Tuesday, February 26, 2013

tSH goes to Thailiand: Railay

The next day was a day of extreme travel. It went something like this: get up at 6am, take a taxi, ferry, bus, bus, ferry, walk, water taxi, arrive.

I think we eventually got to our destination of Railay around 3pm. It was exhausting to say the least but we still had enough energy to vaguely roam around our new island home and then collapse to start exciting activities that we had scoped out.

Railay is a little peninsula near Krabi, off the west side of Thailand.

The west side is where all the gorgeous beaches and expensive resorts are - you see extremely picturesque crystal clear waters and beautiful islands. This is where you can literally lay in the water all day and forget that the world exists. If I had had another day in Railay this is where I would have been, doing exactly that. It is wonderful. When we arrived we walked through this part and that is exactly what most people were doing.

Hilariously the east side of the island is exactly the opposite - its beaches are muddy, rocky, and generally unpleasant during anything but high tide (when the water is high enough to reach the pleasant sandy part of the beach and you can wade into the water without stumbling on something and hurting yourself). This is the side of the island where the hippies and backpackers go, where you can enjoy practicing things like fire poi and staffs all night long (yes, I'm looking at you again Marc), and is actually completely inaccessible at night except by a horrible rocky path through the water during low tide or a mosquito-ridden jungle path that goes up and down a mountain (that's no joke - my sister and I ended up doing both of them the first day and they're both interesting...to say the least). Btw, it's BYOF (bring your own flashlight...or in our case, cellphone with a flashlight app).

Here is a picture of the rocky path through the water during low tide (think clouds of sand gnats, sharp sea rock and general unpleasantness...like traveling to Mordor but not hot, just damp):

There is a path that cuts through the middle of the peninsula, as you can see on the map, but generally speaking if you happen to be on the beach doing something real you'll be not that near this area. So there you have it. The rest is jungle. Untamed mountainous jungle.

Which is awesome if you're into things like climbing, because it has terrain that is perfect for climbing. And as luck would have it, my sister and I love climbing. So you can guess what we ended up doing. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Railay in itself though, was definitely voted as our favorite place out of all the places we went on this trip. And I think you'll see why as I dig a little deeper.

Anyway, general summary of the place: a little something for everyone. Gorgeous beaches, climbing, snorkeling, resorts, beach huts (on the backpacker side of things), and activities galore.

Yes Railay, you will not soon be forgotten, that's for damned sure.

More detail on the flipside.

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