Located on the edge of the pristine Phra Nang beach of Thailand, is the Phra Nang Cave dedicated to an Indian princess goddess named ‘Phra Nang’. Phra Nang beach is an attraction for tourists all year round for its fine-grained white sand and crystalline waters that are ideal for sunbathing and swimming. However, Phra Nang Cave’s rich culture and history make it a prestigious attraction for visitors. The cave, on the east side of the Railay Bay, is famous for its wonderful stalactites and stalagmites. According to legends, Phra Nang- the Indian princess goddess, is believed to have been residing in the cave underneath the cliff at an end of the beach. Phra Nang Cave has become a symbol of fertility. There are linga or phallic-shaped statues placed at the entrance of the cave that takes the form of carved wooden penises and part of the cave resembles a vagina.
Lingams are a symbol of the Hindu god Shiva and are associated with fertility and virility. Local folklore says that if somebody carves a wooden lingam and releases it at high tide anywhere along the Krabi coast, it will eventually end up in Phra Nang Cave. According to legends that go back centuries, Phra Nang was an Indian princess who had drowned in a shipwreck off the Railay coastline. It is believed that her spirit took refuge in the Phra Nang cave where it still remains. However, some legends believed that Phra Nang was the wife of a fisherman who was lost at sea, and she lived out the rest of her life in the cave waiting for his return. Phra Nang cave is considered a sacred place. Fishermen and boatmen make offerings to ensure safe travel on the sea and a hefty catch. Visitors pray respect by waiting (Thai greeting) the shrine. Tourists can reach Phra Nang beach from Ao Nang Beach or Nopparat Thara beach by longtail boats. A boat trip from any of the local beaches in Krabi would cost 100 baht for a one-way trip and take about 10-15 minutes. Longtail boat drivers usually wait until they have a minimum of 8 passengers before departing. There are also Kayaks available on rent.
Phra Nang beach can also be reached by walking via East or West Railay. From the West Railay, one can follow the walkthrough to East Railay before following the path along the beach towards Rayavadee Resort until the Phra Nang beach. The Inner and Outer Phra Nang Caves, and Phra Nang Lagoon, which are located nearby offer stunning views. The accommodation in Phra Nang is available over a wide price range and the food is excellent. Phra Nang Cave offers a plethora of recreational activities like rock-climbing, hiking, diving, and snorkeling. The area boasts of some of the best scuba-diving sites in the world with certified instruction courses offered. The towering karsts near the cave offer an opportunity for adventurous travelers to go on numerous hiking trails. The ends of the beach are surrounded by limestone structures and cliffs. Jellyfishes and Monkeys are common in the area. The cave is usually crowded with tourists and makes a perfect destination for a truly complete vacation due to its cultural heritage and thrilling activities.