Category Archives: Play

Thailand: Krabi & Railay Beach

Thailand: Krabi & Railay Beach

If you’re travelling to Thailand, you no doubt already picture yourself in either or all of these scenarios: 1) You’re lying supine on a white, sandy beach, slick with coconut oil, sipping a cocktail and occasionally going for a dip in a warm, turquoise sea. 2) You’re partaking in the type of hedonistic activity that will ultimately have you handing out bras in a Thai prison, a la Bridget Jones. Or 3) You’re buying bargains in a market, the stories of which will have your friends “No freaken way!”-ing at your next braai. Well the good news is you can very easily fit in all three if you have a week there!


Krabi is a small town on the west coast of Southern Thailand, on the eastern shoreline of Phang Nga Bay. This is not the pumping beaches and raucous night life of Phuket. Here you spend your hours languishing on bean bags on the beach sipping Mojito’s by day and have quiet candle lit dinners with your feet in the sand by night. It is a more convenient base for day trips to Koh Phi Phi and Railay than Phuket.

Railay is, in my humble opinion, the undiscovered jewel of the Andaman Sea. Sheer cliffs have their feet firmly planted in long, white beaches and there is not a lounger in site. There are over 700 climbing routes in the area and even though it is not an island, the cliffs mean it is only accessible by boat.  Long boats can be chartered from the dock in Ao Nang. (Make sure your life insurance is in order before boarding – it’s almost safer travelling on the N1 in December. When we were on Bamboo Island two locals dragged themselves on to the beach after capsizing the previous night and swimming for 8 hours with nothing more than a polyester cooler box to keep them afloat! It if was my husband’s cooler, the beer would’ve sunk us.) The longboats from Ao Nang drop you off in the sea on the Eastern side of the peninsula. And by in the sea, I mean IN the sea. Depending on the tide and whether the skipper likes you or not, we’re talking thigh high at least, so dress for the occasion. There is a walkway to the western side where there are views of the rock climbers and more imposing cliffs. Mangroves grow on this side, so it’s not for beaching, but it’s absolutely beautiful none the less. From here, make your way to the right towards the cliffs. A path follows the foot of the cliff through forests and stalactites and will eventually bring you to the beach. Be sure to have a peek at Phra Nang Cave  to get your fill of phalluses (if you’ll excuse the turn of phrase).

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The Views Spa

The Views Spa

Let me preface this post by saying that what I know about the prerequisites for a commendable spa can be written on the back of a cooling cucumber eye patch. But what I do know is that spending the morning at the Views Spa with my fabulous girlfriends left me feeling like I’d had an entire holiday. From the soft, fluffy, slippers that ensconce your feet the minute you set them through the door, to the unsurpassed ocean views you can enjoy from the pool, the whole experience makes you forget that there is a job, a dirty house, rhino poachers or that you live in a city where ninety percent of the inhabitants still don’t know how to use a traffic circle. It is, in a word, sublime.

So let’s get the nasty part out of the way first: There is a gym. Moving on. Booking any of the treatments  also means you can make use of the Tylarium Sauna and Rasul Steam Room. Or simply relax and take in the breathtaking views from the tranquil waters of the pool or the loungers on the deck. Treatment rooms are beautifully appointed in shades of taupe and calming aquamarine – the better to relax you when you’re having your bits waxed or your skin peeled off. If pain and torture aren’t your thing, it was evident from the inability of my friend’s eyeballs to both focus on the same place at the same time following a deep tissue that the massages are pretty good too. The therapists are attentive, unobtrusive and professional. There are comfy loungers on the sun deck with views to Kaaiman’s and the serene blues of the interior blend so seamlessly into the turquoise of the sea that you just sort of waft effortlessly from one to the other like a beslippered nymph in a dressing gown.

Prices are really reasonable and – with all the little extras thrown in – splashing out on a treatment or two will get you a very special day with friends, your man (or woman – they have couples rooms and packages) or just a treat for yourself to get away from it all for a bit.

Views Spa & Gym:

South Street, Wilderness, 6529, South Africa

Tel: +27 44 877 8010

e-mail: spabookings(at)