Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Ton Sai, Krabi and Bangkok Somehow

Finally Ton Sai!
It’s boat to Tonsai day. They operate fixed pricing, 70 baht a person. Except it’s windy today, so they can only take 5 people, so it’s 100 baht per person. There are 6 of us waiting. Wait for one more, the woman says. So the price will be less? No, 100baht per person. The American guy in front of me tries to query this anomaly, but I tell him not to bother.

So we’re on the boat, and it is choppy, Yumi gets soaked. And when the boat chugs past Ton Sai and lands at Railay (where they’re not allowed to lang, remember), I consider cold murder as a solution. I tell the driver he WILL go to Ton Sai, and he relucantly agrees. A French chap called Mattiew, Yumi and myself jump off. Finally we’re here. Matthiew, who is a climber, stays along the beach at Mambo which is cheaper. We’re paying 800 baht for a nice large modern cabin, which is a good price I think.


And right behind home..

Problem is there is no power until 5:30pm (actually seems to be 6pm every day in reality), and it’s switched off at 8 or 9am. So TV, AC and fridge are all somewhat useless! We go for lunch, and I have a quick dip in the water whilst waiting.

The beach here isn’t as nice as Railay, but it’s quieter and has a more relaxed atmosphere. Lunch is salad with seafood and glass noodles. But no noodles. They seem to have substituted extra chillis. God it’s so spicy. I love spicy, but damn! My lips are burning by the end.

Ton Sai bay is a gorgeous spot, with huge rock faces and thick jungle surrounding a sheltered cove with a sandy beach.

In the afternoon, it’s low tide, so we walk round the rocks to railay for ice-cream (none on Ton Sai in low season).


Ah ha! My calling!

With hindsight and going round now it was definitely the right choice to not try to get Yumi round the rocks. Yumi cuts herself even without waves battering her.

How to get to the hotel. Climb over this.

In the evening after a cold shower, we sit around at the bar on the cushions, writing postcards, saying hello to the resident dog, drinking beers, and meet Philip and Fabian, a lovely Swiss couple from near Zurich who are nearing the end of their RTW trip. Yumi dozes off. It’s a bit windy, but very pretty.

Nothing to do but..

The Swiss

Dinner with our new Swiss friends is a selection of the curries on offer. I have the red, Yumi the green (which seems to be yellow), and Philip Massoman. They’re all quite spicy, mine is not too bad, but the others, goodness me. Yumi goes for a massage, I go back to my room and stumble upon a horror movie set in London Underground. Girl falls asleep on last train, all kicks off. Shalln’t be doing that myself! Scary stuff!

Jungle Trekking
Waking up, I switch on tv? No I don’t, no power! We breakfast with Philip and Fabian, then try to go snorkelling or diving. It’s not happening – the stormy weather has stirred up things underwater so no diving, but snorkelling might happen in the afternoon. It doesn’t. We head over the jungle route to Railay, which starts behind our resort.

There is a path apparently..

It’s not fun!

Sandflies munching our legs, a massive spider hanging over the trail, and fairly steep and muddy.

Pimp my..

Finally we make it. Was interesting to see some of the other resorts available, not all as smart as ours.

Pretty Railay

Lunch is grilled fish with tamarind sauce and a spicy salad, finished off with ice-cream.

Yumi says she’s feeling ill, but it’s definitely a bit of a drama queen performance. In the evening, I’m paying for the room, and have to bring up the hotel voucher on my email. I notice an email from Orient Thai, our flight has been retimed to be four hours earlier! This now adds a good bit of tension to the following day!

Attempting crazy things

Night falls, and it’s the same routine, with beverages enjoyed looking out over the ocean.

Squid boats on the horizon

To Bangkok
Up early. There are supposed to be some other girls taking the boat round to Aonang, but they fail to materialise. The boat men really don’t care for money. They want 300 baht for two of us. I offer 200, but boats leave empty rather than take it. Finally I cave in and pay. We get soaked going round.

Outta here

Soaked but happy

Then we need taxi. The tuk tuk driver takes us straight past the taxi collective to his brother parked round the corner. Sigh. Can’t be bothered. I should have pushed him on price. His brother is a terrible driver but somehow we make it.

So we fly Krabi to Don Muang. At the airport, we wonder whether to take taxi or airport bus. There is no airport bus! Okay then. Taxi. There are big signs saying 50 baht plus tolls plus meter. A woman grabs us at the official stand and leads us to her cab. Meter right I query? Later she says. We get in, go and she refuses to use meter, wants 500 baht. I refuse, and suddenly she goes crazy! She screams at me. You pay toll! The first toll station she pulls up and screams at me to hand the money over. She has no money apparently. None.

After some confusion as to which Holiday Inn, we finally arrive, and into a sea of friendly calm. They’re so friendly, and totally different from the maniac woman we’ve just escaped. Time for a shower, it’s been a long day already!

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