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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Railay, day two!

I woke up bright and early today and walked down the beach to get a fruit smoothie for breakfast!  I quickly found a cattin (cat/kitten) to sit with me!  Check out those eyes!  Each eye was yellow AND light blue!  She was a sweetheart and tucked her head into my stomach, purred, and kneed me the whole time I was there!

The tides here are REALLY extreme. In the morning, and late at night, the water receeds REALLY far and leaves boats stranded on the sand! Then, in the afternoon, around 2pm, the water comes up so high that it splashes against the makeshift boardwalk and you get soaked trying to walk the beach! 

Aaron met me after breakfast and we headed over to Pranang beach again, set our stuff on the sand and immediately jumped in the warm water and swam to the island!  We spent about 45 minutes there searching for shells for my students (I give them away as prizes)!  As a kid, Aaron used to walk for hours, along the shoreline on Edisto Island in South Carolina, searching for shark teeth!!  So he's a good guy to have around when I'm in shell searching mode!  He says he feels kinda lame looking for shells, but does it anyway!  Gotta love him! :)

The clouds began to cover the sky around noon, so Aaron heade back to Ya Ya to do some reading, and I went ahead and had myself a little $6.00 massage on the beach!  What's funny though, is a woman approached me and asked if I wanted a massage.  When I said, "Yes" she asked me to follow her over to a different area where she laid out a mat and asked me to lay down... and then she dissapeared!!  Out of nowhere, this old guy sat down and took over!  Uuughhh, I wasn't expecting that!

As I was enjoying my "gentle" massage, which felt more like a back rub from a 5 year old child, I heard people off in the distance cheering!  So, when my massage was over,  I headed towards the cheering and found that people were cliff jumping!  I sat here, for a while, watching!   (And no, I didn't partake this time!)

Last night, when Aaron and I were taking pictures of the sunset, we noticed some people were looking up at the cliffs and taking pictures... Curious as to what was so great, we looked up and saw a guy tight rope walking across the wire connecting these 2 cliffs (about 300 feet in the air)!  Can you see it?  We had seen some guys practicing, at the beach, on a rope that was a couple feet above the sand, earlier in the day, but I had no idea they were practicing for THIS!  We could hear the guy let out a big scream and cheer when he made it all the way across to the left side!  TRULY AMAZING!

As you can see, it was kind of a cloudy and gray day, but it was okay, because the food boats were here and the Pad Thai I ordered was delish!  I ate it, while sitting on the sand, next to a HUGE black dog that I had remembered from last time I was in Railay!  He was so well mannered too, and never begged for any chicken! :) 

I left Pranang around 3:30pm and headed back to see what Aaron was up to, and relaxed (and wrote yesterday's blog) in my treehouse room!   At 5:00pm, I took Aaron to one of my favorite places... where we hung out a lot last time I was here!  It's a gorgeous area, kind of hidden away on Railay, that only the true backpackers and locals go to!  I was happy to see that NOTHING had changed back here!  

On our hike back down, we encountered a big group of monkeys, playing the nearby caves!

Each one, teach one!

Is this not one of the biggest leaves you've ever seen in your lifetime?!  I literally had to hold it with both hands!

At this point, we were in the back of Railay, where the locals live!  This area has remained completely untouched, which made me more happy than you can imagine! 

We decided to walk back over (about a mile and a half) to Phranang Beach to watch the sunset again!

The only way to get to Phranang beach is to walk along the caves!  They are gorgeous and millions of years old!

 Once again, a little writing in the sand to commemorate our stay in Railay!

These are the stalagmite (sp?) cliffs that Railay is so famous for!   All of the following pictures were taken with Aaron's fish eye lens in order to get all the detail into 1 shot!  I personally love all of them!

The sunset on Phranang Beach, under the cliffs...

The penis shrine!  The locals have carved and presented penis statues in this cave for years.  Legend has it, a virgin princess once crashed into this cave, during a storm, and died.  The locals believe that if they give her penis's (to make up for her being a virgin) she will be happy, and in turn, watch over the area!  According to some of the locals, there have been hundreds of "sightings" of the princess after the sun goes down.  I looked tonight, since it was pretty dark, but I didn't see her!   
 This is Railay East, the area where we are staying is WAY down the beach.  This is the beach we walk along to get to Phranag beach!   As you can see, it's VERY low tide time!

This is looking the opposite direction towards the caves!

We stopped in at this local joint for dinner and had some Pad Thai (surprise surprise) and some masaman curry!  It was soooo good!

Then we walked up the beach to Skunk Bar, which was where I spent most of my nights last time I was in Railay!  We sat at my favorite table, on the deck, and ordered myself a screwdriver, which for some reason tasted like cranberry juice. hmmmm.   (Mom's kitchen- my favorite local joint, is on the far right with the bright white lights!)

The air was cool, the stars were bright, the fresh pinneapple was delicious, our Thai rastafarian server was high on weed and in a great mood, the drinks were yummy, and I had Aaron there to enjoy the whole thing with!

I'd say today was a pretty darn great day!


  1. Hi Jill

    Love your pics, they look amazing. Where is that cute little chill out deck below the cliff in Railay? I'm visiting there for the first time very soon and looks like an awesome spot :-)

    1. Hey Sophie! Thank you and you are in for such a treat, visiting Railay! I'm sure it probably looks a lot different now, but hopefully there's still some of that awesome beach charm they had going on 4 years ago!! It's hard to explain where exactly that deck is under the cliff. We took a hidden path to get back there, so I would recommend showing the photo to a local and asking them how to get there! Railay is small, so I KNOW they would know where it was! HAVE A BLAST!!!