monkey on a roof in Railay, Thailand
Photo Credit: Hannah Robinett

Last week, Christopher and I went to Thailand for our friends’ wedding. It was my first real big trip. Before moving to England the week before, I hadn’t even crossed over to another continent. Just figured I’d go big this year…

We stayed in Bangkok for the first few nights and then jetted over to Railay Beach for the rest of the week. We had arranged to stay at Railei Beach Club  a community of privately owned houses you can rent. The area is situated right on the beach, but as soon as we arrived, many bags in tow, we realized you could only get there by walking on the beach, but it was high tide and pouring rain. So, we waited.

When we finally made it, we geeked out. I mean, look at this place!

Railay Beach Club Thailand
Posing in front of the house with our pet tiger.

Roommates: Our Brooklyn friends Ricky and Hannah
Bedrooms: 1 master bedroom, 1 living room bedroom, and 1 first floor bedroom (which Ricky kept referring to as “Hanibal Lecter’s office”–you get the idea. Needless to say, no one slept in there.)
Bathroom: 1 outside. Completely outside. As in, when I went to the bathroom and showered, monkeys were watching.

Railay Beach Club outdoor bathroom
Our bathroom. Did I  mention we weren’t supposed to flush toilet paper?
There was a waste bin for that… :/

Speaking of monkeys… In our little welcome book placed in our outdoor living room, there was a guide explaining that horrific sound of a woman screaming in the jungle. It was in fact not a lady yelling at the monkeys to leave her alone in the bathroom (as one might have expected), but instead an actual monkey. Some of them sound like women in a fit of rage. Like when I try to get Beyonce tickets and they’re all sold out.

The guide book had tips like “lock the doors and windows when you leave, and store all food to avoid attracting monkeys into your home,” but nowhere in the book did it say what to do if a monkey actually approached you. So, Hannah and I Googled it and found a few tips. If you find yourself near a monkey, remember this:

  1. Never heckle a monkey. 
  2. Pretend to throw a stone at their feet, but don’t actually do it. It’ll scare them away, without hurting them.
  3. Avoid eye contact.
  4. Never show your teeth. To them, a big toothy grin means a challenge and they’ll attack you!
What seemed like a cool idea in theory was not cool at all. In fact it was really hot. No AC hot. That combined with the monkeys yelling at all hours (and I could have sworn they were knocking on our door throughout the night) made for a miserable time. I think I got maybe one good hour of sleep. 
mosquito net bed
Our bed complete with a mosquito net which actually caught some bugs.
Guys, I’m so hardcore…
The next morning, we all gathered in the outdoor living room, checked our Facebook and Twitter (because that’s what you do when you fly half-way across the world) and enjoyed some bottled water.
Our outdoor living room + Christopher, Ricky, and Hannah smiling on the couch
which may or may not have monkey poo on the pillows….

Confession: Christopher and I only lasted a night there. After living out of our suitcases the entire week before in Oxford, we were in desperate need of a little R&R. So, we checked into a resort with a spa and pool. And while I don’t have any regrets about that, I’m happy to say I also don’t have any regrets about experiencing the monkey house either. #YOLO

Our new resort. Pros: pool, AC, indoor bathroom. Cons: No crazy monkey stories.

What’s the most rustic vacation you’ve ever gone on? Now that I’ve slept among monkeys, I’m feeling adventurous (as long as there’s a spa/resort within walking distance… just in case!)