Visiting Railay Beach, Krabi
Ko Samui to Railay Beach by Ferry/Bus
We had booked our ferry/bus ticket from 12GoAsia so was prepared, although it’s cheaper to buy from the ticket offices slightly. It’s better for Kelly’s health to be organised!
The journey was a lot cheaper than flight and took around 7 hours all in all, consisting on ferry/bus to Krabi Town, and then my first experience of a longtail boat around the stunning coastline to Railay Beach
Where we stayed – Rapala Resort, Railay Beach
This isn’t the best place we’ve stayed in Thailand, in terms of facilities/cleanliness/safety. We were essentially in a shack made from wicker panels, and outside toilets/wash areas. Kelly was dealing with this surprisingly well, which has to be down to our time in India!
That be said, this was the cheapest place we found with good reviews and the staff were so friendly, we were made to feel at home, and we did. I would rate this place highly for the value and if you’re looking for an authentic beach/island stay.
Where to Eat – Mongroove Restaurant
Starving from our seven hour journey, we went in search of food for survival. It soon became obvious that Railay Beach wasn’t cheap and there were no 7 elevens for comfort. Water was 40 baht (compared to 14 we were paying elsewhere) and the place probably consisted of 30 bars/restaurants and 5 shops in total, definitely the smallest resort I have ever been in!
Somehow we still managed to find the best valued meal in the vicinity! And this was thanks to Mongroove Restaurant where Kelly ordered a tempura chicken for 100 baht (£2.50). With this you got 4 large strips of freshly fried chicken with chips. It sufficed for takeaway lunch on the beach the next day too!
Visiting Railay Beach
We headed to Railay Beach around 4pm when we arrived to watch the longtail boats leave the beach as tourist day trips were coming to an end.
Kel was amazed at the dead jellyfish on the sands, I was amazed by the smallish beach surrounded by palm trees and limestone rocks. It was stunning, and the perfect setting to watch sunset.
I visited the beach the next morning to grab some photos without tourists, and was successful! On my walk I witnessed many tourists asleep in the bars that line the pathway to the beach, lots of heavy nights!
Visiting Phra Nang Beach
Only a 10 minute walk away is another gorgeous beach, with a few temples dedicated to phallus’s (bizarre!), a limestone rock you can walk to, a cave and many rock climbing opportunities.
I almost considered climbing to the popular viewpoint but flip flops, wet weather and being alone aren’t a great recipe for steep clay rocks and a thin strand of rope!
Cheapest Bar: The Last Bar for Drinks & Muay Thai
This place offered up the cheapest drinks we could find in Railay and is only a 10 minute walk from the beach. They also boast a large screen for sport, a stage for live music and a free pool table.
They were also promoting a Muay Thai fight in their very own ring for 100 baht (the cheapest you will find anywhere!).
The Muay Thai fight we watched was certainly shocking, however very entertaining. The fighters definitely work hard for this sport and put so much into their fights. As the winner gains the purse and gets to circle the ring, receiving selfies and tips from spectators.
The commentary/DJ certainly added to the entertainment factor, he was hilarious, as he kept shouting ‘he’s ok’ and ‘don’t worry’ whilst sniggering with laughter.
In terms of other bars, there are lots fto choose from! 20% of the bars were either reggae or themed in a quirky manner…
Considering Railay Beach, Krabi?
Railay Beach and surroundings certainly had a charm and quirky feel about them. The place is an obvious tourist spot/holiday destination with easy access to surrounding islands by boat only (no road access).
After the fight was an included fire show between two performers which topped off an awesome (and cheap) night.
It is more expensive, but that is in comparison to the rest of Thailand, a beer is still only £3!
If you’re looking for a remote, chilled environment with beaches and bars this area is the perfect choice.
Visiting Krabi Town
Railay Beach to Krabi Town
For some reason we messed up on this one, and soon realised that pre booking tickets on 12GoAsia aren’t always the way to go. We wanted to spend one night in Krabi Town, but should have done this before Railay and gone from Railay straight to Phuket, which would have been cheaper and quicker.
It just so happened getting from Railay to Krabi Town was a bit of a nightmare. Longtail boats only leave when they fill up, so we had to wait in the hope for likeminded travellers.
Unfortunately no one showed up, so we took a longtail to Ao Namao Pier to find a road, and from there a Songthew around Ao Nang beach (a place I wanted to visit, every cloud had a silver lining hey!) and across to Krabi Town:
It wad a mission and took 3 times longer than we thought.
Where we stayed – Pak Up Hostel
We heard from many that this is the best hostel in Krabi and it certainly lived up to this. The place was big, modern, quirky, cheap, clean and boasted all the facilities you would need – including its very own bar. Ohh, it’s perfectly located too!
It even has a 7 eleven near by, aren’t we so happy to see you!
Visiting the Pier/Promenade
We took a little romantic stroll along here where you will find various artworks/sculptures and the surroundings of limestone islands/rocks.
Visiting Wat Kaew (FREE)
We hadn’t planned on visiting any temples here, but saw this was close so checked it out, and we’re glad we did.
It’s only a small complex, but the temple on the hill makes for a good picture.
Visiting the Tiger Cave Temple (FREE)
I was on my own for this one, as the trek up 1,237 steep steps didn’t appeal to Kel one bit.
A songthaew from town costs only 50 baht (providing there are other passengers going that way).
On arrival you are greeted by colourful tiger statues guarding an entrance, water fountains and garden area. It is all well presented, but the temple itself seemed to be under construction.
I walked into a small cave area operated by monks, to which one kept calling me ‘handsome’ which was a little awkward. Not even Kel tells me that!
After watching the monkeys cause mischief, I then braced myself for the steep climb. As I passed struggling tourists, I was thinking it was easy, but then I realised I was only half way!
On route to the top there is a worship area and the path is lined with small gold pagodas. The path is marked by number of steps, so you can track progress. I’m not sure if this helped or not!
On making it to the top, I joined in with the sighs of relief and celebrated silently.
At the top is a large pagoda and buddha (no surprise, it’s a temple). But the winner was definitely the views surrounding the summit.
The views of which were soon to be erased due to a panel of grey mist edging closer. 20 of us looked in fear as the clouds merged in on us and it hammered it down with rain.
We all huddled for cover and watched the climbers that got stuck appear from step 1,237 completely drenched. The sighs of relief were even louder.
After a 30 minute wait the rain stopped slightly and there was a break in the clouds. A Thai guy shouted ‘we need to go’ as the next cloud was on it’s way. So I took a few more snaps and his advice.
Pheww, I made it to the bottom without feeling a drop. It amazed me that people were still making their way to the top in these conditions.
Due to the expense of taxis at the exit, I decided to walk in the right direction and hopefully flag down another songthaew. Instead I found myself walking over a mile and being attacked from some local children who were throwing stones (they thought it was a game, I probably should have stopped laughing along with them), plus it was now night time.
I ended up hopping on the back of some local guys scooter (requesting a helmet of course) and made it back to the hostel in no time. The guy didn’t want any money, but I insisted for petrol. They are so friendly here in Thailand!
Where to Eat in Krabi Town – Bistro Monaco
Found this on TripAdvisor and it didn’t disappoint. Kel was treated to her first salmon in a while and I had chicken snitzel, washed down with Tiger beer of course.
Service was good, just a little more expensive than other restaurants. You need a little luxury once in a while, even if you are on a travellers budget!
All in all our experience in Krabi was wonderful and it had so much to offer. Our only downfall was not having the flexibility and time to see more, as we were constrained by a bus booking from Krabi Town to Phuket. Phuket is up next!