Phra Nang Cave Beach is a beautiful beach surrounded by rock formations famous for their stalactites and their legend about a princess to whom local fishermen have dedicated a shrine in a small cave at the east end of the beach where they make offerings in the guise of realistic & colorful phallic statues to demand protection for their seafaring. This fantastic landscape with turquoise waters and lush limestone natural surroundings will not leave you indifferent.
The legend of Phra Nang Cave Beach.
There are different legends about princess Phra Nang and how it came to be associated with this Krabi cave.
A legend says that Phra Nang was an Indian princess goddess who died in a shipwreck on the high seas and since then her ghost has occupied the cave.
Another story says that Phra Nang was the wife of a local fisherman, and that one day her husband went to sea to fish. According to this story, the woman lived the rest of her years in the cave looking out to sea, waiting for her husband who never returned from her.
From ancient times up until today, fishermen go to the Phra Nang shrine to ask for safe sea travel, success and fertility. They offer incense, flowers and “lingams”, the phallic symbol of god Shiva.
Where is Phra Nang Cave Beach located?
Phra Nang Beach is located in the Krabi region, 45 km/29 mi east of Phuket, in the Malay peninsula, south Thailand.
How to get to Phra Nang Beach?
Krabi province is well connected, with many flights from Bangkok starting at 20 usd one way.
From Ao Nang beach, take a long-tail boats, they depart as soon as they have a minimum of 8 passengers. The boat ride take about 10-15 mn and costs 200 thb/ 6.5 usd round trip and will take about 10 minutes.
You can buy your boat ticket at the official ticket counters at any of the Krabi beaches or directly from the long-tail Taxi-Boat drivers,
Phra Nang Beach is also accessible by walking from East or West Railay. If you are coming from West Railay, you will need to follow the pedestrian bridge to East Railay and then follow the path along the beach and around the base of the cliff until you reach Phra Nang Beach.
In order to fully enjoy Phra Nang Beach, we recommend staying after the crowds leave or arriving early in the morning.
Where to stay in Phra Nang Beach?
If you want to spend the night on Phra Nang beach itself, your only option will be the luxurious Rayavadee Resort, starting at 300 usd/night . If, on the other hand, you don’t want to spend that much, you can easily find much cheaper accommodation in both West and East Railay, for around 30 usd /night.
Things to do In Phra Nang.
In addition to enjoying the beach and admiring the cave with its curious offerings, you can spend the day snorkeling and/or kayaking right off the beach and escape the crowds. Angel fishes, Sweetlips, tangs of many colors and many more will keep you busy. The Railay viewpoint offers fantastic views of Phra Nang and the 2 Railay beaches (east and west); it’s a 25 mn climb only but bring some shoes!
From there you can go down to Princess Lagoon, a tidal lake in the middle of the jungle. Time it with the high tide so the lagoon is full. The howling monkeys and monitor lizards add an eerie vibe to the place, don’t miss it if you think you can make the climb.
Rock Climbing: there are many routes all over the Phra Nang Peninsula, especially in Railay East. Climbing courses are available, there are worse places to start!
Take a sunset tour and swim in bioluminescent water. Understand that the presence and quantity of the bioluminescent plankton cannot be guaranteed. If you are traveling in group, negotiate a private long-tail trip in Railay beach (expect to pay around 50 usd).
For a bit of fun at night, head to Railay East where you’ll find live music, fire dancers and cocktails galore.