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Tucked away behind a rocky headland and only accessible by a 10-minute boat journey from the mainland of Krabi, are the four beautiful beaches that comprise the Railay Peninsula in southern Thailand, around 779.3 km from Bangkok in mainland Thailand. The stunning beaches are all within walking distance of one another. They have gained a global reputation for their beauty, rugged landscapes and rock climbing, thus, making a Railay beach holiday a typical wish-list item among foreign tourists.
Also known as “Rai Leh,” this peninsula lies between Ao Nang and Krabi city. The only way to get here is by boat, the towering limestone cliffs block off access to the mainland.
Railay West Beach (aka West Railay or West Beach) is the picturesque main beach and arrival port for docking boats. This wide sandy beach is surrounded by impressive limestone cliffs and dotted with small restaurants, shops and bars in the nearby walking street. After dark, the laid back daytime vibe continues in bamboo reggae bars and wooden open-air restaurants at Railay West Beach.
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Laem Sor Pagoda
Located near Bang Kao Beach within the Wat Laem Sor complex, the yellow tiles of this pagoda give it a golden glow that goes nicely with the oceanside scenery. It also features a Boat Hall popular with locals eager to pray and make wishes
Chaweng Walking Street
Visitors eager to visit this place should expect something that is one part food court, one part night market. Here, shoppers can find dine on local street food while browsing, among other things, the clothing, counterfeit watches, souvenirs
Na Muang Waterfalls
Also known as Namtok Na Muang (Purple Waterfalls) due to the purple colouring of their rock faces, these two waterfalls located about 12 kilometres inland from Nathon Bay are popular spots for visitors to relax or swim on Koh Samui.
Crazy Golf Samui
This mini-golf course features nine holes within a landscaped garden filled with various obstacles. Older visitors can head to the bar area, which includes a table football set, a pool table, and television sets to go with drinks and snacks.
This relatively quiet fishing village serves as a departure point to Koh Tan and other small islands off Koh Samui’s south. Visitors may be interested in seeing kor lae and the local Muslim culture, going fishing, or admiring the view
For those wondering, this rock formation takes its name from its large size rather than any particular resemblance to the animal. Visitors can also hike within the rocky terrain or head to the summit for a view of the Gulf of Thailand.
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Adventurous explorers can also find a cave at the western end of the beach that you can reach with the help of ropes to view an incredible vista of the Andaman Sea and surrounding small limestone islands, good for day trips and islands tour. Be sure to wear sensible shoes or sandals.
East Railay Beach (aka Railay East/East Railay) is the narrowest stretch of a beautiful beach with mangroves, many birds and local fishing boats. After dark, the all-day dining venue Lucky Restaurant and Last Bar transforms into their version of a full moon-esque dance party.
East Railay is the most convenient spot to get a long tail boat to Krabi. There is a new cemented footpath along the beach extending beyond The Last Bar, which has become another jogging or strolling locale. A new bar, Tew Lay Bar is a bar and restaurant built along the new path as well as other local and hotel restaurants, which have exciting events and performances per night like fire twirlers aside from the more usual Thai boxing competitions or performances. Around 10 minutes from the cemented footpath is a link to Railay West. Along this pathway are many bungalows, giving East Railay an ambience of a self-contained small village. There are convenience stores and a beachfront restaurant or more, as well.
On East Railay north end are additional accommodations near the nightlife hub. There are climbing schools around this area too if you are interested in climbing the limestone cliffs. Another major attraction of East Railay is Diamond Cave with a wooden walkway and good lighting. Diamond Cave features remarkable rock formations and houses some bats. The entrance fee is 40 Baht.
Phra Nang Beach is a white sand chilled-out beach to hang out for the day. Not far from the shore are the nearby islands of Koh Rang Nok and Koh Nang that you can access on foot via a sand bar at low tide. At lunchtime, a long tail boat or more, converted into floating kitchens dock to the shore to serve a great choice of local Thai cuisine like the famous Pad Thai and international dishes as well as fresh drinks. (A long-tail boat is a traditional boat in Thailand).
Another attraction of Phra Nang is Phra Nang Cave aka Phra Nang Shrine, at its north end. The shrine is in honour of the drowned princess (‘Phra nang’) for whom the beach was named. Phra Nang Cave is noted for the dozens of carved red-tipped phalluses offered by fishermen seeking her favour.
