The long-tail boat or “rua hang yao” in Thai is a ubiquitous sight on the beaches and islands across Thailand. You’ve probably seen it before on picture-perfect postcards and travel magazines. 😀 My short getaway to Tonsai Beach, also known as Tonsai Bay in Krabi required me to take one of the long-tail boats from Ao Nang Pier, across the sea to where the secluded beach is located.
Seafood Restaurants, Street Foods & Drinks
The scenic shuttle bus ride from Krabi International Airport to Ao Nang Pier took about 45 minutes. It was already dark by the time I arrived at the pier. At the long-tail boat ticket booth, I enquired for the next long-tail boat to leave for Tonsai/Railay.
I was told that the next boat will leave when there are enough passengers. Feeling hungry, I decided to grab a bite while I wait for more people to gather at the pier. In order to not miss the boat ride, I had a quick, cheap and satisfying takeaway dinner that consists of a chicken burger (THB60) and coconut fruit shake (THB40). A bottle of drinking water is priced at THB10 each. 🙂
Long-Tail Night Boat Ride from Ao Nang Pier to Tonsai/Railay
For your info, long-tail boats run frequently from Ao Nang Pier to Tonsai/Railay. However, the boat only leaves when it has enough passengers (10-12 people max). It costs about THB100 per person for a single journey. During the high season, it takes approximately 20-30 minutes to fill a boat depending on the time of the day.
Do take note that the price almost doubles after 6pm. During the low season where there are fewer visitors, it usually takes a longer time to fill up a boat. Alternatively, one can opt to charter an entire boat for THB1,000-1,500 depending on the time of the day and share the cost with the existing passengers.
Unfortunately, I happen to travel during the low season therefore there was not many people around and most of the visitors have left on the earlier boat. Initially, I was forced to charter an entire boat to myself and pay THB1,000 (a discounted rate for a single passenger only, the normal rate is THB1,500 for an entire boat after 6pm). 🙁
Thank goodness a young couple from Singapore arrived just in time to save my day. We ended up paying THB500 each for the long-tail boat ride. Phew…lucky me! The morale of the story is, leave early to save money or be prepared to pay more when there aren’t many people around for the long-tail boat ride in Krabi.
Friendly Encounters in the Dark – At Sea & Land
The tide was low with no moon in sight that night, so we had to walk quite a distance on Ao Nang beach in the dark to reach our boat. Thankfully, I was prepared for the occasion and brought my handy head torch that I used to light up the way. 😀 We passed by several women diligently digging for clams on the beach and even talked to one of them.
After that, we got onto our long-tail boat and made our way to Tonsai/Railay beach. It was my first time taking a long-tail boat at night and the view was pretty awesome. I felt excited, but also worried for my safety. There were life jackets on the boat, but we were not given one to wear probably because it was a short 8-10 minutes journey.
I was the first one to get off the boat because the Singaporean couple was headed to Railay. Since the tide was low, the boat was not able to reach the jetty. Therefore, I had to jump off the boat and wade through waist-deep seawater with my backpack held over my head to reach the safety of the shore on my own. Oh boy, what an experience it was!
A Private Bungalow Hut in the Secondary Forest
If that wasn’t scary or exciting enough, I had to walk another 600 metres deep into the secondary forest, bypassing limestone hills to reach my private bungalow hut where I’ll spend the night in. Long story cut short, I managed to check-in to my bungalow hut safe and sound at last. 😉
It was a long day and I went to bed early in preparation for tomorrow’s activities. After a trickling cold shower, I dozed off on the bed serenaded by the melodious screeching sound of the insects in the background. Zzz…good night to the world.
Up next: An honest review of my private bungalow hut with garden view at Chill Out Bar & Bungalow