Railay Beach Princess Lagoon, Thailand
When vacationing in Thailand, both Luke and I's favorite hike was by far the Railay Beach Princess Lagoon in Krabi. We were staying on Tonsai Beach which was mostly people in their 20's and early 30's rock climbing, listening to reggae music and drinking out at the beach front bar. It had a great, chill vibe that we loved, but with the short amount of time we were spending there, we wanted to make the most of it. Luke read about a cool hike and lagoon that was on the nearby beach so we set aside half a day and made the trek. Although I'm classifying it as a hike, there was a lot of rock climbing involved with some rope pulling so it is suggested to go if you are in decent shape and/or have some rock climbing experience.
(Apologies for the lower quality pictures as I was not willing to take my nice camera on this trek.)
How Did We Get There?
We had an idea where the trail began but we weren't 100% sure of its exact location so we set out for our adventure of the day. On the Southeast end of Tonsai Beach, we trekked through some rocks and trees for about 15 minutes before reaching Railay West. This beach had a different vibe, with nicer sand and much more expensive hotels and bars. After walking up and down this beach a few times, we found the pathway to Railay East located between a couple beach front restaurants. We followed this pathway passing a few hotels and resorts along the way and eventually ended up at Railay East. From there we continued Southeast and half way between Railay East and Phra Nang Beach we stumbled upon the sign for the trail! Eureka!
What To Expect
The weather for the day was perfect as it was warm and partly cloudy. Lucky for us, it wasn't too wet or slippery from rain. And although you're on and off the beaches, it's highly recommended to wear shoes with good traction since the majority of this hike is climbing up and down huge rocks using both your upper and lower body. We looked up at the rocks where it started and knew it was gonna be a workout. But be warned, it gets MUCH harder. It was a fairly difficult trek, and we were already sweating after the hike over to the right beach, so with the warm weather, about 20 minutes into this climb/hike/trek, my shirt was off, my bandanna was on, and I was already covered in red clay and mud. I quickly accepted the fact that this was not a leisurely stroll, but a dirty, sweaty, fun and amazing hike that I just knew would be worth it in the end.
About 30 minutes after we started, we made it to the Viewpoint! We took a few minutes to rest and appreciate the scene, then continued on our way. A while later, after climbing up some huge, clay covered rocks, we made our way to something within the realm of rocky stairs for giants. About three levels of them, each around 15 feet tall. Thankfully we were in the midst of great weather so nothing was too slippery. But we still proceeded with much caution. There were ropes to assist us --- and I can't lie, I panicked for a few brief moments --- but once we made it past all that, it was SO worth it! We saw an incredible lagoon with water at the perfect depth to go cool off in. Since we were already covered in clay, dirt and sweat, how bad was some dirty lagoon water? We took off our shoes and shirts and waded on in. It was one of the coolest things I've gotten to experience by far. And a challenging hike is always better with a cool reward at the end!