Yesterday we departed Ao Nang in search of something better, but it seems we’ve found the opposite. It was a short boat trip from Ao Nang to Railay, a trio of mainland beaches that can only be reached by boat due to a limestone cliffs. Approaching Railay and hopping out of the boat into the pretty beach’s clear, warm water, made a pleasant first impression. Beautiful limestone karsts framed the green bay. We walked across the narrow isthmus from West Railay where we were dropped to the budget-oriented East Railay. East Railay, itself is not a very good beach, but its just a five minute walk to two spectacular ones. Unfortunately for us and like Ao Nang, we found the quality of guesthouses in Railay to be severely lacking relative to the rates they charged. I am fine paying more for quality, but it’s the worst feeling when we shell out a lot of money to stay at a junky place. In fact, even though our rooms in Ao Nang and Railay were mediocre at best, they were two of the most expensive rooms we’ve stayed in this trip. On the plus side, Railay was scenic, but the food and prices were disappointing. Despite those two factors, we would have left today anyways, due purely to the demographics here. Its only tourists here- no Thais except workers, no permanent residents or families, no regular stores other than souvenir shops, and no local food- its not a “real” place, just a destination for Europeans to be served in bars, clubs, and expat cafes.
This morning, we beat the crowds to beautiful Nang Phra beach and enjoyed the quiet beach. Nonetheless, one night in Railay was enough for us, so when checkout time rolled around, we grabbed our packs, waded out into the ocean, and tossed our bags into the next boat leaving for Krabi.
Low-tide at East Railay