Railay Beach, Krabi, Thailand
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When you get to Krabi, you may be surprised that you aren’t yet surrounded by gorgeous tan rock faces overlooking pristine white beaches. Well that’s because you’re in Krabi town, not Railay beach! To get to Railay beach, take an hour-long longtail boat trip from the dock (ask locals which dock if you aren’t immediately approached by pushy boat drivers) to Railay beach.

But WAIT! If you’re into cheap eats and bustling Thai markets, stick around Krabi town for the night and go to the weekend markets (weekends only, obviously). They are AWESOME for typical Thai street food and snacks like MANGO STICKY RICE OH MY GOSH!! But really, that stuff is amazing.

In Krabi town, stay in a cheap double room at Chanchalay, the nicest, cleanest, most feels-like-home hostel I’ve ever stayed in! It will be without a doubt for the best night of sleep you’ve gotten since you left your own bed behind months ago for bug-infested bungalows and cheap broken-spring mattresses. In the morning, walk a few doors down to the dark souvenir shop fronted with two old tables outside for a cheap and massive Thai omelet. Skip their juice though, I know it’s cheap but they really overload the artificial sweeteners!

Now head on over to Railay to see likely the most picturesque place you’ve ever experienced. Sure, it’s overrun by tourism, but damn is it jaw-dropping! There are three main areas for accommodation. The ugly, bro-filled East, where your boat will probably drop you. There are a couple moderately priced choices here, but for true budget-travelers, take the long walk or opt to pay a longtail to Tonsai, just beyond the beautiful resort beach of Railay West. Tonsai is filled with ultra cheap, buggy bungalows that only have electricity in the evenings. It’s not that bad for a few nights as long as you don’t get food poisoning like we did! Outside of the best budget options for everything in the area, Tonsai is just a short walk away from pristine Railay West, and it’s much less developed! This means hippy bars, fire twirlers, and my favorite, wild monkeys EVERYWHERE!

Railay Beach, Krabi, Thailand
Railay Beach

Besides spending your days lounging on Railay West, rent a cheap kayak in Tonsai and head past West to Phra Nang beach for some nice snorkeling, an even more pristine beach, and the famous, phallus-filled cave. Lovingly referred to as cave of the dicks, this cave is literally filled with carved wooden penises, offerings to the ghost of an Indian princess that died there. Pretty weird and not much to see, but hey, now you finally know why you’ve been seeing those things in every souvenir shop in southern Thailand!

You can also give climbing a shot by hiring a guide for a beginner’s course if you’re interested. Our main reason for visiting was the sport climbing and deep water soloing, both world-class! A guide is a must if you are inexperienced though!

The free spirit in you may even decide you wanna go for a “happy shake” on Tonsai, or maybe even take it up a notch and go for the ever-present ‘shroom shake! They’re about as cheap as a shot of vodka, but Grammy I swear I didn’t go for either, I was too busy being food-poisoned anyways!

For hiking, take a look at one of the location maps around the area for cool trails where you’ll likely see more monkeys and tropical birds! At the end of the day, make sure to watch the sunset from Railay West!

Railay Beach sunset, Krabi, Thailand
Railay Beach sunset

Railay Beach sunset, Krabi, Thailand

When you’re finally done with Krabi, take a boat over to nearby Ko Phi Phi  or Ko Lanta for some world-class scuba diving and partying (Ko Phi Phi was where The Beach was filmed, now it’s like MTV spring break all the time) if that’s your thing.

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3 responses to “Krabi, Thailand on a Budget”

  1. Carl Nissen says:

    Great post, Nate! Filled with great info. The sunset pics are awesome! Too bad about the food poisoning!

  2. Nancy (Grammy) says:

    Nate, you made laugh! You did make a good decision(although I'm thinking if you had not had food poisoning......?) Sounds like another beautiful experience for you both. Getting excited to see you and "Wonder Girl!"❤️

  3. […] a climber? Don’t worry, Krabi is great for more than that! Click here for a general Krabi […]

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