21.01.2006 31 °C
If you were wondering why you have not heard anything from us in about a week it's because we have been absorbed into the island lifestyle of southern Thailand. Some islands have no internet, while others are expensive. So we are (unfortunately) back on the mainland and are reconnected. But don't feel too sorry for us, we will be heading to a town on the beach as soon as I send this.
I'll begin with our arrival to the islands via a delayed flight from Bangkok to Krabi - a town on the west coast of Thailand near the spectacular Andaman Sea. We planned to stay on the peninsula of Railey for a couple of nights, which can only be reached by boat due to the impressive limestone cliffs that have made this region famous (it also means there are no cars anywhere on the peninsula!). We got a taxi to take us to the beach, and then caught a long-tail boat, the main form of water transportation, to take us to Railey Beach.
Getting ready to board the long-tail boat from Ao Nang beach.
Our first impression of this place was literally of disbelief - I don't think I could have imagined this place if I had tried, it looked like something out of a dream. "This is unbelievable" was a common utterance from our mouths. Picture massive, lush limestone rocks descending into crystal clear turquoise waters. I will venture to say that this is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen (granted, I love beaches!)
I took many photos as you may have suspected, but none of the digital pics even come remotely close to how it is in real life. Here are a couple of Railey Beach and the sunset on our first night's arrival.
That evening was an event of the full moon, which is a huge celebration on the islands here in Thailand. While the big party is on an island in the gulf, there was supposedly going to be a full moon party on the beach just north of us. So, we took a boat to Hat Ton Sai and had a few drinks. While there were many young backpackers hanging out and a couple of fire shows, it was a pretty mellow evening - but we've noticed that a lot is mellow in the islands.
The next day, we took a long-tail boat tour out to four nearby islands. It was an all day event and was amazing! We snorkeled with and hand fed beautiful reef fish, watched monkeys on the beach, and just relaxed in the warm, clear waters.
Returning to Railey Beach, set between two awesome rocks.
Since we had gotten a view of the surrounding islands, the next day we set off on our own by renting kayaks for a couple of hours.
We stopped at a nearby beach, where a local boy, Patah, befriended us. Even though he didn't speak a lick of English, we managed to entertain each other. Before we left, he hopped on the front of our kayak - I think he might have come home with us!
More to come...