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Monday, 16 February 2009

Krabi and Railey

13- 16th February

We arrived in Ao Nang by mid afternoon and began the usual mission of finding rooms. Ben, Alison and Rhiannon were not on a budget and we very definitely were, so it took some doing to find something that
catered for different “classes” of holidaymakers. In the end we found a couple of nice hotel rooms at the PK Mansion for the guys, and a not so nice room (behind reception) for us. Ben and Alison treated us to a pizza and we headed to the beach to catch a swim and see the sunset. Alarmingly we saw a number of very large jelly fish that had been washed ashore and decided against going in. The beach was a bit disappointing with quite a lot of litter. The sea, in addition to the jellyfish didn’t seem particularly clean either. The resort itself is clearly very popular (despite it’s now overdevelopment) and the hotels are all very upmarket, which they’d need to be to make up for the beach. The surrounding coastline is really quite dramatic and also detracts nicely from the not-so-white sand. We’d been told to take a boat to the nicer beaches of West Railay and Ton Sai and when Rhiannon had joined us this is where we headed to stay.

Just as we’d got used to the inflated prices of Ao Nang (even after Ko Lipe) we were hit with the craziness of West Railay. The first place we enquired about was 6,000 baht per night, which was way out of our price range of course, but the second place quoted a whopping 25,000 baht a night for the cheapest room. I think even Ben, Alison and Rhiannon flinched at this. Thoughts (for us) turned to sleeping on the beach, but somebody suggested we try the East Railay beach, over the peninsular. Initially it looked almost as pricey, until we came upon Ya Ya Resort – a small, rustic set up with rooms to suit all. The relief didn’t last long, the restaurants were determined to fleece us if the hotel wouldn’t. It was certainly a far cry from the travellers hangouts and the 50 baht phad thai. That said, the beach was more idyllic, though still rammed with tourists. The oversized jellyfish caught us out a few times and didn’t entice us into the sea.

The Railay Peninsular is famous among the
climbing community and we were both keen to have go, neither of us having climbed outdoors since our schooldays. The idea, understandably, wasn’t met with much enthusiasm by the others and in the end the hot weather won over. We opted to take a boat out again and chartered one from West Railay beach. Chicken Island, Koh Poda and another offshore island were all very beautiful but exceptionally crowded with day trippers like ourselves. Still, we managed to snorkel for a few hours from each of the islands and see the abundant corals and fish.

A good few days was enjoyed by all and we were pleased that Alison managed to catch up with Rhiannon. It was time for us to move on; we’d arranged to meet up with Amy and Ali (more friends from home) in Had Rin, Ko Phangan and so with some trepidation, we set out to see the world famous party island.

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