Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Elephants in Ao Nang

Wakey wakey

The weather was looking good. We confirmed our elephant trip and invited Stacey and Giuliana who we met on the bus the day before. We rode in one of those pickup trucks with seats in the back box with the wind blowing through our hair. (Highly illegal back home.)

Stacey and I and the elephant.

mmm bananas

The elephants seemed pretty content. They weren’t being treated badly so I didn’t feel so bad riding on the back on one. Interesting ride.. to say the least. Very entertaining. The driver then dropped us off and gave us about 2 hours to hike up the the Huai Waterfall and swim. The water was too murky for me to swim but some of the others did… I really don’t like not being able to see the bottom unless I know it’s just sand.

Beautiful view of the waterfall.

After returning to the hotel we decided to get out of Ao Nang since the weather wasn’t great and the beach was crummy. The sea was too rough to rent canoes so we headed to Railey Beach. The deal is, get a cheap Long Tail boat ticket but you have to wait until there is 8 people to join the ride. We waited about 1.5 hours !!

It was worth it!

Railey Beach is beautiful. The long tail boat anchored because of the tide and we had to carry our luggage about 80 meters in the water over our head!

The last of the people coming up the beach carrying their luggage.

Railey West is the expensive side. We made our way over there for drinks on the beach that evening but stayed on the east side. Railey East in my opinion has far more character. Bars and whatnot all along the water. Even though the beach is nothing to look at and completely unswimmable, the atmosphere was calm and relaxing. With cushions on bamboo bars, just lay around with drinks and watch the sea and long tail boatmen going by and by.

Dancing in the moonlight

Sunday’s idea was to tour the surrounding islands but we hadn’t made any reservation yet. We just thought to hire a long tail boat and go on our own. UNTIL, just before closing time we stumbled across a little travel agency and bought tickets for 8 euros each for a full day tour around 4 islands.

Oh, forgot to mention that we found the cheapest ever backpacker hostel… so cheap that we hated the room. It was dark and creepy and luckily the price was cheap otherwise we would have felt ripped off. I was afraid of spiders crawling down onto my head while I slept… I would have felt safer from the bugs sleeping in a tent! We’re moving tomorrow to a place down the road. $20 for a private bungalow with air conditioning and television. DEAL! We’re budget travelers but not backpackers. We’re on a 2 week holiday, not a 3 month trip so we can spend a wee bit more on a room that is clean and bug free ;)

SO much more going on but impossible to write about it all.

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