Best Beaches in Railay & Things to Do in Railay Beach
Are you planning your next vacation to Thailand and looking for the best beaches in Railay Beach Krabi? Railay Beach, located in the Krabi province of Thailand, is the perfect destination for you. This stunning coastal strip is known for its crystal-clear waters, lush greenery, and towering limestone cliffs. Railay Beach is only accessible by boat and is isolated from the mainland, making it one of the most secluded and peaceful places in Thailand. Whether you want to visit Railay beach because you're looking for a peaceful retreat or an adventure-filled vacation, it's the ultimate destination.
In this article you will learn about top beaches in railay, along with best hotels and resorts for accomodation where you can stay while visiting Railay beaches. Let's explore it in depth:
List of Beaches in Railay, Krabi, Thailand
Railay Beach consists of four beaches, each with their own unique character and beauty. Once you get to Railay Beach, it's pretty easy to walk to any one of the ones below:
Railay West Beach Krabi
Railay West is one of the most iconic beaches on Railay Beach in Thailand. It's a stunning white sand beach surrounded by towering limestone cliffs, and it offers breathtaking views of the Andaman Sea. The waters here are crystal clear and perfect for swimming, snorkeling, or just relaxing in its tranquil atmosphere. You can also explore nearby caves to find unique rock formations and hidden gems. This is one of the best beaches in Railay because of its spectacular rock formations. Whether you're looking for relaxation or adventure, West Railay has something to offer everyone!
Railay East Beach Krabi
Railay East is located on the eastern side of Railay Beach and features towering limestone cliffs, more affordable accommodation options, and the east Railay pier, the only working pier on Railay Beach. The area offers numerous activities such as rock climbing, and as the departure point for the many day trips you can take from Railay Beach.
Phra Nang Beach Krabi
If you're looking for a quiet and secluded spot, look no further than Phra Nang Beach is for you. This stunning beach is located on the southern side of Railay Beach and about a 20 minute walk or kayak from West Railay Beach. It offers stunning views of limestone cliffs and clear blue waters. Along the beach, there are several small coves perfect for swimming or sunbathing, as well as hidden caves to explore. There is also a small shrine dedicated to the mythical princess Phra Nang, making this beach a unique and picturesque destination. It's by far one of the most beautiful beaches in Railay, Thailand.
Ton Sai Beach Krabi
When the tide recedes on Railay Beach West, a small cliffside path leads to Tonsai. This 10-minute walk is filled with adventure, but it rewards you with a secluded beach that remains relatively unknown to many travelers. Tonsai is considered one of the finest beaches in railay, Krabi, Thailand. Exploring the coastline with your snorkeling gear is a must, as the reefs just off the shore are sure to captivate any underwater enthusiast.
Alternatively, if you're inclined towards rock climbing, Tonsai offers an abundance of cliffs that are renowned worldwide for being the ultimate free climbing destinations. This is why Tonsai is considered one of the top places to visit in Thailand. My husband and I have made a video of our Tonsai Beach Tour in krabi, go watch our visit:
Which part of Railay Beach is best?
For luxury and family travelers that are looking to see the iconic limestone formation that defines Railay Beach, Krabi, Railay West is the beach you want to be on. However, my personal favorite spot for swimming is Phra Nang Cave Beach. Since part of the beach is sheltered by towering limestone cliffs, it makes it the perfect respite from the hot Thai sun. This is also the beach that backs up to the Rayavadee resort, which gives guests access to kayaking, paddle boarding and the Blue Grotto Restaurant and Bar.
I have recorded a video with my husband about Railay West Beach and Phra Nang Cave Beach tour. This must be quite helpful to you as well:
Thinking about where to stay in Railay Beach? There are number of options to stay for instance, here are the top three most beautiful accomodations options in Railay. It is your choice to stay in hotel, or resort:
This luxurious resort lies on the edge of the Krabi Marine National Park, made of pavilions enclosed by towering limestone cliffs, pristine beaches, and lush foliage. Rayavadee Resort ranks highly for the comfort and elegance of its rooms, proximity to the beach and the lagoon, and sea view spa. This is best accomodation resort at Railay beaches, Krabi.
