We'd heard a lot of glowing, wistful recommendations for Railay. The powdery white sands, the crystal clear turquoise Andaman sea, frosty beers and incredible sunsets. It was one of a handful of places that we dreamt about visiting when we were in the early stages concocting our curious plan from our kitchen table.

Suffice to say it had a lot to live up to. Luckily, when we finally made it here, 7 months into our travels, we weren't disappointed. Railay Beach is one of Krabi's most beautiful, separated from the mainland by craggy limestone cliffs it is only accessible by long tail boat. It is simply stunning, breathtaking, paradise and every other cliche you can think of. It has the softest sands, the bluest water, the tallest, craggiest limestone cliffs, the longest beaches and the most dramatic sunsets.

There are no roads on Railay but a web of paved lanes and dirt tracks weave across the island. Nowhere is more than 20 minutes stroll away and we loved meandering our way around; the lack of cars also meant the girls could run loose and explore. We stayed over on the east side of the island at the "Sunrise Tropical Resort" - it sounded so much like a cheap radioactive breakfast juice that Steve almost refused to book it. However, we were pleasantly surprised by our lovely spacious room, the small pool and most importantly the big breakfast buffet we could linger over.

East Railay Bay is the most developed area of the island. Skirted by a concrete walkway it's lovely at high tide when the longtail boats bob amid the mangroves. Once the tide goes out it's a bit disappointing - think squelchy, brown mud flats. However, it's certainly the best spot on the island to find budget to mid-range accommodation and the only nightlife. We loved the weaving alleys of laid back restaurants and bars and although it certainly has a backpacker vibe we found plenty of family friendly places too.

We spent our days enjoying the beautiful beaches of West Railay and Phra Nang. The craggy limestone cliffs protect the bays and the Andaman sea is warm, calm and perfect for swimming. We took kayaks out around West Railay Bay and enjoyed peering into the caves and exploring our way round the cliffs. Great fun until Millie decided abruptly that she'd had enough then it was a speedy 200m sprint back to shore before she jumped overboard.

Phra Nang bay is picture postcard perfect - dramatic cliffs, white sands and aquamarine water. One of the big benefits of staying over on the island is you get to enjoy this stunning spot in relative seclusion before the throngs of day-trippers pile in. The walk there is pretty special too - meandering through caves and alongside troops of cheeky monkeys. Jessica's favourite activity was spotting the spectacled langurs - with rings around their eyes they look like they are sporting sunglasses.

There are no buildings on the beach so when you get peckish you wade out to the longtail boat "restaurants" for snacks and refreshments. I don't know if we were seduced by our surroundings but the corn on the cob we had here was one of the most incredible we have ever tasted.

Railay is famous for magnificent sunsets. Heading down to West Railay bay at the end of the day was a perfect spot to watch the sun go down. Sitting on a mat, with our twinkling gas lantern and chilled beers as the sunset was one of our favourite moments here.

We spent 3 relaxing days on Railay but as we climbed aboard our longtail back to Krabi we all agreed we could have happily stayed a few more!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.