Time for a Little Vacation in Paradise
Trip Start Jul 18, 2009
51Trip End Jun 08, 2011
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Where I stayed
Railay Gardenview Resort
I have finally completed the long recovery needed from a week of vacation and I feel tip top now and am ready to tell you guys all about it! Just to set the stage a little bit, obviously Thailand does not celebrate the Christian holidays nor the American holidays. Fortunately, as I teach at a Christian school, I get both Thai and Christian holidays off. But not surprisingly Thais don't celebrate Thanksgiving so there is really no major holiday in the fall months in Thailand. Therefore my school gives everyone a week off for "Fall Break," and that is what happened last week. I decided that I needed to get back to my true passion….. the beach!
The amazing part about Bangkok is travel to anywhere in Southeast Asia, especially Thailand is so cheap and easy. I booked a plane ticket and a bungalow at a nice resort, and headed to Railay Beach which is in South Thailand right near the major resort city of Krabi
I arrived in the Krabi airport at about 7pm Saturday night and took a shuttle to a pier where there was a long-tail boat waiting to bring me to my accommodations on Railay. Now I always seem to arrive at places at night. The boat ride to the resort was actually quite painless and non-traumatizing and when I pulled up to the beach, porters were waiting to take our bags. Now again, being about 8:30 at night, I really couldn’t tell what the resort looked like, but the bungalow was great. Basic, but really clean and well kept up and everything. The greatest things about this resort, and really the island in general, is that I came during “low season” when it typically rains a lot so very few tourists travel to the Thailand resorts, apart from a handful of backpackers. So for the first 3 days I was in Railay, I was probably the only person staying at the resort which meant the staff was waiting on me hand over foot. And the accommodations, due to the low season, were about $22 USD a night
In the morning, the resort was pretty flippin sweet and I quickly got ready so that I could explore the rest of Railay. I didn’t take a map with me or anything and kind of just explored Railay by the seat of my pants. We came across caves, rock climbers, hidden cliff restaurants, luxury resorts, but not one temple! Grrrrrrr (and BTW I posted over 123 pictures and not a single one is of a temple this time so HA! Injure face). We finally made it to Railay West- the beach that is in all of the guidebooks and all of the advertisements and is ranked as one of the best beaches in the world
When we finally made it through the cliff and to the other side, we quickly realized that our efforts weren’t in vain. This beach was gorgeous. There were a number of rock climbers scaling a near-by cliff and just a bunch of people, mostly backpackers, chilling on the beach and at the few restaurants on the beach. Of course we took a load off and grabbed a pint and just took it all in. After a short while we decided to head back, but Lauren saw a sign that said “Jungle Trail to Railay East,” and she was like “oooh lets take that, that sounds like fun.” Now in my life experience, I have learned never to trust anything that starts with the word “jungle” (jungle gym, jungle fever, jungle juice, etc.). But she was bound and determined to go this way so of course I caved. Well guess what? Have you ever heard of the Bataan Death March? Well this would have rivaled that I think
At night we headed out for a little more of the Railay East night life and saw that there was going to be a Mauy Thai (Thai style of boxing) match at one of the bars. So after an amazing dinner of fresh seafood kebabs, we scored ourselves a ring side seat for the match. At first they had a fire show which was really cool, and when the match finally started, it was clear that these guys were not professional fighters, and we are pretty sure that the “knockout” was staged, but it was still really cool to see nonetheless. Afterwards we hit up a pub right next to our resort, that really became our favorite of the week. It was called Skunk Bar. As I mentioned earlier, there were hardly any people at Railay besides a handful of backpackers. And for the record, as much as I despise dirty hippies, I really like the backpacking folk. Kinda wish I would have done that before college. Anyways, we were the only ones at Skunk Bar and I was in the mood for quite the night cap. I mean we WERE on vacation. So I ordered a bucket, yes a bucket, of coke and a local Thai whiskey called “Sangsom.” Sangsom tastes very similar (albeit ghetto) to my favorite Southern Comfort
We woke up really early the next morning because we had booked an Elephant trekking adventure. We were really pumped up about it and it proved to be such an incredible experience. They took us through the jungle, through rivers, we saw a ton of monkeys, I watched the elephant take a big poop, it was awesome! After the trek they dropped us off at a nearby pier called Ao Nang to get a longtail boat back to Railay. Lauren and I really liked Ao Nang and decided to spend a few hours there just exploring everything. We also ate at an Italian Restaurant where the food was really good. And that is hard for me to say because you know my thoughts on Italians. But I am coming around a little bit… Anyways, it was a really cool area and we think that if/when I ever go back to Railay, I will take ddefinitely go Ao Nang for a night too. When we finally got back to Railay we decided that it was time for the beach! After all, that IS what we essentially came for. Again, the beach was amazing and I actually even got to watch the sunset. Living in MB for the past 7 years, I never had a chance to watch the sunset, so it was really cool that in the mornings I could watch the sunrise and then at night could go to the other side and watch the sunset. Just really wish that I could have had all of you guys there to watch it with! At night was more of the same. More delicious and cheap food. More relaxing. More meeting new people and sharing stories. And more Mr. Sangsom.
The next day was more of the same. Relaxing at the beach, hitting up some new restaurants, and just really enjoying the vacation away from everything. Early in the night we decided to have a cocktail before dinner and struck up a conversation with a young British couple who were backpacking throughout Southeast Asia. They were really cool and we really hit it off with them. While we were talking to them, I heard this other couple behind me talking, but it wasn’t in English. But yet I thought, “wait a tick, I KNOW that language. That’s sounds like the mother language!” And sure enough, I started talking to this other couple and found out the they were from the Netherlands! Yeah! I immediately hit it off with them sharing stories about Rusk, working since we were 12, Whilemena mints, and size 16 feet. Needless to say the 6 of us hung out for dinner and the rest of the night and really had a great time. We exchanged numbers at the end, and both couples are going to come back through to Bangkok through there journeys and are going to stay with us.
The next day, probably realizing that we hadn’t risked our lives or put ourselves in any great physical danger in a couple days, we decided to rectify that and hike up to a famous lookout point and Lagoon in Railay. Now depending on who you asked, they would tell you that this is the easiest climb in the world, or that K2 is a piece of cake compared to this
Early Thursday afternoon we reluctantly headed back to the airport and caught a plane back to BKK. We wanted to have a few days back in BKK before we had to go to work so that we could just relax and recover from our Railay trip. And it was a good thing too. I don’t know if it was the millions of insect bites I got walking through the jungle or the $0.30 toliet curry that I ate during the vacation, but I was quite sick upon our return. Needless to say I was reminded of our journey to Railay for the next 3-5 days. It got me thinking that maybe I cant roll with the big dogs anymore? A wise person once told me that “you cant fly with the geese and expect to wake with the roosters.” Maybe I am just getting too old for this stuff. Naaaahh!
A great vacation to a beautiful location. It was certainly what we needed and we really feel that we maximized our time there. I spent a lot of time thinking about where I would go next if I came back to Railay and the surrounding islands and I certainly have quite the itinerary planned. Would anybody care to join me? First Sangsom and Coke is on me.
Thanks for reading and for thinking about us. We love you all so much.
L & Mr. S :-D :-D