Guide to Visiting Phra Nang Beach & Cave in Railay, Krabi – We Seek Travel


A useful travel guide to visiting Phra Nang Beach, Railay. Find out how to get here and 9 fun things to do at one of Thailand’s most beautiful beaches.

Phra Nang Cave Beach is a stunning white-sand beach surrounded by tall limestone cliffs on the tip of the Railay Peninsula, in Krabi on the southern coast of Thailand.

This truly is one of the best beaches in Thailand, with plenty of things to do such as rock climbing, kayaking, snorkeling, and exploring Princess Cave and the little-known Bat Cave.

In this guide, I’ll detail everything you need to know about Phra Nang Beach, from getting here via longtail boats or walking from Railay East Beach, as well as giving you some travel inspiration with a fun list of activities and some hidden spots accessible from Phra Nang.

Rocks and Caves on Phra Nang Beach

About Krabi’s Phra Nang Beach

Phra Nang Beach is a beautiful secluded beach accessible only by boat or by walking the short track from Railay East Beach. Due to its secluded nature and amazing natural scenery, this white-sand beach is a famous wedding venue and typically one of the must-visit attractions on the Railay Peninsula.

The beach is named after the Phra Nang Cave, which is located on the east side of the beach. This cave is considered a sacred site by the locals and is dedicated to a mythical sea princess, which is where the name “Princess Cave” comes from.

The beach is typically patrolled by lifeguards during the peak season. It features a small island just off its shores, named Ko Rang Nok, which is accessible by swimming, kayaking, or walking at low tide.

Phra Nang Beach, Railay

How to Get to Phra Nang Beach

Since Phra Nang Beach is located in Railay, you cannot drive here from other parts of the Krabi Province since there are no vehicle roads on this peninsula. Below I’ll detail two great options for how to get to Phra Nang Beach either on a day trip or via the longtail boats from Ao Nang or Ao Nam Mao Pier, Krabi.

Longtail boats at Railay, Krabi

Option 1: Railay & 4 Islands Speedboat Tour

Skip bartering with travel agents. The easiest way to get to Phra Nang Beach & Cave is to book the Krabi Islands Speedboat Tour online. This is a great way to combine a visit to Railay and the unmissable Krabi Islands like Chicken Island and Koh Poda.

The tour includes free Krabi area hotel pickup from popular tourist areas like Ao Nang, Krabi Town, Ao Nam Mao, Klong Muang, or Tub Kaek Beach.

Also, as a speedboat tour, it’s also the fastest way to visit the most beautiful beaches & islands in one day. This means more time swimming at Phra Nang and the islands, and less time on a boat.

Phra Nang Beach, Railay

Option 2: Longtail Boat from Ao Nang Beach

If you want to stay at Railay, or visit on an independent day trip, then the best option is to take a longtail boat from Ao Nang Beach or Ao Nam Mao Pier.

The boat ride from Ao Nang is the best option. This takes just 10-15 minutes and costs only 100 Thai Baht each way to West Railay Beach. These longtail boats are shared and you must wait until they fill up with at least eight passengers.

If you want to get directly to Phra Nang from Ao Nang, you can pay an additional cost to the boat driver and he will take you there.

I’ve written a detailed guide on exactly how to get to the Railay Peninsula for more information.

Boat driving from Railay Beach, Thailand

Can You Walk From Railay Beach to Phra Nang Beach?

Yes, you can walk to Phra Nang Beach from Railay East Beach. There is a short and completely flat trail leading beneath the limestone cliffs at the southern end of the beach, taking just 10 minutes.

Along the way, you’ll pass the steep trailhead to the East Railay Viewpoint and lagoon hike, an awesome adventure I’d recommend either after or before you visit Phra Nang.

Infographic for getting to Phra Nang Beach, Krabi
Stalactites on the Walking track to Phra Nang Cave Beach
The concrete path to Phra Nang Beach, shaded by stalactite features.

