Quiet Piece of Heaven

Trip Start Nov 27, 2012
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Trip End May 08, 2013


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Flag of Thailand  , Krabi Province,
Saturday, January 12, 2013

Basically it is paradise. After we got off the longtail we were confused why some people were staying on the boat to go to the other side of the island. What Cory and I like to do is arrive at a place with as little knowledge about it as we can.  It's just part of the fun.  So we grabbed our bags hit the washroom and started exploring.  Basically Railay has 4 areas. 

East Railay is where we showed up which is basically the only place to find a bar or any sort of nightlife... and nightlife is a stretch. This is the most chilled beach town I have ever seen.  On the East side there basically is no beach, the ocean goes right up to the sidewalks at night and in the morning. In the afternoon however, the tide is so far out it looks like a mud pit for half a football field. This is totally fine though because the East side is more for nightlife and reasonable but not super cheap accommodation.

West Railay is a 10-15 minute walk from East Railay depending on what rout you take. This is where the locals say to go for sunset and they know.  So beautiful. This beach is lined with high end resorts that start at 5000 Baht and this side of the island completely shuts down before midnight. 

South of the West Railay beach (although only reachable from East Railay) is the best beach on the island is known as Phra Nang.  This is the nicest beach I have ever seen.  There are no hotels or guest houses here and no restaurants on the land.  Basically it is a place to hang out and swim in the afternoon.  There are several boat restaurants that line the first part of the beach and they have great food for cheap.

North of West Railay beach is Ton Sai Beach.  This beach can only be reached by a tight jungle walk, a climb over the rocks (neither of which are recommended at night) or a longtail if you can find one.  Basically if you are staying here that is where you will stay at night. The only nightlife is a few reggae bars that are super tame.  Here is where you will find the cheapest accommodation on the island so most of the budget backpackers stay here.

We spent our time between east, west and Phra Nang.  Basically on Railay everyone just lays around and smokes weed all night.  This is supposed to be one of the safest places in Thailand to smoke without a hassle and you can tell because it is on the menu at most of the bars.  There is basically one bar on the island that has a dance floor and it is the last bar on the East side and is aptly named "The Last Bar". The fire dancers here are excellent and because the island isn’t busy you basically get to know everyone travelling there.  If you are in Thailand for a raging party only, Railay is likely not the place for you.  However if you like a slow pace, friendly people, amazing beaches or rock climbing, this might just be one of the best places on earth.

Railay is supposed to be one of the best rock climbing places in the world. Instead of all the dive shops you find at a place like Koh Tao, this island is littered with rock climbing shops.  Although we never went rock climbing, we heard about a bouldering path that takes you to a viewpoint and then to a lagoon.  This is on the way from East Railay to Phra Nang. So one afternoon we decided to check it out and dear god was it insane. We climbed to the viewpoint which was a combo of bouldering and 10-30 foot straight up rock climbing without harnesses.  There was a series of ropes that were there in case you couldn’t find a foothold, but if safety is your thing maybe don't check this out.  We then decided to climb down to the lagoon which was about 3 times as intense as the way to the viewpoint.  After about 45 more minutes of downhill rock-climbing (which is so much harder than uphill) we made it to the lagoon. Along the way we met a couple of girls who climbed with us and we were all laughing about how our mothers would kill us if they saw what we were doing. I still can’t believe we did it and looking back although I am glad, I just wonder what was going through my head.  The lagoon was right in the center of the mountain South of Phra Nang and was surrounded 360 degrees by rock with daylight only straight up.  One of the most rewarding things I have ever done and the water felt so good for this sweaty pig.

I heard about a sunset cruise that I wanted to go on so on our last day I booked it, although Cory wasn’t feeling it so he opted out.  We stopped at 7 islands before sunset, drank beers and snorkeled.   At one point i decided to get out of the water after swimming through a cave and I saw from the boat a 2 foot jelly fish.  I took some pictures and told the guide.  He said it was a very poisonous one and could really do damage... but he never felt the need to tell the people still in the water. No one was hurt but I found it very odd how relaxed they were.  We then pulled up past Chicken Island (which looks like a chicken).  This is where we watched the sunset, some fire dancers we brought with us on the boat and had a bbq. Then back to Railay... all this for under $30!! So good. 

Now we are off to Phi Phi And I expect great things... also I have a bucket list item for there.  Who shall I box in the ring where dozer KOed Scotty D. 
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