Krabi is one of the most visited destinations in Thailand and it’s no wonder why – the place is filled with unreal landscapes! What most people don’t know is that right next to the stunning Railay Beach, you’ll find one of the most beautiful hidden gems in the area: the Princess Lagoon.
The way to the lagoon is not easy though, and should not be underestimated! This is why we created this guide with everything you need to know before visiting Railay’s Princess Lagoon.
Know Before You Go
It’s a challenging climb but not a long one, so we recommend bringing some water, wearing proper shoes (bring some water shoes if possible to enter the lagoon), and wearing clothes you don’t mind getting ruined with red mud!
Disclaimer: we strongly advise AGAINST bringing kids and/or elderly people to this hike/climbing trail. It doesn’t require a great level of fitness but it can be challenging even for adults because of the climbing. Please be safe out there!
If you’re not staying at Railay Beach, you can also bring some clothes to change into after climbing and then spend the day at the beach.
How to get to Railay’s Princess Lagoon
Getting to Railay Beach
The Princess Lagoon is located at Railay Beach, which is only accessible by boat. You can get to Railay both by Krabi Town and Ao Nang.
From Krabi Town: you can get a Longtail boat at the Krabi Town Pier to Railay, which will take around 45 minutes and can cost up to 800 Baht (around 22 EUR). The easiest way is to from Krabi Town to Ao Nang and take the boat there. You can go by scooter or by local buses known as song-taew (a pickup truck taxi) which cost only 50 Baht each way and take around 40 minutes.
Note: You don’t have to be at a bus stop to hop on a song-taew, just stand by the side of the main road and flag one down, like a taxi. Similarly, you can hop off almost anywhere by ringing the buzzer inside.
From Ao Nang: right on the beach you will find lots of Longtail boats ready to take you to Railay, which is just a 10-minute ride away. We recommend going to the official ticket office where you’ll pay 200 Baht (around 5.40 EUR) for a return ticket.
Finding the Trail to the Princess Lagoon
Once at Railay Beach, take the main road and walk for a few minutes until reaching East Railay Beach (more of a mangrove than a beach). From here, turn right and walk the path all the way to the end of the beach, where it turns right again to reach Phra Nang Cave Beach.
Follow the path until this point, where you’ll find a sketchy mud wall with signs advising you not to climb to Railay’s Viewpoint. This (yes, this) is the start of the trail to Princess Lagoon – and to Railay’s Viewpoint.
Note: the trail here is almost vertical and extremely muddy. The trail down to Princes Lagoon gets closed in case of wet weather, but exercise caution either way.
The Trail up to Railay’s East ViewPoint
The trail to the lagoon starts the same as the one to Railay’s East ViewPoint, so we’ll add this one here. Once you climb the first muddy wall (there’s a rope to assist you), take the left trail (this is well-signalized) and walk for around 10 minutes until you reach a clearing – this is the viewpoint and it’s well worth the climbing!
Note: Just like the Lagoon, the best time to visit is during high tide. Otherwise, you will see nothing but wet sand!
The Trail down to Railay’s Princess Lagoon
After the Viewpoint, make your way back to the top of the first muddy wall. Here you have two signs, one to the left for Railay’s East ViewPoint and one to the right for Princess Lagoon. You’ll see that right next to it is another wall going down. This is the first of a set of four walls you need to climb down to get to the lagoon. They get progressively worse as you go down so this is why we don’t recommend this trail for either children or elderly people.
After the first wall, there’s a beautiful path leading to the next one. It feels like a true jungle adventure!
Once you get to the second wall, you can already have a glimpse of the lagoon!
Here is where things get challenging: there are three consecutive walls down to the lagoon, each one harder than the latest. There are ropes but you can’t really see where you are putting your feet, which makes this one of the most challenging trails we have ever done – it really isn’t for the faint-hearted!
Note: we would highly recommend you go with another person so you can help each other out.
The whole way down should take around 45 minutes considering you take your time and be cautious as you go.
Railay’s Princess Lagoon
Once you make it all the way to the lagoon, prepare to be amazed!
This body of water is hidden inside an open ceiling cave, and it looks just like something out of this world. The water is not clear as the bed of the lagoon is made of clay (and sharp rocks) but the color is still so vibrant you can’t believe your eyes. A magical place!
There’s only a small area next to the last wall where you can leave your things before going for a swim and it’s super muddy, so be aware that whatever you bring here it’s going to be red and dirty once you leave.
On a separate note, because of the sharp and slippery rocks around and at the bottom of the lagoon, we recommend you bring some water shoes. We went barefoot and suffered a lot to get in and out of the water.
Best Time to Visit Railay’s Princess Lagoon
This tip is probably the best tip we can give you: the lagoon only exists during high tide! The best way to check the high tide is by accessing this Tide Forecast website. It changes ever so often so check the day before you go. When we visited, high tide was at 13:30 so we made sure to get to the start of the trail at least one hour earlier.
Note: we also recommend spending the rest of your day at Phra Nang Beach, which is a much nicer beach than Railay in our opinion.
Other Activities in Krabi
- Blue Lagoon and Emerald Lake
- Hot Stream
- Tiger Cave Temple
- Ko Kai (Chicken Island)
- Diamond Cave (Phra Nang Nai Cave)
- Din Daeng Doi Viewpoint
- Dragon Crest Mountain
- Huay To Waterfall
- Roi Chan Phan Wang Waterfall
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