Kanchanaburi, Thailand to Krabi, Thailand
20.09.2010 - 28.09.2010 32 °C
Within the itinerary, a week is built in where we are able to do what we like amongst the fabulous Thailand Islands and with so many to choose from, it was hard to think of where to go. After reading up and friend recommendations, we decided to head to Ko Phi Phi and Railay which are both in the Krabi province with Taylor and Katie.
Our overnight bus from Bangkok was an experience and we were thankful to be the last stop as some heading for Ko Tao were dropped off at 3am on the side of the road with the only piece of information as to their end location being a small square sticker stuck on their shirt. They were assured a minivan will be along soon to pick them up.
Assuming isn’t something that should be done in Asia but its hard not to when you are told before departure ‘you’re on this bus until Krabi’ and then asked to vacate at Surat Thani and change buses. We did wonder if our journey down to Krabi which was 3 hours was going to be in the back of a ute as that was the transport that picked us up...but it was only our transfer to the next minivan.
We didn’t spend any time in Krabi and boarded our ferry to Ko Phi Phi and it was a rather nice sight when we pulled up to the beach front with the aqua blue water below. However what was annoying was the 20baht fee which tourists are now being charged so they can fix the pier (surely this should be fixed by the government to entice tourists to come?).
We already had somewhere booked so passed the many touts trying to get us to stay at their hotel, even telling us theirs was nicer without knowing where we were staying. But looking back now, they may have been right. What the internet says and shows is two different things when you are standing in front of the resort itself. Firstly they said that they had no reservations made for that day, our huts had air conditioning in them but we weren’t allowed to use them and the small fan did very little to circulate the air. The room itself was extremely small and hot so we made the decision to leave the place the next morning and find something cheaper – which there was plenty of. It was a shame as the website was so nice but it seemed that they had tried to put as many huts on a piece of land designed for half the amount.
We strolled around the town of Ko Phi Phi and with its numerous bars with expats handing out flyers to get you to come in; restaurants offering all sorts of deals and tourist shops selling the same tours at all different prices, we certainly weren’t going to run out of places to drink, eat and explore.
We opted for a full day snorkelling trip around Ko Phi Phi and Ko Phi Phi Leh which took us to various beaches and lagoons around the 2 islands including: monkey beach which as the name suggests is full of monkeys jumping in the tress, Viking Cave, a fantastic lagoon which was spectacular and something you see in magazine ad’s advertising island paradise resorts, Maya Beach where the movie The Beach was filmed (however is now overrun with tourists and looks different than the movie), Bamboo Island and Mosquito Island.
We explored more of the beaches over the next 2 days, climbed to the viewpoint overlooking the 2 bays of Ko Phi Phi and ate and drank our way around the island.
We decided to leave Taylor and Katie on Ko Phi Phi and head to Railay Beach for our last 4 days and although upon pulling up in the boat we thought we had made the wrong decision, it proved to be the right one. As the boat came around to drop us off the tidy was out with the mangrove trees covering the shoreline and no sand was in sight. Neither of us spoke whilst we walked to the hotel but we were both thinking.....what have we done by leaving Ko Phi Phi?
The morning proved us wrong and by walking across to West Railay and Ao Nang Beach the white sandy beach was beautiful. Railay was a lot quieter than Ko Phi Phi and more what we wanted. With only a dozen local restaurants, a couple of bars and very few tourists it was nice to chill and relax. It was also nice to have long stretches of beach with no restaurants or shops on them and where locals came to you selling barbequed corn, cold drinks or frozen ice cream.
It has been such a relaxing week that it will be hard to pack up our stuff tomorrow and head back to Krabi to catch our transfer to Khao Sok National Park where we are meeting up with the group again. We’re sure everyone has had a great time relaxing and sure there will be lots of stories over the next few days of what everyone got up to.