Well, all good things come to an end, and that includes our fortnight of R&R on Koh Samui. After two weeks of beach and sunshine, its now time to move on to other parts of Thailand. Our original plan was to head north, straight to Bangkok to catch a flight to Vietnam, but we’ve decided instead to go to the west coast of Thailand, and visit the Krabi coastline, which we’ve not seen before. Although it’s only a few hundred kilometres, in typical Asian style it turned out to be a full day of travelling. We started at 7am with a lift in the pickup truck to the ferry dock, then two hours on the car ferry to the mainland, and then into a coach to Surat Thani, the nearest city. After a short wait, we joined another coach direct to Krabi. By the time we arrive in Krabi it was2 o’clock in the afternoon – 7 hours and less than 120 miles later!
The final part of the trip, to East Rai Leh beach, is by boat, as the beach is cut off from the mainland by a line of sheer limestone cliffs. This meant loading ourselves and our backpacks into a long-tail boat, and setting out to sea. At first it was fun, with the boat speeding through shallow mangrove beaches and bouncing on small waves. But once we were on the open sea, it got a bit rougher, and the spray from the waves on the bow ended up soaking us all through to the skin. After 45 minutes of this, at least we didn’t feel too hot any more! The final soaking was when we arrived – because of the low tide we had to wade 50m through knee-deep water (carrying the rucksacks and Emily) and then across another 50m of mud flat to reach the beach.
When we got to the beach we checked out the accommodation – the impressive West beach has 3 expensive resorts on it (£40 and up), while the muddy East beach has all the backpacker accommodation (£4 and up). We ended up in the Viewpoint backpacker resort, with a pool, and paying £20 for an air-conditioned room with two double beds. We were surprised by how expensive Rai Leh beach is compared to other places in Thailand, and decided that rather than spending the planned week here, we’d move on once we’d seen the sights. It’s not just the accommodation, but everything from bottles of water to meals. It’s over twice the price of Bangkok.