So we’ve been off to a bit of a rocky start. After spending 3 days getting to Railay I very quickly ended up with food poisoning, as seems to be tradition for me in Thailand. It started at about 8pm on New Years Eve when I felt a bit off colour and thought I needed a lie down. I’ll spare you the gory details but to say that over the next 36 hours or so my body did what it felt it needed to do to get rid of the poison.
The prime suspect is some chicken that I had eaten around 24 hours before it started. In hindsight, why had I eaten meat here? Whilst Railay is technically mainland, it is cut off by cliffs and thick forest. There is no farming here so meat products need to be transported here by boat. We’re not talking commercial, refrigerated boat either, but open, wooden, ‘longtail’ boat, as pictured below.
There was one point where I was sitting in the bottom of the shower, running cold water over myself in an attempt to break the fever and watching the leech that was sharing the shower with me get closer to my foot that I thought “what the hell have I done?! Am I really going to spend a year like this?” I’ll put that down to the fever, which amusingly at one point made me hallucinate that I had heard a Transformer outside.
This of course all passed and now I’m left only slightly unwell in a tropical paradise – a fair trade off I think. Our thatched bamboo bungalow really is in the forest. Lots of wildlife about, only cold water, no air con and nothing else around. The view out over the bay from here is amazing and it’s so great to feel back to nature after so long in London.
The beaches around here are absolutely stunning. There are 3 really nice beaches, Railay West, Tonsai and Phranang – all of which are a slight adventure to get to. They have white sand, blue water and awe inspiring rock formations jutting up out of the water. My favourite so far is Phranang, pictured below.
Phranang had the extra interest point of the cave of phalluses and a tree full of very cheeky monkeys on the way there and back.
The ‘phallus shrine’ is dedicated to the spirit of the drowned princess (phra nang) who gave the beach her name, the phalluses are donated by fishermen seeking her favour.
The monkey tree is both amusing and terrifying at the same time. I’ve never really been sure about monkeys and watching them leap out of the tree on to fellow tourists to steal their lunch hasn’t helped. So far we’ve only seen one near our room thankfully!
We’re a bit sunburnt today so will be staying well out of the it, making use of our balcony with a view and exploring some of the local bars. It is Friday after all. Then tomorrow we have a sunset cruise booked where we hope to be able to swim amongst the bioluminescent plankton. Fingers crossed!