Railay Beach in Krabi: A Perfect Travel Guide
Railay Beach is probably one of the most beautiful spots in Krabi. The peninsula is famous for the spectacular limestone cliffs, the crystal clear turquoise blue sea and the best dream beaches in Thailand. All of that makes Railay the most scenic destination of the Andaman Sea. On a vacation to Railay Beach unforgettable activities and amazing things to do are waiting for you. Climbing, kayaking, snorkelling, hiking and of course swimming at Thailand’s most beautiful beaches are just a few of these highlights. Although the peninsula is no longer an insider tip, but nevertheless, the entire scenery is legendary and a visit to Railay Beach is a must do on any trip to Krabi.
In this blog post we give you all the tips & information about travel to Railay Beach, accommodation and the best day trips. We also show you the most beautiful beaches, how to walk to Railay Viewpoint, and what are the must do`s and best activities.
The Beaches of Railay
The beaches of Railay are probably the main attraction of the peninsula. Not for nothing traveling to Thailand is often advertised with pictures of Railay Beach. Well, the scenery here is drop dead beautiful. There are 4 beaches on Railay, all connected by footpaths. You will find a map a bit later in this blog post.
Railay Beach West
The Railay Beach West is absolutely breath-taking: emerald colored sea, soft sand and in the background steep rock formations. Due to the fine sand and the hardly existing stones or corals in the water, the sea is perfect for swimming. In the evening, you can watch the sunset and in the high season you can be amazed by awesome fire shows. There are also some restaurants and bars right on the beach.
Tip: If you are getting to Railay from Ao Nang, then you will arrive directly at that beach jewel.
East Railay Beach
Here on East Railay Beach you will find numerous accommodations, cozy restaurants and a small beach promenade. Although this beach is with its lush green and mangrove forests really beautiful to look at, its neighboring beaches Railay Beach West & Phra Nang Beach are definitely better for swimming. Nevertheless, the loveliest hotels such as the Bhu Nga Thani Resort & Spa are located on Railay Beach East. On a short walk to Phra Nang Beach, you may even spot monkeys.
Tip: If you arrive from Krabi Town by longtail boat, then you will be dropped off here.
Phra Nang Beach & Cave
The Phra Nang Beach on Railay is the absolute highlight and the dream beach par excellence. With its striking rock formations and scenic beauty, it is now one of the most famous beaches in Thailand. Also interesting there is the Princess Cave, a cave that houses a fertility shrine with countless phallic symbols. Looking for accommodation, you’ll quickly discover that there is only one luxury resort on this beach, the Macaque and Languor Villa.
Tip: Due to the deep jungle in the back-up, you will most likely discover cute monkeys sitting in the trees.
Tonsai Beach is a bit secluded from the other 3 beaches. Maybe that’s why this beach is still considered to be an insider tip among backpackers and individual travellers. Here you hardly notice anything from the hustle and bustle of the neighboring beaches and so you can enjoy the hippie scene at its fullest. Although the accommodations at Tonsai Beach are more simple, they are also cheaper than at other corners of Railay. Read more about this beach gem here: Tonsai Beach – A Real Paradise Beach in Krabi
Tip: Getting there is possible by a jungle hike (45 minutes), walking at low tide along the sea (25 minutes) or by longtail boat.
Things to do at Railay
During a vacation on Railay Beach you can experience really amazing things. Here are the most beautiful attractions, activities & excursions for your trip:
Hiking to Railay Viewpoint
A hike to Railay Viewpoint is an absolute must do activity for all sports enthusiasts. The entrance is directly on the walkway from Railay East Beach to Phra Nang Beach. Although the ascent is really sweaty and sometimes steep and slippery, the views up from the viewpoint are really worth it. Sport shoes and enough water are essential for this hike. Some continue to the lagoon, but you should know that the path is currently closed because of safety reasons.
Tip: Along the hiking trail you have to pull yourself up on some roots and ropes. A certain basic fitness level is a must for that.
