KRABI, THAILAND                                                                                                

Jan 7

We awoke to a drizzly, dull day and set sail across the steely gray waters to Krabi. Chris assumed a comfy position below out of the inclimate weather.

Soon the remarkable statuesque pillars of rock began to emerge from the ocean and assume their majestic presence in the fog.

Phra Nang Bay

We gave the nearby Chicken Islands a miss because of the drizzle and set course straight for Phra Nang Bay, on Krabi mainland. The scenery was stunning with the vertical towers of rock reaching skyward 100 to 200 meters from the shallow silted water. It is the images of these sheer sided mountains that most people associate with Thailand.

Once anchored, we jumped in the dinghy as the mind-boggling rock formations attracted us to have a close look. Through the foggy rain, We explored the bay, totally absorbed by the molten rock cathedrals of stalagmites - truly a geographical wonder and fairyland setting!
Finally we were beckoned to shore by a resort, hopeful of a drink. However they refused to sell us a beverage because we were not hotel guests! That was the first and only time we experienced such "cruiser discrimination" in Thailand.

Princess Cave - Penis Shrine

A walk to the end of the beach brought us to a cave housing strange, colourful penis-like carvings in all shorts of shapes, sizes and hues. Apparently these are offerings made by both men and women whose wishes have been fulfilled by the goddess of Fertility. The wealth of ‘woodies’ on display – some of them stand one to two meters tall – are bound to arouse penis envy in a few miserably endowed males

The cave provided a temporary shelter from the relentless rain. A little boy wanted to take us further into the cave so we followed him until the climbing got too strenuous. Chris gave him a lift back down to the mouth of the cave.

Determined not to let the rain deter our adventure, we set out along a walkway that skirted the mammoth rock that housed Princess Cave and a labyrinth of other caverns. The impressive limestone rock was perforated with openings to passages. By the time we reached the other side of the peninsula we were very soaked and very cold. We stopped for a drink at a restaurant but the air conditioning soon drove us away!

Railey Beach

Jan 8   We joined a group of sailboats anchored around the corner at Railey Beach, which encompasses a series of vertical limestone cliffs making it one of the world's leading rock-climbing destinations. Only accessible by boat, it is blocked off from the mainland by a mountain range. There are no paved roads, vehicles or police.

Railey has a great beach bounded by looming cliffs spider-webbed with rock climbers. Definitely a young person's hangout haven, the area had a relaxed atmosphere, very laid back.

We took a stroll along the only dirt track that circled through the trees amidst rustic basic bungalows, open air restaurants, shops and massage houses.

We walked past a group of monkeys frolicking in the power lines

  The beach front offered an array of bars and restaurants and we visited several over the course of our visit there, mostly in search of beer other than the local Chang (to avoid the dreaded Changover!)
We walked along the powdery sand beach, longtails bobbing on their moorings in the shallow water  

At a pub at the southern end of the bay, we watched climbers traversing the challenging sheer Thailand Wall while we relaxed with cocktails.

Chris and Craig decided to climb up the escarpment to a viewpoint. Although ropes were provided as an aid, it was still a steep climb.

They were rewarded with some awesome views of the Krabi surrounds.

We hung out at a Raggae Bar on the beach  which served cheap beer. A lethargic black bartender, dreadlocks hanging over his bare tattooed back, offered Chris & Craig some locally grown concoction which seemed to render them useless for the rest of the day.

A rope strung between two palm trees provided evening entertainment as everyone attempted to walk the line. Even after continued attempts no one in our group were able to take more than 2 successive steps. Then an agile local jumped up on the rope and did acrobatics, turning, twisting and skipping, making it look so easy!





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