Posts Tagged With: Krabi

The Night Boat to Ko Tao

Chelsea and I left Railay in the afternoon for Krabi, on what would be another memorable journey across Thailand from West to East coasts.  In Krabi we met up with some friends I had made in Railay, three lovely Brits who we would end up hanging out with quite a bit when we got to our final destination – Ko Tao!

British Sardines in a Can 😛

We wanted to spend another few days beaching it up and relaxing before another round of full moon shenanigans, and Ko Tao seemed like the place to do it.  Our friends suggested we skip Ko Lanta (too quiet) and Ko Samui (too touristy) in favour of a tiny island famous for diving and sunny beaches. So that’s where we set our sights!

A big happy hippie bus took us on the three-hour journey from Krabi to the pier in Surat thani, and we arrived during the early evening ready to board the night boat.  We had been warned against taking the boat, due to its interesting (sketchy) condition, but decided it would be an adventure and did it anyways. I’m glad we did but I’m not sure I would do it again!

We saw the boat that would take us over and seriously doubted it would be able to make the trip..bad sign!  As we killed time on the pier, Chelsea and I hung out and I practiced fire spinning, which brought the curiosity and attention of tourists and locals alike (“whats that?” “what are you doing?” – “Oh, it’s just my fire spinning stick, I’m practicing” – “Ooooh. cool” ) 😀  We met some cute girls from NZ and realized we would be bunking next to them for the night.

On boarding the boat, I soon found that this journey would be unlike any other I had ever taken in my life….the beds were pallets on the floor – about a hundred beds crammed into the deck that was literally a cargo ship underneath.  They were laid out in numbered rows and as we all packed on, populated with tons of young tourists, Thai ladies with their large Caucasian boyfriends, and some locals, too.

I plopped down on my bed, looked around and thought – hey, this isn’t too bad!  Until a disgruntled Thai lady and her (large, old, Caucasian) boyfriend plopped down beside me and informed me I was on her bed.  I looked over – the numbers were spaced out so that every person only gets half a bed!! I apologized and moved down – almost on top of Chelsea!  How was this gonna work?? It was a very long, rocky, uncomfortable night – I spent most of it spooned around my backpack at the end of my ‘bed’, afraid of inciting the Thai lady’s wrath by placing my feet pointing at her (a very rude thing to do in T-land) and also of having my things stolen, something I had been warned about.

Our ship of dreams (nightmares)

The night passed eventually, amongst the hundred or so tourists crammed into the boat.  People would get up and walk over you as there was nowhere to sleep, the fan relentlessly pounded cold air at me and I had to see out a blanket (there was none) and Chelsea woke up to discover she was spooning with Hannah (our new NZ friend) in a very friendly way!

Our boat rolled into Ko Tao around 6am, and we had to figure out where to stay and find a place that was open…A feat that left us standing around, very tired, at our chosen resort, until the reception opened at 8am.  We snapped up a little jungle hut (consisting of a bed, hose for a shower and about a thousand mosquitoes) and started to explore the island – Our Sairee Beach adventure had just begun!!

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Railay Round Two

The Bowl was empty – and it was filled with delicious offerings for our monk-in-residence, Steph

RAILAY has to  be one of my absolute favourite places on earth – so glad we made it back for a second stop to re-visit the memories and meet some awesome new people, including the newest batch of Beach Travellers!

After getting in on a (rainy) longboat, we checked into our pad (sweet porch included!) and unpacked. I tried Crocodile at the buffet at the  Viewpoint resort that night. Tastes like chicken, but chewier…lol. Also ingested large amounts of salad – a rare treat after so much rice and curry!

A local friend of the guides had opened a new bar just down the road (path) and we stopped to check it out. It was perfect! Good chilling areas and tunes, a dance floor, busy bar and even an indoor fire show 😉 crazy! We caught the fire show at Last Bar later on as well, and a free bucket for being the first (craziest) girls on the dance floor!  Oh Railay, how I love thee!

We crashed the BT boat trip the next day, glad we did cause it gave us the chance to get to know the new peeps – they were nice enough to let us in on the party! We floated, snorkelled, cliff jumped, iced each other and got up to all the usual boat trip shenanegans, and ended up on the beach for dinner and an epic sunset.

Loving up my leo portside

Islands we had dinner on

The next few days were about as perfect as I could have imagined – good friends, fire spinning, crazy party nights (Anything but clothes? why not?) and a healthy dose of sun, fun and sand.  We only got to spend three nights in Railay this time, but they cemented my love for this beautiful, hidden gem of a place.  For the rest of my trip, I couldn’t help but gush about to every fellow traveller I met – and when I had heard they’d been there themselves, it was always the same response: they had loved it as much as I did!

We left Railay for Krabi with sad hearts – I know it will be a while before I make it back there, but I can’t wait to bring some new friends there to experience it themselves!

Me in the water in Railay

A view of the West Beach from the water

Railay Beach West – see that cave up in the Karsts? I rapelled down from there 18 m onto the beach!

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Koh Li Pe and the end of the world

The next morning, a speedboat took us (quickly!) On the two-hour journey through a perfect blue ocean, we stared at the gorgeous scenery and made friends, drinking (messy) beers with them on the boat.

