Last Saturday, after our few hours at home, we made our way to the airport for our flight to Krabi. When we arrived at that airport, we took a shuttle to the Ao Nang Pier, then a long boat with a few other people to Railay Beach. The 40 minute drive was beautiful, and the boat ride was breathtaking!
We were greeted at the resort with chilled towels and some grape juice which was very refreshing after the 20 minute boat ride!
Then, we were shown to our room/cottage. So cute with a nice heart-shaped pile of rose petals on the bed to welcome the 'romantic getaway-ers'. That was a very nice start to our vacation. It didn't take long for us to change into our bathing suits and head out to the beachside pool--which was beyond gorgeous!
We were there for an hour or so before sunset came, and we were able to snap some amazing pictures! The view of the bay and the blue water, limestone cliffs, and boats mixed with the changing colors of the sun and sky were pretty intoxicating. Floating in the pool, walking on the beach and watching the sun's show was so relaxing.
That first night happened to be the Saturday Night Buffet and Party. We didn't even change clothes but wandered over in our coverups, got seated, ordered food, and settled in for the evening. The food was alright, the singers were mediocre, but we were still thrilled to be there! After dinner, they had a fire dancer on the beach which was really cool too. We got some fun pictures of his show.
The next day, we slept in, then headed down for a day on those beach chairs right in the middle of the ocean and the pool. Matt went snorkeling while I napped in between visits to the pool. We lay out together for a little while talking about our past few months in Thailand. Among our top five favorites: the students, LifeGroup, elephants, traveling, and the other teachers. Then it started raining.
The storm was beautiful to watch, and we sat there for a couple of hours in the rain, taking pictures and video until way past dark. We got some cool shots of lightning that Matt was pretty excited about. A couple from Malaysia stopped by and asked why we were still sunbathing after dark and in the rain. We got caught. :) After the storm, we ate dinner and called it a night.
The next day was rainy still, so we stayed in bed and watched CSI until pretty late. We made our way out to the beach eventually and soaked up some sun, chilled out, and Matt did some snorkeling. We took advantage of the pool and realized we needed to take advantage of the beachside spa. So, we signed up for 90 minute Thai massages (which means they use elbows, knees, and feet) for the evening and enjoyed them a lot. After the massages, we had dinner then called it a night.
The next day (Tuesday), we did an island tour by speed boat. We met up with the boat around 9, and they sped us out past Chicken Island to Bamboo Island where we had an hour or so for swimming, snorkeling, and exploring. White powdery beaches, clear water, and some nice underwater views made for an excellent time!
Then, we were back on the boat for a short trip to Maya Bay. That's where they filmed "The Beach", and it was spectacularly beautiful! We had about an hour to play around there, so we took some pictures, did some snorkeling and enjoyed the scenery. At one point while we were there, Matt said, "What are we doing here? We can't afford vacations like this." My thoughts exactly.
After Maya Bay, they boated us out a little bit to the edge of the bay where we did some snorkeling away from land. So cool!
After that stop, we went by Viking Cave which is a place where about 10 people live with no electricity or running water. They're the caretakers of the cave where bird nests are harvested. Thai people use the nests to make soup. I haven't tried it. Probably won't.
Then, we went to Phi Phi Don island for lunch and some free time. It was a beautiful place to eat lunch, swim and snorkel some more.
After the lunch stop, we did a drive by Monkey Island, were monkeys run wild all over the beach. We couldn't go onto the island because the tide was low, but we could see a couple of monkeys on the beach from where we were. Very cool, but we were a little disappointed that we couldn't be on the beach with them.
Then, we had some time for some open-ocean snorkeling. Absolutely breathtaking! Probably one of my favorite times of my life. Unfortunately, it was cut short because of a storm.
A big storm! It came out of nowhere, but it was powerful. Everyone made it back onto the boat in time for it to start pouring, and the waves swelled up to about 4 or 5 feet. We sped back to the resort, but it was a wild ride. There were some moments when I was pretty scared. I had to remind myself that God is the God of the wind and the waves and nothing would happen unless He allowed it. It was scary for awhile, but then it just got cold. Thirty minutes into the ride back, the swells were down to 2 feet or so, but the cold rain picked up. All of the people on the boat were huddled up, sharing towels and trying to keep warm. An unforgettable experience.
After the boat tour, we were cold and exhausted, so we went back to the room and warmed up. We also realized how sunburned we were, which made the last 12 hours or so of our trip pretty miserable. After our last dinner, we buckled down in the room (still raining) and called it a night.
We woke up Wednesday morning to pack and get ready to go. We were moving pretty slow because we were so fried. But we got everything together and in time even. We ate breakfast, checked out and got on the long boat to head off the island. We were so sad to be leaving but very thankful to have had such a wonderful, unbelievable vacation!
At the airport, we saw Web, one of Matt's students, with his family. For Thailand being such a big country and for GES being such a small school, we sure do run into lots of our students in different parts of the country! :)
If this post wasn't enough for you, please check out the Facebook albums of the boat tour here and the rest of the trip here.