TRAVEL: Krabi – Ao Nang, Railay Beach, Phra Nang Bay

Given the rainy monsoon season in Singapore.

And the lack of opportunity for me to run away to the beach at Tanjong to worship the sun.

This fuss free, hassle free trip to Krabi was very much needed for a brief respite from the city (Singapore).

Alot of people would probably have their itinerary planned based on the water activities there and whatnot.

And though I had initially planned a day trip off to Phi Phi Islands (Since I have not been there for the last ten years or so). It had been different this time, as I wanted a really relaxed pace for a holiday.

No waking up in the early mornings, rushing to get on a boat and spending a very activity based day at sea.

The blue and turqoise waters at Railay Beach, roasting at Ao Nang Beach with my fruit shakes were good enough.

So where did i stay? Surprise surprise! A bed and breakfast called Ben’s House.

BEN'S House Hotel - Ao nang, Krabi

Situated at a much quiter stretch on a hill away from the business of Ao Nang Beach area.

I have always wanted to try live at a casual inn, a BB to be precise. And so, the journey starts at Krabi :)

What I loved about Ben’s House is it’s straightforward structure and layout.

The white colour of the building, enhances the relaxed sea side relaxed feel you can probably find in the areas in Greece.

BEN'S House - Pool View (Daylight, Upwards) The Top Floor is where the breakfast area is located.

BEN'S House - Pool View (Twilight Sunset Upwards)

The Front Desk staff were prompt and helpful, even though with a lack of really good english.

My favourite location of the Bed & Breakfast has to be the SWIMMING POOL and the BREAKFAST AREA.

BEN'S House - Pool (Daytime Aerial View)

BEN'S House - Pool View (Exit/Entrance)

BEN'S House - Pool View

BEN'S House - Pool View

For the amount we paid to stay for 4nights, the spread of morning breakfast foods were good enough. Can’t complain over quality of food. But the daily spread consists of: Fresh Sliced Breads, Scrambled eggs, Ham and Bacon, Sausages, French Toast w/ Maple,  Fresh Fruit (Usually Dragon Fruit, Watermelon and Pineapple), Muesli, Yoghurt, Fresh Coffee and Tea, Orange Juice, Milk and even Butter and Jam.

So I can call it a full on proper breakfast which really does make me happy enough.

A cuppa after the meal outside the entrance with a cigarette. Bliss. When the mornings are still a little chilly and the bright sun overhead. And a couple of other visitors sitting around outside. Such a casual relaxed vibe..

Ben’s house, actually shares a small swimming pool with its sister accomodation. Right next door, to be honest I am happy enough to pay less and stay in a similiar yet much simpler designed foundation. Plus we still use the same pool.

The swimming pool, albeit always cold, was a good place to relax for solidarity. A infinity like pool, with barely any other people around most of the time. I also enjoyed the fact that the pool was of saltwater which made a difference.

Ben's House - Our changed room. 6th Floor, with Balcony

Ben's House - Balcony View 1

Ben's House - Balcony View 2. A comparison of a more upmarket resort looks like. I personally preferred the laid back down to earth and youthful vibe of the BB. Something different.

Rooms. We had a less than average 2 nights, being on the ground floor. Although it provides a certain privacy with an open window and fenced area. One can’t help but notice the dampness of the room everytime we step into the room.

We managed to have a good change of rooms on the hightest floor with a sea view & proper balcony on day 3. FANTASTIC. Made all the difference.

The cheery orange walls, privacy because we were right at the corner. And a good pool view of a chic resort on the opposite. And a view of Ao Nang Beach and the sunrise/sunset. Great. We are all set for a proper holiday!

Aonang Beach - At night. This is a more romantic stretch at night, near the Last Fisherman's Cafe. You can also light some fireworks or Send a 'Kong Ming Lantern' into the sky for a fee. I like the laid back feel to this side.

Aonang Beach - My favourite drinks spot for a good detox. Fruit Shakes for 50Baht

Aonang Beach - Daytime

Aonang Beach - Daytime

The beach at Ao Nang was good for 3 things.

  • Hassle Free straight to the beach, worship the sun session
  • A shallow enough sea to swim far out from the shore, it was still about 1.5m deep when we swam at least a few metres out at sea.
  • Detox! Fruit shakes available for 30~5oBaht. We love this stall right in front of the beach and near the Last Fisherman’s Bar. You get a good mix of mixed fruit shakes for 50Baht! She did ran ou of Mango and Strawberries by Tuesday though. Apparently there was a shortage in the market. Hmm.. :)

Massage Parlour - Along our living area stretch. And favourite nook in Aonang. Beats the ones situated right by the beach, if you like tranquility and quiet.

Massage Parlour view 1. You can opt to have your massage at the main living area, overseeing the foliage w/ no view obstructions.

Massage Parlour view 2 (Extended Veranda) Or choose it liek we did. Out at the veranda, which feels a tad more exclusive. Maximum 2pax. (Although there are air conditioned rooms upstairs as well).