I have never been so amazed by a place upon first arrival as I was when we landed on the bay at Li Pe. The water was turquoise blue, the kind of blue that exists only in postcards. Green mountains rose out of the water on the neighbouring island (a national park) and a pristine white sandy beach laid before us in the water, populated only by many colorful long tails floating serenely.

Our resort was called, appropriately, Castaway, and after a short bumpy ride on a converted moto/taxi, we arrived at what I can only describe as paradise on earth. Our two-story beach hut was cosy, clean and right by the ocean, the eatery overlooked the water as well, and there were wooden cabanas placed along the beachfront with little cushions so you could lounge and relax on the beach away from the fierce sun.

Luckily for us, we had tons of friends visiting the island during that same time – the 36 day BT group, some guides having their much-needed time off, and a group of fun guys who we had gotten to know on our BT trip as well.  There was always someone to hang out with, and this made our deserted resort feel like one big house that you live in with all of your friends 🙂

Our first night on the beach, we partied right on the sand, sitting on mats and low tables watching each other spin fire and listening to music. I got to spin that night and every night after, which of course made me the happiest girl in the world! We adventured off into the night and ended up at OMG bar, run by the ever-smiling Oh and his gracious wife. The bar would end up being our local haunt, and that first night I may or may not have hit the buckets too hard…I’d like to thank Camille for helping me home that first night or I might still be wandering around the island!

The second day in paradise brought clear skies, a scorching sun, and good food at the local bakery. Since it was low season, there were hardly any other tourists there and it felt as if we were the last people on earth, sitting at the end of the world in the Andaman sea.

That night we had a handcuff party (where all the names of our friends were placed in a hat and randomly drawn out in pairs, destined to be tied together with fishing cords by the wrist for the rest of the night) and I drew Ben, a tour guide on the 36 day tour. Lol. I knew I was in for a funny night!  We all got paired off and the drinking olympics began.  There must have been something in our giant “thai-size” buckets, because we all partied like crazy people that night. I even got Ben to spin fire around me somehow while we were still attached!

That night brought an ocean dip, and a bit of bed swapping to accommodate the more aggressively competitive among us (me) who wanted to win the contest and stay tied together. DAMN YOU CHELSEEEEEAA! Her and carter ended up being the lucky winners – but we got second place!

The next day I had what might be the worst hangover of my life, but since there’s not much to do on the beach but nap, shower, tan, repeat, I did just that and felt much better. I didn’t even miss the “yoohoo” lady, who walks down the beach every afternoon calling “yoo hoo! Yoo hoo!” And carrying a tray of amazing baked goods and samosas. It was hilarious to see the tourists flock to the cheery, smiling lady as she hawked her wares, feeding hungry falang in the afternoon sun.

That night was quieter than the last, we shared (smaller) buckets at OMG and wasted the night away joking, laughing and poking fun at each other about the events of the night before. I even had a porch party!!

We were so sad to leave the next day, although since everyone was leaving it was bittersweet – not as much fun on paradise island if you don’t have some people to share it with! Our speedboat brought us back to (uuuaaaghh) Pak Bara, and Nikki, Carter,Chelsea, Alex and I took a minibus to Krabi after a tearful goodbye to Ben and his group, and my beautiful roomie/partner in crime Camille, who would be flying back to Canada (wah!)

I so wished she could have been there to be with me and Chelsea for our next adventures, but next year is another trip and another wild ride, right baby?? 😀

The rainy bus ride brought us to Krabi, and one choppy long tail ride later we were back – in Railay!!

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Everybody Come to Phi Phi Island Must Pay 20 Baht

Actually, we weren’t in Phi Phi yet, we did have one more night in Bottle Beach before we left, and I actually managed to stay up most of the second night as well, on account of some energy drink aftermath and my night owl tendencies! It was almost more fun than full moon in a way, there were very few of us out and we sat at the bar laughing and making friends with the locals, listening to awesome music and watching fire spinning.

The sun came up too soon and took us away from paradise onto our next adventure, the island of Koh Phi Phi!

A very hung over speedboat, ferry, bus and ferry ride later, we arrived in Phi Phi to cloudy skies and a bustling little port.  There are no cars on Phi Phi, but TONS of bikes and carts that WILL run you over if you’re not being careful!!

Our guesthouses were far enough away from the centre of town to be a bit more tranquil in the evening, but made for a longish walk to the beach and centre of town. Not that we really went to the beach, it was pretty cloudy and rainy during our stay 😦 oh well. once again – rainy season = stupid tourist!

We went out for dinner on the first evening after we had settled, but I was sooo tired after staying awake for the better part of the last three days, and passed out soon after that.

The next day our exploration of Phi Phi started, there was TONS of cheap shopping to be had, and we signed up for a scuba course the next day. The night passed in the usual way – group dinner, buckets with friends, dancing (on the speakers) at the club on the beach, and a semi-early night to prep for the dive the next day.

Semi….because we actually couldn’t sleep as we were total night owls by this point, aaand also because my friend Nikki bashed up her foot real good on the way home and had to be doctored by our (hero) guide Jon and cheered up by us and a bottle of vodka!!

Trust me….if you had seen her foot you would have passed her the bottle too…just sayin!!

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