At the end of every semester Peter usually throws all the teachers a party of some sorts to say “thank you” to everyone for their hard work throughout the semester. SE has provided some pretty awesome parties and weekend trips during my time here and they are always a good time. This time, we decided to take a weekend trip to Tonsai beach in Railay, a beautiful peninsula on the west coast of southern Thailand. After school last Friday, we all met up and hopped in the private minivan that Jade had set up for us, complete with 6 different types of mood lighting. Traveling in Thailand usually equals stopping every 10 minutes to pick up other passengers, for the driver to have a smoke break, etc, so it was really nice to have our own private van. We made it from point A to B with NO stops, which is pretty much unheard of here.
The bus dropped us off in Ao Nang, a beach town near Tonsai/Railay. We all hopped on a boat to Tonsai, as there are no roads connecting Tonsai to the rest of the island. Arriving at Tonsai at night was pretty awesome and kind of gave it a magical feeling. The moonlight revealed huge karst formations shooting up along the coast and straight out of the ocean.
When we arrived, we hiked up the hill to find our bungalows and get settled. A cool thing about Tonsai is that there are no paved roads, just dirt paths connecting all of the bungalows and shops. Our rustic bungalows were in a sweet location, nestled along the side of a hill. Thanks to Peter, we didn’t have to pay a dime for our accommodation all weekend.
The whole weekend was a lot of fun. Most people spent the days lounging around on the beach, soaking up the sun, taking naps in the shade, and enjoying the drinks that Peter bought for us. Railay is known for rock climbing, so a few people joined in on a climbing trip. A few others hiked over to the other beaches of Railay. Saturday evening, we all met up for dinner at a beach side restaurant that was offering 150 baht ($5) pizzas. Everyone had a great time hanging out and we then migrated next door and spent the night jammin’ away to this awesome Reggae Flamenco band. They were seriously awesome. Typical of many SE events, we hung out late in to the night and a good time was had by all. Did I mention Catherine hooped with fire? That definitely happened and it was awesome.
To me, Railay is one of the most beautiful places I have visited in Thailand. I always enjoy a visit to Railay and going with all my friends/co-workers made for a very memorable weekend. It was nice to feel so appreciated by SE after a semester of hard work and barely having to pay anything out of my own pocket was the cherry on top.