The Railay Bay Resort & Spa is situated on both the east and west coast of the peninsula and offers easy access to Phra Nang Cave Beach, Railay West, East Railay Beach and all of the restaurants, and pubs. The hotel convinietl organizes your boat transfer from Ao Nam Mao beach (AKA Aonang Pier) to the Railay East Pier. Railay Bay Resort & Spa ranked highly for its wonderful staff, exquisite location, and a great value for money.
The Sand Sea Resort is a great place for family travelers as rooms are reasonably priced and offer spectacular views. It’s situated on both the west side of Railay Beach and Railay East, making it easy to walk in between the two beaches without ever leaving the resort. It’s also close to the walking street and many restaurants.
Sand Sea Resort is ranked highly for its breathtaking view of Railay’s limestone cliffs, comfortable beds, and friendly staff. They also offer a golf cart service to get around the property, and have an ocean-front pool and restaurant. Pro tip: Make sure you get a lounge chair early. Many visitors wake up at 7AM and park their stuff to reserve their beach-front lounge chair.
The Railay Princess Resort is a stunning property, and is the sister hotel to the Railay Bay Resort. Situated on Railay East, but with easy, back-access to the Railay Beach walking street, this hotel offers a great balance between good location and affordability. As of 2023, the hotel is currently under-going a massive remodel. So although this is one of our favorite hotels on Railay, I would call to make sure you won’t be disturbed by the noise.
Railay Phutawan Resort
There was a time when my husband and I basically lived at this hotel. Our absolute favorite hotel on Railay East is the Railay Phutawan Resort. The views from the pool/sea view balcony are stunning, allowing you to see Koh Lanta in the distance. Breakfast at the resort is delicious and offers a great mix between traditional Thai food and Western fare. Located at the top of a hill, the Railay Phutawan offers a peaceful escape from the bustling street of Railay West. Definitely the hotel you would want to visit if you’re looking for a quiet nook in the middle of the jungle.
Mandatory Health Insurance
Regardless of the danger, travel insurance is just the responsible thing to do when you’re investing thousands of dollars on a trip. But especially if you’re going to be doing boat trips, hikes, or any of the amazing adventure activities Thailand has to offer: Get insurance. We have used SafetyWing to cover our travels the last 3 years and are very happy with their service. But even if you don’t get the one we recommend, don’t leave your country without getting travel insurance.
Things to do in Railay Beach
Whether you're visiting Railay Beach as a family or for a romantic getaway, there are many activities to enjoy while vacationing in Railay Beach. Here are some of the most popular things to do while in Railay:
The Railay Beach Walking Street Activity
Due to its vibrant ambiance, the Railay Beach walking street stands out as the top tourist hub for activities on Railay. This walking street is located between West and East Railay, and it's perfect for those looking for a bit of nightlife. The area offers numerous bars, restaurants, and shops selling souvenirs, as well as many kiosks selling activities such as kayaking, rock climbing, and other tours and excursions. It's also home to some of the best seafood in Thailand. You can perform many activities in Railay beach.
Railay Viewpoint, located in the beautiful Railay Beach area of Krabi, Thailand, is a must-visit attraction offering breathtaking panoramic views. Things you can do in Railay beach are the moderate hike to reach the viewpoint takes you through lush green forests and rugged terrain, lasting about 20 to 30 minutes. Once there, you'll be rewarded with awe-inspiring vistas of the turquoise Andaman Sea, dramatic limestone cliffs, and the beautiful Railay Beach below. The stunning sunrise and sunset views add a touch of magic to the experience.
Remember to wear comfortable shoes, bring water, and be mindful of the environment. Railay Viewpoint provides a serene and unforgettable opportunity to connect with nature and marvel at the captivating beauty of the surrounding landscape.
Railay Lagoon, also known as the Princess Lagoon, is a hidden gem nestled amidst the stunning limestone cliffs of Railay Beach in Krabi Province, Thailand. Accessible via a challenging hike through dense jungle and rocky terrain, this natural wonder rewards adventurous travelers with breathtaking views and a tranquil oasis of calm, emerald-green waters.
Although affected by tides and subject to closure during the rainy season, Railay Lagoon remains a sought-after destination for nature enthusiasts and those seeking a unique and rewarding experience amidst the natural beauty of Railay Beach.
Rock climbing enthusiasts consider Railay Beach as a top tier destination. With several towering limestone cliffs, Railay provides a perfect playground for both novices and advanced climbers. There are many tour operators in Railay that offer different packages and itineraries to travelers of all fitness levels. With that said, if you’ve never rock climbed before, I recommend you hire a private instructor who can take you through.
