Railay Beach in Krabi: A Complete Travel Guide

Railay Beach in Krabi is located on the Railay Peninsula of the same name and is certainly one of the most spectacular places in all of Thailand. This paradise is especially famous for its imposing limestone cliffs, which together with the turquoise sea, the tall palm trees and the powder-sugar fine white sandy beaches conjure up a true picture-postcard setting. In addition, unforgettable activities and incredibly beautiful attractions await you during a visit on Railay Beach. Climbing, kayaking, snorkeling, hiking and of course swimming at Thailand’s most beautiful beaches are just some of the best things to do. Although the peninsula is no longer an insider tip, Railay Beach is absolutely legendary and a visit is a real must on any trip to Krabi.

In this travel guide, we give you all the tips and information about Railay Beach in Krabi. In addition, we show you the most amazing beaches, the best attractions and activities, and where to find fantastic accommodations.

If you are still looking for a very special accommodation on Railay, then we can recommend the incredibly brilliant Hotel Rayavadee with a huge pool directly on the dream beach.

Railay Beach is located on the same named peninsula, where 4 of the most beautiful beaches in Krabi are located. The Railay Beach, Railay Beach East, the famous Phra Nang Beach and the quiet Tonsai Beach.

Getting to the peninsula Railay is only possible by sea! The arrival is usually from Ao Nang Beach or Krabi Town by longtail boat, which runs several times a day.

The mighty limestone cliffs of Railay Beach are a popular climbing location! Really good courses, for beginners and advanced climbers, can be found online at GetYourGuide.

General information about Railay Beach

Railay Beach, often spelled Rai Leh, is located in southern Thailand, in the beautiful province of Krabi on the Andaman Sea. Unique is especially the location on a peninsula bordered by jungle and limestone rock landscape, which is not connected with any road or path with the mainland, and thus fascinates with a certain seclusion. The highlight is mainly the breathtaking landscape, but also the picturesque sandy beaches, which are among the absolutely most beautiful in Thailand. Not only popular with vacationers, Railay Beach is also known in the climbing scene thanks to its high rock walls.

Some travelers come via a day tour, but many also stay for a vacation at Railay Beach. There are several fascinating beaches on the peninsula at once, there are numerous nice pubs and restaurants as well as great accommodations that make a trip the perfect experience. A real insider tip is also The Grotto Restaurant at Phra Nang Beach, a famous cave restaurant in a breathtaking setting.

 

Things to do at Railay Beach

There are really great things to do on a visit to Railay Beach. On the small peninsula there are no less than 4 beautiful beaches, numerous interesting attractions, and you can also take terrific excursions and enjoy plenty of activities. Here are the most beautiful things to do at Railay summarized at a glance:

Railay Beach

Railay Beach is an absolute dream beach in Krabi and certainly one of the most important attractions of the peninsula. The emerald sea and the mighty rock formations conjure up a picture-perfect backdrop here. Due to the fine sand and the hardly existing stones or corals in the water, the sea invites quite wonderfully for bathing. In the evening you can watch spectacular sunsets and in the high season there are stunning fire shows in the evenings. Some restaurants and bars are also located directly on the beach and invite guests to enjoy and chill out with a view of the sea.

Tip: Directly on the beach is the Railay Village Resort. The hotel delights its guests with two beautiful pools, the brilliant location and a quiet, well-kept garden.

Phra Nang Beach

Phra Nang Beach on Railay is the absolute must-see  and actually the dream beach of the region par excellence. Due to its striking stone formations and scenic beauty, it has become one of the most famous beaches in Thailand. The entire beach scenery is like a picture book, and the famous rocky island in the sea adorns all postcards of Krabi. Beautiful is the powder sugar fine light sand beach, where the turquoise blue sea colors invite to splash, swim and snorkel. Thanks to the tropical trees, you’ll find plenty of pleasant shady spots, and if you like, you can even get a massage right there on the beach overlooking the sea.

Tip: The stunning Hotel Rayavadee is one of the best hotels on Railay. The pool is beautiful and of course the exclusive location directly on the dream beach.

Phra Nang Cave

Phra Nang Cave, also known as Princess Cave, is a very unique attraction on Railay. Located at the tip of Phra Nang Beach, it is a rock cave of a special kind. In this sacred place, surrounded by mighty limestone rock formations, there is a fertility shrine. Numerous penises made of wood and stone are there as offerings, which are supposed to fulfill a long-awaited desire for children and fertility. Really beautiful on top of that are the imposing rock walls above the cave, where you can also watch climbers at dizzying heights.

Tip: With a little luck, you can even spot monkeys near the cave. These cute spectacled langurs sometimes hang out next to the rocks. Macaques can also be seen there more often.

Railay Beach East

In the east of the peninsula lies the beautiful Railay Beach East. This part of the coast is really idyllic, but less suitable for swimming. The sea slopes extremely shallow, and at low tide the water recedes hundreds of meters. On the other hand, the landscape is lush green, and the dense mangrove forests are really beautiful to look at. In addition, you will find numerous good and also inexpensive accommodations at Railay Beach East, there are cozy restaurants, quaint bars with hammocks and a small beach promenade for strolling.

