After much angst, deliberation and phone calls to Qantas we decided to take the punt on the Thai’s and see what transpires in the land of smiles.
We had an overnight stay at the new Novotel at Bangkok airport as we had an 8am flight to Krabi and as we were about to check in we bumped into our friends Joan & Pete’s daughter, Aimee who was on her way home after 18 months in the UK ,she was off to Koh Samui for a week before getting back to OZ .
After a short flight on the very spacious Thai Airways Airbus we were ferried to Rayavadee on a very balmy morning and were greeted by very accommodating staff that far outnumbered the guests. In fact we think there are only 6 couples here and there are 104 bungalows set in 26 acres of lush tropical grounds so we hardly see a soul apart from the numerous army of workers who quietly go about their duties without being hardly seen.
Apart from the obligatory afternoon showers and constant cloud cover the weather has been very nice and with so much shade we have been able to control our sun exposure.
The water is not the beautiful azure you see in brochures and it’s a bit murky but that is to be expected during the rainy season, so in future travel to Thailand should be conducted between October and April according to our waiter.
The resort is set at the end of a peninsula and is framed by massive limestone monoliths dotted with caves, it’s like being on an island as the only way in is by boat. The main beach is Railay and it has a number of cheaper very good value resorts and guest house and is the main village for the locals as well.
It is just so postcard picture perfect we have not had the desire to explore beyond the local Railay region and it’s no wonder as all the tour boats come to our beach.We were very close to Phi Phi Island and the James Bond islands, but will have to visit them another time.
Our beach ,Phranang ,was just a one minute stroll from our villa and at one end was the princess caves where the local villagers and fishermen pray to the Princess Raya for fertility and leave gifts of phallic interpretation and there are hundreds of them (see john praying).
The conditions out beyond the bay have been fairly windy and there is no visibility for snorkelling so there has been no point in going off on a sightseeing boat all day when it is only going to storm up at the drop of a hat.
So we have chilled out and lunched on the beach, had a massage a day, discovered low tide caves, kayaked over to and around the Happy Islands for a crystal clear water swim and generally relaxed to the max.
We are in a very natural environment and as such it comes with wildlife and in Rayadavee’s case that’s monkeys, little goggle eyed small monkeys, there are also regular monkeys here but we have not spotted them they must be high up in the monolith tree tops.
There are also lots of little squirrel like creatures running everywhere but they scurry away when you approach unlike the little monkeys who are certainly not afraid to get close, they were on our roof this morning having a ball and feed in all the trees around us.
John (that’s me) went adventuring into the Bat Cave with his own two personal guides and he had to test out his fitness with bamboo ladder and rope climbing in the dark but it was well worth it as we climbed deep into the cave and half way up the inside of the Monolith to capture spectacular views over the beaches either side.
Now it’s time for home sweet home at just the right time. We have had a fabulous and varied trip and seen another slice of this big beautiful planet, so farewell travel and hello real world.