Railay Beach: putting your trust in communication

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July 27th 2012
Published: July 29th 2012
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There isn't anything too much to report from this secluded beach island off the peninsular of Krabi. We had a very relaxing and serene three nights and two full days. We had dinner at a restaurant that was part of a resort on the east side on the first night but had to take it easy due to our lack of being able to keep food down! Lauren had jacket potato which was lovely and Ben had some fried rice and spring rolls. We had an early night as the day of travelling and the beach walk in Phi Phi had taken its toll on our very weary bodies.

The next day, Wednesday, we headed to find the lagoon and view point Ben had been dying to show Lauren since we initially talked about returning to this part of Thailand. He advised Lauren to wear trainers and pants! We set out to the east side which you access through walking through other resorts, and walked through some crazy caves intertwined with tree vines. We found the secluded entrance that really should have come with a disclaimer note to enter with caution if you don't have strong upper body capability and to wear appropriate clothes! Ben didn't recall it being such a climb and we had doubts as to go up knowing Lauren's ease of adding war scars! But on we went. It was crazy! A vertical climb taking about 45 minutes to the top but the rocks had smooth handles for hands and feet as this was a used path. It was challenging but good, Lauren had never done anything like this before but she enjoyed it despite the fear of falling off and never fully aware of where to climb next. Initially Ben led so she could see where to place her hands and feet and some were quite a step up, good job not in a skirt, one was such a leap she unfortunately ripped her pants though! But she took the lead wanting to set the pace and Ben was actually quite impressed she quickly leant where to place her body and understood her own strength learning again to put her trust in the ropes that had been tied strategically to help climbers. We passed a few people coming down and found our way to the viewpoint. It was stunning enclosed by trees in a jungle and had a great view over the east bay and at surrounding peninsulas of limestone rocks. We snapped away but Ben wouldn't come to the edge his fear of heights reemerging after his triumph of the tallest building in Dubai. He explained that looking at that building you could see it was architecturally built to sustain the height and made sense that it would be stable. With this we had grabbed at tree trunks that had seemed to move and the rocks were wearing down over thousands of years of use. Never mind he got close enough to see the view at least! We were also treated to watching monkeys playing ahead, we did look into what they were but forgot their name but they were so named as they appeared to have glass eyes due to the white ring around their blue eyes. They were pretty big but stayed up in the tree tops and we didn't have food to worry about either!

We met a lovely American couple, Richie and Chelsea, at this point and agreed we would take on the challenge of the lagoon together. Ok onto that part! We meandered through the jungle which due to the heavy rain before was getting very wet and the leaves made us slip so we had to exercise even more caution. It was even more of a struggle as we were climbing down to reach the enclosed lagoon and with the mud becoming flat from being over walked we were finding it difficult to find routes to actually climb where we could have foot and hand holders. We carried on though each time thinking we must be near it now! We eventually got to the lagoon area and we could see the opening having passed crazy trees and butchrous roots to cling to. At this time, Chelsea went first and we had gained a solo Spanish climber, we thought she may be able to abseil down the rocks but they curved under with nowhere to put her feet and at 20 foot down you couldn't jump. So next she tried the other side and using two ropes for guidance managed to get down skilfully, Richie went next and after proclaiming half way he couldn't do it he made it! Ben then went and struggled and insisted Lauren couldn't do this and the next part was even harder. So she agreed she would stay up here if Ben took the camera! The next part was only 15 feet but you had to clamber through a cave entrance so it was added pressure and if you fell it was into a shallow lagoon! Luckily they all made it along with three Germans that had caught up with us who were somehow doing the trek in flip flops but they regretted it! The view was as good as Ben remembered and they all took it in turns to take photos of each other, it looked good on the photos and Lauren could see the lagoon was a lot bigger than what she saw at the top, but there was a clear opening of tree above the lagoon so you could just stare up at the sky. Lauren had several other climbers come to the area she rested and all looked and retreated after Lauren advised what climbing was necessary having now seen seven people do it, it was a combination of going down on your back using one rope then swinging over to your front onto the other rope with little foot holders! Half an hour later the group emerged and Ben was feeling particularly faint but we still had the forty minute or so climb down. We made it but Lauren found this harder to climb down as you can much more easily hoist yourself up to the next rock but stepping down wasn't as easy and you had to feel your way to the floor as your body, the way it was angled, would prevent you seeing the ground, and what you were standing on was normally only big enough for two of your toes never mind two feet! She had to put a lot of trust in both Richie and Ben to guide her from front and back but that's the beauty of trust if you go with it whole heatedly you are normally fine! We got to the bottom admiring our mornings work and Lauren only gained one cut and bruise to her hip but a deep cut to her ankle but not life threatening! We chatted for a while cooling down and agreed to meet Richie and Chelsea for dinner later.

