South-east Asian beaches, not at all Christmassy but my daughter is still young enough for that not to matter too much. I am always happy when I’m on the beach, and Railay West and Pranang Beach are so beautiful, Shishi (my wife) had to drag me away kicking and screaming when it was time to leave for our flight back to Bangkok. This trip was all about spending time relaxing as a family. A typical trip away for us involves seeing as much as possible in a short time frame so we never really have a chance to relax. We promised this trip would be different, although we did have a few days either side of our beach trip in Bangkok we agreed to spend five straight days eating Thai food, listening to reggae, lazing on the beach and building sand castles with our two-year-old daughter, Sophie.

Sophie adores playing at the beach, although it’s always a challenge for Shishi and I as our little girl has developed a real taste for the exotic seaside. What I mean is, we spent most of our time trying to prevent her from eating handfuls of sand and foiling on her attempts to drown herself in the waves. We prefer Pranang beach as it is covered with shade from the limestone cliffs for most of the day. The atmosphere on the beach is incredible, a light hum of relaxed travellers enjoying the views and the gorgeous smell of incense from the fertility shrine in princess cave made it hard to do anything but fall in line with the chilled out vibe of the island.

The only possible cause of stress on Railay for me came from the confrontations with the locals. Of course, I’m not talking about the people, who always welcomed us with warm smiles and friendliness and were especially fond of little Sophie. The local monkeys, however, are not so friendly. On the way back from a food run from the beach a large male clocked me, his eyes locked onto me when he noticed I was carrying a bag of food. He immediately came down from the wall and charged towards me attempting to grab the bag from my hand. Showing his teeth, he made a few attempts to rip at the bag as I held it up high trying to get it out of his reach. Luckily after several attempts, he gave up, and I was able to walk back to my family with our lunch, albeit in a very ripped carrier bag. The following morning we woke up to our bungalow surrounded by monkeys fighting over a pack of digestive biscuits that we had accidentally left in Sophie’s buggy. Sophie got so excited and walked towards the window screaming ‘monkey!’ a little one at first was startled and turned to run but then realised she was just a baby and jumped at the glass with the intent on attacking her.

Lesson learnt, don’t feed the monkeys šŸ™‚

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