Railay Beach, Krabe...Are you kidding?
1st February, 2007
I'm toward the end of my 3 month journey in Southeast Asia and wanted to finish the trip in Southern Thailand, along the beautiful Andaman coast...so even though it's the beginning of rainy season, I decided to journey to Railay Beach (Krabe region), highly recommended by Travelfish, get a better guest house, and chill for the remaining weeks.
As soon as I got off the long tail boat, I should have listened to my gut instinct and got right back on. I didn't like what I saw or smelled. It was only East Railay, however, and I rationalized that hadn't given the rest of the island a chance ...
On my trip, I've stayed in backpacker places mostly--and all up to now have been fine. Some are louder than others, noisier, more or less functional, so my expectations of budget travel are realistic. East Railay, by far is worst place I've stayed in all of Southeast Asia--that includes Bangkok, that includes Cambodia. What a disgusting slum. It is filthy with trash and smell of burning PLASTIC. Yes, West Railay is a beautiful beach, but it can't overcome the ugliness of the east.
Why oh why did I stupidly book five days in the spendier guesthouse Diamond View Resort? On the surface, great view, clean & relatively well appointed rooms...air con, shower, TV ... no mosquito net. I couldn't use mine because there were no hooks, only stern warnings of penalties if I nailed anything into the wall...My room had chilly a/c, so I figured I would be okay. I was eaten alive--the DEET I applied numerous times must have been a tasty condiment to my flesh. My eyes were swollen with bites; I had bites on the palms of my feet, between my toes, everywhere.
Okay, time to go....But no, unlike anywhere else, this resort will not refund your money. I was able to get an upgrade (after I put on a more American demeanor), but I was stuck on Railay, unless I wanted to eat 4 days of lodging.
Upgraded in time to get sick...for the first time in Thailand, after several month of eating Thai street food and being perfectly fine. So I'm glad I had a better bathroom. Kind of makes up for rats eating my brand Lao silk pants I got made in Vientiane. Management thinks they were eaten in the room before the upgrade, so they're claiming no responsibility--even though both rooms are in their resort.
I am disappointed that this scenic little peninsula is so ugly, I am disappointed that feel I have to be aggressively defensive about business transactions or I might be screwed...This is the only place I've visited on this trip that I am totally disappointed with...
Is it traveling fatigue? Is it disappointment that the tourist trade Thais are more jaded than their Lao neighbors? Is it disgust the careless backpacker crap? I loved the islands in the Gulf, like Koh Maak. Is this an Andaman sea vs. Gulf of Thailand thing?
#1 Posted: 16/5/2007 - 16:09
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