The afternoon we just chilled out at the gorgeous pool trying to even our ever random tan lines, it would seem though whenever we actually get time to sun bathe we never catch rays even though it is hot! We got up to date on our emails and made plans for our new routing around the world. As we said in the last post we did manage to change our flights but our travel consultant came though and only charged us £30 each for changing four flights! Result! We were then able to book a flight with the spare cash to take us from Krabi to Kuala Lumpur on Friday.

We met Chelsea and Richie at 7pm and were treated to a free fire show on the beach, having not watched one in Phi Phi as they were on too late at around midnight we were eager to see what was entailed. It did not disappoint! The Thai man was very skilled circling his rope that was alight at each end! We were all "oohing" and "ahhing" at the right time and surprised it lasted a good twenty minutes. Training was offered to those brave enough at the end but all four of us were very hungry, the trek had made us all sleepy apart from our stomachs! Richie fancied pizza and we were only too happy to oblige having not had pizza since Vietnam and hoping we were able to keep it down. We had a lovely evening chatting learning about our new friends! They were from San Diego and we hope to catch up with them when we get to California in December. They were celebrating their honeymoon having married in June last year, similar to us. Lauren asked what it was like to leave the US when you can theoretically have any type of holiday as it caters to everything! That was why they had come away to make it more special! They had been to Hong Kong on the way and were returning there so they helped us with a base of itinerary for when we go in a weeks time. They even kindly paid for our dinner which was totally unexpected but so very generous but on the promise we would return the favour in San Diego!

Another early night and more film watching on HBO followed and we were well rested for another attempt at breakfast which was complimentary. The pizza was lovely but we still didn't manage to retain it all. We were feeling a bit achy from our climb and took the day at complete leisure walking only to the surrounding beaches having dropped off our washing from the day before. It was covered, as we had been, in mud, clay and dirt from trousers to trainers and hair! It had taken Lauren about half an hour of clearing the mud off the trainers which were still drying! We went to the beach still on the west side but accessed through the east as rocks prevented access on the west. Here a few caves presented themselves with unusual inhabitants, a large number of carvings and sculptures in the shape of a mans anatomy! We wandered along the beach for an hour before returning and having a dip in our pool, which although we had seen children at breakfast was child free!

We went out to eat around 5pm to save on needing two more meals! We went back to the initial place Lauren wanting the jacket potato again which we both had. There was baby kittens there again and we had fun playing with them, one even got up on Ben's knee which he didn't even notice it was that light he thought the breeze had slightly moved his shorts until he looked down a few minutes later! We watched another beautiful sunset and contemplated our few days rest here which was much needed and marked the end of a beach and pool for a while. Which given the crabs wasn't a bad thing! We thought about going to a bar we passed that was showing the latest film "Ted" but we were still feeling poorly and wanted a long nights sleep before tomorrows travel.

We awoke early and Lauren went to the pool where wifi stretched too catching up on some news awaiting the Olympics starting later that day. We took a leisurely breakfast but disappointed there were no pancakes today but we did have waffles. Ben had his usual of sausages and croissant plus some coco pops. You could have had vegetable tempura and fried rice etc but we were still delicate, food poisoning is a long fighting problem! We got our laundry, packed and headed out to our return travel to Krabi airport. We booked this the day before which involved a private long boat having walked for five minutes to the boat and swinging in without steps and then a taxi transfer to the airport from the mainland. Another thing you just have to put trust in that people communicate. Did our travel agent tell the boat driver and did the taxi driver know where to collect us when we didn't know where to go?! It all went smoothly as it always has been but the moments of panic rise and you do become unsure what will go wrong and when, but it's then that you learn just go with it, but it's easier said than done when you have a deadline in a flight, but Lauren is definitely learning to let go. The main objective of this soul searching trip! So here we sit on opposite sides of an aisle on an AirAsia flight to KL for the first time not sitting next to one another, but having had forty days on the road being inseparable but for the thirty minutes Ben as in the lagoon maybe it is nice even though space?!

Things of note:

The area is comprised of resorts only, no real individual restaurants and prices were high. Even on Phi Phi, pizza was around 120baht, here that went to 250baht

There are no locals living here, only resorts with staff quarters Unfortunately as low season most resorts have work done which affected a small proportion of one beach as a big boat herded a digger with soil on and off etc.

No matter what money you have, everyone gets here the same way, long tail boat and you have to climb out into the water, if the tide is in its a minute walk, or out its five minutes.

The East side is known as the poor side as much cheaper and no nice beach, whereas the West was the luxury side with gorgeous yellow sand beaches.

Although beautiful sand when you look closely and you'll see tiny crabs moving around that make almost crop circles in the sand. Further to the rocks, the bigger the crabs!

What would we do differently:

We would love to have stayed longer but we wouldn't have done anything new just chilled out at the pool but it would have been expensive. Potentially could have rented kayaks but we were too achy from the climb!

Thefts: 0

Near misses: nearly caught out several times as we were still feeling the effects of food poisoning but made it to a bathroom, just!

Fallouts: 0

Additional photos below
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