Railay beach and the Phallic Cave

Back in 2016 (who would say that it’s two years ago already), I spent some beautiful weeks in Thailand. Even though it was not a beach trip and I did manage to squeeze in some sun time. For that, I decided to go to Ao Nang, in Krabi, and from there, I spent a day or two visiting Railay Beach.

Railay Beach in Krabi Thailand and the Phra Nang Princess Cave or Phallic Cave - The Solivagant Soul

Where is Railay Beach

Located in the South peninsule of Thailand, Railay Beach is near Krabi. It can be reached by plane from Krabi airport. Even though it looks like an amazing beach and it could pass as an island, Railay beach is actually a very small peninsule. The beach can only be accessed by water and there are longboats going back and forth Ao Nang very frequently.

Railay Beach in Krabi Thailand and the Phra Nang Princess Cave or Phallic Cave - The Solivagant Soul

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Where to stay to visit Railay Beach

Once you are there you can decide where to get your accomodation. I went for the cheaper option and spent three nights in Krabi town (in one of the worst hotels in which I have been, to be honest). Another possibility is to go to Ao Nang. This is slightly more expensive but the range of options is much wider. Moreover, you will be in a much better position to visit Railay Beach. Finally, if you can afford it or if you just want to splurge, there are a few resorts in the beach that are very nice. Some of them even have their own monkey family here and there. They are high end, but in special occasions I think it would be worth staying there.

Railay Beach in Krabi Thailand and the Phra Nang Princess Cave or Phallic Cave - The Solivagant Soul

How to get there

Of course you can get there with a private boat, but it is much easier to use the local system. If you are staying in Ao Nang, you only need to get to the “harbor” and take a longboat. They depart very often and the return ticket is no more than 5 euros (in 2016). The last one comes back a little bit before sunset so make sure you don’t get stranded there. If, like me, you decide to stay in Krabi Town, then you can get one of the white Sonthaew (vans) and then get to Ao Nang in 30min for a few Bahts.

Railay Beach in Krabi Thailand and the Phra Nang Princess Cave or Phallic Cave - The Solivagant Soul

Visiting other spots while in Railay Beach

Even though Railay beach is the main one, there are two other beaches you can visit, some small caves and even a view point. Leaving Railay Beach behind, you can take the walkway and continue until you reach the other beaches. You will pass through a few hotels and a couple of shops, but there is not much to do there. The beach right behind Railay is quite limited, and many private boats anchor there through the night (or a few days).

Railay Beach in Krabi Thailand and the Phra Nang Princess Cave or Phallic Cave - The Solivagant Soul

Then, if you continue walking, you can get to the third beach. This one is small but beautiful anyway. Hidden behind hovering rock cliffs, you can swim underneath the rocks and discover the fish that hide in their shadows. And it is at the end of this beach where you can find the Phallic Cave.

Railay Beach in Krabi Thailand and the Phra Nang Princess Cave or Phallic Cave - The Solivagant Soul

The Phallic Cave or the Phra Nang Princess Cave

This cave, although not big, is filled with penises. Usually made out of wood, they are supposed to be offerings from the local fishermen to the Princess in the Cave. Accordingly to the explanation found in the same cave, the symbols of fertility are supposed to be presented as an offering to ensure that they will come back with a good quantity of fish. Kind of a way to ensure their livelihood. In my humble opinion, this has become a popular turist attraction and so they have made sure to have a picturesque story behind it.

Railay Beach in Krabi Thailand and the Phra Nang Princess Cave or Phallic Cave - The Solivagant Soul

Railay Beach in Krabi Thailand and the Phra Nang Princess Cave or Phallic Cave - The Solivagant Soul

About the viewpoint in Railay Beach

Legends say that there is a viewpoint in Railay Beach. And I say that legend says because I did not have the balls to actually go up there. The following picture shows the path to it: an almost vertical wall where you need ropes to climb.

Railay Beach in Krabi Thailand and the Phra Nang Princess Cave or Phallic Cave - The Solivagant Soul

Open shoes are not an option. And the only girls I saw coming from there were covered in mud up to their waist. I could have thought of trying if I would have worn closed shoes, but my carrying flip-flops decided for me. Moreover, it had been raining the day before and if going up would have tough, I cannot imagine how hard it would have been to come back down. In any case, here you have a picture taken from up there (thank you internet).

Railay Beach in Krabi Thailand and the Phra Nang Princess Cave or Phallic Cave - The Solivagant Soul

Other things to do in Railay Beach

For those of you that like to be a bit more active, the geography of these beaches makes them perfect for climbing. There are several climbing schools in Ao Nang that will take you to Railay Beach every day to teach you how to climb. In the case that you are already good at it, a few local shops would lend you the equipment to climb safely. In any case, you can also pay someone to help you out if you are alone.

Railay Beach in Krabi Thailand and the Phra Nang Princess Cave or Phallic Cave - The Solivagant Soul

Another thing I observed when I was there was a yoga class. I do not know if it was just this random day. But when I was there, there was a group of people relaxedly doing some yoga in the beach. If you are a yogui and there’s noone, you can always do it on your own!

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Railay Beach in Krabi Thailand and the Phra Nang Princess Cave or Phallic Cave - The Solivagant Soul

9 Comments

  1. Thanks for all the info! I did not know about the penis cave! It is so bizarre! Also, I completely understand and I wouldn’t have climbed that wall either, with ot without flip flops. Can’t wait to go to Thailand!

  2. I didn’t know that a phallic cave existed in Thailand. I have observed that phallus worship is common in so many Asian nations. In my country India, phallus is commonly worshipped in the form of Shivling. In Bhutan, Chimi Lhakhang is famous for huge phallic paintings outside the walls of homes.

  3. I’ve recently just discovered Krabi in Thailand prior to not knowing about it. Having read this blog has re-affirmed my curiosity once again. I am definitely interested seeing how beautiful this island is. And what an interesting cave- I never knew that it even existed!

  4. Ha, okay, I really wasn’t expecting to see anything phallic in this post!! I never heard of Railay Beach, but it sounds like a nice alternative to the busier beaches. It’s been a while since I went to Thailand, and this is inspiring me to return.

  5. We went to Railay last year and visited the cave. It’s a real thing all right. It seems like everybody who passes through gets some kind of GI hit, so be on high alert with the water and food you are eating. The views all around are stunning and there are a lot of fun things to do outside. I went diving from a long tail boat that included a swim through cave.

  6. Wow! Such a beautiful island! I wish I knew about Railay when I visited Thailand recently. Phallic cave sounds interesting and peculiar at the same time. Those views from the top are breathtaking, however, I wouldn’t have dared to climb that muddy route. Yoga practice on the beach is something I would be interested in.

  7. Thailand coastline has such nice little pockets worth visiting. Not all are well known. I was not aware of this island and its customs. Interesting legend and belief behind this donations at the cave. Love to read about such off beat destinations of Thailand.

  8. As Krabi is so famous in Thailand, Railay beach seems to be hidden treasure. Not much people know about this peninsula beach, but your post gives us lot of information about how to reach here and what to do. I would love to explore caves and cliffs surrounded with clear blue waters. This place is not very overcrowded with tourists and seems to be photogenic.

  9. I would love to go to Railay Beach! It’s one of the spots we missed in Thailand, and it looks so beautiful–I’ll pass on the Phallic Cave, though, lol. That vertical climb looks terrifying! I think I’d probably be too nervous to go up, too, though I’m sure the view is incredible.

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