Cheap massage. We found a nook tucked right at the other end of where we were staying. And to be honest, I was very sure it is one of the few value for money places with a good location. Compared to the open concept massage parlours right smack at Ao Nang Beach full of tourists.

This place enable me and my frind to have our massage at a extended outdoor veranda, with the cool breeze (an a fan overheard of course) that lulled us to sleep on our first massage. Traditional Thai music playing softly in the background. We enjoyed it. It felt organic enough.

Prices range from between 25oBaht for a Traditional Thai Massage to 400Baht for Aloe Vera Massage. The propritress is an awfully patient women, and the staff there soft spoken. Again english might not be their forte, but they do have a certain sincerity that puts you at ease.

The footscrub was sufficient, but I felt that a better job could be done. The difference from the ones we get in Singapore for 200Baht is a lay on the massage bed with a brief leg massage. A very straight forward luffa scrub and sloughing off the skin. And a short treatment to soften the skin on my feet.

Manicures and Pedicures are only reccomended for shaping. I do feel that they do need alot more training for the painting and treatment of nails.

We had a short pop by one night over to Krabi Town. Only to visit Boots really. There didn’t seem much to explore there, other than possibly the Tiger Caves. Which I had a feeling would be another tourist dig. I am happy with the limestone cliffs around me and blue sea.

BOOTS Krabi: Shopping Loots 1 (Girls, just have to show off their buys don't they?)

BOOTS Krabi: Shopping Loots 2 (I am in love with my limited edition No. 7 Spring 2010 collection's Mineral Highlighter)

BOOTS Krabi: Shopping Loot 3 (I abslutely love this limited edition No.7 eyeshadow palatte reccomended by the sale staff. No. 7 makeup packaging are really kindda cute!)

I miss Boots, value for money. And gosh all that discounts we got! 40% off most products, bundled discounts for products sets, EXTRA 50Baht disocunt with every 500Baht spend. And Free samples of N0. 7 Facial products (Apparently a very popular brand in the UK for Facial stuff). WOW! I’m a happy shopaholic :)

Railay Beach, Aonang Krabi: Longtail Boat Ticket Kiosk

Ao Nang Beach: (Boarding) Longtail Boats out to sea.

Ao Nang Beach: On the way to Railay

Longtail boats to Railay East/West costs 80Baht per Pax each way. You could buy your ticket right at the junction of Ao Nang Beach to go to Railay. And purchase your return tickets at the stand of Railay West or Phra Nang Bay (No tickets here, but pay when you embark at Ao Nang Beach).

Embarkation off Longtail Boat: Railay Beach West 1

Railay Beach West (Not interested to take the Bungalows right smack by the beach.)

Railay a mainland peninsula just south of Ao Nang, seems to share the same touristy bustle as Ao Nang Beach. Railay West portrays a very family resort vibe, with its many chalet/bungalows. The beach is a little narrow and busy with the number of longtail coming in with tourist from the other side of Ao Nang.

Railay Beach East (Mangrove Area)

Railay East, is a mangrove I felt. This is not a good area to tan or do anything. Maybe to stare out into the sea and just chill. It is also behind of of the bigger resorts, but also leads you through a limstone cave and towards Phra Nang Bay.

Phra Nang Bay: There's a cave at the extreme left.

Phra Nang Bay: Clear waters, good enough :)

Phra Nang Bay: Limestone Island in the distance. Walkable, shallow waters.

Walking to Phra Nang might jus tbe worth it. Albeit a small beach, the much clearer waters, and quieter waters due to less longtail boat traffic is worth it. Bear in mind, it was also a busy beach quite possibly due to peak season.

Enjoy a casual massage on the beach. Doze off under the sun or tree.

The price for a foot scrub or massage is 200baht. And I must say, this lady does have strong hands!

Phra Nang Bay: The Massage lady with strong hands :)

The foot scrub was well worth it. I could feel the effort put into sloughing off my layers of deadskin while having her cluck away about the state of my feet (lol). She washed my feet in a pan of sea water and off we went with the action! So again, it is straightforward and casual so don’t expect too much of it.

Phra Nang Bay: Hawker Food from the boats. The only way to get fed on the beach. Thought having people come by selling drink supplies is a small luxury (Your personal casual butler!).

I have noticed the number of European tourists outnumbered any asian tourists very much by 9:1. I was practically one of the very few asian people on the beach whether in Ao Nang or Railay. That being said, there wasn’t any strange pick me ups or locals/foreigners going about any sleaze business as comapred to Bangkok for example.

Departure via Longtail Boat: Phra Nag Bay - Ao Nang

Ao Nang - Railay West: Turquoise waters.

Unknown Beach: Cliff Scalers

Ao Nang - Railay Beach: Canoe Sports

Leaving Phra Nang Bay.

Krabi is definitely a destination aimed for a casual beach holiday.


3 thoughts on “TRAVEL: Krabi – Ao Nang, Railay Beach, Phra Nang Bay

  1. Pingback: TRAVEL: Krabi – Ao Nang, Railay Beach, Phra Nang Bay « La Princess … | Follow The Swarm

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