Sometimes confused for Ao Nang Beach (because it is just nearby), Phra Nang Beach is the southern strip of Railay Beach, only a 20-minute trip by long-tail boat directly from Ao Nang on an island hopping tour or a 10-minute walk from Railay East. During the high season, Phra Nang Beach is busier than Railay West. With the soft sand, clear shallow safe swimming waters, coral reefs and caves, Ao Phra Nang is a perfect beach against a scenic backdrop of limestone cliffs!
Ton Sai Beach (also Tonsai) is best known for its excellent rock climbing experiences and climbing routes up gigantic limestone cliffs. Beginners can participate in climbing courses and advanced climbers can join more technical courses or tours with private guides on Ton Sai Beach cliffsides.
Ton Sai Beach has inexpensive accommodation options, making it popular among backpackers, too, not just climbers. Ton Sai is a bit “rough” compared to Railay Beach and Ao Nang, especially when the tide goes out the waters are rocky and not suitable for swimming, for about ten days in a lunar period. Most of the time, though, the waters of Ton Sai are suitable for swimming, albeit not A-plus in sanitation.
There is no ATM here so better to withdraw money from the Railay Beach area or Ao Nang. There is no electricity, too, on Ton Sai. Accommodations have no hot water or other comforts, except in the bigger resorts, where there would be a beachfront restaurant or two, as well.
Reminder: Don’t confuse Ton Sai Beach with Ton Sai on Phi Phi Island.
Being more remote, there’s no transportation on Railay Beach except for the long-tail boats coming and going. The area is not overdeveloped and still has a very laidback atmosphere with just footpaths and no motorised transportation. If you want to stay overnight, there’s a handful of hotels in Railay Beach and other available properties ranging from basic bungalows to luxurious beach resorts with per night deals at reasonable prices.
The bigger accommodation hotels like Railay Great View Resort & Spa, Railay Village Resort, Rapala Rock Wood Resort, Railay Bay Resort and Spa offer special features like a beachfront pool, villas and comforts per night of air conditioning and free wifi and other services like free cancellation. You can find more than one Railay cooking class.
Part of the Poda Islands about 8 km from Ao Nang, Chicken Island is called Koh Kai/Koh Gai/Koh Khai, in Thai because of the chicken-shaped rock on its southern tip. It is a popular destination for island hopping tours from Krabi and Phuket, for the backdrop it makes of a limestone chicken. Waters around the island have coral reefs and make for great snorkelling and scuba diving opportunities! There are, however, no buildings here except for a small snack-and-drinks shack.
You can get here from Tumbon Ao Nang Beach, Railay Beach, Tonsai Beach on longtail boats or speedboats. Hotels and travel agencies offer such arrangements.
The lagoon is also called Princess Lagoon, Secret Emerald Lagoon. Hiking to this scenic spot is said to be challenging but worth it. This is one of the coolest spots in the whole of Thailand; it is a small, circular body of water surrounded by soaring limestone cliffs dotted with beautiful jungle scenery, like a magical picture! Definitely a must-see!
Also known as Koh Hong, it is a small island of Krabi located in the Thanbok Khaaranee National Park. It is popular for day trips and island hopping tours and snorkelling. Besides the impressive limestone cliffs, its beaches are fine and white powdery sand. One side of the island is the longtail boat jetty and for speedboats too, and where the entrance fee (400 Baht) to the park is paid. On the other side is the ultra-soft sandy beach for swimming and enjoying the natural scenery.
Tup Island, aka known as Tub Island, Koh Tap or Koh Thap, is southwest of Ao Nang Beach and between the bigger Poda Island and Koh Kai. Popular in island tours because of an amazing unique occurrence at low tide. Its location in the Poda archipelago has a sandbar that appears during low tide linking the bigger Koh Kai to it and Koh Mor. It is called Talay Waek, meaning “divided sea.”
Thailand Holiday Group, THG, is your go-to for a trip search for holidays to our recommended cities or any destination in Thailand! THG has travel specialists to advise and guide you in planning your trip for a memorable holiday in Thailand! With our good relations with the industry service providers, we can access discounts and come up with good deals per night of your stay dates to fit your budget. If your prefer a Krabi province Railay beach holiday, we can assure you of one. Our network of hotels offer free cancellation, holiday rentals (if you wish for a private villa or bungalow), with location in the downtown area or by the bay resort and spa at a lower price or reasonable prices within your budget.
