We took 2 days to get from Lombok Indonesia to Railay in Thailand. Most of the time was spent sitting in various airports waiting for flights, which took us from Lombok to Bali, then Kuala Lumpur, and finally Krabi in Thailand. Krabi airport too was amazingly slow at immigration, and it took us about 2 hours to get through and to collect our luggage, which was already off the luggage belt.
There are no roads to Railay, so we had to take a longtail boat to the East beach pier, which was close to where we were staying. Everywhere you look on Railay is beautiful. The beaches have soft white sand, and warm water, and they are surrounded by giant limestone cliffs in different shapes and sizes.
We stayed at Anyavee Resort on the East side of Railay. We booked a standard room, but were bumped up to a luxury bungalo, thanks to it being the off-season. The price difference was about R500 more per night for the bungalo, so we were happy with our upgrade at no extra cost to us. In contrast to our last accommodation in Lombok, Railay was peaceful and tranquil. We only had the sounds of nature, such as cicadas, oriental pied horn bills, dusky leaf and macaques monkeys, along with the sound of the ocean lapping the shore.
Anyavee accommodation has a huge grounds, with lots of trees and vegetation that attracts the wildlife. Every day we would watch the monkeys climbing up and down the trees and the horn bills eating fruit in the mornings. There is also a huge pool which we enjoyed swimming in every day after walking back from the West side of Railay.
Since there are no roads in Railay, there are no cars, and motorbikes either….you walk everywhere or catch a boat to your destination. This makes such a difference, as there is very relaxed and has a ‘chilled out, island style’ atmosphere.
We especially enjoyed swimming Pra Nang beach which was the most beautiful one in Railay. It has a massive cave which provides you with shade while you are swimming. At the back of the cave you can swim through some rocks to a secret little lagoon that is only there during high tide. The beach also has trees, which give you shade during the heat of the day, so it was great to spend time on the beach and in the water.
The main attraction of Pra Nang beach is the Princess cave. This cave is full of wooden penis carvings of all shapes sizes and colours! Every day there are groups of people who visit the cave as one of the stops on their island tour.
On one of the days we decided to hike through the jungle to Tonsai Bay. The hike took about 45 minutes and went up some pretty steep terrain through the dense jungle, which was extremely muddy due to the recent rains. Tonsai beach was pretty boring, with the main attraction being a large wooden swing. The main village area was a bit of a ghost town because it was off season, but the bars and restaurants looked pretty funky.
One of the attractions is Phra Nang Nai cave, otherwise known as Diamond Cave, due to glittering appearance of the rocks. The cave is quite small and it takes about 10min to walk through the whole cave. There are bats in the cave, and lots of stallagtites, but not much else. One evening on our way back from dinner, we spotted two fire-flies that came accross our path. This place was indeed magical!
As beautiful as Railay was, one is not exempt from food poisoning. A whole day was wasted because of this, and it is never fun pissing through ones ass and projectile vomiting, that reminded us of the movie ‘the exorcist’. Other than the ‘bad food’ that caused the food poisoning, we enjoyed the different restaurants which were cheap and great tasting authentic Thai food.
Railay is the Thailand that you see on all the post cards. White beaches, blue water, palm trees, and long tail boats. It is really beautiful and relaxed and one of our favourite Thailand destinations ever!