Living in China means travelling to Asian countries is fast, easy and inexpensive. Flights booked on Ctrip are usually cheap and there are a number of destinations available at your fingertips.
What’s more is the amount of public holidays in China. These holidays throughout the year are a perfect opportunity to get out of the craziness and into a dream destination; whether it’s experiencing different cultures and traditions, exploring a mixture of cities and landscapes, or an island hopping beach break.
The beginning of June saw the Dragon Boat Festival in China. A lot of local citizens used this time to travel to their hometowns with their families or travel to different cities in China; making trains crowded and pricey and local tourist spots busy.
I chose to escape the craziness of Shanghai and headed to Krabi, in the south of Thailand for a short break. Flights and accommodation were pretty cheap, and the area of Ao Nang we stayed in wasn’t swarming with tourists. I had an activity packed yet relaxing break, filled with good food, sunny beaches and friendly people.
Railay Island Beaches
There are a number of paradisic beaches around Ao Nang – most of them on small islands you get to by boat. Railay Island has two beaches – East and West. We went to both – firstly to the West for a day of relaxing and swimming in the sun. #
There are bars and restaurants nearby and you can walk to the other side of the Island to the other beach (something which I’d have loved to do if time wasn’t a restraint).
We found a company to take us rock climbing at East Railay beach – something I had never done before and am now itching to do again. We ventured out on a boat to a part of the island surrounded by caves and idyllic rock climbing cliffs.
Tiger Temple Cave
The Tiger Temple Cave was recommended to us by locals. We hired a taxi driver who drove us the half an hour to the cave entrance, and came to collect us a couple of hours later. There are two temples; one at the bottom of the mountain, and one 1237 steps up and both are free entry (unless the monks ask you to cover up more; in which case you make a donation to borrow a tunic).
After walking up the stairs for about an hour (which are steep and uneven in places), surrounded by monkeys, you arrive at the top – an open temple with Buddha statues and breathtaking scenery.
Seven Island Boat Tour
This was the best thing we did in Thailand. As you can probably guess, we took a boat tour to seven islands – stopping along the way at various snorkeling spots. The waters were clear and warm, and full of tropical fish that weren’t scared away by our repeatedly jumping into the water from the boat’s upper deck. We stopped for a BBQ (included) on East Railay Beach where we swam, ate and enjoyed the last rays of sun before watching it set.
On the way back to shore, we stopped to snorkle once again in the dark, surrounded by luminescent plankton. This was an amazing experience; you can see the glowing plankton all around you while you move your body or glisten in your hair. It’s something I’m glad I experienced and would do again in a heartbeat.
Thailand was an amazing place to travel to, I can’t wait to go back. It was the right amount of relaxation in paradise and activity; with tonnes of things to choose from to fill your time. I’m already planning when my next visit will be!
Have you been to Thailand? Comment and let me know your experiences!