Ultimate Travel Guide to Railay Beach, Thailand

Ultimate Travel Guide to Railay Beach, Thailand

Railay Beach is the place to be if you like beautiful beaches, relaxed vibes and a little adventure. In this travel guide to Railay Beach we’ll discuss all the tips and tricks for a great stay. From how to get to there, to all the fun things to do. ? 

  1. How to get there
  2. Where to eat
  3. Where to stay
  4. Things to do

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Map Railay Beach showing things to do.

1. How To Get To Railay Beach

First and foremost in this Railay Beach travel guide we’ll explain how to get there. Railay beach is located close to Krabi. There is only one way to get to Railay and that is over water, because there are no roads leading to Railay from the mainland. You can go to Railay by longtail boat or by ferry, depending from where you want to go to Railay. 

The most common option is to take a longtail boat from Krabi, which takes only about 20 minutes. You can buy tickets for the longtail boats on the boulevard in Krabi. A one-way ticket costs 100 bath per person, which is about 3 euros. You’ll be taken from the ticket booth to a little harbour where the longtail boats lie. The longtail boat drops you off at the West Beach on Railay Beach. From the West Beach you can walk to your hotel to drop your luggage. Railay is a very small village, so everything is done on foot. There are two walking paths from the West beach to the other areas, so you practically cannot lose your way. 

Read ➳ The Ultimate 3-Week Thailand Route Guide

Girl on long tail boat in Railay beach

2. Where To Eat

When you arrive at Railay beach you might think that this little part of heaven is only filled with very expensive luxury hotels and restaurants. But don’t be mistaken, the best place to eat and to relax in the evening is on the walking street. It offers a great variety of nice and affordable places to eat, drink, play some pool and take a cooking class. It is very easy to get to the walking street, as it is located in the middle of the village and almost every path leads you right there. You can see this street in the Railay Beach travel guide map (scroll up).

3. Where to stay

There are many options on where to stay in Railay, as there are many hotels and a few hostels. On the West Side of Railay there are very luxuries hotels with a sea view. And on the East side of Railay there are many more affordable hotels, which are more sheltered from the wind.  Depending on the season, Railay is the place to be to enjoy a little luxury since hotels tend to give large discounts in the low season. Booking.com is a great website to find the best deals, as they show all the discounts. 

When we were there we stayed at Anyavee Railay Resort and it was amazing!

Tip ➳ Learn how you can Travel On A Budget

4. Things to do

Something a lot of people don’t expect is that you can do a large variety of activities on Railay. From chilling on the beach, to caving and rock climbing. So be prepared to have a lot of fun! 

4. 1 Beach chill

Railay is known for its gorgeous beaches, surrounded by impressive rock formations. Railay is therefore a great place for a lovely day at the beach. There are 2 beaches that are perfect for this, the West Beach and the Ao Phra Nang Beach. 

West beach

West beach is the best-known beach, as you arrive on this beach by longtail boat. Many beautiful luxury hotels are directly connected to this beach. On the sides of this beach there are rocks, making this a nice spot to snorkel. Also, right on the beach you can rent a canoe or paddleboard to explore the bay from the water. This beach is also directly connected to the walking street, which is super convenient if you get hungry. 

Ao Phra Nang Beach

Ao Phra Nang Beach is a more secluded beach. As you have to walk along side a few caves to get there. This beach is also surrounded by rocks but compared to the west beach there is only one hotel here, and it’s a little more compact. The water is very beautiful and clear blue and the sand is white. However, during the day this beach can get very busy as many tour boats go here. So, if you want enjoy Ao Phra Nang Beach to the fullest, go in the morning (before 10 am) or later in the afternoon (after 4 pm). And don’t forget to bring something to drink and to eat, as the only place to buy some on the beach is the single very luxurious hotel there, and the prices are very high. 

So, grab your towel, some sunscreen and your bathing suit and jump in the crystal blue water! 

Tip ➳ Travel Solo in Thailand with these 3 Essential Solo Travel Tips

4.2 Climbing

Now, for all the adventurers out there, you can go rock climbing. There are many shops that offer trips with a guide, courses and equipment services. It is a great day activity for the pros and beginners, as both climbing levels are well accommodated. 

We did a full day of climbing and it was one of the best days of our entire trip! We had an awesome guide that explained everything very well, he took us to incredibly beautiful spots and we had the opportunity to discover a huge cave and abseil from the top of it. Sometimes it was a bit scary, but you get used to the heights really quickly and then you can really appreciate the incredible views. 

4.3 4-Island tour

If you like snorkelling and visiting little islands, you will definitely enjoy a 4-island tour. Close by Railay Beach lay 4 little islands in the National Park. During the tour, you’ll visit each of these 4 islands.

Rent a private long tail boat

It takes only half an hour by long tail boat to go there, so this is perfect for a half a day or a full day trip. I do recommend renting a private longtail boat, they cost about 1800 bath for half a day (Approximately 50 euros). And to go early in the morning, as many boats will go to these islands later in the day. 

Girl on beach with bright blue water

By renting a private longtail boat and by going early in the morning, you have to beaches practically to yourself and you can really enjoy the islands in their fullest extent. The white sand, bright blue waters and many fish will definitely put a smile on your face. During the 4-island tour there is no opportunity to buy drinks or food (or it is crazy expensive), so make sure to bring enough water and a snack. 

Let me show you why you should rent a private boat↡

4.4 Explore caves

On Railay there are multiple caves you can explore by yourself, like the diamond cave. This is a cave with large stalactites and stalagmite formations. When you arrive at the cave do need to pay an entrance fee as the cave is part of the national park. There is a wooden bridge/path into the cave which is well light, so you can see all the stalagmites and stalactites very well. You can also see and hear many bats as they hang from the ceiling of the cave.  This cave is a great place to visit if you want to escape the heat. 

You can walk to the cave over the so called “monkey trail”. On this path you will see many monkeys playing and jumping from tree to tree. They are very cute, especially the little baby monkeys. But pay attention not to touch them or show food, as they can become aggressive if they feel threatened or want that delicious banana from your hand. 

Pro Tip: Discover the caves in the Khao Sok National Park

Explore the caves with a guide

There are also less known, bigger caves you can explore. For a truly unforgettable experience I would definitely recommend exploring a cave or two with a guide. Your guide knows where it is safe and which trails to take. You will visit places you could have never imagined they existed!

You can book a guide at the same places where you can book climbing experiences, and you can even combine the climbing with the caving experience. It’s all up to you. But I would definitely encourage you to do it. Because the views are incredible. 

Another great destination in Thailand is Chiang Mai! Explore all the things to do in Chiang Mai

man looking out of cave

When I traveled around Thailand, Railay Beach was one of my favourite destinations. Therefore, I’m sure you’ll love it too!

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Hi! My name is Iris, a travel obsessed Dutchie. Freckles on the Beach is all about chasing experiences & inspiring other to travel too. So let’s chase those experiences together!

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