Krabi is a town on the southern coast of Thailand that is comparable to Phuket. I chose to come here instead because it is, in my humble opinion, way less touristy. And I’m happy I did! This is a spot with some hidden gems that you don’t want to miss.
This small beach is beautiful and quaint and, to add to its charm you can only get to it by boat. Our hotel was on the mainland in Krabi, but if I could do it again, I would just stay here. However, I did witness first-hand the challenge that transporting luggage by longtail boat can bring…since you have to wade into knee-deep water to board them. But this hidden oasis is where all the fun is, so I think it would be worth it.
You’ll find that long boats are a pretty typical means of transportation in Thailand, especially in cities on the water like Krabi. There are always five or six boats floating near the shore and the guys who drive them wait around for big enough groups to shuttle people over to Railay. No tickets necessary. Beach vibes all around.
Night Paddle Boarding
While we were hanging out with elephants in Chiang Mai, we met a guy who was traveling around after graduating and had been living in Krabi for the past month. He worked at paddle board shop called Freebird and highly recommended we check it out when we got down there! And I am so glad that we did.
The night paddle boarding excursion leaves at sunset and comes back when it’s dark. It’s a magical time of day to be out on the water. Surrounded by a watercolor sky that fades into a ceiling of stars, cliffs towering above. And once it gets dark enough, the group goes to caves by the cliffs for the main event: bioluminescent plankton. The microscopic plankton in the water react to movement, so when you swirl your hand around in the dark, you can see them light up! A little hard to describe, but one of the coolest things I’ve seen…and it’s the closest to being a wizard you’ll probably ever get (just make sure you say “Lumos!”)
And if you get peckish, there’s a cool little restaurant across the street from Freebird called Joy Pizza. It’s a great place to grab a pre or post-paddle boarding bite!
The Cutest Coffee Place
We stumbled upon this hidden treasure just wandering around Railay one morning, and it’s where I got the best chai latte I have ever had. Like, it was made with spices crushed up in a mortar and pestle…which definitely isn’t the way they do it at Starbucks. And the guy working there was exactly who you would expect. I’m guessing he’ll be the same one making your drink since he lives above the shop! I don’t have an address to give, but there are only a few streets in this little beach town, so just keep an eye out for this little love shack!
Holy cow. Be sure to get yourself one of these. Thai pancakes here are like crepes in Paris—divine and not made better anywhere else. They are the ultimate sweet-treat of street food and you’ll definitely find some as long as you look. If you end up going to the coffee place I talked about, order some there! Just don’t expect a stack of them with syrup…Thailand makes “pancakes” like nobody else.
Walking Street (where Freebird is located) gets pretty hoppin’ at night. Wander up and down this street and others when the sun starts going down if you’re looking for chill vibes and fruity cocktails…and probably some Reggae music.
Phang Nga Bay
Ever seen the 1974 James Bond movie The Man with the Golden Gun? I haven’t either. But there’s a pretty famous scene in this bay and the unique landscape has remained a well-known spot. The giant, stand-alone cliff in the middle of the bay is obviously the star of the show, and it’s not hard to see why.
The bay is featured on many tours of the area, so if you’re interested in seeing it, just look for one that has it listed.
I didn’t get a chance to go rock climbing during my visit, but this place is known to have some great spots for it! And even though I didn’t get to climb the cliffs, I did see them and can vouch for what a beautiful view it must be from above. Check it out if you get a chance!
Enjoy this cliff-covered paradise, and I hope you find the coffee place!