Climbing at Railay
Climbing is one of the most popular activities on Railay. So, if you are planning to do some climbing in your Thailand holiday, then you are in the right place! The spectacular rock formations are a popular climbing spot, and so you can find climbing schools like sand on the sea. Also Deep Water Solo courses and bouldering is often offered. There are amazing climbing spots at Tonsai Beach, Railay East and the famous Phra Nang Beach. If you love adventures, then you should definitely book a climbing course.
Visit Diamond Cave
The Diamond Cave, is next to the Princess Cave the most famous cave of Railay and one of the best attractions in Railay. At about 25 minutes’ walk you can admire beautiful bright stalactites and stalagmites. This small natural wonder is located on Railay East, very close to the Diamond Cave Resort and entrance to the cave is 100 baht per person.
For a small price, you can rent a kayak on Railay and paddle off the coast. From the sea you can admire the picturesque scenery, the high cliffs and you will have the chance to make incredibly beautiful pictures. For example, you could easily paddle up to Tonsai Beach. The kayak costs about 200 baht per hour. For a day you pay for renting a kayak around 800 baht.
Day Tours & Boat Trips
In case you want to see more about Krabi, you definitely should go on excursions. Following day trips from Krabi are highly recommended.
- Do an excursion to Krabi Town.
- Visit the Tiger Cave Temple.
- Discover the offshore islands such as Hong Island, Chicken Island, Koh Poda by a boat tour. Especially popular is here the Krabi 4 Islands Tour.
- Go by speedboat to Koh Phi Phi.
- Day Trip to the Emerald Pool.
Railay Beach Map
For a better overview you will find a Railay Beach map here. On this map you will find all the beaches and attractions, which are located at the peninsula.
Bars & Restaurants
At Railay Beach you will have a good selection of restaurants and bars. At Railay East we can recommend The Heart Restaurant. Visitors enjoy the delicious fish for really reasonable prices. But also the Welcome Back Restaurant is really recommendable. Those looking for delicious & fresh cocktails should check out the friendly Bang Bang Bar.
For a truly special dining experience, head to The Grotto Restaurant on Phra Nang Beach. The location of the cave restaurant is really incredible – the prices unfortunately too!
How to get there
Railay is separated from the mainland by a deep jungle and high limestone cliffs and can only be reached by boat from the Ao Nang or Krabi Town. The traditional longtail boats start during the day regularly as soon as one boat is full. The journey takes about 15 minutes and costs 100 baht per person. If you drive from Krabi Town to Railay then you will arrive at the eastern beach. The boat from Ao Nang to Railay, however, will bring you to Tonsai Beach and on the west beach.
The nearest airport is at Krabi Town. Cheap domestic flights from Bangkok can be found at Skyscanner and Kiwi. If you prefer to travel by train or bus to Krabi, then the online portal 12go.asia offers many different transfer options.
Accommodations & Hotel Tips
On Railay you will find a wide range of accommodations, hotels and bungalows. Since a holiday on the peninsula is very popular, you should book your favorite hotel early enough. Especially in high season the accommodations at Railay Beach are very well booked. Here are our best hotel recommendations for Railay:
- Bhu Nga Thani Resort and Spa: The Bhu Nga Thani Resort & Spa is a really beautiful resort. It is located romantically right at the sea and the modern pool area is an absolute eye-catcher.
- Sunrise Tropical Resort: The Sunrise Tropical Resort is a lovely hotel on the lower end of Railay East. This beautiful hotel offers spacious bungalows and delicious breakfast. Also, the location close to Phra Nang Beach (only 5 minutes to the beach) is perfect.
- Railay Bay Resort & Spa: The rooms but also the beach at Railay Bay Resort & Spa are uniquely beautiful. The location on Railay Beach (West) is ideal.
- Rayavadee: For a very special holiday on Railay we recommend the Rayavadee, a dream hotel is a class of its own. Everything is just perfect here!
Find the best Accommodation & Hotel:
More about Krabi:
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. Meaning that if you click on certain links, and then subsequently purchase a product, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.