Astounding beaches, dramatic limestone formations, cerulean water and lush surroundings are some of the most visible charms of Railay, a large peninsula between Krabi and Ao Nang in Thailand. Dive further and you will be marvelled by sweeping views, thrilling adventure opportunities and hidden spots that have rarely been visited by tourists. Intrigued by this charming peninsula, we bring you top lures of Railay:
A string of four stunning beaches – Tonsai, Railay West, Railay East and Ao Phra Nang -adorn the Railay peninsula in Thailand. The dramatic limestone karst formations that tower over these beaches lend them half their charm, the other half invoked by cerulean waters, crystalline sands and lush greenery around. The beachcombers prefer to walk between these beaches, taking in different sights and sounds that permeate through the atmosphere. Visit around the evening for witnessing one of the best sunsets of your life.
The Princess Cave on the Phra Nang Beach is a phallic shrine to a princess goddess. The locals leave offerings here (often in the form of phallus) and the whole cave smells of incense upon entering. The myths surrounding the caves vary in numbers and nature but most of them believe that goddess can grant fertility and longevity. The pronounced stalactites and stalagmites of the Diamond cave are awe-inspiring and give one inside views of a limestone cliff.
Thrill of Rock Climbing
Ton Sai is the main hub where adventure seekers gather to participate in rock climbing. A number of routes have been laid out here, some of them great even for beginners. The experienced climbers, however, are lured by deep water soloing, a style of climbing that remains unique to Railay. It involves climbing free style, without any harnesses over the rocks that remain jutted out over the sea. If you miss your next hold, you fall directly into the sea. Several tour organisers also offer rock half and full day rock climbing sessions at prominent climbing spots for those who like that kind of thing.
Railay Viewpoint and a Hidden Lagoon
If you like sweeping views, extending to miles, the Railay Viewpoint must feature on your itinerary. The hike to the point is not particularly easy but is extremely rewarding as you reach the top. From here, you can get a bird-eye view of East Railay, West Railay, and Tonsai Beach. Those who dare to venture further and are prepared to cover the strenuous descent; the hidden Railay lagoon holds many charms. The lagoon remains covered on all sides except for a huge top opening. It is here that you can swim or sit in solitude for hours. Be warned, however, that both the ascent to the viewpoint and descent to the lagoon involves a bit of risk.
Kayaking really is one of the best things to do in Railay. Book yourself on one of the organised kayaking tours that circle all significant spots. The better thing to do for experienced kayakers is to rent a kayak and head out by themselves, starting at the West Railay Beach. Paddle towards the tiny rock islands or head to one of the other pristine beaches, including Phra Nang Beach and East Railay Beach; the world is your oyster. You can stop by any sight that catches your attention and take your time to soak in the astounding surroundings.