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Railay

Written on: Monday February 16th, 2009

A journal entry from: Thailand 2009

Woke up around 9am (still on the bus) to see karsts and a mosque out of the window - obviously now in south Thailand. After a 2 hour wait at Krabi, I got a longtail boat to Railay (or Rai Leh).

Railay is on an isthmus (I'm really stretching my geographic vocab here!), and due to being surrounded by inpenetrable rock walls/karsts, you can only get there by boat. Once you get there, it's really laid back (not at all touristy!), kind of like Byron Bay, but tiny! You can walk to all 3 "sides" of the isthmus, each with it's own beach. My hotel room was level 3 of a wooden "treehouse". The 1st room I was shown had little frogs in the bathroom. The porter guy apologised, but I replied "No! I like frogs!" But, in the end I went with breeze vs wildlife in my room.

I headed straight out for Railay West (the nicer beach, Railay East nearer my room is just mangroves and boats) and swam the length of the beach (200-300m). And, I immediately managed to scratch up my thigh on sharp oyster-shell-covered rocks! Now I know why people just sit on the beach all day. 

Then, I went to the 3rd side of the isthmus (southern tip) - Phra Nang. I saw a cave full of giant penises, lots of little fish, a lungfish, aqua water and monkeys! Not so nice sights were provided by the "human" inhabitants (if you can call European travellers that), e.g. a guy with a testicle poking out of his DTs (ew), an old man in a thong sunbathing (eww) and an obese topless woman sunbathing (ewww). All of this was especially disturbing since the south of Thailand is more muslim/more conservative. The Thais I saw would all swim with a shirt and boardies over the top of their togs! Again, so much for people respecting the local standard whilst at the beach!