Railay looks exactly like what you might imagine Thailand to look like- pristine beaches with white powdery sand, stunning azure water, and limestone karsts rising from the calm sea. Colourful longtail boats sit idly near the shore and monkeys scurry in the trees overhead. Every night a striking sunset takes place over the ocean; the sky changing from orange to lavender, with many hues in between
My hotel was a 15 minute walk from one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever laid eyes on- Phra Nang Beach. A few longtail boats were anchored near the shoreline in the morning and by the early afternoon dozens of boats had materialized. Majority of the boats had giant menus hanging on the side, listing their meal and drink offerings.
I bought lunch from the boats daily and sampled stir-fry dishes, mango sticky rice, fresh coconut water, and fruit smoothies- all of which were surprisingly delicious.
I spent my days here soaking up the sun and floating in the crystal clear water. In the late afternoon, I walked 15 minutes or so to West Beach to watch the spectacular sunsets.
In the evenings I would saunter down to The Last Bar, which is a lively spot for dinner and drinks. I feasted on delicious Thai food and drank gin and tonics by the bucket. I watched a Muay Thai fight in suspense- screaming and cheering as the winner struck his final blow, finalizing the outcome of the battle.
As the sky grew dark, a group gathered to one side of the bar to watch fire spinners twirl batons and chains with unassuming ease. The flames spun in sync with the beat of the blasting music, and I watched in awe, unable to break my trance-like stare.
After the fire spinners had finished, everyone moved to the dance floor. One night, we turned the empty Muay Thai ring into our personal dance floor, bouncing and laughing as we tried to not to topple onto the soft ground.
This routine replayed over the course of multiple days in a relaxing and blissful fashion.
One day I managed to pull myself away from the beach to try rappelling for the first time. Our group walked along Phra Nang Beach and up into a large cave. After a slightly strenuous climb, we were strapped into a harness and started to rappel down the side of the cliff. Before I descended, I snapped a few photos of the gorgeous view overlooking Phra Nang and Tonsai Beach.
Railay is one of my favourite spots in Thailand and Phra Nang Beach is one of the most picturesque I’ve ever seen. It’s exactly the type of paradise I had expected to find in Thailand, and yet it still managed to exceed my expectations.
Getting to Railay: Boats depart from Chao Fah pier in Krabi throughout the day, longtail boats depart from Ao Nang, and a speedboat departs daily from Koh Phi Phi
Where to eat: The Last Bar
Accommodations: I stayed at Diamond Cave Resort – East Railay