Railay Beach, Krabi

One of the most popular destinations in Krabi  is Railay Beach. Railay beach is only accessible by boat, but is not an island, limestone cliffs surround it and cut it off from the other part of the mainland.

We were staying on near Ao Nang beach and it was really easy just to catch a long tail boat from the tour boat office located at the Wangsai Restaurant on the Napparat Thara beach.  The long tail boats cost 200 baht per person (Zoë was free) for the trip there and back (during low season). Unbeknownst to us we had the choice to be dropped off at different parts of the beach, (West Railay Beach, Phra Nang Beach, or Tonsai Bay) so we hopped off the long tail into the high tide surf at West Railay beach about 20 minutes after leaving the dock at Wangsai. West Railay Beach is lined with a few restaurants and resorts, a tattoo shop, and a mini mart. There was probably more as well, but we did not spend much time there.

Noppharat Thara Beach Map showing where to go for Long tail boat tickets.
Noppharat Thara Beach Map showing where to go for Long tail boat tickets.
A close of of where to get long tail boat tickets to Railay beach.
A close up view of where to get long tail boat tickets to Railay beach.

We wanted to see the limestone cliffs and the beautiful beaches, but our goal for the day was to traipse past the east beach to see the Phra Nang Cave. This cave is thought to house the Phra Nang, Princess Goddess, and is a place where sailors still come to leave offerings for safe journeys. These offerings are usually flowers, incense, and such. Oh and others come to leave fertility offerings which are phallic sculptures. For those of you who may be confused, that means that there are all different sized wooden penises throughout the cave, piled up on each other all over the place. Yep, we had to see it, so we headed that way.

We started walking from the west to east beach. The two beaches are connected by a walkway that was mostly without shade and a little confusing as the resorts DO NOT want you on their property unless of course you are their “guest.” The security guards let you know if you put a toe over the line, too.  It was a little annoying. Regardless, the walk only took about 10 minutes.

There sure was a lot of resorts for such a small area.

When we arrived on the other side of the peninsula, we realized that the due to the high tide, the walkway to the cave we wanted to see on Phra Nang beach was covered by about a foot of ocean. We didn’t mind getting a little wet and decided to walk through it. It was a bit tough at some points, but was fun and we felt adventurous. On the way to the cave, we realized that we could have been dropped off from our long tail boat much closer to the cave if we had just waited and gotten off at Phra Nang beach.

Wading through the water to get to the cave.
Wading through the water to get to the cave.

Finally the path sloped upwards and our now prune like feet got a chance to dry off as we walked down a lovely laid out stone path around a limestone cliff. It was a nice leisurely walk and after passing some clean bathrooms (10 baht charge) we came to Phra Nang beach and cave.

A shady and well-paved path.
A shady and well-paved path.
Walking around the limestone cliffs.
Walking around the limestone cliffs.

The first thing that I noticed was that the beach was rather small, well it seemed more that way as a tour group was taking up most of the beach and yelling encouragement to their friends and families as each of them climbed the limestone cliff there.  At the far end of the beach though were the Phra Nang caves. Yep, that’s right, there are two caves, well, one is really more of an alcove, but both had area’s for praying (chanting?) and giving offerings to the princess goddess. Obviously I am not a person that believes in this type of thing, but the beauty of the cave and the humor of all the male parts (we were very respectful, but still!) were worth the easy and beautiful walk there.

Climbing the limestone... no that is definitely not me.
Climbing the limestone… no that is definitely not me.
The beach was rather small with all those people on it.
The beach was rather small with all those people on it.
That's me in front of the smaller Phra Nang Cave.
That’s me in front of the smaller Phra Nang Cave.

Z  and Chad played in the surf for a while (even finding some of the wooden statues on the ocean floor! Oops.) and then we started the walk back. We decided to try a different way back and quickly found out that only resort guests were allowed that way, so doubled back and went back the way we came in.

Playing in the water/
Chad and Z playing in the water.

The walk around Railay Beach was easy and the cliffs were gorgeous. I would really recommend checking out Railay beach if you are in Krabi, but I have a few tips for you if you do:

 Tips to Make Railay Beach the Best!

