It was never going to be an early start, but we upped and outed and headed down the road to see what was available, touting a rucksack full of laundry. Turning right onto Rural Street we found a Pizza restaurant at the end of the road and a bar opposite. We passed the ubiquitous massage parlours, bike sales etc and found a 7/11. Continuing on we discovered the target of our search – a laundry. We dropped off the laundry and headed back to the 7/11 for supplies. We then stopped in the bar, Be2win, that we had passed on the way up. A cold beer and a couple of very pleasant items from the menu later, we continued our journey.
Wandering back down the street in the opposite direction we made a note of the various offerings available – restaurants, bike rentals, fruit stalls and checked out the menus on the restaurants we found. A barbecue restaurant looked nice and offered respite from the sun so we stopped in. Unfortunately there were no fish options, so we just had a drink there. Corinne pointed out that the glass I was drinking from had a picture of the Chelsea team on it, whilst the can that the beer had come from had the Everton team on the side. Disgusting! We continued wandering and checking out the restaurants. One looked interesting but had no beer, so we began the trek back up the hill.
On the way back up, we noticed some bikes for rent outside a massage parlour and so went over to discuss prices. After having a free cup of tea and waiting for an english-speaking native to help out, we found out it was about £28 for a scooter for the week and arranged to come back the next day.
Another dozen yards up the hill and we passed a restaurant called Kooks. We stopped in and ordered drinks then made the mistake of looking at the menu. Item 1 : Spring Rolls (with prawn option).
Well, we had to try them and they were gorgeous! So we had a few other bits of food before heading back to the hotel for a cooling afternoon swim, getting changed and then heading back down there again for dinner. Dinner was great again and we went back to the hotel replete and knackered from the walking.
Around lunchtime the next day we emerged and went down to rent the scooter.
“Need a copy of passport” she said.
“No problem” I said as I handed it over. “I also have my international driving licence”.
She laughed. In my face. A lot.
Apparently the driving licence was not needed.
We set out on the bike, intent on finding Rawai Beach.
Scooting down the road, seeing all the bars, restaurants, massage parlours etc, we somehow ended up at Rawai Beach and saw the sea for the first time. Gorgeous! We drove along the strip to the end where a restaurant called Nikita’s seemed to call to us. Wooden roofed bar right on the edge of the water seemed good to us.
The menu was extensive and the food proved to be stunning. No beer with lunch due to the scooter, but we enjoyed a relaxing time by the water’s edge. Rawai is a working fishing beach rather than a sandy tourist beach, but it was lovely to while away an hour or so looking at the view.
200 yards up the road we stopped again at the side of the road to have a wander. We made it as far as the second open-air restaurant that we passed, before sitting down for a drink again and enjoying the view from a slightly different angle.
The toilets turned out to be across the road in the main restaurant, so over I went. Rather dark and dingy inside the restaurant, but I soldiered on and found the toilet. Spotless. Ok, where’s the flush. None. Bucket in the corner with a big scoop – guess that will do. It did.
Did I mention that we like the food at Kook? We went there again for dinner, but it was packed and so we said we would wait. The owner, Max, brought out chairs to the front of the restaurant and we sat there when along came a French couple (who were also staying at Miracle House) who were given chairs to wait as well. Not having any English, they began to speak to us in French and Corinne came to the rescue and managed a complete conversation with them in French. I sat there like the dumb cousin.
Right, I’m so far behind on this blog that I’ll summarise now.
We spent most of the rest of our time in Rawai exploring the beaches and restaurants then coming back to the hotel each afternoon for a refreshing cooldown in the pool, partaking of a fresh coconut ice cream if the little man happened to pass by.
A ride through Karon and Kata beach one day brought us to Patong where we stopped for a drink in an “Irish Bar”, which had no Guiness, no draft beer and no large bottles of beer. Very strange. We finally managed to navigate our way out of Patong and back to Rawai and decided that we were very glad that we hadn’t initially booked our stay in that town. Shirtless idiots wandering around town with beers in their hands, bars blasting music out in the middle of the day with bar girls hanging around outside trying to tempt people in.
A cookery course in Rawai at the organic cooking school saw us spending about 5 hours in a peaceful setting cooking amazing food and learning some good Thai techniques. This was a wedding present from some of our friends and family and we absolutely loved it.