Rock formations off Ao Phranang.

This was the sight that greeted us as we tromped down from our hillside cabana to Ao Phranang (a beach in the Railay area of Krabi Province), on our first morning there. We were pretty happy with it.

 

More formations off Ao Phranang.

 

Rope-swinging at Ao Phranang.

Railay is a popular rock-climbing destination, but we also found a couple sweet rope swings like this one.

 

Long-tails offshore at Ao Phranang.

The Railay area is surrounded by such high cliffs that, although it’s not an island, long-tail boats (like the ones pictured here) are needed just to get to the region.

 

View of the beach from beneath a karst overhang.

The limestone (karst) formations along the beach create countless overhangs and caves.

 

View of Ao Phranang from the south end.

 

Dripping limestone at Ao Phranang.

The limestone seemed almost to be dripping before our eyes.

 

Late afternoon at Ao Phranang.

 

Late-day sun at Ao Phranang.

As the sun went down, the already-quiet beach emptied out and the scenery became more and more gorgeous.

 

Pink clouds over Ao Phranang.

 

More pink clouds over Ao Phranang.

 

Sunset at Ao Phranang.

 

The other large beach we hung out at in the area, Ao Railay West, wasn’t too bad either:

Morning at Ao Railay West.

 

Palm shadows over Ao Railay West.

 

But exploring those stunning outlying islands by kayak (and snorkel!) on our last day yielded even more discoveries:

Island near Railay.

 

Gorgeous crescent beach on another island.

 

Lacey in the water.

 

Ethan and Lacey in the kayak.

 

Island rocks.

These rocks were just off the island where we snorkeled.  The island was a pillar of rock with just enough beach at low tide to pull the kayak up.  But with pristine coral all around, the scene underwater (not pictured) was spectacular!

 

Sandy beach winding away towards water and more sand.

This beach, located in a national park and winding toward that far crescent of sand at low tide, was our favorite spot of the day. Especially because the only building on this island was a shack with some sandy picnic tables out front that served delicious Thai food!

 

More winding beach.

 

Lacey walking along a submerged path of sand.

 

Heron on the beach.

 

Lacey on the beach.

 

Sunset over karst islands.

We didn’t want the day to end!

 

Pink clouds over the water from the kayak.

But paddling back, we knew it was an unforgettable way to end the vacation.

 

 

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