Railay is a small peninsula between Krabi Town and Ao Nang in Krabi. You can only get to it by boat as high limestone cliffs cut it off from the mainland. It’s like a secret tropical kingdom waiting to be discovered.
The scenery on the ride over is very dramatic with huge rocks sprouting out of the sea and cliffs surrounding the beaches covered in plenty of tropical vegetation. On arrival in Railay Bay – jump off the boat and wade through the sea to get ashore (with your suitcases if you’re staying there) – you immediately feel like you’ve arrived in another world. Railay redefines the phrase laid back. It’s the kind of place you can imagine disappearing in for a while to empty your head and rediscover your mojo (if it’s lost, heaven forbid).
The Beach wasn’t filmed here, it was on nearby Koh Phi Phi, but I did feel a bit like I was in a scene from it at times (no sign of Leo, though). It’s just something about the atmosphere of the place. It feels unspoilt and wild in parts, there are enough hotels and restaurants to enjoy, yet they coexist in perfect harmony.
There are four beaches and, frankly, its all a bit confusing. Maybe because you’ve arrived by boat it feels like you’re on an island. But you’re not… and when you walk around none of the beaches connect because of the rocky surrounds, so you’re going to have to backtrack. There are amazing caves, huge trees and steep rocky cliffs for the adventurous to climb. Here’s a taste of this stunningly unique and weirdly beautiful piece of Thailand.
Yes, of course we had lunch…you didn’t think I’d post without including at least some food. These floating take aways were popular choices, stock up on Thai food and eat on the beach, how lovely. We were more tempted by the restaurant on the beach and tucked into delicious Thai curries.
The long-tailed boat ride takes about 15 minutes from Ao Nang and costs 200 baht (about £4) return. You have to wait until there are 8 people before the boat leaves, a little annoying as you can wait a while. We waited 45 minutes for our return journey, but we were sitting on the beach, so it’s not exactly a rainy bus stop in London. Seriously though, it’s well worth the wait. Railay lifts the spirit in a way I can’t really explain.