8 Things to Do on Phra Nang Beach

Now that you know exactly how to get here, let’s dive into the fun attractions and things to do at Phra Nang based on my past visits.

1. Phra Nang Beach Cave (Princess Cave)

The most famous attraction at Phra Nang Beach is the Princess Cave, also known as Tham Phra Nang Nok in Thai. This large cave is at the east edge of the beach, near where you walk out from Railay East Beach.

One of the first things you’ll notice is the large wooden phallic symbols and a shrine at the entrance of the cave. Local fishermen consider this a sacred site and believe that it is home to a mythical sea princess.

Phra Nang Beach Cave

Legend has it that fishermen once used to make offerings to this Indian Princess Goddess at this beach cave in exchange for a bountiful catch. Over time, the Phra Nang cave became a popular pilgrimage site and is now commonly visited by those seeking fertility, hence the small wooden penises and colorful votive offerings like flowers, incense, and snacks.

Princess cave at Phra Nang, Krabi

2. Dine at the Famous Rayavadee Cave Restaurant

The Rayavadee Resort is one of the most amazing places to stay in southern Thailand. But, even if you can’t afford this 5-star resort, you might be able to splurge on one evening dining at its famous Cave Restaurant.

This restaurant has been going viral on social media lately, with elegant tables set up inside a natural limestone cave, illuminated with soft lighting overlooking the crystal-clear waters of Phra Nang Beach.

The restaurant serves a mix of Thai food and international cuisine.

Rayavadee Cave Dining Grotto in Krabi

3. Relax & Swim on Phra Nang Beach

Of course, one of the best things to do on Phra Nang Beach is just to enjoy the white sand and shallow waters for swimming and relaxing.

The beach is quite long, meaning there’s plenty of space to lie down. From the beach, you’ll even have a clear view of Koh Poda in the distance.

Swimming at Phra Nang Beach

4. Go Kayaking

With its calm, shallow water dropping into a deep blue and surrounded by amazing caves and limestone cliffs, Phra Nang is the perfect beach for kayaking. The great news is, visitors can rent kayaks, as well as other water sports equipment like stand-up paddleboards or snorkels, right on the beach and prices are quite reasonable.

Alternatively, you can rent a Kayak at Railay West Beach and paddle around the headland to Phra Nang.

Kayaking at Phra Nang Cave Beach near  Ko Rang Nok Island

5. Swim or Paddle to Ko Rang Nok (Ko Rang Beach)

Perhaps the most distinguishing feature of Phra Nang Beach is the towering Ko Rang Nok, a small island just a short distance from the shore.

The Island has a small beach known as Ko Rang Beach, directly facing Phra Nang, which is a small, secluded beach great for swimming and relaxing.

During low tide, you can even walk out to Ko Rang Nok. At high tide, the swim is very short and easy, especially in calm conditions. Alternatively, rent a kayak and paddle out!

Koh Rang Beach in Krabi

6. Walk to the Hidden Beach at Phra Nang

Hidden among the forested area at the western edge of Phra Nang Beach is an immaculate, secret beach known as Hidden Beach. The only way to get here is to wade through the crystal clear waters beneath the limestone cave. At low tide, this is very easy. But, during the high tide, you may need to get wet up to your chest.

This beach features a small area of soft sand, shaded by dense forest. Hidden Beach is quite small, accommodating perhaps 6 people at most. If you’re looking for a quiet area away from the crowds, this is the ideal spot.

Hidden Beach at Phra Nang, Krabi
Hidden Beach at Phra Nang, Krabi

7. Go Rock Climbing Behind Phra Nang Beach

Railay Peninsula attracts rock climbers from all over the world for its amazing Thai limestone. One of the best climbing spots on the peninsula is just behind Phra Nang Beach, known as “Escher World“.

You’ll find this at the base of the cliff on the way to the Bat Cave (below).

This route is popular for beginner and intermediate climbers, with polished rock and safe, titanium anchor bolts.

