Tuesday, September 17, 2013

beautiful phra nang beach

We'd been in a town called Ao Nang for a few days, which did have its plusses (we managed to negotiate a really nice room with AC and great internet for cheap! and monkeys!) but also had its minuses (very package-touristy=expensive and full of annoying touts trying to sell you things). We'd heard there was a beautiful beach just down the coast, which all the guidebooks called the rock climbing capital of Thailand for its dramatic limestone karsts rising out of the Andaman Sea. So we hopped on a boat (which was the only way to get there--no roads in or out) and headed to Railay.

Well, the books weren't wrong. Phra Nang, one of the beaches just off the main Railay beach, was one of the most beautiful beaches we'd ever seen.

The town itself...we didn't really like it. Bad juju, if you will. But we loved the beach. Maggie was so enchanted with it that after we went one afternoon, we planned to go again early the next morning when there weren't so many tourists around, and we managed to make it even after Maggie fell victim to food poisoning the night before. (Don't worry, I'm fine! -M)

We're glad we did go back, because we had the beach all to ourselves. 

That's Maggie, in the lower left

Beach of our own in the early morning

We took pictures on the beach, swam under the limestone formations, and even found a cave we could swim into (under the overhang in the photos--we couldn't swim with the camera, so no pictures of the cave while it was filled with water, but this is from near it, later, when the tide was out).

Low tide, from under the cliff

Water ran in streams off the top of the cliffs, so in little areas all around, you could swim under it, and if you looked up, you could watch the streams of individual huge droplets falling from hundreds of feet up to land all around you--it almost looked unreal. I (Maggie) called it fairy water, and of course I couldn't get a good picture.

Taking a swim, watching the fairy water

It was even kind of funny.

A fertility shrine in a cave on the beach. Guess how we knew what kind of shrine it was.

Too bad the town wasn't nicer--it was maybe our least favorite town, but most favorite beach.  

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