Sunday, January 24, 2010


Arriving at Railay by Long-tail Boat

Railay is located along the coast of Krabi Province. The coastline is studded with breathtaking limestone cliffs and rock formations, making it a tourist attraction for travelers from all over the world. We took a bus from Trang to Krabi, a much larger town than Trang--then a taxi from Krabi to Au Nang, a busy beach town on the coast. From there we caught a longboat to Railay which is inaccessible by land because it is surrounded by towering cliffs.

It's a rock climber's/kayaker's paradise. But we went to relax. In Trang we are very visible because there are few "farangs" here. Railay is overrun with farangs speaking every language imaginable.

West Railay is gorgeous. East Railay Beach is less so because of mangrove forests blocking the ocean views. Backpackers throng East Railay for the outdoor activities, the nightlife and cheap accommodations.

We stayed at a lovely resort on the West beach for way less than anything comparable elsewhere in the world. By Thai standards, we thought it rather expensive. Food and coffee were much more than in Trang. (Coffee was Starbuck's prices and not as good as what I've had in Trang.)

We did have a Thai massage, swam in both the ocean and the pool, and thoroughly enjoyed a weekend off from work and classroom preparation. The soft, comfy King-size bed was a bonus.

Tinu headed for East Riley Beach when we arrived there, leaving me and Gerry to more leisurely (read old-lady-like) pursuits. The other volunteers had come the night before and gone to Ko Phee Phee Island, which I expect to see when I travel to Phuket before coming home.

We managed to find our way back for very cheap prices by taking what I call a "tuk-truck." It's a small pick-up truck with benches in the back and a canopy overhead. Thirteen people crammed into it and we all breathed fumes from Au Nang to Krabi. (But saved 300 baht, so felt very virtuous.)

The bus going was really nice but lacked a "restroom". Coming back it was less so. It had a "restroom" but we were seated next to it in the back (only seats available) and had to breathe those fumes as we bounced around on the trip home. The backs of buses are typically reserved or given over to any monks who may board the bus. We had one who took the very last seat behind us. He was soooo careful maneuvering around us because monks may NOT touch or even brush up against a female or they will have to undertake extensive purification rites.

I think he was safe from us but we had some misgivings when he first boarded because we thought we might have to relinquish our seats to him. Instead the guy behind us moved. (Guess he knew that the seats next to the lavatory were not the best place to sit. I was sure glad to get to Trang and get off that bus!)

Our "room" was actually a little villa, complete with jacuzzi. (However, we couldn't get the jacuzzi to work.)

They didn't have a room with two double beds so we opted for a king-size.

The ceiling above the bed.

What passes for a "street" on Railay. Everything must be brought to Railay by long-tail boat.

At night, mats are set out and torches lit on the beach, along with a couple of round structures that add light.

Long-tail boats lined up waiting for business.

Another resort near ours featured quaint and charming Thai-style housing.

Looking one way down the beach from our resort.

This was lunch one day--rice and veggies baked in a whole pineapple. (All this research for the blog is really rough!)

Sunset Scenes

Breakfast overlooking the beach.

Breakfast came with our room and featured dragon fruit--the lovely slice of fruit with the pink rind. I've seen it on Maui but didn't know what it was or how to eat it before I got to Thailand. Now, it's one of my favorites. Tastes a little like kiwi fruit.

Early morning scene that makes Railay hard to leave.

In the "tuk-truck" just before 12 other people got on.


  1. Oh, wow! What a fabulous place! Too bad they don't have a school there where you could volunteer to teach. Trust the hotel had a nice bathroom. Otherwise, that Thai bathroom thing sounds like it could be an issue.

  2. Too bad you couldn't strap on that king size bed to the tuk-truck and take it to Trang with you ! Sunsets are beautiful ! Do you want to trade places with me? Barb

  3. HI: Everything looks so beautiful .... glad you have a new playmate to enjoy the sights with you! jan

  4. Beautiful pictures, as always. :)

    Love you!


  5. what a gorgeous view! the food looks deelish, as well! looks like you had a great weekend:) love you!

  6. Ah yes, the nose. I knew it could get you in trouble once again sooner or later. What a hoot. I think my size 11 feet would get clipped in the boat. Claustrophobia also seems like a serious concern for some folks. Great anecdotes and photos. Tnanks for sharing it all. XOXO