Railay Beach, Thailand
|Railay's two shorelines from above, at the top of a jungle hike/climb
The only downside of our visit was the fact that we had only planned two nights, since we had to move on to our next beachfront accommodation in Koh Lanta - woe is us :-(. This is one destination that made us think we'll need to plan a return visit someday, and next time, book ourselves a week.... or a season?
We arrived to our most lux accommodations yet, at The Avatar Hotel. This newly built hotel in a lovely garden setting, had very nice modern rooms, each with expansive balconies looking out over the coolest feature of the hotel - the uniquely designed pool set between the two main hotel buildings, where the first floor units had steps directly from their decks into the pool.
|Pool at the Avatar Hotel, complete with "swim-out" first floor rooms.
|We had a more private second floor room, with fabulous deck.
|If you play with fire, you're gonna get tips
Sunday was our only full day at Railay, so we set off on the early side (for us) to explore. "Our side" of the peninsula had some lovely views and a functioning floating pier, but we had heard the other two beaches that we could walk to were much nicer. In fact, the "beach" on our side just mud stretching out at least 1/4 mile when we arrived the night before, as the tide was out.
Lots of beginners, we suspect, and some more experienced climbers.
More Asian climbers than Western.
|Scenic walk to the beach by the caves - no monkeys during our time on the path - despite the warnings
|Looking to the southern end of Phra Nang Beach - our favorite of Railay's 3 beaches
|Such clear water it was like swimming in a pool. A salty one. With a sandy bottom. I guess more like an ocean.
|Moms in the kitchen, their young sons charged with using the anchors to ensure the boats stay at the shore and stable
|Thai food, western sandwiches, burgers, fries, fruit shakes - quite a variety for a tiny kitchen
|The view from our towels
So after a quick stop for lunch back at the Local Thai Food restaurant...
|Some earlier hikers making their way up from the start of the trail
Meanwhile, back at the hotel...
Caroline seemed to be content without any climbing at all.
|Scott didn't take long to join Caroline in the pool - and managed to figure out how to mount the tricky, unstable, hard-plastic floating pool chairs
|At first, it looked like it was going to be a pretty ho-hum sunset...
|But after waiting and watching like a pair of starving hawks, we did score a pair of great seats at the bar!
|And then this happened!!!