Talay Waek Islands, Krabi

Chicken Island

Chicken Island

Talay Waek Islands, Krabi
Talay Waek is one of Thailand’s unseen highlights, is situated along Koh Dam Khwan. The sea is gradually separated by white sand and limestone beach that will appear to amazingly connect the two islands at low tide. The best time to visit Thale Waek is five days before and after the full moon from December to the beginning of May.

Talay Waek is a unique beach destination located between the offshore islands of Koh Kai, Koh Tup, and Koh Mor which are located in the Krabi province of southern Thailand.  Talay Waek, which in English means ‘the sea divided’ is a natural feature which occurs when the Andaman Sea flows in two directions; being parted by a long sand bar which links the islands of Koh Kai (or Chicken Island, which is also the largest), Koh Tup  and Koh Mor.  This phenomenon happens each day as the tide recedes.

Background
The sand bar which appears to rise miraculously from the Andaman Sea creates (for a period each day) a white sandy beach which allows tourists to relax or walk around and explore the islands on foot.  This has become a popular destination for tourists who take boat tours to the four popular offshore islands of Krabi which also includes Koh Poda and Koh Lanta.

Most people who visit these offshore islands do so to soak up the sun on the pristine white beaches or to engage in other popular activities such as diving and snorkeling in the clear blue waters of the Andaman Sea where there is an abundance of colorful fish and corals.  These popular islands are located within the Mu Koh Poda archipelago which forms part of the Krabi province. If you happen to be crossing the sand bar when the waters are just receding it is better to where thongs or shoes as shells and coral can often be felt under foot as you walk along.

History
However, despite being a popular tourist destination, these islands are also said to be of archaeological significance as items of material culture such as stone tools, potsherds, and unbaked clay votive tablets are said to have been found here.  Hence, many tourists choose to explore parts of the islands on foot and take advantage of the panoramic views on offer and take some photographs of the surrounding landscape.

Chicken Island
Koh Kai or Chicken Island (which gets its name from a rock formation which is shaped like a chicken neck and head) is the largest of these islands.  It is a rocky island with steep cliffs but it does have some lovely white sandy beaches and is surrounded by some beautiful coral reefs making it a popular choice for snorkelers (see image below).  Each of these islands is uninhabited today so you can only visit them as part of a day tour usually from Krabi.

Phra Nang Beach
Phra Nang Beach is surrounded by stunning limestone cliffs and is located on the southernmost tip of the Railay Peninsula, just south of West Railay. Out of the four beaches within this peninsula this beach would have to rate as the best with calm clean waters. The limestone cliffs that tower above the beachfront provide shade from the hot sun.

From the beach there are beautiful views across to the very popular Poda, Chicken and Tub Islands that lie in the distance. At the southern end of the beach is a tall limestone cliff that contains the famous Princess Cave also known as Tham Phra Nang Nok or outer cave that is said to be the home of a mythical sea princess? For those who are up for a hike, inside the cliff is a hidden lagoon called Sa Phra Nang or Holy Princess Pool which can be reached by following a trail into the side of the mountain. The climb is a bit challenging, but that’s what makes it so much fun.

Phra Nang is also known and shown on some maps as Princess Cave Beach or Phranang Cave Beach; all these different names can be somewhat confusing!!! Many people visit Phra Nang as part of a day trip from one of the other beaches as it is the first stop on the Krabi 4 island tour. While other visitors just come to spend the day lazing on the beach or to explore and admire the stunning scenery in this beautiful part of of Krabi Province. Other adventurous activities at Phra Nang include rock climbing, hiking snorkeling and sea kayaking.

How to get there
From Krabi, drive along Highway 4034, then 46. Turn left and continue on Highway No.4202 heading to Ao Nang. Long-tail boats and speed boats run daily from Ao Nang Bay to the sand dune.

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