1. Make sure to check the tide schedule.  It would have been a lot easier and much more accessible for us if it had been low tide. Unless you like to tread water while you walk, check the tide schedule.

2. Bring your own snacks, take-away lunch, and drinks.  As with anywhere else in the world, if you are forced to buy from only one or two places because you are on a secluded resort beach, you will pay the exorbitant prices.

3. Don’t bother bringing a stroller. Regardless of what the water levels are, this area of Krabi is not made for strollers. We actually were trying out a product that we bought to review called The Piggy Back Rider. You can read that review next week, but it was great for this excursion.


What do you think about caves filled with awkward statues?  Have you ever been to Railay beach? Would you wade through sea water to get to your next destination? Leave a comment and let me know!


  36 comments for “Railay Beach, Krabi

  1. thehomeschoolingdoctor
    August 22, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    I loved this post! I love walking to a destination with a little challenge! Well, if I am prepared for it! The cave(s) were wonderful looking. If there wasn’t the group there, the beach looks perfect! A special place (I don’t know about those phalluses though. LOL!) You didn’t have a stroller to drag along did you? Neat looking destination.

    • andthreetogo
      August 22, 2014 at 10:10 pm

      No we left our stroller and used a back type thing. It was much easier, especially for me because chad was wearing it! Haha.
      It does make a destination more special when you have to work for it. 🙂

  2. thankfultravelers
    August 22, 2014 at 11:11 pm

    I love the question you ask at the end of the write-up’s! It really makes me think a bot deeper about your adventures and makes it much more personal. Great pics of you, Chad and Zoë by the way!

    • andthreetogo
      August 23, 2014 at 7:59 am

      Thanks mom! I am glad you like them. 🙂 love you!

  3. thankfultravelers
    August 22, 2014 at 11:12 pm

    “Bit” deeper, not “bot”

  4. The Vanilla Housewife
    August 22, 2014 at 11:59 pm

    I would wade through the water and climb those cliffs! But I’m pretty sure I’d change my mind once I’m there. LOL looks like a nice adventure!

    • andthreetogo
      August 23, 2014 at 8:01 am

      It was actually really easy. I actually should have made a tip that one should wear hike appropriate shoes or flip flops or something… Oh well. Haha

  5. freebutfun
    August 23, 2014 at 12:51 am

    I like my work but you don’t make it easy tempting with all these great holiday destinations… 😉

    • andthreetogo
      August 23, 2014 at 8:03 am

      Lol. I’m sorry 🙁 Do you get pretty good holiday time off in Finland? In America it’s usually a week or two max, I have heard European countries it is much more.

      • freebutfun
        August 24, 2014 at 12:41 am

        I just had almost 7 weeks off, so can’t complain (part of it unpaid though, but I don’t mind as long as I got time with my babies). The norm is 4 weeks off in the summer and one week in the winter. 1-2 weeks sounds horrible (well, I’m sure employers like it;) )

        • andthreetogo
          August 24, 2014 at 9:05 am

          Wow! That’s great! And now you know why many Americans can’t travel internationally. By the time the jet lag is done you are on your way back home pretty much. 🙂

          • freebutfun
            August 24, 2014 at 10:35 pm

            Yeah, 1-2 weeks really is not enough. No wonder travelling Americans typically have been “between jobs” and are on the road for months. Sometimes I wonder how you/they can do it all the time, but I guess one can when that is the way it is?! Personally I find that the break makes me more motivated and driven to work again, so I don’t think it is a total waist of money for employers either.

  6. joylovestravel
    August 23, 2014 at 1:54 am

    Looks beautiful – love the picture of them walking through the water. I love this kind of place – limestone cliffs and “interesting” sculptures, this sounds right up my street.

    • andthreetogo
      August 23, 2014 at 8:04 am

      I think your son would love to climb on on the rocks too! It was perfect for kids (and Z slept soooo well that night) . 🙂

  7. expatlingo
    August 23, 2014 at 2:16 am

    Dreaming of a warm beach and wadding through body temp water. Utrecht is lovely, but the daytime highs this week have been 19 C! After Hong Kong, it’s rather hard to wear a jacket in summer!

