Every year people flock to the south of Thailand to experience the warm weather, gorgeous views and array of beaches. Krabi is one of the more popular spots, but with its western comforts of Starbucks, McDonalds and an array of diving shops, restaurants, and local street vendors, Ao Nang seems to serve as its tourist centre.
The demographic of people in Ao Nang is vast. As I sat on a rock wondering where on earth my hotel was, backpackers, holidaymakers, expats and retirees all passed by clueless when I asked them if they knew the location of my accommodation.
After walking to the very end of the Ao Nang strip and coming face to face with a humungous cliff, it dawned on me that Google Maps didn’t really have much of a clue either. Until I realised that it was the other side of the cliff, in Railey Bay.
After hours of travelling from Koh Lipe to Ao Nang, I was a little sad to discover that I still had more travelling to do, but a small part of me was grateful to move on because whilst Ao Nang proved to be a popular place, it left me feeling like I was standing on a beach-side Khaosan road.
After jumping on a long-tail boat and cruising around that ginormous rock, I finally made it to Railey Bay. The beaches were a highlight, with light sands fading into soft blues that darkened the further out you looked, broken only by the occasional protrusion of jagged karst rocks.
It was visually stunning and a reminder of why so many people frequent these beaches, despite most never entering the water. Unfortunately, due to an incident (there was a random mound of concrete in the middle of the path, and due to no lighting I didn’t see it and broke my toenail off), I wasn’t able to explore much of the surroundings areas, and all my plans to snorkel, visit Maya Bay and the James Bond island were cancelled.
Overall I felt that Railey Bay was a bit… Samey. It was a relaxing stop and I had fun during my time there, but it is a place that I could live without seeing again.
The bay doesn’t have much to do unless you catch a long-tail boat and head back to Krabi, and I felt it was lacking in the charm that usually surrounds you in Thailand. But one thing Railey has that many other places don’t is incredible sunsets.
They cast the most gorgeous array of colours, transforming the sky from blue to burnt oranges and reds, to violets and indigos.