This will ensure that you have the time to learn and get comfortable on the rock, without having to wait for your turn while others climb, or feel the pressure of other climbers waiting on you. This 5-star rock climbing tour takes you through Railay’s multitude of rock climbing pitches, in a program tailored to your skill level.
Go Spelunking next to Phra Nang Cave
On Phra Nang Cave Beach and right next to Princess Cave there is another cave complex nestled within the cliffside. When the tide is low, you're able to walk into the cave complex, swim around, see bats, and hike to the other side of the bay. When the tide is high, a short swim from the beach will land you inside a hidden lagoon that will like you're in a movie!
The pristine beaches of Railay Beach are renowned and well-known., including Railay West, Phra Nang Beach, Tonsai Beach, and Railay East. Each beach has its unique features and offers different scenic views and experiences. Travelers can enjoy hiking to each beach or hire a long-tail boat to transport them to explore each paradise.
If going to Maya Bay, and visiting the white sand beaches of Koh Phi Phi is on your Thailand trip bucket list, look no further! Koh Phi Phi is only an hour and a half away from Railay Beach and is accessible by private longtail boat. You can take advantage of a full day tour that takes you through Koh Phi Phi’s many islands including PiLeh Lagoon, Monkey Beach, Viking Cave, Phi Phi Don, Phi Phi Leh, and Bamboo Island. Keep in mind, there are very few tour operators that take you directly from Railay Beach to Koh Phi Phi. If you want to check out your options, click here.
Diamond Cave in Railay Beach
The Diamond Cave in Railay Beach is also known as THAM PRANANGNAI, Thailand is a unique and breathtaking natural wonder. Located on the Eastern side of the beach, it is accessible by boat or a short hike from Railay West. The cave opens up to reveal an incredible cavern filled with limestone formations that glimmer like diamonds when illuminated by light. Inside you can explore hidden chambers and walkways, as well as observe numerous species of bats living in the cave’s walls.
This stunning geological formation is truly one of nature's marvels and should not be missed while visiting Railay Beach.
Phra Nang Cave on Railay Beach
The iconic Phra Nang Cave is located near the end of Railay East Beach. This captivating spot has become a popular tourist attraction due to its breathtaking views and spiritual significance. The cave's entrance is adorned with carved wooden monkeys, which are said to have been placed there by ancient people in reverence of the sea goddess that was believed to live inside the cave. Inside you can find a shrine dedicated to her, as well as multiple rock formations and stalactites. It's an amazing place to explore and take some photos!
If you’re looking for the ultimate adventure in Thailand, set sail on Krabi’s famous 4-island tour and create an unforgettable memory that will last a lifetime. Explore pristine beaches, swim in crystal-clear waters, and marvel at the towering limestone cliffs that define Krabi’s stunning coastline without having to leave Railay Beach to do it! Most of the tour operators going on the 4-island tour take traditional longtail boats loaded with 8-12 people all vying for the same picture.
Trust me when I tell you this. If there is one tour you splurge on, let it be this one. Regular longtail boats can be unforgiving in the Thai sun, and frankly, often times not in the best condition. Take it from me, a woman who almost capsized on a longtail back in 2020. Taking a private, luxury longtail allows the driver to take you the each one of Krabi’s islands before any of the other tourists arrive.
This means prime opportunities for taking pictures, and seeing these islands are the pristine, slices of paradise that they are. It also means that the longtail boat you’re hiring is well looked after.
Kayaking on Railay Beach
Kayaking is another great way to explore the area around Railay Beach. You can rent kayaks from one of the numerous tour operators on the Railay Beach walking street, or directly on the beach on both Railay West and Phra Nang beach for 200 baht and hour ($6/hr). Kayaking is also a great way to get close up views of the incredible limestone cliffs and enjoy some peaceful paddling in this stunning part of Thailand.
We went kayaking a few months ago with our 2 year old and it was the best. If kayaking on railay isn’t your jam, you can simply hire a longtail boat to take you around the different islands.
Snorkeling on Railay Beach
Snorkeling is a popular activity for tourists visiting Railay Beach. The crystal-clear waters offer excellent visibility, and the abundance of marine life makes it an underwater paradise. Many of the tour operators in Railay will provide snorkel gear and take visitors to explore the nearby coral reefs. Snorkelers can also spot blacktip reef sharks, parrotfish, barracudas and even seahorses!
