Travel Notes from Tonsai Beach and Railay Bay, Krabi Thailand

1:57:00 PM Jerik De Guzman 0 Comments


I flew from Kuala Lumpur KLCCT to Thailand via Krabi. I chose Krabi over Phuket, i could fly directly to Phuket but i know it's so touristy. Why choose a place where i'm sharing an island with a million people, when i can have some peace and quality time in Krabi? I took the Air Asia flight to Krabi. Don't be confused with the time. Thailand is an hour late than KL. I was asking the ticket agency man so i'm flying for just 15 mins. Apparently, it's 1 hour and 15 mins. On the plane, i ordered a Malaysian chicken rice with salted fish. I was seated where a lot of solo backpackers were seating. I met up with an Austrian dude who was on vacation for three weeks. He's going to Krabi and then he's gonna dive in Koh Tao. A few minutes later, i met a Canadian Chinese guy who's doing the same route only that after Thailand he has huge plans for India. (Which didn't push through because of the bombing incidents in Mumbai). We then decided to go together since we're going on the same route anyway.

We all went to Krabi town, rode the cheapest bus possible out of the airport. Krabi international airport is a really outstanding airport. But it was sleepy. Not a lot of people are there. I exchanged my US dollars and left with my friends.

I arrived in Krabi town, thankfully we pushed thru going to the beach already. We were headed for Ao Nang beach -  the tourist magnate of Krabi. There were a lot of travel agencies, lots of expensive accommodations and whole lot lot of restaurants and food stalls. While walking, we stopped by a restaurant and at around 1PM, they ordered for Pad Thai. I ordered for a big bottle of Chang beer. I was full with the hearty meal i ate in the plane. We then proceeded to ride a short long tail boat going to Tonsai Beach. Luckily we chose Tonsai.

It's a backpacker's island paradise. All the young people are there. I saw people climbing the cliff. There's a small beach, with a small community of Thais manning the island. They're either working at the bar, selling food on free standing food stalls, or simply smoking dope on the side. 

On my way to the island, i knew already why everyone's going to Thailand. It's so mesmerizing and beautiful. The white sandy beach, the amazing cliff, and the smiling people all make this island top notch.

You'll say you're definitely in South East Asia. We walked further to get the cheapest deal on accommodations  As you know, the cheaper your room, the longer you can stay. We managed to get a room for three nights and i just paid 166 Baht. It was a double room. Situated at the foot of the mountain. You need a good walk, passing by craters in the road. There were a lot of frogs too. Anyway, one of my friends slept on the floor. I got one bed for myself. They came prepared with all the necessary backpacking essentials suited for camping. I didn't, so i had the bed.

We went to the beach. I took my first swim after weeks already of beating the heat out of myself in Singapore and Malaysia. The water was calm. And for the first time i was swimming with my sandals on as some parts of the beach are a little rocky. 

After a few hours i went to Freedom Bar just across.

I went for happy hour cocktails and watch the gorgeous sunset. Everyone's there. Look at them like all hippies from around the world - drinking cocktails, smoking cigarettes and weed, talking non-stop, and listening to Bob Sinclair. The amazing cliff right smack where the sunset is - just great!

Some more big bottles of Chang later, I was already talking to an English couple. We talked about music really. How they love prodigy and chemical brothers. How i started partying at 15. They were really impressed because i told them i still listen to those stuff but i'm beginning to be more mature with my interest turning from the loud and annoying sounds to the calming tones of Moby and the trippy music of Underworld. It was a good talk, i was downing another big bottle of Chang. I'm such an alcoholic. 

The next few days, we were still hanging out. I asked them if they have the time, do fly to Manila. They were looking forward to it. But you can never get lost in Manila. Everyone speaks good English. They were staying in the same guesthouse as we are. Apparently, everyone i know wanted to go to the Philippines. Soon. Not now, everyone's going to Thailand then either Australia or New Zealand, and yes India for 6 months.

You know me, i'm quite moody. One minute i party, the next i just want to chill with my iPod on and lie in the sand thinking absolutely nothing. So there were moments where i was doing my own thing while my new found friends were trekking. That's just my thing. But we always end up drinking a couple of beers at night. They usually head home earlier while i stay for some more.

If you're in Tonsai Beach, head to Freedom Bar and look for Chang who sells Chang. He's a really good guy. I would talk to him about stuff. Mostly how i look like him.  I was asking if they've met my brother? His name is Chang. Everyone would just laugh. I even got his lighter. I forgot to give it back to him. What's funnier is that when the crowd in Freedom is pretty boring, he would walk up to look for us in Small bar a few walks away from my guesthouse, deeper in the jungle. This is the place where all the naughty stuff happens.

I could have taken a picture but i was respecting the privacy of everyone. And we keep it light that. don't know if i can blog about this. But you can just order whatever, they'll give it to you. But you have to be responsible, you're not in high school anymore when you're stoned you're gonna trash the place later. I think they got impressed because i was one of the few last standing men still drinking at 5am. I want to drink more, but i need to head home. I couldn't wake up at 12nn. This is not Manila. 

