After fourteen hours on three buses, two boats, and a taxi… Nicole and I finally made it from Railay Beach, Krabi to Koh Phangan island! We felt like cattle as we were literally herded from each mode of transport, each time branded with a new colorful sticker. The stickers let the non-English speaking drivers know which bus we are suppose to board.
Our day long journey began at 9:30 AM as we waded out to our long tail boat in knee deep water with all our our bags. Nicole and I both almost busted it a few times as the mud was very slippery! We did not have the luxury of a ladder to enter our boat so we had to hoist ourselves and our bags into the boat which was packed with other travelers. Our backpacks were piled on top of each other creeping dangerously close to the edge of the boat. As we cruised along I envisioned my bag toppling into the water and sinking to the bottom of the sea. I decided that if this happened I would have to scuba dive to the bottom to retrieve my bag! Lucky for us, we made it to the port of Au Nommo with no lost luggage!
We were picked up by a small bus that took us to a bus station where we waited anxiously for our new stickers. We ended up being blue which turned out to be the unlucky color of the day. The yellow sticker group departed on a bus before us and as a result made their ferry in time. We eventually boarded our bus and were on the road for hours until we were once again left on the side of the road with no instruction. A very annoying man who apparently only knows two sentences in English kept yelling at us “Big bag go here”, “Get new sticker inside”. I was feeling rather defiant and refused to put my big bag where he told me because he was getting on my nerves. I eventually relented as it became apparent we would be waiting for a while. We had been dropped off in front of a restaurant, which in my opinion was a big conspiracy to bring the restaurant customers it would not have otherwise. We were told our next bus would pick us up at 3:30 to take us to our ferry that would leave at 4:30. Our bus did not arrive until well after 4:00 and we arrived at the ferry terminal in Surat Thani after the ferry had left. Those lucky yellow sticker people were no where to be found because they made the ferry in time! We were told by our bus driver that “Maybe another ferry comes later.” We were all clearly annoyed at this point and even more so once we learned the next ferry would not arrive until 7:00!
When we finally climbed on board the ferry we were told it was a 1.5 hour ride to the island. Once again we were lied to as it took over 3 hours! As we exited the boat we were attacked by a dozen hungry taxi drivers who literally rushed us screaming “Where you go?” “Where you stay?” “TAXI?” We ended up sharing a taxi (pickup truck) with a bunch of young Irish girls that were headed in the same direction as us.
Prior, we had spend four days on Railay Beach, in Krabi. We arrived in Krabi after taking a larger boat from Phi Phi then transferring to a long tail boat that was forced to stop way off shore due to low tide. We all had to climb out of the boat with our big backpacks and wade through the water to a very slippery mud flat. We could not see the path and it was very slippery causing me to almost fall backward but somehow I recovered. We have no idea how people with rolly bags or small children would have managed getting on shore?!
Krabi was absolutely gorgeous as well! Surrounded by huge rocks, the area is known for attracting rock climbers from around the world. We had planned to go rock climbing; however, it rained so we didn’t end up being able to climb.
We spent most of our time hanging with two cool girls we met. Gabby is from Hermosa Beach, CA and Matildha is from Holland. We are all in our 30’s except Nicole who is the baby at 29. It was fun to hang with a mature crowd after being surrounded by backpackers barely pushing 20! We spent our days at the pool and laying in lounge chairs on the beach. Nicole got her first Thai massage and the rest of us opted for a foot scrub, man did I need one!
We went out for dinner and drinks in search of a so called “jungle party”. We never found it but ended up having cocktails in a long tail boat while watching a bunch of young Irish girls Thai box…very amusing!
Our resort, Railay Bay Resort and Spa, was very posh and affordable thanks to low season when accommodations and tours are literally half price. We got a discounted bungalow deal, three nights for the price of two, breakfast included, resort on the beach, for a little over $20 a night! I loved being able to see the sunset over the water from our resort!
We are spending the next few days on Ban Tai beach on the island of Koh Phangan – home to the infamous “Full Moon Party”. We are actually going to be attending the 1/2Moon Party located in the jungle!
My very good friend Aine is arriving in Thailand today from San Francisco! She is meeting up with Nicole and I tomorrow and we will all be attending the 1/2 Moon Party together! Aine will be traveling with us for the next two weeks! I have missed Aine and I am so so excited to see her soon!
To see photos from Railay Beach, CLICK HERE!