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Ideal duration: 1 Day

Best Time: November to March Read More

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Railay Beach

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"The climber's haven"

Railay Tourism

Railay Beach, nestled on the Andaman coast of Thailand, is renowned for its stunning limestone cliffs and pristine beaches. Accessible just by boat, this secluded paradise of limestone crags is a beautiful destination for a laid-back rest during your Thailand holiday. An absolute best for rock climbers, Railay is a one-of-a-kind spot for active diving, kayaking, and rock climbing, as well as just relaxing at your resort.

Railay is a secluded gem accessible only by boat due to the towering limestone cliffs that cut it off from the mainland. This isolation adds to its charm, creating a tranquil atmosphere. Railay Beach has four main areas: Phra Nang, West Railay, East Railay, and Ton Sai, each offering unique experiences and breathtaking scenery.

West Railay Beach is the epitome of tropical beauty, with powdery white sand and crystal-clear waters. It is the perfect spot for sunbathing, swimming, and enjoying mesmerizing sunsets. The beach is lined with resorts, restaurants, and bars that cater to all tastes and budgets, making it an ideal base for exploring the area. East Railay, although less suitable for swimming due to its mangroves and rocky coastline, boasts a vibrant nightlife and a variety of dining options.

Phra Nang Beach, often considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, is a must-visit. It is famous for the stunning Phra Nang Cave, dedicated to the spirit of a drowned princess and filled with offerings from local fishermen. The beach’s dramatic limestone cliffs attract rock climbers from around the globe, offering some of the best climbing routes in Southeast Asia. Even if you're not a climber, watching the climbers scale the cliffs is thrilling.

Ton Sai Beach is a haven for backpackers and rock-climbing enthusiasts. It offers a laid-back atmosphere with budget accommodations, reggae bars, and climbing schools. The cliffs around Ton Sai provide world-class climbing opportunities, from beginner routes to challenging overhangs. Besides climbing, you can enjoy kayaking, snorkeling, and exploring the lush jungle trails..

Things to do in Railay

1. Rock Climbing in Railey

Rock Climbing in Railey
Known as one of the world's best rock climbing centers, Railay has many limestone cliffs over the oceans. Rock climbing is the most popular sport of Railay, probably the best areas in the world. There (Read More) are over 700 bolted routes up the limestone cliffs for you to have a spectacular experience. These cliffs face the ocean which gives you a wonderful view while climbing up.

2. Phra Nang Cave Beach

Phra Nang Cave Beach
Phra Nang Beach is situated between Krabi and Ao Nang beach as a part of a small peninsula. The coral reefs, caves, and cliffs are lapped around by crystal clear waters and are home to two small islan (Read More)ds – Koh Rang Nok and Nai. Celebrated for its white duvet-soft sand, clear water, caves, and gorgeous coral reef, Phra Nang is also well recognized for its “Princess Cave” or Tham Phra Nang Nok. You can reach the beach by a 20-minute long-tail boat trip directly from Ao Nang or a 10-minute walk from Railay East.

3. Railay Viewpoint

Railay Viewpoint
The Railay viewpoint and lagoon is a tiny point surrounded by trees to view the gorgeous sunset at Railay. Located up the Phra Nang beach, the viewpoint requires a small but rather difficult climb to (Read More)reach up there. There are ropes on the way, but you need good shoes and grip to climb that. This climb doesnĖt fit many people and therefore there is less crowd up there, for you to enjoy the stunning view of Railay in peace. The lagoon is located nearby and requires you to climb down from the viewpoint, which is again steep and you have to be cautious.

4. West Railay Beach

West Railay Beach
The main attraction of Railay is the West Railay Beach flanked by high limestone cliffs on both sides. It is connected to the East Railay Beach through large resorts and jungle trails. West Raila (Read More)y Beach is famed for its postcard-perfect scenery. The clear, turquoise waters are ideal for swimming and provide a refreshing respite from the tropical heat. In addition to rock climbing, West Railay Beach offers a variety of other activities and water sports. 

5. East Railay Beach

East Railay Beach
East Railay Beach is known for its lush green and dense mangrove forests. This beach is less suitable for swimming, as the sea slopes extremely shallow here and the water recedes hundreds of meters du (Read More)ring the low tide. However, East Railay is visited for its restuarants, bars, promenade and various accommodation options.

6. Tonsai Beach

Tonsai Beach
Tonsai or Ton Sai Beach is a hidden gem located between Ao Nang and Railey Beach. A hub of adventure and activities, it is often acclaimed because of its laid-back hippie vibe, inexpensive accommodati (Read More)on facilities, and the vibrancy in its secludedness. You can enjoy activities like rock climbing, kayaking, and snorkeling in the morning and relax at the bars around the beach at night.

