The Most Stunning Beach in Thailand

Railay Beach Krabi

Railay Beach is, in fact, a small peninsula which includes four beaches. Now on every savvy traveller's list, Railay Beach is nevertheless one of Thailand's most sought-after beach areas. Just south of Ao Nang Beach, around a rocky headland and accessible only by boat, Railay presents a tranquil and wonderful world.

In just one small peninsula you'll find gorgeous white sand beaches, soaring limestone cliffs, viewpoints, caves and a lagoon hidden inside the cliffs, shaped and fed by the changing tides. All within walking distance!

At Railay there are no roads, only footpaths. No buses, no cars, just longtail boats. Although it's actually connected to the mainland, the spectacular Phra Nang Peninsular is effectively cut off from the rest of Krabi by limestone headlands and steep jungle valleys; the only access is by sea. The very picture of tropical paradise, with no roads and no hassle, Railay offers lazy days, adventure forays and chilled-out evenings.

Railay Peninsula hosts four beaches with a walking distance from each other: Railay Beach West and East, Phra Nang Beach, and Tonsai Beach; the latter can be reached on foot from Railay Beach West only at low tide. Each beach attracts a different type of guest. Most Railay hotels are located in the central part of the headland just a stroll away from the beaches. Tonsai Beach, which is on the western side of the peninsula, has its own accommodation choices.


Sunset over Railay Beach


Main Areas of Interest in Railay Beach

Phra Nang Beach

Phra Nang Beach (do not get confused with nearby Ao Nang) is the southern strip of sand in Railay Bay. With totally 450 metres in length, and reachable in a mere 20-minute long-tail boat trip directly from Ao Nang, or on foot from Railay East (about 10-minute walk) if you are already on the peninsula.

Railay West

Railay West offers perfect soft sand, a wide beach, informal beach restaurants, friendly locals and a tiny community of travellers who just can't seem to leave. At sunset the beach is a hive of activity with boats arriving and departing, impromptu games of football and takraw (volleyball played with the feet) and people taking a stroll.

Railay East

Railay East is a narrow beach and home to mangroves, local fishing boats and many birds. It's also the easiest place to find a long-tail taxi boat to Krabi Town and other beaches. A cement footpath has been built all along the beach and even further south, as it carries on two kilometres.

Tonsai Beach

Quieter than the other beaches, Tonsai really is the place to read a book or just work on the suntan, you'll find a few bungalow resorts with names like "Andaman Nature" and "Dream Valley", some beach restaurants and bars, together with a climbing school.


Railay Beach


Things to Do in Railay Beach

Relax on Beaches

This is what you come to Railay Beach for: the amazing beaches! Even though there are lots of activities to pursue in Railay, the sole reason why many people come here is to simply unwind on the beautiful beaches. In Railay, beach-going is a must.

Rock Climbing for Adventure

Railay is a premier rock-climbing destination in Thailand. Those big cliffs surrounding Railay hold rock climbing routes to meet every level of experience. Some rock faces around Railay are even suitable for beginners trying their first-ever rock-climbing experience. Rock climbing is definitely the best bet for adventurous things to do in Railay Beach.

Go Kayaking

It’s possible to rent kayaks on Railay West Beach from the resorts or right in front of the Walking Street. Just look for the kayaks lined-up on the beach and pick one. Kayaks are rented by the hour or by the day. We suggest at least a two-hour trip to paddle around the coast and outcroppings south of Railay Beach.


Kayaking in Railay Beach


Hiking Up to the Railay Viewpoint

The hike to the Railay Beach Viewpoint is a short but tough one. Yet once at this stunning viewpoint, you will be rewarded with spectacular views of the isthmus below!

Climbing or trekking to the Railay viewpoint is one of the top things to do in Railay Beach. It’s not a far hike, less than a kilometer in total. But it’s a vertigo-inducing and intense climb that’s nearly straight up, so get prepared for that. If you’re afraid of heights, this is not the activity for you. Hoisting yourself up using nothing but a rope, many begin to second-consider this idea.

If you felt comfortable with the viewpoint ascent, consider continuing onward to Railay’s hidden lagoon. But this section gets particularly steep and downright dangerous during the descent. As a result, we will recommend this lagoon trek for most people.


