Hot Rock Krabi Thailand


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Railay (also written Raileh, Reilay and Railey) is a secluded peninsula just south of Ao Nang. It's part of the mainland, but is inaccessible by road due to the impressive towering cliffs that cut it off from the roads. This inaccessibility gives Railay Beach a special island feel, which, with the spectacular scenery, draws many visitors every year. It is reachable with a mere 15 minutes longtail boat ride from Ao Nang, or 30 minutes from Krabi Town. Lined with limestone cliffs and golden sand, from here you can contemplate serene settings and beautiful sunsets. Railay beach is truly a paradise and the natural beauty surrounding the bay is unrivalled in Thailand. There are three sides to the Railay Beach peninsula, all within walking distance, two of which boast spectacular beaches: the west-facing Sunset Beach and Phra Nang Bay. Both could be ranked among the best beaches in Thailand, with their wide expanses of powder white sand sloping down to emerald green water. At the far end of Phra Nang beach you will find a small cave with a shrine notable for its phallic statues. The shrine is dedicated to a deity known locally as Sri Kunlathewi who, according to a legend, was an Indian princess wrecked on this coast in the 3rd century BC and has been called upon by fishermen ever since to provide them with a good catch.


The really adventure-minded can climb a rugged path up the side of this impressive karst cliff to discover a hidden lagoon in its centre. Railay is also Thailand's rock climbing capital. The climbing pioneers started negotiating the limestone cliffs here over ten years ago; most of the climbing schools in Railay have today the most respected instructors in the country. A distinctive panoramic view of Railay Bay and the whole of the Krabi province can be achieved from the top of the cliffs. Railay is a relaxing place with no loud music or masses of people; hence the atmosphere there is unique. You can spend the day lazing around and the evenings on the West side’s many restaurants with good food; when the sun sets and the lights reflects the rocks and islets in the moon-lit sea, you know you are in a special place. At night, Railay is fairly quiet, with a few small bars and places on the east side that stay open late and often have live music and fire shows.

To reach Railay, you must catch a longtail boat from Ao Nang beach, from Ao Nam Mao pier (on the way to Fossil Shell) or from Krabi Town old Chao Fa pier. Boats run from early in the morning until late at night. During daytime, you can purchase tickets for rides to and from Railay and the nearby islands from a couple of booths on the Ao Nang beach road.


Where To Eat

On the west side of Railay you will find the more up-market resorts and places to eat, as the beach is nicer and facing the west, so great for sunsets. In fact, all the restaurants apart from one are connected to a resort, but non-guests are more than welcome to dine there. The food is very good and as well as the traditional Thai fare, decent western dishes such as burgers, pasta and pizza are also available. Some place mats and candles on the beach for you to take your drinks to and watch the sun go down in style. Decent wine and fresh coffee can be found here as well as the usual beers and cocktails.

On the East side, things are a little different. Traditionally the mainstay of backpackers, along with Tonsai, here you can find cheaper, more basic accommodations. The restaurants will not serve fine wines and fresh coffee, but buckets of whisky and Nescafe 3-in-1. The food, in my humble opinion, is great; being cooked the ‘local’ way with plenty of chilies if that’s the way you like it, and a lot cheaper to reflect the location.

As for nightly entertainment, most of the bars play reggae, dance and local music and scatter cushions on basic bamboo platforms for you to lounge on whilst chatting with new friends. It is in a bar here that had for it’s nightly entertainment a fire juggling show, a snake charmer, 4 DJ’s and Muay Thai fight, in the bar...all in the same night! Now that’s entertainment!


Getting There

Railay is a peninsula, meaning it is connected to the mainland, but only accessible by boat. On the west side, you will find longtail taxi-boats to and from Ao Nang and Tonsai beach. Tonsai is just around the corner from Railay west and can also be reached by walking around the rocks at low tide, or over the rocks via a ‘secret’ pathway. Ask a local to show you the way…On the East side you can get taxi-boats to and from Krabi town and Ao Nammao Pier. Boats can also be hired for private trips to the local islands for the same rates as you would pay in Ao Nang


Railay Facts

None. There is a tiny pharmacy on the east side on the beach. If you need to see the doctor, you need to take a longtail to Ao Nang.
None. Report any crimes to your place of accommodation.
Post Office
None. The closest is Ao Nang.
There are only a couple of ATMs on Railay, one on the West side and on the East.
Internet Access
In recent months this is becoming easier to find. Ask at your resort for the nearest location.