Once in a while you visit a place that just feels ‘special’ and Railay Beach in Krabi, Thailand is one of those special places.
The beach itself is vast and sandy, set against a dramatic backdrop of limestone cliffs. The cliffs themselves are a huge draw to climbers from around the world and the bay is sheltered and calm, perfect for young families.
Railay Beach is actually 4 beaches that make up a peninsular. If you head around the rocky cliffs just south of Ao Nang Beach then you will enter this paradise of white sand, cliffs and sea.
Beyond the white sandy beaches and deep turquoise waters you are surrounded by hidden lagoons, limestone cliffs and a whole load of amazing viewpoints.
There is nothing to disturb the paradise that it is either. There are no roads, there are no cars, just footpaths.
In fact the peninsular is cut off by that headland and you are in pure tropical escapism.
It is the ‘vibe’ here that is so appealing. No-one is in a hurry. We sat watching people for a while – couples ambling along the shoreline, kids playing football on the sand and young backpackers hanging out in little groups…
The picture-perfect cliffs at the back of the beach are surrounded by palm trees, which offer welcome shade – not only to people, but also the stray cats that wander about the beach bars.
On our first visit to Railay Beach we met a ginger cat whom we named ‘Bow Tail the beach cat’ – on account of his little tail being curled like a gift bow.
Over the next few days; we saw many other cats and tiny kittens – all with the same distinctive curly tail. It was heartening to see kind-hearted tourists and restaurant staff ensuring the cats got a decent meal.
As the sun began to sink in the sky, the beach took on a new atmosphere. People started arriving and taking their seats ready for the spectacular sunset for which Railay is famed.
The cliff face at the back of the beach began to take on a golden glow; and the staff at the beach bars started laying out candle-lit mats on the beach instead of tables.
The lower the sun dropped in the sky, the more dreamy the reflections became…
We took our seats on a bench looking out to sea from one of the beach bars. The open window frames encased each sea view like individual pictures in frames. It really was a lovely place to watch the world go by…
Sunset At Railay Beach
The beach had come alive with visitors – all congregating with cameras in hand. The sunset here always draws a big crowd…
The clouds began to change into a golden, candyfloss pink behind the palm trees at the back of the beach. At Railay Beach the golden hour was upon us and the sand had started to catch the hazy reflections of the sunset.
The spectacular limestone karst scenery and the little boats moored at the shore began turning into striking silhouettes.
The shoreline was getting busy with photographers and tourists hoping to capture the perfect photo souvenir.
Gradually the sky was turning to fire. The clouds turning a dark lilac and peach…
The sunset was evolving before our eyes. The distant limestone islands on the horizon were morphing into various shades of dusky blue – beautiful overlapping silhouettes in front of the setting sun.
The tide was reatreating, and the wet sand mirrored the sunset. I watched as the boats disappeared into the distance one by one. Tourists wandered back to their hotels.
All that remained on the beach were the local children laughing and playing – such tiny silhouettes against the imposing cliffs. It was a beautiful night to remember…