30.12.2011 - 08.01.2012
Ok, so we managed to change our bus ticket to go to railay.
The whole reason I came back to Thailand, instead of going on to Laos, was to meet up with people and spend christmas or new years eve with friends from the road. When we heard that Tom and Lloyd, the Welsh boys I met in Vietnam, had decided not to go to koh pangnan for NYEbut had decided to stay in Tonsai instead, we knew there must have been something special about that place.
Tom and Lloyd had already been in Tonsai for about a month. As soon as we got there, we understood why.
Tonsai is a tiny little bay to the north of Railay. even from Railay, you can only reach Tonsai by boat, or by climbing through some rocky jungle between the two beaches. It attracts the cool, beach bum, budget travellers, and also a lot of pretty chilled out climbers. the beach is lined by bars and cafes, with some guesthouses. Overall, it is just a super-chilled place to be, with beautiful scenery, and nice people to be around.
Tom and Lloyd had already become best friends with the staff at one of the bars - freedom bar - so we spent most of our time there, reading books, playing pool, and generally wasting time. Freedom bar is at the southernmost end of the beach, with a huge rock overhang above it, which gets lit up at night. The light sparkles off the huge drops of water that fall from the cliff after filtering through the limestone, and after a few beers it is quite fun to lie on your back on the decking and try to catch them as they fall towards your face.
When we arrived, we couldn't find a room anywhere. Luckily, the boys gave us their bungalow, while they slept with the staff from freedom bar. Tom, Lloyd, Haka, Milan, and Jip (the 3 thai lads from the bar) all shared one mattress on the floor of the stock room, waking up each morning with monkeys in the room - sometimes sitting on Jip's belly! I slept in there one night, and it was pretty fun.
New Year's eve came and went in its usual fashion, with only a few photos to remind us of the night. Unfortunately I lost my balance, and fell in the sea, breaking my camera. I lost a good 3 months worth of photos at that point
After a couple of weeks chilling at tonsai, we needed to move on because I only had 15 days visa exemption due to the fact we entered Thailand by land. Justin and Tom went to the full moon party on koh pangnan, I went to Penang to do a visa run, and Lloyd stayed at Tonsai.