Watch the Sunset on Railay West
Nightlife in Railay Beach
Railay is famous for its energetic nightlife, with a vibrant array of bars, restaurants, and pubs. The area is home to several live music venues, restaurants, and bars. You can also find numerous cocktail lounges where you can relax with a drink or two while enjoying the breathtaking sunset views. Whether it's an evening out with friends or a romantic candlelit dinner, Railay Beach has something for everyone!
Listen to Live Music and Experience Nightlife in Railay Beach
Railay is famous for its energetic nightlife, with a vibrant array of bars, restaurants, and pubs. The area is home to several live music venues, restaurants, and bars. You can also find numerous cocktail lounges where you can relax with a drink or two while enjoying the breathtaking sunset views. Whether it’s an evening out with friends or a romantic candlelit dinner, Railay Beach has something for everyone!
If you want to explore some of the mainland during your stay in Railay Beach, hiring a private driver will make it stress-free to view all of the wonderful sports that Krabi’s mainland has to offer. Visit spots like the Krabi Hot Springs, the Emerald Pool, Tiger Cave Temple, Dragon Crest, Tub Kaek Beach, and the Krabi Town Mangroves just to name a few.
The 10 Best Tours and Day Trips from Railay Beach
Tours are the best way to explore Railay Beach and the surrounding islands. The best tour operators offer personalized tours that cater to your interests. Here are some of the highest-rated tours and tour operators to consider:
Experience the mesmerizing beauty of the Krabi coastline on a sunset cruise to five islands. Departing from Ao Nang or Railay, you’ll embark on a traditional wooden junk equipped with snorkeling gear, kayak, and stand-up paddleboard. Along the way, indulge in refreshing swims and immerse yourself in the captivating scenery. Indulge in a delicious Thai buffet dinner, complemented by a cocktail or cold beer. With round-trip transfers from Ao Nang or Railay, this 5-star rated tour with over 1000 reviews is an unforgettable adventure.
Capture the magic of Krabi and make your special moments unforgettable. Book a private photographer who will take you on a dreamy longtail boat trip. They will tailor a photo session to your needs, whether it’s at sunrise or sunset. You’ll receive beautifully edited hi-resolution photos to cherish and share with loved ones. Includes unlimited pictures (between 150-300) throughout the 1 hour photoshoot. Don’t miss out on this extraordinary experience!
Embark on an enchanting journey in Krabi, where captivating attractions await. Join our small-group guided tour and immerse yourself in the beauty of nature. Trek through the rainforest to discover the alluring Emerald Pool, indulge in the rejuvenating Namtok Ron waterfall and hot springs, and ascend the hill to uncover history and breathtaking panoramic views at the Tiger Cave Temple. Experience the allure of Emerald Pool, Hot Springs Waterfall, and Tiger Cave – a symphony of wonders. Lunch and park entrance fees included. Limited group size ensures an intimate and memorable adventure. Transfers available from Ao Nang, Krabi Town, and Klong Muang.
Experience the magic of Krabi’s limestone as you embark on a half-day rock climbing tour at Railay Beach. Learn essential safety techniques and belay skills from a knowledgeable guide, and then put your newly acquired knowledge to the test on secure top rope climbs above Railay and Phra Nang. Join a small group and conquer beginner to intermediate routes, surrounded by breathtaking scenery. Discover the thrill of rock climbing at the iconic Railay Beach cliffs and master the fundamentals with expert guidance.
Indulge in the enchantment of Cheow Lan Lake, nestled in the heart of Khao Sok National Park. Forget the hassle of self-driving and embark on an all-inclusive adventure with a guide in a group. Discover a secret cave, relish a Thai lunch at a floating restaurant, and unwind with swimming, kayaking, and relaxation. Experience the surreal beauty of Cheow Lan Lake while savoring authentic Thai cuisine. Leave the logistics to us with convenient round-trip transfers and expert guiding.
Embark on an extraordinary journey with our exclusive tour package, where you’ll be treated to a private tour around the mesmerizing Railay Beach at sunset. As the sky showcases its breathtaking hues of vibrant orange and fiery red, let your senses dance in awe. Prepare for a day filled with wonder as we take you on a full-day snorkeling adventure by Speedboat, exploring the magnificent islands of Krabi Province. Indulge in a delectable beachside lunch and dinner, savoring every bite amid idyllic surroundings.
