Monday, August 13, 2012

Long-tail Boat Trip to Rai Leh

On one beautiful and sunny day we took a long-tail boat to Rai Leh (a.k.a. Railay), a peninsula surrounded by ocean and mountains accessible only by boat. There are four beaches (Railay West, Railay East, Phra Nang, and Ton Sai) and two interesting caves (Diamond Cave and Tham Phra Nang) on the peninsula, all within several minutes of walk between each other. We visited three out of four of these beaches and both caves.

Map of Rai Leh

Surprisingly, even though they're in a close proximity to each other, each beach that we visited has a completely different look and character.

Rai Leh West is perfect for sunbathing, as it's wide, sandy and chilled. In contrast, Rai Leh East isn't good for sunbathing or swimming, as it has no sand and is covered by mangrove forest. On the plus side, there are a lot of beachfront restaurants and pubs there that seem worth checking out. The third beach, Phra Nang, being surrounded by cliffs on three sides offers the most spectacular scenery of them all. Similarly to Rai Leh West it's good for sunbathing and swimming but, as it's smaller and more popular, some can find it too noisy and crowded.

Also the two caves are completely different: Diamond Cave is interesting because of limestone formations, whereas Tam Phra Nang because of a chapel with hundreds of phalli (!) that it hosts.

Right now I'm just going to post photos that I took from the boat during our short but exciting trip to Rai Leh peninsula, but within next few hours you can expect photos from the other places that I mentioned in this post.

The views from the boat were amazing

Boats from Ao Nang arrive at Rai Leh West