Railay beach. How can you be in Krabi and not go to Railay? I didn’t get there early, as I had used the morning to visit Wat Tham Suea, the Tiger Cave Temple and its magnificent lookout. The longtail boat ride from Ao Nang pier was enjoyable, as announced. We could spot Tonsai Bay, which I hope to visit one day in order to climb in the mornings and listen to reggae in the evenings – or so they say people do over there.
Is this it? I thought when I got there. I wasn’t expecting the Maldives, not even Ko Kood (my favourite Thai beach destination to date), but, frankly, this was a let down even compared to good old Ko Samet.
However, I liked that the beach was not too crowded and that, compared to Nopparat Thara, the water was deep enough to swim. So that’s what I did.
Refreshed, I decided to explore the peninsula and head to Railay East and then on to the famous Phra Nang beach – which, according to most blogs and Facebook groups, is hands down the best beach in Railay peninsula.
The walk was interesting, with the caves and the trailhead to the viewpoint and the lagoon. But Phra Nang was an even bigger letdown than Railay – it was small, crowded, and the water looked unappealing, almost murky.
I checked out the shrine with all the carved wooden penises (who wouldn’t), and then decided to head back to Railay West for another swim before taking off.
That’s when it got beautiful – Railay West, that is, in the late afternoon light. I couldn’t get tired of looking back toward the shore, trying to decide which of the two craggy peaks was more beautiful. It gradually dawned on me (or should I say “sunsetted on me”?) that Railay was a place to be enjoyed during sunset, and that again I had gotten it all wrong by not planning an overnight there.
Oh well, maybe next time.
So I took the first available longtail boat, well in time to make it to the last songthaew from Ao Nang to Krabi town. As I was waiting for the white songthaew, I looked at the beach, which glowed – a scene that could have been painted by Claude Monet.
I was sad to see my songthaew suddenly show. I was enjoying Ao Nang, with its sights of tourists of all ages happily taking a stroll before dinner at some overpriced farang oriented restaurant.
No, I thought. This is no Railay, but right now, I wish I could give Krabi town’s night markets a miss and stick around for a pint with a view.