We took a day trip to Railay beach from Krabi town. Railay is like an island, but it isn’t, it’s part of the mainland in the Krabi province of Thailand. The towering limestone karsts make it inaccessible by road meaning you’re only way of getting there is by boat. Giving it that island feel.
Getting To Railay Beach
We boarded our traditional long tail boat from Chao Fa pier in Krabi town. This is only a few minutes walk from where we were staying on the main street in the town. The boat cost us 300 Baht per person for a return trip. The boats run from early morning and the last boat being at 5PM. If you want to stay later you’d either have to sort out some accommodation there, or charter your own boat, both options not great for the budget traveller.
The boat took about 40 minutes. A thing to remember when travelling on these long tail boats is don’t expect a comfy and relaxing ride. The few times I have ridden on them you are sat on a wooden plank meters from a huge car engine that is powering the propeller, personally I don’t mind this, but if quietness and comfort are what you’re after maybe think again.
We arrived on the extremely bouncy and rocky floating pier at east Railay. East Railay isn’t all that pretty, we arrived when the tide was out and it was muddy and a little unappealing (despite the many crabs running around in the mud). So we headed straight for Railay west, the main beach, Railay beach.
This beach is very popular, and very crowded. Here you’ll find most of the bars and resorts, so as you’d expect most of the people. We had a walk up and down, got an overpriced and underwhelming Thai soup for breakfast and tried to find somewhere a little more us.
We walked around and ended up at Ao Phra Nang beach (Princess beach) it was beautiful!
Ao Phra Nang beach (Princess beach)
Princess beach was much quieter, less resorts and even a few long tail boats anchored up selling drinks and snacks, we wished we came straight here for breakfast!
Just down the beach on the right hand side if you’re facing the ocean was a place for rock climbing, this seemed popular, and also the Princess cave.
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. She lived out the rest of her days in the cave, awaiting her husband’s return.
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 phallic-shaped statues meant to represent the Hindu god Shiva.
After spending a few hours chilling out at this beautiful beach we decided to head to the Railay view-point. Little did we know there wasn’t a footpath, but literally a rock climbing obstacle course to get to it!
Although this was really fun, it isn’t for the faint hearted, and by god were our muscles sore the next day!
Totally worth it for that view!
After the rock climb we had another swim to cool off then made our way back to the pier to get our boat back to Krabi town.
We loved Railay, a lot! Maybe go as far as it being our favourite day trip in Thailand so far. It’s a breathtakingly beautiful part of the world with relaxation, adventure and monkeys! You can have it all.
It’s a little expensive to eat and stay on the island, so if you’re on a tight budget I’d suggest it as a day trip.
It’s a definite must do!
Have you visited Railay Beach? What did you think?
We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!