A few days in Krabi (2): Kayaking & Railey beach

The kayak tour on Sunday afternoon appeared to have almost exclusively Asian participants at first until Inna arrived on a separate bus. Born originally in Odessa, Ukraine, she now lives in Berlin and spends a 2w holiday in Thailand. We shared a kayak and took in the scenery together. Enjoyable views and conversation as we paddled along.

After the tour I relocated to Krabi town and made it to the guesthouse just in time before all floodgates opened and it rained heavily. I didn’t manage to do much more than a brief dinner and a call with Alex before getting to bed. I was dead.

Krabi town: Come here to get a more local experience as tourists & locals mingle, enjoy the food market (big night market on weekends), visit the Kaewkorawaram temple and stroll along Krabi river. As in Aonang, you can connect here to surounding islands & start daytours.

Inna and I met up the next day and headed for Railey beach. While this beach is not located on an island, it can only be reached by boat (THB150 one way). There you can visit caves, enjoy nice beaches (though they were busy), do rock climbing & caving (not for us as Inna nursed a twisted ankle & I a broken toe) as well as some rather adventurous hiking to one of the many viewpoints (note of caution … difficult path!).

So who is Phra Nang? There are different theories about Phra Nang and how she came to be associated with this particular cave in Krabi. One legend says that an Indian princess was killed in a shipwreck offshore and her ghost occupied the cave. Another story says that Phra Nang was the wife of a local fisherman. One day her husband set out to sea but never returned. According to this story, the woman lived out the rest of her years living in the cave and looking out to sea waiting for her husband to come back.

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Good Luck Offerings: Fishermen and boatmen still make offerings in the form of incense and flowers to ensure a safe journey. More curious though, are the phallic symbols or lingams that are in prominence at the entrance to the cave (pictured). Lingams are a symbol of the Hindu god Shiva and are associated with fertility and virility. In Thailand, Hindu and animist beliefs are incorporated alongside Buddhism. Over the centuries, Phra Nang cave has become associated with fertility and the lingams placed here take the form of carved wooden penises. Local folklore says that if somebody carves a wooden lingam and releases it at high tide anywhere along the Krabi coast, it will eventually end up in Phra Nang cave.

By the time I got home in the evening I was shattered. Too much fresh air, too much hiking and way too much sun. I got myself a take away pizza, booked a ticket to Khao Sok National Park for the day after and went to bed. So tired again. I am getting old man …

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