welcome to Railay, a little slice of heaven on the Andaman Sea. this is the west beach: our arrival, and our first night there.
I think it says a lot that to even get to Railay you have to ditch your shoes, hike up your skirts, and put your faith in a guy with an 8-foot-long outboard motor. this is not a fancy place. beautiful, yes, but in a very laid back way. you have to just go with it. you will get wet + sandy on your way to Railay. there's no way around it, literally. even though Railay is a peninsula [not an island] thanks to the surrounding rock cliffs, there are no roads that can reach this beach- only boats.
oh, but it's worth the trouble.
we arrived late on a hazy afternoon, flying from Bangkok to Krabi, grabbing a taxi to Ao Nang, and then of course a longtail boat to Railay beach. by the time we settled in to our hotel and made it back to the west beach for dinner we had missed all but the very end of the sunset. [in fact, we only ever saw one sunset in Railay. but it was a spectacular one.]
spectators hole up at one of the many beachside bars or restaurants and stay through the whole show. others camp out in the sand. or better yet, in front of the bar that sets out mats on the beach to use as tables. [that's where we relocated after dinner.] with warm breezes and cool beverages aplenty, there's not much incentive to go very far.
there's still plenty to see after dark. the moon, big and bright. the stars, clear as ever. couples strolling hand in hand. possibly drunk girls feeding pizza to cats.
merchants selling paper lanterns wander the beach. and when someone breaks down and buys one, and everyone watches to see how far out over the sea the lantern will fly.
after a few drinks, the west beach quiets down. the sea starts to light up in eerie green as the squid boats arrive for the night. some good conversation, a few rounds of cards, and it's time to head back to the hotel for
a midnight swim some beauty sleep.