Traveling to Railay Beach is like going to meet a Bond villain. The peninsula is divided from the mainland by a mountain range. So the only way on or off is by a wooden long-tail boat rigged with a full car engine directly powering a propeller on a long pole. After you land in the Krabi airport you grab a shuttle for the docks. When the van pulls up, you head straight out onto the beach and into the water. A porter passes your bags up to the boat but you’re in it immediately. The sand between your toes, face wet with salty ocean spray. Then off with a roar and out into a maze of limestone cliffs and jagged pillars. Until you finally come to rest on a jungle bay dotted by white peaks. No cars, no roads. And a decidedly Rasta undertone to this little paradise.
There are no food trucks here. Or really any street vendors. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t great mobile food to be had. But here on the beach the long-tail boats come to you with full kitchens that can serve up an unreasonably large selection of international foods, fresh fruit smoothies, even ice cream. “Shoes, no service”. To order at these boats you have to walk out into the water. Luckily no one is wearing their shoes on the beach. Except me, I guess.
Everything is thought out nicely. When you get a drink they slip it into this thing like a plastic bag with no bottom, it slips around the drink and gives you little handles so you can carry several at once. And my favorite, when you order some corn on the cob it automatically comes with this nifty toothpick! Why hasn’t anyone here thought of this?
Everything on the beach comes by way of boat. It has a similar feel as many of the islands I’ve been on. The ever present island ingenuity that I love seeing. The pace is chill. The food is fresh seafood, the catch of the day. Whole fish cooked to order. Prawns, lobster, shellfish, in every imaginable configuration. The hotels of course offer the full list of thai and western favorites but where’s the fun in that?
Marijuana is illegal in Thailand. And there are stiff penalties, it’s taken seriously. But there aren’t any police on Railay Beach. So the atmosphere here is decidedly more Rasta friendly. At least half of the bars offer some sort of “happy” treat. Happy brownies, happy pizzas, happy milkshakes. Actually half the items have hallucinogenic mushrooms, half are weed based. And of course you can buy joints and spliffs. If you don’t ask they’ll sell you a spliff, so be sure to ask for a real joint. The weed was total trash weed. And this trait carried into the edibles. I would say 3mg max. After a brownie and a full joint I’m barely feeling it. Same with the mushroom shakes. But hey, the atmosphere is nice, and it’s fun to smoke a joint while playing connect four to reggae music, even it won’t get you that high.