Railay Beach is secluded beach cut off from the mainland by majestic limestone mountains which rise high above the Anderman Sea. Famous for attracting rock climbers form all over the world it is a breathtaking beach which has to be seen to be appreciated. Located in the Provence of Krabi in South Western Thailand it really is a must visit location if you ever get the chance to be in this part of Thailand. With the only access available from longtails or small boats you will feel that you are somewhere special as soon as you enter the cove and see the beautiful limestone mountains towering high above the cresent shaped beach.
Beaches of Railay
East Railay Bay is the drop off point for longtails from Krabi. You will find all the budget accommodation here as well as restaurants and bars which line the beach. It is important to undrstand that this beach was once a mangrove and is not suitable for swimming.This part of Railay is full of atmosphere and a great place to hangout at the end of the day whne you feel you need to wet your mouth after a hard days climb.
Phra Nang Bay is considered the most beautiful beach in Railay. It is a little hike and can be busy during the peak season but is well worth a visit to appreciate it’s natural beauty. Voted as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, you can experience a true tropical paradise here.
West Railay Bay is the most popular beach of Railay. You will find all the mid-range holiday resorts and a few restaurants here. Unfortunately this beach is full of noisy longtails which taxi tourists here from Krabi, so it can be noisy and if you are expecting a peaceful day spent lounging on the beach then think again.
Tonsai Bay offers world class climbing and as a result attracts climbing enthusiasts from all corners of the globe. It take a little bit of effort to get here so you won’t find your usual travelers here. The beach attracts people who like to chill out and take it easy. More of a bohemian feel with Raggae bars and music popular with the crowds you can expect to experience herb smoking climbers unwinding after a day of hard work. The beach is not as attractive as what you will find in Railay west but Tonsai Bay is more for climbing and mellowing out in the evenings.
THINGS TO DO
Climbing- Railay is considered to be a world class climbing location that draws thousands of climbing enthusiast from all over the globe. From limited beginners to experienced routes you can learn to climb or if you are an experienced climber be challenged by some of the most testing routes available in Thailand. With over seven hundred bolted routes up limestone faces and breathtaking views over the Andaman Sea you will struggle to find more beautiful place to climb.
Diving and Snorkeling- Railay is not the best place to dive and definitely not on equal par with the neighboring dive sites around Koh Phi Phi and Phuket. You can learn how to dive here but the best thing is that good dive sites are a short boat trip away.
Kayaking- kayaking around Railay is a great alternative to those of you who are not into climbing. With beautiful limestone islets and caves which can be explored in kayaks it is definitely a great way to discover Railay.
Trekking- It is possible to hike up and explore the limestone hills surrounding Railay.There is a viewpoint which is well worth the hike and takes around 35 minutes to reach. From the top of the trail, there is another path that leads down towards the jungle for about 20-25 minutes to the lagoon. The path to the lagoon is steep, rocky, and dangerous so be careful and ensure you have the right gear to trek safely to the lagoon.
The only way to access Railay is by longtail boats from Krabi. They arrive often so there is never a shortage of boat operators around to make a quick buck. It takes around 30 mins to reach Railay.
The nearest airport is Krabi. The closest international airport is Phuket which is only a short distance away.
Trains and buses run to Krabi regularly and from Krabi it is an easy longtail boat trip to reach Railay.
All kinds of accommodation are available at Railay, from high end resorts, to mid-range accommodations as well as budget bungalows. In peak season you will definitely need to make reservations to guarantee your rooms.
There are many restaurants and bars you can visit at Railay.