Thursday morning we headed out to the dock to take a longtail boat to Railay Beach for the day. On the way we adopted a solo-British girl about our age.
Once we arrived on Railay Beach we immediately noticed a small crowd hiking up a hill. We discovered that it was about a 15 minute scramble to another beach, called Tonsai Beach. Tonsai Beach is THE place to go if you are at all interested in rock climbing. While I ran off for the day with Travel Buddy 1, Travel Buddy 2 stayed at the beach with our new friend and chilled out all day…Travel Buddy 1 and I did some exploring and rock climbing. First we rented some shoes and a harness and then began chatting up a Canadian couple who were willing to take us around to some climbing spots. A guy from Oregon attached himself to our group and he became our sponsor and tour guide for the day. He rented the rope and led the routs for us that day. We climbed “1-2-3 Wall”, a famous route in that area and got a spectacular view of East Railay bay, from the top. We also hiked over to Phra Nang Cave Beach and did another route next to the cave. This also provided a beautiful view from the top. We did a bit of exploring in the cave but didn’t have time to fully investigate. However, it got us curious enough to want to return for further exploration…we had also heard of a lagoon and another view point between Phra Nang Beach and East Railay.
So after a day of rock climbing we were convinced that we needed more of the Railay Beach area. We went back to Au-Nang for the night, said farewell to our adopted friend, woke up in the morning and moved to Tonsai Beach. I was glad to leave Au-Nang, as nice and cool as our room had been, cockroaches seemed to find their way onto toothbrushes and hair brushes…time to go!
Once at Tonsai we found a bungalow for three, 300 baht total. Tonsai is the cheapest place to lodge in the Railey Beach area; but Tonsaid looses power all together from 6am to 6pm. No power means that at 6am every morning the fan turns off, and the town wakes up. It’s very hard to sleep in the heat without a fan at all. The toilets also didn’t flush. I slept one night with a lizard on the wall near me, and at one point showered with a toad! Truthfully, it’s just part of the experience.
In Tonsai, we spent a day exploring the caves and lagoons. It was all very Indiana Jones-ish. What is so fun about the Railey Beach area is that all of these adventures were done on our own, not through any sort of tour guide or travel agency. This also means they were free. We did cop up the money to do a sunset Deep Water Solo tour one day though. About ten people were taken in our group on a long tail boat to several different locations around Krabi. We essentially bouldered up cliff sides, and when we got as high as we wanted to be, jumped into the water! This was one of the most aggressive adrenaline rushes I ever experienced. After activity filled days there were several bars to hang at during the night. Many of them are decked out with slack lines and fire dancers, some even have fire dancers on the slack line. Mr. Pancake also holds up shop in Tonsai. Mr. Pancake is famous, at least in my world. He makes the best pancakes ever, and anyone on Tonsai would agree. He liked me so much, he even let me get behind the grill with him one night and help make the pancakes! I can flip a pancake like a pro now! If you visit Mr. Pancake, give him my love, and remember these three rules:
1) Respect Mr. Pancake
2) How many eggs in your pancake? Up to you.
3) Respect Mr. Pancake.
Tonsai is the kind of place rock climbers move to, for weeks and sometimes for months. After four days I was ready to move on, but Travel Buddies had caught “Tonsainitus”- a term used for the desire to stay forever.