Krabi is the main town in the Krabi province of Krabi on the west coast of southern Thailand. Railay Beach is a very small part of Krabi with no roads in or out. You have to get there by ferry. Railay is known for its rock climbing. There are a lot of cliffs hanging over the beach and several climbing companies to choose from.
We never actually went into Krabi town, but we stayed in Railay Beach for 2.5 days. We got there from Phuket Town by taking a ferry booked through 12go.asia. They are easy to use – just enter where you are and where you want to go, and it does the connections for you if you’ll need both a bus and a ferry or something.
We stayed at Diamond Cave Resort. There was no air conditioning and the place smelled like sewage, but there was a nice pool. You have to give them a $30 key deposit. We had to leave very early in the morning, so we checked to make sure we could get the key deposit back. Sure, they said. Everything will be fine, they said. Well, it wasn’t. We were told to get the deposit back from the security guard, but he wouldn’t give it to us since there was no manager there… even though we showed him the receipt saying that we paid it. We are still dealing with Booking.com trying to get it back.
We actually didn’t end up going rock climbing because Colin got sick (we think from salmonella), and I didn’t care enough to go alone. Instead, we went scuba diving (the morning of the day that Colin started getting sick). There is only one dive shop on Railay Beach (Railay Dive Center), and although they were nice, it’s not worth your time or money. We visited 3 dive sites: King Cruise, Shark Point, and Anemone Reef. They were all meh. I wouldn’t recommend them. I don’t know if I’m just super picky, but they just weren’t worth the money (about $165 per person total for the day).
The beach is also known for it’s “chill” party vibe. It’s apparently common for a lot of Thailand beaches to have weed available at bars (in the form of spliffs which is tobacco and marijuana mixed together). You just walk up to one and ask for it. However, I’m unclear on whether this is legal because I’m under the impression that it’s not. But you just ask the bartender, and they send you upstairs. I wouldn’t suggest trying it just in case you get caught and it isn’t legal. It isn’t worth spending time in a Thai prison.
In addition to weed, you can buy mushroom milkshakes on the island. Really, it’s nothing like a milkshake – they just put stuff in it to make it not taste so mushroom-y. But again as I said above… I’m unclear on the legality of this, and I’m pretty sure it’s illegal so you should stay away. Also, a friend from college once told me that you can get VERY ill from eating bad mushrooms, so again… I’d suggest staying away. Just don’t be surprised that they are at a lot of bars.
Speaking of bars, one that I would suggest going to is The Lost Bar. The singer there most nights is Ting, and he has an amazing voice. Colin got jealous (even though he could do it too… he just won’t). PLUS…….. Ting is a fire thrower (I don’t know if that is the term?)!! He slings fire around. Just check out the video I posted of him here so you get what I mean. And make sure you go.
To leave Railay, you might need to get to Krabi town first. We bought tickets from a tourist information booth for about $11 USD each. Be warned that there are multiple beaches that ferries pick you up from on Railay. Don’t assume there is only one (the one where you were dropped off at first) because there are actually three. Pay attention to which one you’re supposed to go to or you may end up sprinting from one end of Railay to the other and almost missing your ferry. Not that it happened to us or anything…
After we got to Krabi town, we took a bus to Surat Thani and a ferry to Koh Tao. Again, we booked through 12go.asia and it was very easy to use. Just put where you're coming from and where you want to go, and they deal with the connections.
See my overview of Thailand here and our photos from Thailand here.
Hi, I'm Sara Monica Patton. I love animals, traveling, and eating. Read more about me in my first blog post here.