Tip: The Bhu Nga Thani Resort & Spa is a gorgeous hotel right on Railay Beach East and a great choice for a vacation.

Hiking to Railay Viewpoint

A hike to Railay Viewpoint is a real must-do for all sports enthusiasts. The entry point is located on the away between Railay East Beach and Phra Nang Beach, and the climb takes around 25 minutes. Although the climbing is really sweaty and partly steep and slippery, but still, the view from the viewpoint is really worthwhile. Non-slip shoes and enough water are a must for this adventure. If you want to continue to the Railay lagoon, you should know that it is currently closed for security reasons.

Tip: Along the way you have to pull yourself up partly on roots and ropes. A certain basic fitness is advantageous here.

Tonsai Beach

The Tonsai Beach is located in the north of Railay, somewhat secluded from the other 3 beaches on the peninsula. Perhaps due to its seclusion, it is still considered an insider tip among backpackers, climbers and individual travelers. Here you hardly notice the hustle and bustle of the neighboring beaches and also the hippie scene is really cozy. This beach is accessible from Railay Beach via a 45 minute jungle hike or by longtail boat, which runs between the various beaches of the peninsula. At low tide you can theoretically also walk directly along the sea.

Tip: Beautiful and a real insider tip is the new Tinidee Hideaway in a paradisiacal location on a dream beach and with a magnificent view.

Climbing

Climbing is one of the most popular activities on Railay Beach. So, if you love to try climbing on your Thailand vacation, this is the place to be on the peninsula. The spectacular rock formations are a popular climbing spot, and so you will find some really good and professional climbing schools here. Also deep water solo courses and bouldering is offered quite often. Great climbing spots can be found at Tonsai Beach, Railay East and the famous Phra Nang Beach, among others. It is really worth to take a course in this dream setting.

Tip: Really great courses, for beginners as well as advanced climbers, can also be found online at GetYourGuide.

Diamond Cave

The Diamond Cave is, next to the Princess Cave, the most famous cave of Railay Beach. You can admire beautiful glowing stalactites and stalagmites during a walk of about 25 minutes. This small natural wonder is located on Railay East, very close to Diamond Cave Resort, and entrance to the cave costs 100 baht per person.

Kayaking

For little money, visitors can rent a kayak on Railay and paddle down the coast. From the sea you can admire the picturesque scenery, the high cliffs, and take incredibly beautiful pictures. It’s also possible to paddle down from Railay Beach to Tonsai Beach. The kayak costs around 200 baht per hour. For one day you pay about 800 baht for renting.

Best day trips from Railay Beach

Railay Beach is a great starting point to explore the most beautiful islands in Krabi via a boat trip. We can recommend the following excursions and day trips in Krabi:

A unique experience is a Krabi 4 Islands Tour, where you can explore several dream islands like Chicken Island and Koh Poda, and do some wonderful snorkeling.

Hong Island is a real pearl and one of the most beautiful islands in Krabi. A trip there, if you have time, should not be missed.

Also interesting is Krabi Town, where lively night markets are located and you can explore numerous attractions such as the Tiger Cave Temple and the Emerald Pool.

 

Map of Railay Beach Peninsula

For a better overview you will find a Railay Beach map. Here are the beaches and attractions marked, and so you can orientate yourself in advance. Railay West Beach and Railay East Beach are directly opposite to each other and are connected by a walking street.

Phra Nang Beach can be reached by a small footpath from Railay East Beach. Tonsai Beach can only be reached by a longer jungle hike or by longtail boat.

How to get to Railay Beach

Getting to Railay Beach is best possible by boat from Ao Nang or Krabi Town. The peninsula is cut off from the mainland by deep jungle and high limestone cliffs and can thus only be reached from the sea. Longtail boats run several times an hour, and the trip takes about 15 minutes.

It costs around 100-150 baht to get there, and tickets can be bought directly at Ao Nang Pier, Ao Nam Mao Pier or Krabi Town Pier.

Info: Railay Beach is located in the Krabi region, which is best reached by air, or even by bus. For getting to Krabi, you can find many cheap transfer options from various places in Thailand on 12Go.Asia.

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Where to stay at Railay Beach

On Railay Beach, you will find a fanatical range of accommodations. Most of the places to stay are beach hotels or resorts, but there are also cheap bungalows for backpackers. Since Railay is very popular, you should book your favorite accommodation early enough. We have summarized our hotel tips for you here…It’s worth a look!

  • Dream Hotel: For a very special vacation, we recommend the Rayavadee, a hotel in a class of its own. Guests love the beautiful pool, the wonderful location and the luxurious ambience.
  • Affordable Resort: The resort Avatar Railay Adult Only inspires with central location, with pool and favorable price!
  • Resort with Spa: The Bhu Nga Thani Resort & Spa is a really great hotel complex. It is romantically located, directly by the sea, and the modern pool area is also a highlight.
  • Bungalow Resort: The Sunrise Tropical Resort is a pretty hotel at the lower end of Railay East. The beautiful resort impresses with spacious bungalows and delicious breakfast.

Find the best accommodation on Railay:

 Booking.com


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