Hiking up to Railay Viewpoint



Railay is not particularly known for its diving or snorkeling. Yet there are still underwater adventures that can be tried here. It’s possible to snorkel from any of Railay’s beaches. Try to so closer to the rocks, you may be able to spot some reef fish. Just be careful to watch out for longtail boats that may be exploring the same waters you’re snorkeling in!

Ao Phra Nang

Phra Nang Beach is another one of Railay’s main beaches. This beach takes just a little more effort to get to compared to Railay Beach itself. The Phra Nang cove is located around one of Railay’s southern cliffs.

Phra Nang Beach boasts more white sandy stretches of sand wrapped by Railay’s signature limestone cliffs. Up the beach, trees provide natural shade. Under the shaded trees, you can find ladies offering massages with aloe for anyone who may have gotten sunburned. Also, longtail boats with full kitchens pull-up to Phra Nang Beach for a unique eating opportunity by wading into the water to order lunch.

Yet in addition to the beach itself, Phra Nang Beach holds a peculiarity. On the southern side of Phra Nang Beach, you’ll find a strange little cove! These penis carvings are placed here by fishermen, other locals, and visitors as offerings to the princess of the cave who will hence bring them prosperity.

Local people, fisherman and navigators believe and hold faith in the Princess of the Pranang Cave that she will preserve and protect their livelihood and realize one’s wishes. When their wishes are fulfilled, votive offerings would be made at the shrine. Common gifts are flowers and incense sticks, but usually the spirits of the Goddess are offered a special gift, the lingam, which is carved from wood. The belief of the lingam and holy womb shall create fertility and prosperity to the whole earth and mankind.


Ao Phra Nang Beach


Best Luxury Hotels in Railay Beach

Rayavadee Hotel

Luxurious beachfront accommodation along Krabi's Andaman Coast is provided at the 5-star Rayavadee, just next to Krabi Marine National ParkBeautiful. Popular among women, it has a full-service spa, 4 dining options and an outdoor pool. Surrounded on all sides by tropical gardens and beaches, Rayavadee features free-standing 2-storey pavilions and beachfront pool villas.

Bhu Nga Thani Resort & Spa

This luxurious resort on East Railay Beach in Krabi is surrounded by the exotic mountain landscape and emerald waves of the Andaman Sea. A 15-minute boat ride from Nam Mao Pier, it has an outdoor pool and peaceful rooms with beautiful views. The elegant rooms at Bhu Nga Thani Resort are spacious and feature dark wood furnishings.


Bhu Nga Thani Resort & Spa


Best Mid Range Hotels in Railay Beach

Railay Village Resort

Railay Village Resort & Spa is situated in an area only accessible by boat. Surrounded by huge limestone cliffs, Staying there is like travelling back in time: there are no cars, and pedibus cum jambis (walking) is the only way to explore its beautiful scenery. It is a real back-to-the-roots holiday on offer here.

Railay Great View Resort

When you stay at Railay Great View Resort, you'll be really near the bay, within a 15-minute drive of Ao Nang Beach. Featured amenities include dry cleaning/laundry services and a 24-hour front desk. A roundtrip airport shuttle is provided for a surcharge (available on request), and limited parking is available onsite

Railay Bay Resort & Spa

Large-scale Railay Bay Resort & Spa, on popular Railay West beach, has 141 rooms in traditional Thai style, well-appointed with modern amenities. Rooms stretch across a number of categories that make them convenient for various types of travellers, and feature handsome dark-wood interiors and large French doors that open onto gorgeous garden views. The best rooms have private pools, while there’s also an on-site pool, seafront restaurant and spa.


Railay Great View Resort


Best Budget Hotels in Railay Beach

Railay Phutawan Resort

Previously known as the Railay Highland Resort, this Railay East property is some way from the sand, but the trade-off is worth it for both lower rates and a gorgeous pool that offers views over the coast below. Comfortable, air-conditioned and well-appointed rooms range from those in uniform blocks to elegant freestanding bungalows, but things are stylish throughout. Other facilities at the Railay Phutawan Resort include a large, bright and attractively designed open-air restaurant.


Railay Garden View Resort


Railay Garden View Resort

Offering rustic accommodations surrounded by nature, Railay Garden View Resort features hillside bungalows on the eastern coast of Railay. It provides free Wi-Fi throughout the property. Railay Garden View Resort is a 15-minute walk from Phra Nang Beach, Phra Nang Cave, and a rock-climbing site. It is a 15-minute boat ride from Ao Nang or Ao Nam Mao.