Railay Beach, Krabi is something special with her natural beauty, splendid seas and limestone cliffs and mountains. Be it sunrise, sunset or anytime in between, the four pristine beaches that make up the Railay peninsula are a little piece of paradise and your place for climbing adventures, an island hopping tour, lazing on the beach or dancing the night away with fire twirlers.
Railay Beach (i.e., West Railay Beach, Phra Nang Beach, East Railay Beach, Ton sai Beach) on the Andaman Sea ticks all the boxes when it comes to an idyllic tropical paradise. With its sapphire-blue clear waters, powder-soft sands and striking limestone cliff backdrop, this peninsula is truly spectacular. The Railay peninsula and its beautiful beaches are also known for offering the best rock climbing in Thailand. All year round, avid rock climbers are venturing to Krabi province to access Railay beaches famous cliffs and caves. There are many companies operating climbing courses, offering guided climbs across varying degrees of difficulty from beginner to advanced. Climbing gear can be rented from nearby locations or in some hotels. A famous spot for the intrepid traveller is “Hidden Lagoon.” Located between Railay East and Phra Nang beaches, the route for reaching the emerald-coloured secret lagoon is quite treacherous. To access it, you must climb steep cliff faces using ropes to assist with some sections being completely unassisted. Proper footwear is essential and you be careful of sharp rocks. To view the secret lagoon in its full glory you will need to go there at high tide.
From Krabi to Railay Beach, it’s a 10-minute boat ride from Ao Nang beach on the mainland.
The water at Railay Bay and its beaches are generally shallow and warm. It’s best to swim at high tide because at low tide the water becomes too shallow for swimming.
The Railay peninsula is only accessible only from the sea via boat. Railay Beach actually has four beaches, namely West Railay Beach and East Railay, Tonsai and Phra Nang Beach. All these beaches of Railay Beach are surrounded by tremendous limestone cliffs but it is possible to travel on foot between these.
There are several good snorkelling sites on Railay Beach that you can access by boat from both West Railay Beach and Railay East beach. Snorkeling gear can be rented at diving shops in those locations.
No, Railay Beach is a peninsula reachable only by boat from Krabi.
Railay Beach is a 10-minute boat ride from Ao Nang beach on the Krabi mainland.
The Railay peninsula comprising of the four pristine beaches West Railay Beach, Phra Nang Beach, Tosai Beach and East Railay Beach, located between Krabi Town and Ao Nang, is only accessible by boat. There’s no transport on Railay Beach- only footpaths.
From Krabi Town Pier to Railay Beach is about 11 km by longtail boat which takes 30 minutes. From Ao Nang Beach in Krabi, its only a 10-minute boat trip.
There are currently travel restrictions in place throughout Thailand but once these have been lifted, it is possible to fly directly to Phuket or Bangkok and then onto Krabi province. From the Krabi mainland, you can reach Railay Beach by a short trip on a longtail boat.
Hotels in Railay range from budget and mid-range with a few higher-end resorts. Wherever you decide to stay on Railay Beach, you’ll only have a few minutes walk to reach the beach which is so convenient.
Railay Phutawan Resort. Railay Phutawan Resort is in the middle of the Railay Beach area, near Diamond Cave and rock climbing spots, surrounded by natural beauty and the Andaman Sea. The resort features an indoor and outdoor swimming pool as well as canoeing, hiking and horseback riding eco-tours. It also offers transfer to Krabi Airport upon arrival and departure. Railay Phutawan Resort is a 4-5 star guest-rated budget-friendly resort. Sunrise Tropical Resort. Another 4-5 star guest-rated exclusive luxurious resort composed of a collection of villas located on East Railay Beach, Sunrise Tropical Resort is a minute’s walk from the Floating Pier and around a 9-minute walk from West Railay Beach. It also features an outdoor swimming pool. Sand Sea Resort. Located on West Railay Beach, Sand Sea Resort offers rooms with a private balcony. It also offers an outdoor swimming pool and free Wifi service. Its restaurant offers a delicious array of Thai dishes and international cuisine.
Railay Beach is a peninsula of Thailand, known for its delectable food. You can expect to find all, if not most restaurants serve good food! Flame Tree Restaurant Flame Tree Restaurant, beachfront restaurant, Thai dishes, bamboo bar, tew lay bar, boat bar
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