Rather than going straight to Ko Lanta, as I intended when leaving Khao Sok, I decided at the last moment to stay in Krabi Town for two nights and do a day-trip to Railay. And I'm glad I did! Railay, and especially its Southern beach called Phranang, are one of a kind. In Phranang, a steep limestone cliff carved by the elements into what is known as The Princess Cave, hovers above the beach, making for some surreal scenery:
I spent most of the day enjoying the beach at Phranang and Railay West, grabbing lunch at a floating Halal restaurant. There is a significant muslim population in the Krabi area, and it turns predominantly muslim further South. At least I didn't have to worry about pork finding its way into my food!
I'm spending the night in Krabi Town -- a cheap and accessible alternative. Tomorrow, I'm finally taking a ferry to Ko Lanta, which according to several travelers I met, has the chill vibe I've been searching for.