Rock climbing at Phra Nang Beach

8. The Phra Nang Bat Cave

While Phra Nang Cave Beach is named after and made famous for the Princess Cave, the Bat Cave truly is a much more impressive natural feature.

This huge opening is visible from the shores of Phra Nang and looks like a huge hole carved out of the karst tower on the western end of the beach.

Inside the cave, there is an amazing viewpoint offering perhaps the best views of Phra Nang Beach, framed perfectly by the huge limestone cave opening. To get here, you don’t need any special equipment. It’s just a short walk through the jungle on the western side of the beach, followed by a light, 10-meter scramble, then a walk up through the cave aided by rickety bamboo ladders.

The Bat Cave viewpoint is found at the end of a narrow tunnel, which squeezes out to a viewpoint area with panoramic views.

Bat Cave Railay

9. Go Snorkeling

Snorkeling is one of the best things to do in Railay, and Phra Nang has two areas where you can swim with fish and enjoy the healthy coral reef. Both of these coral areas are found at either end of the beach, with the western end being a little healthier.

Phra Nang Beach, Railay Peninsula, Krabi

Where to Stay at Railay

Railay is a small peninsula with no cars or road transport. Therefore, you can walk to all the pristine beaches, where most of the accommodation options are located. These range from budget backpacker hostels to amazing 5-star resorts on right the beach.

Below are the top 3 places to stay in Railay for each budget.

Rayavadee outdoor views of the bungalow accommodation and swimming pool, Krabi

1. Rayavadee Luxury

The best 5-star luxury accommodation in Railay famous for its epic cave restaurant. Boasts immaculately designed rooms, 6 restaurants, an outdoor pool, & incredible balcony views.

Tinidee Hideaway Villa accommodation on Tonsai Beach, Thailand

2. Tinidee Hideaway Villa

Amazing sea-view villas overlooking the impeccable Tonsai Beach. The most romantic place to stay for couples. Features a beachside pool & world-class breakfast included.

Blanco hostel pool in Railay

3. Blanco Hideout Budget

Easily the best backpacker hostel in Railay featuring a pool, two bars, a restaurant, a gym, and great common areas for sunbathing and meeting other travelers.

Tips for Visiting Phra Nang Beach

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this travel guide to Phra Nang Beach at Railay in Krabi, Thailand. Before you go, here are some final tips to make sure you have a great time at this incredible cave beach.

  • Peak season – the high season runs between November and April when the weather is dry and sunny, perfect for beach hopping. This is the best time to visit Railay. However, 6 million tourists visit Krabi every year. So you can expect some crowds at this popular beach.
  • Visit early – if you’re taking a day trip from Ao Nang via the longtail boat ride, then I recommend taking the first boat at 8:00 AM, or earlier if you’re in a larger group and can fill the boat. Phra Nang Beach gets very busy starting at around 11:00 AM.
  • Respect local customs – remember, the wooden penises are funny, but this is a sacred site for local people. Please respect the cave and beach.
  • Watch out for monkeys – the short walking track from Railay East Beach to Phra Nang Beach is a hotspot for monkeys. Be mindful and keep snacks away from them. Do not feed them either as this can make the population become aggressive.
  • Take your trash with you – Thailand isn’t exactly known for being very efficient with its trash management. Remember, Railay has no vehicle roads, so all trash is taken out via the long tail boats. Try your best to minimize your single-use plastic consumption, and take your trash with you from the beach.
Phra Nang Cave Beach, Railay
Lizard at the beach in Krabi

More Railay & Krabi Travel & Adventure Guides

I hope that this travel guide to Phra Nang Beach and Princess Cave has inspired you to visit this beautiful place in Krabi, Thailand.

Before you shoot off, why not check out some of my other Thailand travel guides? I’ve got tonnes of great content from Railay and Krabi, and I’m sure you’ll find something you would have missed otherwise!

Pinterest pin guide to visiting Phra Nang Beach

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