The past 3 days (catching up!) we have been in the islands of the Andaman coast of Thailand, south of Burma. After a half day in Bangkok spent at one of the crazy shopping complexes in the Sukhumvit area, mostly for the AC, we took an AirAsia flight to Krabi, Thailand. Our destination was the town/area of Railay which is only accessible by boat. Transport had been arranged for us from the airport and consisted of one of the oddest, yet seemless operations yet.
We were greeted at the airport by some dude with a van, and someone who I’m assuming was his daughter; neither spoke a lick of English. After about a 30 minute van ride through Krabi, the driver stopped in gravel parking lot, which in the dark seemed like not only the middle of no where, but also a great place to get kidnapped. We transferred out of the van and into a side-car-tuk-tuk which looked about as ridiculous as you might imagine…I kept thinking that at any moment the entire apparatus would suddenly fall over under the lopsided weight of the four of us plus luggage. It turns out that we needed to get into this little guy so that we could fit down the dock though, and eventually we were greeted by a boat driver with a long tail boat. Again all of this is going down under the cover of darkness and without any communication (with us anyway). Eventually we work out that we are supposed to get in the boat because they are tossing our baggage in and we set out on our first long tail ride. The long tail boat is a pretty standard looking wooden boat…like an over stuffed canoe… with a motor that spins a propeller on the end of a long pole (the tail). This is so boat captains can maneuver through shallow water by simply lifting the propeller out of the water, using the engine’s weight as counter weight. Anyhow, about 30 minutes later we reach the shores of Railey East and are delivered directly to the front of our hotel, the Bhu Nga Thani. The tide was on the way out, so just as I thought we would have to wade into shore, out comes a tractor with a dock on wheels to tender us from boat to dock where we were greeted with cold towels and drinks. Whew! Lets recap: Bangkok ->; Railey via taxi, plane, van, tuktuk, boat, tractor.
Anyhow we checked into the place and walked down the beach (read: sea wall) towards the restaurants. We settled on a place called Last Bar, which was aptly named, and had a few bites to eat. There was some duder playing guitar, then another duder, then those two duders plus some more duders performed a “fire-cabaret show”. The show was basically a bunch if star-wars-kid type exhibitions expect the ends of sticks were soaked in gasoline and then lit on fire. It was impressive at first, but then it went on and on and on and it seemed like everybody on the island had a fire dance of their own. Eventually (finally?) it was over and the place turned into a dub step tribute bar…keep in mind that we are sitting on a bare foot only dock like structure overhanging the sea.
The next day we decided to sleep in a little bit and then hit the beach. I spent all morning lathering up my glowing white computer programmer skin with SPF 1000, but sure enough at the end of the day I looked like a boiled lobster. We went back to the pool and had some drinks at the swim up bar before heading back down to Last Bar for dinner…the food there was actually quite good. Once the dubstep fire cabaret started up again we relocated to Joy Beach Bar which was this little hippy joint where you take your shoes off and sit on cushions.
The majority of our last day in Railey I spent relaxing and keeping my skin out of the sun. We did go on a pretty adventurous snorkeling tour, but I’ll save that till the next post…
1- This was how we arrived, except it was at night.
2- hey look our hotel
3- I wasn’t joking about the tractor dock
4- the path to the beach, on which there were…
6- the beach were I got fried