beach bumming and border crossings

26 Jan

Rai Leh Beach, or Railay if you're cool, Thailand

After the official Full Moon Party, which by the way wasn’t as fun as the nights leading up to it (ie. too many people, no room to dance, etc.), Selina, Annalina, Stef and I made our way further down south to Krabi, Thailand. Krabi is a great base to explore all of the beautiful west coast islands and beaches. We decided to sleep in Krabi and make day trips out to more beautiful waters – it’s the cheapest option!

We arrived late at night and had dinner at a street stall. The next morning, the four of us chartered a long tail boat taxi to mainland Rai Leh (or Railay) beach – which is 30 mins from Krabi. During the boat ride, we got to see a taste of the quintessential Thai island scenery, like rocky limestone cliffs jutting out from the sea. Railay beach is very beautiful. It’s most known for rock climbing adventures and fancy resorts. The four of us nestled next to the package vacationers and enjoyed the turquoise waters for the whole afternoon. The tides were very dramatic towards late afternoon. You could see the tide go in by the minute! By 5pm, we had to walk the equivalent of one city block on the newly exposed sand to reach the boat.

long tail boat in Thailand

That night, we ate at a street stall again and settled in for the night. Krabi has a great little night market with loads of options. We booked a Koh Phi Phi islands tour the following day and pickup was at 8:30. The four of us spent the day island hopping to what are considered Thailand’s most beautiful beaches. A speed boat was necessary to reach all of them in a day and still have plenty of time for tanning, swimming and snorkeling. The snorkeling was hilarious. The boat crew would throw pieces of bread into the water around you and a zillion fish would fight for the pieces – grazing you in the process. It was freaky at first. I like to look at fish – but not eat nor touch them! Also, the water was amazingly clear – better visibility than the Gulf of Thailand, but I guess that is why diving in this part is so much more expensive!

On the tour, we visited ‘the beach’ where the movie was filmed. It was gorgeous – despite the hordes of visitors. Nevertheless, I felt a connection with Leo that I will never forget 🙂 Stef and I even made a movie montage while we were there – but I’ll never post it. The embarrassment would kill me. We visited a few other beaches and islands, saw some cute monkeys and had lunch. It’s amazing how much beauty there is in the world. I love the ocean and sand. Even just looking at it is relaxing. It’s been less than 4 days and I want to go back to the beach. Am I water-logged?

snorkeling with some fiesty fish in Thailand

After the tour, the four of us decided to have dinner in a restaurant – just over $1.50 more than eating at a street stall – so not too much of a splurge. Stefanie and I booked our bus to Bangkok the next day and the girls (as we’ve come to all them) were spending their last few days in Railay beach. Once again, it’s time to say goodbye to your travel buddies. Our bus wasn’t leaving until 3:30, so the four of us rented two mopeds for the day and drove out to an emerald lagoon for a short swim and I had the best mango smoothie of my life.

The emerald lagoon was 1.5 hours from Krabi. We got lost of course, but I don’t mind. You get to see so much more of the country and culture when you are on the road. Selena and Linnie (for short) drove the scooters because they had experience, but on the way back Stefanie and I were in control for a bit. God, they are heavy! It was my second time riding on a scooter and later, my first time driving – so I was hardly used to the weight of it. At first, it was hard to get it going, but then I was cruising along the roadside. My turns were a bit wide, and I dared not drive over 40km/hr, which feels really fast in the open air. I felt pretty comfortable after 15 minutes of driving, but I need to practice my stop and go’s. Stefanie and I want to rent scooters on our own – somewhere calm and quiet with plenty of open road to practice.

We were running late on time, so Selena and Linnie took the reins and zoomed in and out of traffic. We reached our bus in time – by 10 minutes! I hate saying goodbye in such rushed situations – but I hope I’ll see them again. It’s amazing when you can connect with people from around the world while traveling.

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