In Small bar, the bartenders are so amazingly friendly. They were all looking at me, because i don't think they've met anyone who looks like them but is not Thai. I would notice how they would look at me, thinking what's the difference between them and me. Everyone in Tonsai thinks i'm Thai. 10 out of 10 people think i'm Thai. And close to 90% couldn't believe i speak English really well. I was hanging out in the bar when i met Jessica, she's american. She's a really funny girl. She's with her Thai boyfriend. She's so funny and cool. She was telling how she's so bummed out and stressed because she hasn't had a pedicure and spa for the week. She's nice. She even told me the story of some freak guy who has pictures with them in the well even if he's not with them. How did he do that? Really similar to the Ring movie of Japan only it's in Thailand.

That gave me a good scare. But i went home that night so wasted. I was suppose to meet up with them the next day to ride the boat going to the town onwards Koh Pha Ngan. I wasn't able to wake up at 8AM. I slept some more. There were also some Germans who had dreadlocks and all that shit. They gave me a hit, i gladly accepted. They were saying "no shit you're not Filipino. You must be american!" We were just laughing and listening to Bob Marley. I am now a convert of reggae music. Thank you.

The next day, Martin, Peter and I trekked on the other side of the island going to another beach. The picture above is the cliff i trekked. No shit! And i must say I've never been more proud of myself. The trek was hard as hell. Imagine walking horizontally so you can fit in the tiny little hole from the cave. And from there, was going up  and down, left and  right, steeped. I was holding on to the branches of the tree, my feet was swollen because of the hard edge sole of my sandals. My hands were dirty. And after 45 mins, I went down to the steepest cliff ever. I just jumped. Fuck whatever. When i arrived...

It was so beautiful. Hello Railay beach! I took off my shirt. Threw my bag in the sand, and lied down for 10 minutes. And then i went for a swim. When i came back. I said to them "That was fuckin' amazing guys!" I ate my lunch and smoked. We were relaxing. This is Life!

Scary but this is the experience I've been day dreaming. Later that day, they went on a hike for more to the west side of Railey to follow the German Girls. Oh yes! Germans and Swedish girls are quite popular! =) There are two sides, west and east. I didn't go with them. And told them i just want to relax in the beach as I've been stressing the past few days. That's too much trekking for me. It rained so hard later that day. They got stranded in the mountains. I got stranded in the beach as well. I want to go to Tonsai already so i can relax and have a drink. For close to two hours i was stranded in an island. I was so wet, my spare clothes are wet, my bag is wet.

After contemplating, i just paid to rent the long tail boat going back to Tonsai for 200 Baht. When i came back, i was so wet. Everyone's looking and wanting to ask me, "what did you do?" What an experience eh? I was walking towards my room. The bartenders from the Small bar told me, he saw me walking in the beach. And without my shirt on, i look like from here. That's thailand! I like it already!!!

In the Philippines, i think most of us speak with a twang. It's because most of the shows we watch and how we were taught is American influenced. And i really talk fast, so most of the time i need to make some allowance for them so they could understand. But i'm really proud i had a good education. Most of the people i met while backpacking weren't able to study. Some just finished highschool so i'm quite privileged. Thank You.

In Tonsai beach, you pay for really expensive internet, but the charging of the phone is free, the exchange rate of US dollars to Thai Baht is bad, the cigarette's almost hundred baht, a big bottle of beer is around 100 Baht but the food is ridiculously cheap yet amazing. It's awesome. And the best part is, its' only 20 Baht.

All my meals from this food stall were great; sweet and sour chicken, shrimp rice, hotdog with rice on stick (beat that), crab claws, and the lovely Banana pancakes with Nuttela.

Yes. I closed my eyes while eating this. It's that good!

My bag was washed away. Good thing, i was able to grab it right away but everything inside is wet. I grabbed my digital camera and cellphone. After a few minutes, it got to working again. Thank God! I left Tonsai beach looking like this, it's now the monsoon season, supposedly this side is free from the storm. We were wrong, it's time to leave.

So there, that's it for now. I 'll write when i remember some other things i did, whatevs. But this is really the one place i'm looking forward to going back again and again. What i liked the most is that it's compact and not so much tourists are here. There's so many amazing and friendly people you can easily talk to when you travel alone. The next time i will go here, I'll stay for a month. I am glad i started my route this way. The minute i was riding the long tail boat to Tonsai. I instantly fell in love already! And yes, no bed bugs at my hotel. I even saw a hippie mom and dad, the mom breastfeeding her baby and the dad...well smoking weed. Good gracious! Whatttahippie!

Thais are friendliest down south. Only in Tonsai, i smoked weed, drink buckets, got drunk because of Chang, and ate with locals. I tried to converse with the people. I met local Thais who seem more friendly to me than the whites. They were always asking me if i want to stay longer. I think they want to get to know me better. We're in the same continent anyway. We're both Asians. They're just curious. I was both bad and good in Thailand. 

x Pinoy Boy Journals

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