Took half a day to get across from Koh Tao to the Krabi region via an assortment of ferries and buses, but eventually arrived in Ao Nang. This town has not got the glamour of the nearby ‘paradise’ bays but was apparently a step closer to a civilised town. I’m not sure where I originally heard that but it actually turned out to be more of a tacky resort resembling somewhere in the south of Spain…Benidorm perhaps..? A cheap night stop over but was glad to move on the next morning.
I took a long tail boat 15 minutes round the shoreline to Railay Bay. This bay was only accessible by boat and the absence of roads, cars, bikes etc. certainly gave a relaxed and peaceful air to the environment. Railay is split into the West and the East bays. The West is the paradise beach – golden sands under towering cliffs that is home to many expensive tourist resorts. Although only a 2 minute walk away, Railay East has no such beach but is home to the magnificent view point look out and blue (/muddy) mountain top lagoon. Prepare for a tough climb and stray monkeys if you want to see these…
When the tide is low, a walk around the mountain gives access to Tonsai Beach. This is a community in its own right, oozing a hippie, boho vibe. It’s a super relaxed, friendly environment, albeit most of the residents seemed to be on drugs…most of the buildings, restaurant, bars etc. were built from bamboo and I got a sense I was in a real unique place – one to be cherished (and at a fraction of the cost of Railay).
The tall cliffs make the Railay area famous for rock climbing so I had to give this a go before I left. Was no good, but as always it’s fun to try new things and meet new people. Getting a little higher up the walls gave a few more unique views of the surrounding area.
This is an amazing place that seems to be a little way off the popular routes through the south of Thailand, but should be a definitive stop off given the chance!