Day #135 - Caves of Wonder

We awoke and managed to find each other again in the huge bed! During the night it was quite funny to discover how much space we had!

The resort's breakfast was, as I am sure you'd imagine, spectacular. Not only were we offered a choice of à la carte hot and cold dishes, but there was a wonderful array of offerings at the buffet. All this top off by superb service.
After breakfast, there was only one thing to do and that was to head to the pool. Once again, the attendant set us up with towels, iced water and sun loungers in a lovely shady spot. There were just a few people around, taking an early morning dip, so we pretty much had the vast pool to ourselves.
It was one of those 'pinch yourself' moments when I looked at my surroundings from the middle of the pool. Ahead, the infinity pool bled into the beautiful azure waters; either side of me, towering granting cliffs with their eerie stalactite formations that make them look like melting candles; above, nothing but clear sky and sunshine.
We had a drink or two poolside along with a nice pizza snack for lunch. We were saving ourselves for the evening meal which was going to be something special.
After we had exhausted the pool, we headed back to our pavilion for an injection of air conditioning before we took a walk to the other half of our resort we hadn't explored yet.
The resort straddles two beaches, the one we arrived in and enjoy over looking from our pool (East Railay); the other (Railay Beach) home to great rock formations and caves.
Railay beach, like East Railay, is open to the public but they have a long walk to experience it - we just walk out of our resort!
At one end of Railay beach is Princess Cave or Phra Nang Cave which has been dedicated to a princess goddess named Phra Nang. According to legend, Phra Nang was an Indian princess who was killed in a shipwreck. In another tale, Phra Nang was the wife of a fisherman who was lost at sea. Today, local fisherman and boatmen leave offerings in Phra Nang cave to ensure safe travel on the sea. These offers take the form of male genitalia - the cave is covered in many “linga”, or phallic-shaped statues meant to represent the Hindu god Shiva. The offerings in Phra Nang cave are especially realistic! There was also a lizard happily enjoying itself among all the phallus!
We walked back towards the other beach, following the bottom of the huge cliff that towers over our resort. At the base of the cliff, thousands of years of erosion and stalagmite activity had created the most mesmerising collection of interconnected tunnels and grottos.
On our return to the resort, we took time out in our pavillion before heading to the resort's spa for some pampering. The spa treatments on offer were very tempting and comprehensive and after our splendid massages at our last hotel, we did contemplate having a treatment. However, the prices were a little off putting so we stuck with the much needed haircuts. The spa itself and the salon continued the resort's luxurious theme and one couldn't help floating off while having someone take care of you.
Sidenote: after the cut, the lady asked me to lie on a bed with a sink at the head end. For anyone that has had to bend their head back into a sink and the hairdressers and almost snapped their neck, this was a much more sensible way of doing it - so much more comfortable!

Freshly groomed, we popped into Guest Services to arrange tomorrow's transportation before we headed back for a couple of hours in our pavilion.
Come six o'clock, we headed back to the end of the resort where we were earlier for dinner. This was going to be an experience and one James had been looking forward to for all of the trip.
We had booked to have a sunset dinner at The Grotto. This was the famous "restaurant in a cave" that the resort is known for. The restaurant is located where we were earlier at
Railay beach and our table gave us a beautiful view across the sand and see to the magnificent rock formation out in the ocean.
As we dined, the sun began to set behind the rock giving us the most spectacular sight by which to enjoy a very special meal and each other's company, accompanied by live music. It is definitely one dining experience I will treasure for many years to come.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, the food was amazing! We have done our fair share of buffet dinners on this trip, but this one was buffet dining on a whole new level!