Phra Nang Bat Cave: Amazing Viewpoint near Railay Beach
While Railay Beach is mostly known for its pristine white sand beaches and world-class climbing scene, there are many other adventure activities on offer. I can honestly say this hike to the Phra Nang Bat Cave viewpoint is one of the highlights from our 4 days visiting Railay Beach.
So, gear up, embrace the thrill, and embark on this rewarding climb to witness the spectacular viewpoint from the Bat Cave.
About the Phra Nang Bat Cave
Nestled amidst the stunning cliffs and turquoise waters of Phra Nang Beach and Railay Beach in Thailand, the Phra Nang Beach Bat Cave is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. Located near Phra Nang Beach, this cave offers a breathtaking viewpoint that rewards adventurers with panoramic vistas of the Andaman Sea and the surrounding limestone karsts.
The Phra Nang Bat Cave is renowned for its resident colony of bats, which gives the cave its name. As you make your way through the cave, you’ll witness an awe-inspiring spectacle as thousands of bats take flight at dusk, creating a mesmerizing natural phenomenon. This unique experience makes the Phra Nang Bat Cave a must-visit destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike.
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Wondering where to stay in Railay Beach?
Rapala Rock Wood Resort is one the best Railay Beach hotels if you want a budget accommodation but don’t want to share a dorm. They offer comfortable bungalows with AC or fan, and a restaurant serving authentic Thai dishes.
How to get to Phra Nang Beach
Due to its isolated location, Railay Beach is accessible only by boat. Most visitors arrive at Ao Nang, a popular tourist hub on the mainland. From Ao Nang, longtail boats and speedboats regularly ferry passengers to Railay Beach. The boat ride takes approximately 15 to 20 minutes and offers breathtaking views of the coastline.
If you are coming from Krabi town, you will be dropped off at Railay East, and the walk to Phra Nang Beach will only be 10 minutes.
A third option would be to have your longtail boat drop you off directly on Phra Nang Beach, however, this would come at a higher cost.
Once at Railay Beach, you will need to head to the East side and walk south along the boardwalk. Once at the end of the beach, you will walk inland passing the Railay East viewpoint & lagoon hike trailhead along your way. From here, it is only another few minutes to Phra Nang Beach. The total walking time if starting from Railay West is around 20 minutes.
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How to get to the Bat Cave Trailhead from Phra Nang Beach
When you arrive at Phra Nang Beach you will be on the south end of the beach, close to the iconic Princess Cave and Phra Nang Cave, two sacred shrines dedicated to the mythical sea princess.
From here, you will need to walk to the far north end of Phra Nang Beach to find the starting point of the hike. As you walk along the sandy beach, you’ll notice the towering limestone cliffs that dominate the landscape.
Note that the hike up to the bat cave is not well marked, and there weren’t any signs that I could see when I did the hike in February of 2023. The trail can be steep and challenging in some sections, so wearing closed footwear with a good grip is recommended.
Hiking Up to the Bat Cave Viewpoint
Once you arrive at the Bat Cave area from Phra Nang Beach, the real adventure begins as you embark on an exhilarating climb up to the Bat Cave viewpoint. This section of the hike adds an extra level of excitement and challenge, as the remainder of the trail leading to the viewpoint is rugged and steep. While it requires a moderate level of fitness, I found it to be more accessible than I initially anticipated.
The first obstacle you’ll encounter on the climb is a rope, which acts as a guide and support. This rope serves as a helpful aid to navigate the steeper parts of the trail. Grab hold of the rope firmly and use it to pull yourself up.
As you progress, you’ll encounter an old bamboo ladder that leads to higher ground. This bamboo ladder is an integral part of the climb, adding a unique charm to the experience.
Once in the bat cave there will be many narrow passageways that invite exploration. Be prepared to be in awe of the breathtaking beauty surrounding you. However, exercise caution as some sections of the cave can be steep and slippery, even when it hasn’t rained recently.
It’s worth noting that the hike up to the Bat Cave viewpoint from the beach takes only around 15 minutes. Despite the relatively short duration, the trail’s ruggedness and the challenges encountered along the way make it an exciting and memorable adventure.
Viewpoint from Phra Nang Bat Cave
From Phra Nang Bat Cave, you’ll be greeted by a mesmerizing view across the turquoise waters of the Andaman Sea. The viewpoint offers an excellent perspective of the towering limestone cliffs that encircle Railay Beach, creating a dramatic and picturesque setting.
Be sure to bring your camera to capture the stunning natural beauty from this viewpoint. The sight of the sun casting golden hues upon the karsts as it sets over the horizon is a sight you won’t want to miss. The viewpoint is particularly popular during sunset, as the colours become even more vibrant, transforming the scenery into a magical experience.
If you happen to do the Bat Cave hike near sunset, after your climb down, finish your adventure off with some well-deserved wine on Phra Nang Beach and admire the rest of the sunset!
Rock Climbing Routes in the Phra Nang Bat Cave
The Phra Nang Bat Cave is not only a destination for hikers and nature but also a paradise for rock climbers. The limestone cliffs surrounding the cave offer a variety of routes that attract climbers. If you have a passion for climbing, don’t miss the opportunity to explore the rock faces within the Bat Cave area.
The climbing routes in the Bat Cave cater to climbers of different skill levels, from beginners to experienced climbers seeking a challenge. The routes are well-established and equipped with bolts, making it convenient and safe for climbers to navigate the walls. The best resource for finding climbing routes in the Railay area can be found here on thecrag.com website.
If you’re new to rock climbing or prefer a guided experience, there are local climbing schools and guides available in the Railay Beach area. These professionals can provide instruction, equipment, and guidance for climbers of all levels. They are knowledgeable about the routes, safety protocols, and can help you make the most of your climbing adventure in the Railay Beach area.
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In conclusion, after spending four unforgettable days in Railay Beach, I can confidently say that hiking to the Phra Nang Bat Cave was one of the absolute highlights. The exhilarating climb, the stunning viewpoint, and the unique experience of exploring the cave made it a must-do adventure during our time in Railay.
If you find yourself in Railay Beach, I highly recommend including the hike to the Phra Nang Bat Cave in your itinerary. It offers a unique blend of adventure, natural splendour, and a touch of thrill that will leave you with lasting memories. Don’t miss out on this incredible experience—it’s a true gem waiting to be discovered.
If you enjoyed this article, be sure to check out our article on our experience doing a Khao Sok Night Safari, another highlight from our time in Thailand!