One of the most rewarding do-it-yourself adventures in Krabi is taking a day trip to Railay Beach. This beach owns many accolades, often touted as one of the best in Asia. It is unaccessible from the mainland, no roads, no cars, but a simple and fun journey from Ao Nang. Find the Longtail Boat Service booth where the main street meets the water.
It’s right on the corner and you can’t miss it. Prices are listed and you can choose to get a one way or return trip to Railay (you can purchase your ticket for the way back there, if you feel more comfortable).
Then cross the street where the men will be saying ‘railayrailay’ and follow them to the boat, once you get enough people. It doesn’t take long. Longtail boats are so nostalgic, you must take at least one ride during your trip to the islands.
Getting to Railay is a quick 15 minute ride, try to sit at the front of the boat for the best views.
Because they are phenomenal.
Heading there early was a great idea, the beach was so quiet beneath the colossal limestone walls.
What’s really wonderful other than the lack of crowds is the fact that there are no hawkers. It’s much different from the beach at Ao Nang. Feeling energetic our first order of the morning was to hike the two trails on either side of the beach – good shoes are essential. The first all the way to the right as you face inland beside this sign – surprisingly hidden.
It was the more difficult of the two, due to a muddy slippery path from recent rain.
After a quick climb up there are some great formations.
The path did become a bit unclear, but the jungle is thin. Soon we were up above the tree line and found a great view of the cove.
We shared this area with rock climbers, who continued on from here.
Back down to the beach we started trail number two on the opposite side of the sand.
It isn’t very obvious at first, but climb over the jagged rocks and there is a well crafted hike.
A bit sheer and slippery in spots, with well placed ropes.
The short trail gives a view to TonSai Beach.
This area is very popular with rock climbers.
At low tide it wasn’t great for swimming.
However, the beach was all but deserted which added to the charm.
Making our way back to our original beach, we enjoyed some natural sights. A pacific reef heron was hunting in the shallows.
A little yellow bird sung high up in a tree.
Tiny crabs crafted the most beautiful spiraling patterns in the sand.
It was time for a bit of relaxation. Sitting in the shade, because it’s HOT. Swimming in the warm calm water of paradise. I can’t sit still for long, the day was ticking and I always have the adventure itch. It was time to rent a kayak from the vendor on the beach for 200 baht. There is SO much to see. Hugging the coast heading left facing the ocean, the first thing I noticed were the bizarre palm trees growing the wrong way!
Then the sea caves were calling, just wide enough for a kayaker to go through.
Though the path is short, the formations are incredible.
Staying in the same direction the stalactites dripping from the sea cliffs were mesmerizing.
A deep turquoise color contrast with the grey walls.
Find a perfect flowerpot formation and circle it.
Stark towering formations.
And tiny monitor lizards.
So many fun obstacles for paddles up to the challenge.
And treasured enclaves.
All of that in just an hour of paddling, really you could spend so much time out on the water in this area. We were hungry and it was time for lunch, so we returned the kayak and walked down the short street lined with restaurants. Closest to the water we plopped down happy to be in the shade. This shop spans both sides of the street and has an eclectic menu. Start with a refreshing fruit smoothie, they make them pretty.
Next a unique salad. Miang Come is sweet, spicy, and herbal. It has coconut, lemon, shallots, peanut, chilli, dried shrimp, lime, and a wildbetal leaf to wrap it all in – but first drizzle with palm sugar sauce.
Last top it off with a thai pancake – this one was a bit greasier than the others we tried in town, but it hit the spot.
Tomato cheese and onion was perfect for lunch time. We could have spent the rest of the day on the beach swimming, renting snorkel gear, and hanging out – if only there was more time! You can stay in Railay – there are accommodations ranging from little bungalows to luxury hotels and everything in between. Or you can hop on your longtail boat and take the quick ride back to Ao Nang.