasted like milk of magnesia mixed with aloe and eucalyptus. It wasn’t delicious, put it that way. But it worked…and it worked FAST.
Before long the train was pulling up, and us and a few other travellers climbed on to the sleeper car. As soon as we walked into our compartment, two giant cockroaches went running under the bottom bunk. I flipped out! It’s no wonder there are roaches when you look at the cleanliness of the train. Not sure if they EVER really clean it.
Isn’t it lovely? Just screams “cozy place to sleep”. Ugh!
I crawled into my top bunk (I left John down low with the roaches) and I look up and two feet above my face is a vent. A vent! Who KNOWS how many bugs are crawling around in THAT duct, just waiting to fall down onto my face. While my mind teetered into the zone of irrevocable panic, I quickly thought of using a plastic bag to plug it all up. It worked! That coupled with leaving the light on all night should keep the bugs out of my bed.
The stressful day of scary suicidal bus rides and cockroach laden train compartments mixed with the motion of the train, rocking us like babies in a cradle, helped to send me to sleep rather quickly. Before long I would be waking up near Bangkok.