Place – Mild Bungalows
Cost – US$38
Facilities – pool, TV, fridge and safe in room
Review – rooms were always cleaned to a high standard each day. The swimming pool was located next to the septic tank which resulted in a waft of poo when swimming which was very unpleasant. They have cheap books for sale in reception area also. If breakfast is included with your booking take advantage of ordering a la carte. Located the next beach down from Ao Nang, which is a nice 10 minute walk away or 20 Baht Tuk Tuk per person. Also situated right next to the Muay Thai Boxing Stadium which only affected us one night when fireworks were let off at the beginning of the night, no other disturbances to report.
Half day rock climbing with Ao Nang Climbers (www.rockclimbing-thailand.info). We went to Railay which is about 15 minutes by water taxi from Ao Nang Beach. Railay is a rock climber’s heaven. The huge cliffs and huge islands of rock in the middle of the ocean make this place so beautiful. I’ve never seen a place like it. There is so much rock climbing around here – the climbs I’ve seen people do are things I never thought were possible! The four climbs I did were great, especially since it was the first time I have climbed outdoors. The instructors are amazing: they know these walls back to front and if you get stuck know exactly where you’re meant to be putting your feet and hands. The last climb (ranked a 6a) was the hardest, it was very slippery and my body was so tired, not to mention scared shitless. During my vicious attempt at pushing my body upwards, I slipped and fell. I don’t think the instructor was paying 100% full attention at that point as it took a while for the belay device to grip, meaning I fell about 2 metres down. I thought I was going to die! After that, I just got angry, and that gave me the push I needed to complete the climb. I felt great, I was so proud of myself having pushed myself to my limits
Phi Phi Islands – still beautiful, but not as amazing as my first visit to the islands in 2009. I still recommend a visit though, but once is enough. There are many things in Thailand that I have seen that are just as beautiful as Phi Phi, which is probably another reason it was underwhelming
Spent a day kayaking around Railay, Tonsai and Phra Nang beach. It was such a great day: we were able to have lunch on a secluded beach; kayak into a cave until it went pitch black and even jump off rope swings. For around 1000 Baht for two people, I believe our day around these islands and beaches is far better value than any James Bond Island kayaking tour. Not only did we cut the cost by 50%, we also got private and exclusive access to wherever we wanted to go, no time limits and in most cases no other tourists.
Chase did some deep water soloing. I was feeling pretty crap about myself for not participating because everyone made it look so easy. I ended up giving it a go barefoot (big no-no for rock climbing) and as soon as I made it up the ladder to the rock I decided to jump off. First of all it was way too slippery, second, I already cut my big toe on the rock and third, the height was enough for me (approx 2 metres) and I was scared enough jumping from there!
Loved – the scenery and natural landscape
Hated – not enough time to experience everything and do more climbing
Food – The cheapest street food that I have seen so far- 25 Baht for green curry and noodles. Portions are slightly smaller however it is enough. There is a great variety of Western food but comes at a price. We ate a good Mexican restaurant which we were able to get 2 tortillas and a beer for 220 Baht. Note the price difference for local food as opposed to Western food. Street food is definitely the way to go.
Tips for next time – Stay longer, stay at Railay and do more rock climbing there, take advantage of the beautiful landscape and the rock climbing facilities.