Monday, March 25, 2013

Weekend in Railay - Southern Thailand

We got out of the city a few weekends ago to spend some time relaxing in Railay in Krabi Province of Thailand. Railay is on a peninsula, so it's not an island, but it's only accessible by long-tail boat since the cliffs cut off any land transport from the mainland. As a result, Railay has no tuk tuks, motorbikes, or cars... The living is slow, just the way it needs to be to take in all the beautiful scenery.

The flight from Bangkok to Krabi is only an hour long. From the Krabi airport, it's a 40 min taxi ride and 15 min boat ride to the beach... in less than an hour you're transported from airport to beach heaven. 

Long-tail boat to Railay.
We stayed at a beautiful bungalow at Railei Beach Club. There are a dozen or so houses in this complex. It's the best place to stay in town - you have a lot of privacy and the views are so incredible that time spent relaxing on the decks is not time wasted. Railay is family-friendly and sleepier than Phuket or party island - Koh Phi Phi.

Cliff-views. I heard monkeys rustling around in the trees and we ran into a huge monitor lizard in our yard.
When we weren't at the bungalow napping outside or playing cards on the porch, we were exploring the town. There are two sides of Railay - East and West. The swimming areas and beautiful beach is in West Railay. This is the side where we stayed.
View of the West Railay bay from the hiking view point.
But a short 10 minute walk will take you to East Railay. This side has the "seedier" establishments. There are a handful of bars and restaurants and at the far end a dance club that gets going late into the night. The walk back home takes significantly longer in the dark.. especially without a light and intoxicated feet. We had a few injuries.

Skunk Bar...  yes. Our first stop to relax after arriving. We had the rooftop to ourselves.
 Railay is known for it's rock climbing, but there are also some really fun hikes that don't cost a dime and still involve some bouldering and rappelling. On the East side, the hike to a view point and lagoon begins with a steep scramble and climb up rocky and muddy terrain. The hike is challenging, but the reward is a big lagoon encircled by tall cliffs and lush ferns. There aren't many people who decide to complete the hike to this point - so the spot is incredible peaceful. The light reflects off the lagoon so that every pollen particle and falling leaf sparkles on it's way down into the lagoon.

Basically a giant puddle. Really happy I wore my jelly sands - not a fan of mushy mud between my toes.
Railay is not far from other islands. We hired a long-tail boat for the afternoon to take us to some more remote beaches and snorkle spots. There is no feeling like that of ocean spray and wind on your face.

My travel companions. Heading home from a day on the water.
 I will be posting a vlog on my Thai trips outside of Bangkok this week. Check back soon to see some great views of waterfalls, beaches, and limestone cliffs.

No comments:

Post a Comment