Quiet Piece of Heaven
Trip Start Nov 27, 2012
34Trip End May 08, 2013
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East Railay is where we showed up which is basically the only place to find a bar or any sort of nightlife... and nightlife is a stretch. This is the most chilled beach town I have ever seen. On the East side there basically is no beach, the ocean goes right up to the sidewalks at night and in the morning. In the afternoon however, the tide is so far out it looks like a mud pit for half a football field. This is totally fine though because the East side is more for nightlife and reasonable but not super cheap accommodation
West Railay is a 10-15 minute walk from East Railay depending on what rout you take. This is where the locals say to go for sunset and they know. So beautiful. This beach is lined with high end resorts that start at 5000 Baht and this side of the island completely shuts down before midnight.
South of the West Railay beach (although only reachable from East Railay) is the best beach on the island is known as Phra Nang. This is the nicest beach I have ever seen. There are no hotels or guest houses here and no restaurants on the land. Basically it is a place to hang out and swim in the afternoon. There are several boat restaurants that line the first part of the beach and they have great food for cheap.
North of West Railay beach is Ton Sai Beach. This beach can only be reached by a tight jungle walk, a climb over the rocks (neither of which are recommended at night) or a longtail if you can find one. Basically if you are staying here that is where you will stay at night. The only nightlife is a few reggae bars that are super tame. Here is where you will find the cheapest accommodation on the island so most of the budget backpackers stay here
We spent our time between east, west and Phra Nang. Basically on Railay everyone just lays around and smokes weed all night. This is supposed to be one of the safest places in Thailand to smoke without a hassle and you can tell because it is on the menu at most of the bars. There is basically one bar on the island that has a dance floor and it is the last bar on the East side and is aptly named "The Last Bar". The fire dancers here are excellent and because the island isn’t busy you basically get to know everyone travelling there. If you are in Thailand for a raging party only, Railay is likely not the place for you. However if you like a slow pace, friendly people, amazing beaches or rock climbing, this might just be one of the best places on earth.
Railay is supposed to be one of the best rock climbing places in the world. Instead of all the dive shops you find at a place like Koh Tao, this island is littered with rock climbing shops. Although we never went rock climbing, we heard about a bouldering path that takes you to a viewpoint and then to a lagoon. This is on the way from East Railay to Phra Nang. So one afternoon we decided to check it out and dear god was it insane. We climbed to the viewpoint which was a combo of bouldering and 10-30 foot straight up rock climbing without harnesses
I heard about a sunset cruise that I wanted to go on so on our last day I booked it, although Cory wasn’t feeling it so he opted out. We stopped at 7 islands before sunset, drank beers and snorkeled. At one point i decided to get out of the water after swimming through a cave and I saw from the boat a 2 foot jelly fish. I took some pictures and told the guide. He said it was a very poisonous one and could really do damage... but he never felt the need to tell the people still in the water. No one was hurt but I found it very odd how relaxed they were. We then pulled up past Chicken Island (which looks like a chicken). This is where we watched the sunset, some fire dancers we brought with us on the boat and had a bbq. Then back to Railay... all this for under $30!! So good.
Now we are off to Phi Phi And I expect great things... also I have a bucket list item for there. Who shall I box in the ring where dozer KOed Scotty D.