Must Know Before You Travel to Railay

  • Long Tail Boat to Railay: The only way to reach Railay is by sea. Regular long-tail boat services are available from Ao Nang Beach and Krabi. The trip takes only 15 minutes and costs 100-150 THB. Tickets can be bought directly at Ao Nang Pier, Ao Nam Mao Pier or Krabi Town Pier.
  • Getting Around: The only way to get around Railay is on foot. You can easily cross between East Railay and West Railay
  • Restaurants and cafes in Railay are quite expensive. If planning to stay overnight, book a hotel with breakfast included.

Top Hotels In Railay

More on Railay Travel

Railay Beach Nightlife

Railay has a great nightlife. From relaxing around good Bob Marley music in East Railay to crazy full moon and black moon parties in West Railay, everyone can choose their own niche. Joy Beach Bar in Railay East serves some of the best cocktails in Thailand. Skunk Bar and Tew Lay Bar are known for its peaceful atmosphere and gentle Reggae music. On the beaches of Railay west, there are many impromptu beach parties and fire dancing until the sun rises.

Shopping in Railay

Railay isn't especially known as a shopping destination, but there are some places you can head to. Railay West is a little more expensive than the east. In Railay East, you can find many small vendors selling hippy things like beads, slippers, and other beach gear like frisbees and bags. Railay West has the Walking Street with a range of shops, restaurants, bars and massage parlours.

Daily Budget for Railay (Rai Leh)

A daily budget of 1,200-1,400 Baht is appropriate for Railay, including food, entertainment costs like rock climbing and alcohol.

Exchanging Money in Railay (Rai Leh)

There is a currency booth exchange at walking street and many ATMs there too. Some resorts also have ATMs inside them. You can exchange your money at these, or get it done from Bangkok before coming to Railay.
All the major cards are accepted at most resorts and restaurants. The local vendors and the rock climbing schools might only accept cash. So it is advisable to carry some Baht with yourself when you're around.

Railay (Rai Leh) Customs

Railay is very relaxed when it comes to attire and customs because there are no other locals here besides the hotel staff and rock climbing school staff. You can wear bikins at the beach freely and shorts around town too. Tipping is not generally expected, but it is highly appreciated towards good service.

History of Railay (Rai Leh)

Briefly discuss the history of the city. This would be a little longer for really old cities or historical destinations, brief otherwise.

Best Time to Visit Railay

How to Reach Railay

How to Reach Overview

The only way to get to Railay is by a boat from either of these places: Ao Nang, Krabi, Ko Lanta, Ko Phi Phi or Phuket town.

How to reach Railay by flight

You can fly to Bangkok, and then take another flight to Krabi or Phuket, and then get a boat to Railay.

How to reach Railay by waterways

Ferry services operate from Ao Nang, Krabi, Ko Lanta, Ko Phi Phi and Phuket town. But most travellers commonly choose to go from Ao Nang and Krabi because it is cheaper and very less time taking. It takes around 10-20 minutes and costs 100 Baht.

Local transport in Railay

Railay is a pedestrian's dream because all the 4 beaches, the rock climbing centers, jungles and everything else is in walking distance from each other. There are no roads for cars or tuk tuks to function, and the rocky pathways make it difficult for bikes and cycles.

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FAQs on Railay

What is the best time to visit Rai leh?

The best time to visit Railay beach is from November to March.
The months of April to June are extremely hot and humid and is very unpleasant to travel during that time. July to October experiences high rainfall and travelling during these months can be a bad experience too. Hence, the months of November to March are the most appropriate to have a comfortable holiday.
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What is the local food in Rai leh?

Railay has many eateries and resort restaurants in both, Railay East and West. West has more expensive choices like Flame Tree which is the most popular. If you're on a budget, the stalls around Railay East and the walking street of Railay West should do the work. These stalls sell some delicious chicken skewers, kebabs and rotis. Other inexpensive restaurants in Railay East are Mom's Kitchen and Phra Nnag Cuisine.
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What is the best way to reach Rai leh?

The only way to get to Railay is by a boat from either of these places: Ao Nang, Krabi, Ko Lanta, Ko Phi Phi or Phuket town.
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What are the top hotels in Rai leh?

There are 964 in Rai leh which can be booked through Holidify. The most popular hotels in Rai leh are Sea View Penthouse by Krabi Villa, KhaoTong Villa at Melina's, Villa Cha Cha, Tiger Cave Home, Seaview Cabin Club, Piman Pu Lek. You can see all the hotels in Rai leh here

What are the places near Rai leh?

The top places near to Rai leh are Krabi which is 11 km from Rai leh, Phi phi islands which is located 29 km from Rai leh, Phuket which is located 55 km from Rai leh, Khao lak which is located 99 km from Rai leh, Surat thani which is located 135 km from Rai leh

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