Experience the magic as you swim among the mesmerizing bioluminescent plankton, creating a scene straight out of a fairytale. This is not just a tour; it’s an invitation to immerse yourself in a world of enchantment and create lifelong memories. Join us on this extraordinary journey and let your dreams become a reality.
Step aboard and embark on an enchanting 5-hour cruise along Thailand’s Andaman Sea coast. Marvel at the majestic white sand beaches, tropical islands, and captivating natural wonders. Prepare to be mesmerized as we visit Pranang Cave, Chicken Island, and Pirate Beach. Dive into the crystal-clear waters for exhilarating swim and snorkel experiences. As the sun gracefully sets, indulge in a delectable BBQ seafood dinner, captivating your senses with each savory bite. Book your time with us.
Experience the enchantment of Krabi’s coastline at sunset. Set sail on a luxurious catamaran cruise and immerse yourself in a romantic journey, perfect for couples and small groups. From swimming and snorkeling stops to a gourmet BBQ dinner accompanied by fine wine and refreshing drinks, every moment is designed to leave you truly satisfied. Hotel pickup and drop-off included.
Experience the enchanting side of Krabi on an unforgettable kayaking tour. Let a professional guide lead you through limestone cliffs, into a jungle canyon, and even into a captivating mangrove. Keep your eyes peeled, as lucky encounters with playful monkeys await. Spend approximately two hours on the water, immersing yourself in the beauty of the jungle and mangrove. Enjoy the convenience of round-trip transfers from your hotel, while indulging in complimentary coffee, tea, bottled water, and fruit. With kayaks, life jackets, and dry bags included, all you need is your sense of adventure.
Escape to the breathtaking Phi Phi Islands, where the day will be a sun-soaked paradise. Bask in the stunning beaches, indulge in snorkeling adventures, and immerse yourself in the beauty of the Phi Leh Lagoon, enclosed by majestic limestone cliffs. Don’t miss the chance to visit Maya Bay, the famous filming location of ‘The Beach.’ This exclusive tour departs early to ensure a tranquil experience and lets you dive into the crystal-clear waters at exceptional diving spots. Pickup available in Ao Nang and Railay, and lunch, refreshments, and drinks are included.
How Do you Get to Railay Beach?
To get to Railay Beach you need to take a short boat ride from Krabi's mainland. Thankfully, Railay is easily accessed from Ao nang beach. There are 2 boat ticket kiosks located on either side of the Aonang walking street, one on Nopparat Thara Beach, and another in Ao Nam Mao Beach. Once you purchase your ticket for 100 baht a person, you must wait for the boat to be filled with 8 people before departure. After that, it's a quick 10-15 minute boat ride to Railay Beach.
If you're coming in from Ao Nang Beach, the boats will drop off on Railay West. If you're coming in from Ao Nam Mao Pier, you will be dropped of on the east Railay pier.
Visiting Railay Beach in Krabi Thailand remains an opportunity of a lifetime. From rock climbing, paddleboarding, kayaking, boat trips, or merely lounging on the beach, Railay offers a variety of activities to keep you busy and entertained throughout your stay. Regardless of your preferences, you'll always find something perfect for you in this tropical paradise. So why wait? Pack your bags and head on to Railay Beach today and experience the best of coastal Thailand.
Frequently Asked Questions About Railay Beach
Q: Why is Railay Beach famous?
A: Rock climbing is a popular activity among foreign tourists at Railay Beach East, thanks to a limestone cliff located at the end of the beach, offering suitable heights for climbers. Another notable attraction is Phra Nang Cave Beach, situated at the location of Phra Nang Cave.
Q: Is Railay Beach Worth Visiting?
A: Yes, it is worth visiting especially for both families and couples. There are plethora of places to visit here such as Island hopping, climbing, swimming and many delicious foods.
Q: Does Railay beach have nightlife?
A: Yes, the Black Pearl is located in the centre of the nightlife in Railay.
Q: How many nights do you need in Railay Beach?
A: Railay is frequently visited as a day trip from Krabi Town or Ao Nang, and its beaches are often included in island tours. However, for those with more time, we highly recommend staying at least two nights in Railay to fully experience its beauty and attractions.
Enjoyed this post? Pin your favorite image and share it with your friends now!