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Published: April 16th 2009
After an enormous effort we have arrived in Southern Thailand. After flying down to Surat Thani on the opposite side to where we wanted to be ( because of the Songkran we couldn't fly in any closer ) we took a 1/2 hour local bus to the town of Surat Thani where we caught another local bus ( bright red with heaps of beads, flowers, frilly curtains and Thai inpersonators singing west life songs ) to Krabi town which was supposed to take 2 hours. Well it might have if the bus ever went over 60km and didn't stop after every few miles or less. This bus was as full as the train to Ayuthaya but at least we had air conditioning.
Once in Krabi we had to catch a "taxi" to Ao Nang which was 1/2 an hour away. We were on the back of a ute with a top but not really any sides and no back and the driver was crazy. This is the first time I've been scared in Thailand, Tracy too. Not far out of Ao Nang he had to slam on his brakes and we all flew from the back to
the front of the vehicle at top speed. After checking on us, he drove slightly slower. We arrived in Ao Nang in the dark and from here had to get a long tail boat out to Railey beach ( in the dark!!! ) We had to lug our luggage through the water out to the waiting boat 100 metres out from the shore. We asked if they had lights.... "yes they said, don't worry". Yeh, 1 small light inside the boat, not out in front. They drove the boat blindly around rocks for 15 minutes. We were so dirty, hot, sweaty and thankful to be at our hotel finally!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Wow what a wonderful place Railey beach is and you should all be really jealous of us right now. The hotel is great and we have the biggest bed we've ever seen. The pool is exactly 3 steps from our door and as long as the Te Awamutu pool but with tropical gardens hanging down into it and lots of little nooks with seats in the water to hang out in. If we weren't in the sea, which wasn't often, we were in the pool.
The beach isn't very
long, is extremly beautiful, has huge cliffs all around it and is very clean, clear and safe for swimming except for the odd monitor lizard which comes wandering out of the sea - 2 metres long. Yes they do freak us out.
There is a great atmosphere here especially because of the Songkran. Jack got involved with a huge water fight with the staff of a neighbouring hotel and loved every moment. There was fireworks one night, fire dancing another and music ( good western music ) on the beach all day. We walked to Phang Na bay where the cliffs are amazing. Lots of people rock climbing around here.
This must be one of the most beautiful places on earth and we highly recommend coming here - it was worth the effort to get here.
We have just arrived on Phi Phi island. Our room is right on the beach and 10 minutes after arriving, Jack was in the sea snorkeling. Literally 2 seconds after putting his head in the water he was squeeling because of all the fish. So many colours and patterns on them and they eat bread right out your hand. They have
serveral safe areas roped off for swimmers away from the long tail boats. This is just as effective at keeping Jack from swimming off out to sea after the fish. He is doing well diving down to get a closer look at coral with his snorkel and blowing out water when he gets back up to the surface. ( I can't do that )
Notes from Jack:
Hey Brendon, I've got a big water gun so you had better watch out when I get back to NZ.
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