Wednesday, May 6, 2015

More Thailand...Chang Mai to Krabi (Railay Beach)

After three magical nights at the Rainforest Boutique hotel and Chang Mai, it was time to move on...

In fact, we were lucky to get out of Chang Mai in the end. Our flight from Chang Mai was long-delays and very nearly cancelled because of the poor air quality in the region. The flights to Bangkok before ours were cancelled and passengers were sent away. For a while, we weren't optimistic about our chances.

Luckily, we had a bit of business to conduct in the airport. Finny had to make payment for the big order of hair clips she ordered (1000 clips to resell at home) and provide the address for our hotel in Bangkok for them to be shipped to...our budding entrepreneur.

Then we were able to kill some more time in the lounge of Bangkok Airways. Even the economy passengers of this incredibly cheap domestic flight could enter the lounge for free food, drink, wifi and newspapers. It was pretty impressive. 

We finally departed Chang Mai, changed flights in Bangkok and then landed in Krabi in the south of Thailand. It was a late arrival after all those delays, so we were very late checking into our guest house in Krabi town. Not our best accommodation score of the trip...luckily it was a short night and we booked another place for our second night in Krabi. 

We set out in the morning to explore a little bit. Of course, when in Krabi you have to hit Railay Beach and Phra Nang. Rated one of the most spectacular beaches in the world, we couldn't say no to that...

We caught a long tail boat (actually, Eric ended up yelling at one already underway and he pulled over and we waded in...) with a German couple. We didn't know how far it was by boat, so negotiating was challenging. 

It turns out, it's actually pretty far. Twenty minutes at least.

A bit choppy in the open water bits, the long tail captains do a brisk trade transporting tourists back and forth.

It was exciting to finally be on the coast and catching our first glimpses of the Thailand we had in our heads from our research at home.

It was so beautiful flying along the water with those iconic cliffs all along the shore.

The beauty of Phra Nang didn't disappoint, although I have to say, Railay wasn't as nice as I thought it would be. Part of the issue with the place is the lack of care taken with dealing with the impact tourism has on the area.

In an isolated spot with no road access, there has been no consideration of where garbage and other waste material disappears fact, disappear it does NOT. There is an absolutely alarming amount of trash everywhere in this naturally spectacular location. Something which makes it a little harder for me to enjoy it.

The levels of garbage were better on the Phra Nang side, which went a long way towards my preference for that area.

The walk from the east beach along the mountain base was gorgeous. There were monkeys and caves, long vines hanging down and lovely jungly-type nosies as we walked.

It was amazing.

And it doesn't hurt that the end of the path looks like this:

The water was so hot that it was totally unrefreshing.

It was a boiling hot day, so with no swim to cool us off, we resorted to cold beer, smoothies and thai banana chocolate pancakes (okay, those weren't too cool us, but wow...were they ever delicious).

We didn't have long to enjoy the beauty of the place...we had to get back to our boat and back to Krabi less than two and a half hours after arriving.

But we managed to soak in a lot of happiness in a short period of time. It was just so nice to know we'd hit the beach portion of our trip. We had a lot more sand and surf in our futures.

Other than my dad cutting his hand really badly on some sharp rocks or coral, it couldn't have been any nicer bobbing around in the (very salty) water.

The whole place looked like a postcard...

As for this little series of gems...let me just say it isn't easy getting all five of us looking in the right direction with eyes open and smiling.

We had a brisk walk back because none of us wanted to leave and we left it until the last minute to make it to the boat (having said that, we beat the German couple back, so that's a victory!). No time to enjoy the monkeys...

Then, a sunset ride back to Krabi town.

Once we got back and showered off, we did a bit of searching online for a good spot to eat.

One of the places Dad had spotted from home was a Krabi restaurant called Mr. Krab-i.

We had a nice walk to get to the restaurant and a great time meeting the owner of the Italian guy who married a Thai woman and settled in Krabi.

We meet a ton of people from other places who settled in Thailand for all kinds of different reasons. I found the stories interesting and the characters fascinating. There's a big difference between Thailand and Italy...

We headed to bed that night satisfied and excited. We had an early morning coming...catching the boat from Krabi to Koh Lanta. Our beach holiday was waiting...

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