Cambodia and Thailand - February 2011
Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation made from a post originally written in French. My apologies for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have been generated during the process. If you are reading French, click on the French flag below to access the original and correct text:
The other girl, my travel companion, was setting foot in Thailand for the first time. She was there for only five days. I decided that she had to see Krabi and Koh Phi Phi.
The cliffs of Krabi
Cape, so, on the Railay Peninsula, at Krabiwhere we spent a night. As touristy as it is, I love this place. It's beautiful, stunning!
Now that I'm home, I sigh with ease and nostalgia as I go through my photos. How I wish I was there, right now...
So, yes, we decided to be vacationers, and not at all adventurers. In fact, we decided to be princesses!
After Cambodia, for the arrival in Thailand, this is what I promised her, to the other girl: a sea bath and a sunset in Krabi, on the Princess beach, the famous Phra Nang Beach…
Phra Nang Beach is located between two other beaches, called Railey West and Railey East. The ensemble forms a small peninsula, only accessible by sea, because of the immense karst cliffs that surround it. The rocky walls plunge straight into the water. It is vertiginous, spectacular. And then the beaches are splendid.
In short, I wanted to see this beautiful place again. And to show it to the other girl.
Want to see again, but not to stay too long. Railay is not an authentic place at all, a small tourist enclave, full of hotels and resorts wedged between the three beaches.
In my opinion, it's nice for a day or two for a beach trip and lazing around, but not much more, unless you're into climbing. With all these surrounding cliffs, it is the star activity here. Beginners or experienced climbers have a lot of fun!
The legend of the princess
But we, that evening, the climbers and the authenticity, we don't care a bit. We are princesses. We reserved at the Princess Resort and planned to go directly to the beach of the Princess. Besides, we would like not to miss the sunset, if possible.
At Phra Nang Beach, there is white sand and a cliff dripping with stalagtites, a cave full of wooden phallus and a large rocky island planted in the sea. A real beach of princesses.
But we arrived a little too late. The sun did not wait for us. We put ourselves in the water anyway.
For those who don't know, I'll explain you the phallus cave trick, anyway... 😀
Everything starts from a legend: the story goes back to the 3rd century BC. A royal boat, carrying an Indian princess, was shipwrecked in this place during a storm.
It is said that the spirit of the princess took refuge in the cave on the cliff near the wreck and that she has since granted the wishes of those who come to pay her homage. Fishermen continue to place carved wooden phalluses in the cave so that Phra Nang, "the holy princess", will grant them abundant fishing.
Tractor coach for princesses
Well. The princesses missed the sunset a bit, but enjoyed the swim at dusk anyway... When I arrived at Krabi airport in the middle of the afternoon, I knew it would be a bit short, with the minibus + boat transfer behind.
It was looking good, though. The guy was there with his sign at the airport. And the princesses were given an air-conditioned minibus for themselves. Direct route to the beach where the long-tail boat was waiting for us.
The long-tail boat (and it has nothing to do with the phallus cave 😆 ) is a big boat with a recovered car engine, whose shaft is attached to a propeller at the back. The long-tails, it is a little the tuk-tuks of the sea…
Only, with us in the boat, there was a small group of Russian tourists. When we arrived at Railay East, the beach-mangrove where the trees grow in the sea, the people of the hotel first took care of transferring them to their resort, located on the other beach, Railay West.
By telling us to wait there, with our bags...
It's silly. I knew that our hotel was only a few steps away. Obviously, the wait was long...
Meanwhile, the Thai hotel staff also boarded in long-tail, to return to the mainland, the day's work over.
All harnessed in life jackets. Most of them can't swim.
Once we were taken to the reception, we had to wait again.
In front of us, a whole bunch of other tourists paying their reservations and asking a whole bunch of endless questions to the very smiling and very nice and efficient young woman of the reception... It was more than 6pm when our turn arrived!
The funniest part of the whole thing was when we were taken off the boat. Having already attended the maneuver during previous stays, I suspected that we would not cut it by arriving on the side of Railay East, the beach-mangrove where it is difficult to reach while remaining dry... Yes, we had the right to the coach!
Finally ... a tractor-coach. A pure carriage of princesses on vacation, who must not wet their feet or carry their luggage.
Obviously, it is convenient to land long-tail boats tourists weighted with suitcases.
But where it became ridiculous, it is when the guy of the resort, finally back, having apologized for having made us wait, made us go back in the coach... to walk 100 meters, on the beach, until the entrance of the way leading to our hotel.
The other girl and I are still laughing about it.