    • andthreetogo
      August 23, 2014 at 8:06 am

      Oh my, I would probably cry. I am definitely a person that needs hot weather. It was 13 c when we visited Tokyo and I thought I would freeze to death. I do not know how people live in cold places like Alaska…. Of course they probably wonder how I live in a place like Phuket. Haha

      • expatlingo
        August 23, 2014 at 5:31 pm

        New philosophy: there is no bad weather, only bad clothes!

        • andthreetogo
          August 23, 2014 at 8:48 pm

          I like that philosophy 🙂

  8. mamabyfire
    August 23, 2014 at 2:33 am

    Sounds like so much fun! Did your Z ask many questions about the sculptures? I know mine would have! We would have waded through the water for sure-I would have wanted to see the cave and its contents! LOL!

    • andthreetogo
      August 23, 2014 at 8:08 am

      It was so much fun. Z pretty much just ignored them. But we are pretty up front with her about the differences between boys and girls so I don’t think she thinks there’s anything weird about a cave full of phallus…yet anyways. Lol

  9. Less to More
    August 23, 2014 at 7:10 am

    I think I would wait for the low tide. I remember hiking through a jungle and we had to cross a small river. It just wasn’t fun to hike the rest of the way with wet socks and shoes. I guess it’s ok if you’re wearing flip flops. Looks like a fun adventure!

    • andthreetogo
      August 23, 2014 at 8:09 am

      Flip flops (or in my case water-ok flats) are key! I saw many people carrying their shoes and socks as they walked, but I was worried about stepping on nails or something.

  10. Sue Slaght
    August 23, 2014 at 10:16 am

    I would love to wave my magic wand and be there. It has been on my bucket list to climb in Thailand for a very long time. Thank you for taking me, albeit virtually.

    • andthreetogo
      August 23, 2014 at 10:29 am

      I didn’t realize that you are a climber as well! You amaze me. 🙂 I like to say it’s my fear of heights that keeps me from doing that kind of stuff, but I think it is also my lack of upper body strength. Lol

      • Sue Slaght
        August 23, 2014 at 10:34 am

        Fear of heights can definitely keep one loser to the ground. 🙂 Some upper body strength helps as well but good climbers use their legs more than their arms. 🙂 there are a couple photos of me climbing and a video of Dave, all from a few years back, in this post mid way. http://traveltalesoflife.com/2014/08/12/grassi-lakes-the-canmore-jewels/

        • andthreetogo
          August 23, 2014 at 10:39 am

          Thanks for sharing the post! Yep, I would be doubly screwed, I have more upper body strength than leg strength. Haha

          • Sue Slaght
            August 23, 2014 at 10:40 am

            Haha I think you are just being hard on yourself. 🙂

  11. melissajane01
    August 23, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    Those limestone cliffs are amazing!

    • andthreetogo
      August 23, 2014 at 4:31 pm

      Aren’t they?! It was so awesome to see. I wish my pictures could do them justice. 🙂

  12. theblackberryboys
    August 23, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    Amazing place. Really beautiful. I would walk through ocen water to get there 🙂 xoxo Fanni

    • andthreetogo
      August 23, 2014 at 4:33 pm

      It was truly amazing! Xoxox

  13. Bronwyn Joy @ Journeys Of The Fabulist
    August 26, 2014 at 5:11 pm

    We have to go back!

    I love the high tide walk – I think you made the right choice (let’s just use the word “choice”). The really adventurous part was taking a toddler to see a cave of fertility offerings, though. Any questions? 🙂

    • andthreetogo
      August 26, 2014 at 5:17 pm

      No, she didn’t seem that interested in knowing what they were, more in playing in the ocean. 🙂

      • Bronwyn Joy @ Journeys Of The Fabulist
        August 26, 2014 at 8:10 pm

        Lucky escape! Although I can see how the ocean provided a pretty safe bet there 🙂

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