We'd heard that Railay was a limestone outcropped tropical paradise, although a roadless one, so having left the bikes stored in Krabi we high-tailed it, or rather long-tailed it (i.e. on a long-tail boat), over there. As it is low tourist season in Thailand we'd read that we would be safe enough in just rocking up somewhere without a reservation. We'd also read that the west side had the best beach but also, as a result, the more expensive beachside accommodation options. We hadn't realised quite how expensive and developed it really was or we could have saved ourselves the hot, heavy (we had our gear in tow) walk across which involved negotiating hordes of tourists. So we ended up back where we started and set about searching “the strip” on the east side to find somewhere to stay which suited both us and our wallets a bit better. I went ahead of the increasingly hot and bothered BC and MC (my new nicknames for Curly and Luca are “BC” i.e. Big Curly and “MC” i.e. Mini Curly, as Luca is currently his Daddy's shadow) and thought that I'd found a good if not quite perfect place for us. I came back to the boys and sent BC to check it out while Luca and I enjoyed a cold drink in the shade while looking after the bags.

I ordered two 7-Up's eschewing Luca's usual fruit juices for something a bit easier on his tummy as he'd had a few days of “Thai belly”. The waitress asked me something about glasses so I just said “Yes, in glasses and with ice please”. Nothing too unusual in this. Our drinks arrived bedecked with a slice of lime and a flower and, as always, with any drink in Thailand, a straw. So Luca and I, both thirsty from our earlier search for lodgings, began to quaff. I did think that perhaps my 7-Up tasted a bit odd but it was Luca who vocalised how queer it tasted when said to me - “Mama, WHAT is in this?”. And I, while taking another sip, replied with a confused look “Hmm..I don't know. Maybe it's the lime or....” while, mentally, the penny had started to drop. Our drink was a draft. There were definitely spirits present. At the same time the barman, noting my bewilderment, came over to the table to confirm that we were both drinking Vodkas and 7-Up! My 2 year old son and I. From a straw. “Woops!” is probably a massive understatement! Now, while we were having one of those days that would drive you to drink I don't think that even I would partake in a rendez-vous with hard liquor at 2pm, much less actually order it for my two year old son. I wouldn't normally even order him a fizzy drink. Anyway after the intial shock and checking of Luca to make sure he was okay (we'd both probably only had two tiny sips) much hilarity ensued between mother and son (he was very cute; slapping his cheeks with a shocked look and saying – “Mama, I was drinking alcohol!”), waitress (she was lovely, well until she tried to charge for the 2 vodka's and 7-Up later on, but WHAT was she thinking?), bar tender and the nearby table of English tourists. Order was subsequently restored with the delivery to us of 2 7-Ups, in a can for the avoidance of doubt with the ubiquitious straws, which we both enjoyed while regalling BC with our toddler tipple faux pas when he joined us having found an even better spot for us to stay.

We ended up staying for 3 nights on Railay where we did have a nice time in the end but, to be honest, it just wasn't really our kind of place. Maybe we have actually turned into “real travellers” (I suppose we officially qualify now?) as we prefer somewhere quieter, more of-the-country you are in and, well, more low key. We bumped into two girls who we'd met in Koh Lanta and they said to us "Isn't it just beautiful here?”. We gave a polite, but slightly underwhelmed response and, privately later BC and I wondered : “What is it about Railay that we just don't get?”. The beach and sunsets on the west side are very impressive, but, it's just a bit too resort-ey and busy for us. Having said that we are going from Krabi to Phuket tomorrow. Phuket, from the reports we've heard and the research we've done, is really not supposed to be our kind of place either. But, as we'll arrive there early evening, we have to stay one night. I've done a bit of research and think (hope!) we've sourced a quiet, chilled out and reasonably priced place to stay. From there we cycle to Bangkok which will take a couple of weeks probably. So I'd better to bed.

But before I do I'd like to wish my big sister, one of our best commenters, Aine, and her family a truly amazing birthday weekend Down Under ( I won't “out” her age on our blog but it's a biggie and she doesn't look it!)... I'll be thinking of you in a very special way. And, wishing one of our other best commenters, my sister Niamh, and family, a wonderful Royal Wedding party tomorrow in Kidmore House and, finally, wishing William and Kate all of the very best for tomorrow and the rest of their lives.

Good Night from Krabi Town.

"It is not down in any map; true places never are" Herman Melville


At May 1, 2011 at 6:41 AM Philip Duggan said...

Have heard from a few people that comments won't publish. Hopefully have sorted that out now.

At May 1, 2011 at 4:28 PM Roger said...

Fab picture of Linda on swing with Luca on the beach. Oh! to be there!

At May 2, 2011 at 2:20 PM Linda de Paor said...

Aw thanks- both Philip and I and Luca really wish you both were here too. Luca asks for you all of the time :). Talk soon Ya-Ya's. x


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