Railay, Krabi, Thailand
Railay, one of the coastal cities of the Krabi province in Thailand. Right in between the city of Krabi and Ao Nang. Railay beach can only be reached by boat as huge limestone rocks block off the roads from the mainland to Railay. Railay is a peninsula, but has the look and feel of an actual island.
Railay is known for the large amount of monkeys roaming around freely. These monkey’s.. they have no fear. No, in fact, you should be afraid! Never, and to repeat, never walk around with food unless you plan on giving it to them.
|Picture: Railey monkies||Picture: Railey West beach rainbow|
Most boats dock at Railay West beach. In the middle of the beach you will find a path surrounded by souvenir and clothing/holiday things you can buy. Walk a little further to East beach and you will wind up at a more secluded place with magnificent mangrove views on the island.
|Picture: Railey East beach lookout||Picture: Railey East beach|
On Railey shore, and along the Railay path, you can find many massage parlors. A Thai massage of 1 hour usually costs 300 Bath.
Railay probably has the most amazing beaches of the Thai mainland. Truly postcard material. There are 4 beaches:
- East beach (Sunrise beach)
- West beach (Sunset beach)
- South beach – Phra Nang Bay
- Tonsai beach
Railay East beach is the lesser beach of the three. In fact, it is not even really a beach, more a mangrove that shows, with low tide, meters and meters of muddy surfaces. The hotels in this area are cheaper than hotels located closer to the other beaches, but the nicer beaches are still on walking distance.
|Picture: Railey East beach||Picture: Railey East beach|
Railay West beach is a lovely beach. During the day you can enjoy the sun and during nighttime, all tourist gather at the beach to witness the sunset. The sight is truly magical… There are no sunbeds or parasols on this beach, and it can be a little noisy on this beach due to the longboats dropping off and picking up visitors throughout the day.
|Picture: Railey West beach||Picture: Railey West beach|
Phra Nang Bay is the most beautiful beach. It has clear waters, soft white sand, caves, coral and 2 small islands nearby. This beach is typically the most favorite one.
|Picture: Phra Nang Bay caves||Picture: Phra Nang Bay beach|
On the Phra Nang beach you’ll find also the Phranang (Princess) cave, which is a very unexpected sight. The cave contains a strange combination of large phallic symbols (lingams).
Local people, fishermen and navigators believe and hold faith in the Princess of the Phranang Cave that she will preserve and protect their livelihood and fulfill one’s wishes. When their wishes are fulfilled, votive offerings would be made at the shrine. Common gift are flowers and incense sticks. But usually the spirits of the Goddess are offered a special gift, the lingam, which is carved from wood. The belief of the lingam and holy womb shall create fertility and prosperity to the whole earth and mankind.
Please honor and respect this sacred sight and don’t place things of worship that are inappropriate.
|Picture: Phranang (Princess) cave||Picture: Phranang (Princess) cave|
Tonsai beach can typically only be reached via Railay West beach on foot. This beach is not much developed, meaning it is pretty calm and quiet and there are not many utilities.
There are many backpackers headed to spend some time at Railay, so you will find an easy, relaxed and laid back atmosphere there. As the limestone rocks at Railay are practically vertical and pretty high, this is a great spot for rock climbing lovers to climb. Especially at a spot called: “Tonsai”. Climbers from around the word go here to do some great climbing.
|Picture: Railey lime stones||Picture: Railey sunset|
Amazing nature and sunsets…
|Picture: Railey sunset||Picture: Railey view from sea|
How to get there
As mentioned before, there is no road going to Railay as Railay is cut off from the mainland by limestone rocks. The only way to get to Railay is on a boat. Boats to Railay typically leave from the surrounding coastal cities such as Krabi and Ao Nang. From Railay, boats also depart daily to the small surrounding islands like the Phi Phi islands.