Published: December 28th 2008December 27th 2008
Another awesome 12 hour bus ride to the southern Thai city of Krabi...unlike Cambodia, this time there were highways and no "I'm a Barbie Girl" playing on repeat so it was a success. The tour company we booked this bus with had a promotional deal for everyone to go to the Phi Phi Islands (where the movie "The Beach" was filmed) but being the expert Thai travelers that Tara and I are we decided we could bargain a better price upon our arrival at the port of Krabi.
We dashed off the bus leaving everyone else behind and a hailed a cab to the dock like we were on the Amazing Race. Got it for half the price the tour company was selling it for so we think we're doing good at this point. The ferry to Phi Phi leaves in 10 minutes and the only tour guy that we can find tells us he can sell us a roundtrip fare and accommodation for 900 Bat for both of us. Too good to be true! We jumped on it and high five each other on a job well done...... that is until we are about to board the ferry and the ticket window asks where our return tickets are because apparently we only possess one ways. Ahhh I really do enjoy getting scammed at 8:00 in the morning. At this point the ferry is waiting on us while we track down mr. "I have a deal for you." He tells us that what's done is done, no refunds, do not pass go, do not collect $200. And if we have a problem with that we can file a police report. Riiiiiighhtttt. So now I have to get Philly on him and to make a long story short, we get our money back! But now with no destination =(
Starving, tired and highly annoyed we get some breakfast and bust out our 1998 Go Asia tour book to see what other points of interest there are around us. We settle on Railay beach...unfamiliar with the place but it seems like a good alternative.
One taxi and a longtail boat later we make it!! Already I am pumped because the tiny peninsula where Railay sits is completely secluded and there are not many tourists whatsoever. Our guide book tells us there are two sides to the area: East and West. The first is more for the budget travelers (us) and the second a little more upscale. However, both are about a 5 minute walk from each other. Not wasting any time, we find a place to stay for the night, drop our bags off and head for the beach. This place looks like Boracay but take away the millions of restaurants and bars......just clear water and white sand. AMEN!
It doesn't take long for us to meet some other travelers from Australia (one of which is a stand up comedian), Alaska and Canada. (That's one of my favorite things about backpacking....all the great people you meet!) After exchanging some travel stories/advice we all decide to check out some cliff jumping. Tara suffers a few battle wounds against the coral rocks but no stitches are needed so we carry on. Joey, the chick from Canada, tells us about a lagoon we can hike to that's not very far from where we are. And off we go! The "hike" turns into a 2 hour excursion involving a lot of ropes and rappelling down a few sheer drop offs, which of course is right up mine and Tara's alley. However, most of the group are not climbers so we end up assisting them. Totally worth the trek. This lagoon is definitely out of a movie....dare I say better than "The Beach." Got to check out the caves that surrounded the water and played a bit of Marco Polo (cause we're 5yrs old) before it got too dark. Of course my flip flop breaks just as we start our ascent back so that made for an interesting climb.
Finally out of the brush, Tara and I head back to get showered up just in time for happy hour at the nicknamed Bob Marley Bar. Asia really knows how to do that hour right... 6pm-10pm. Railay is rather small in comparison to the other places we've visited so it does not take long for us to run into our friends. A local tells us about a pool competition that's going on for the East side of the beach so I jump all over that idea while Tara grabs a bite to eat with the Aussies. Now had happy hour not been from 6-10 I'm pretty sure my 3rd place finish would've been different. Excuses aside, our day/night in Railay was one of the most relaxing yet.
***Sorry I've not gotten a chance to write sooner to you all but I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas and enjoyed their time off!!!***