Thailand Beaches Day 2 & 4: Railey Beach

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This post is part of a larger trip report from my 17 day trip to Thailand (Krabi, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Bangkok) and Hong Kong!

  1. Using Miles to Book Flights on American Airlines Home from Hong Kong
  2. Using Miles to Book Flights on Continental to Thailand
  3. Sheraton Krabi Beach Resort Review
  4. Thailand Beaches Day 1: Phi Phi Excursion
  5. Thailand Beaches Day 2 & 4: Railey Beach
  6. Thailand Beaches Day 3: Hong Island
  7. Massages and Dining in Ao Nang, Krabi
  8. Northern Thailand – First Stop Chiang Mai
  9. Three Day Trek and the Golden Triangle
  10. Spending New Years Eve in Chiang Mai
  11. Wandering Around Chiang Mai
  12. Le Meridien Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai Hotel Review
  13. Aloft Bangkok Hotel Review
  14. Temples, Activities, and Dinning in Bangkok
  15. Renaissance Hong Kong Harbour View Hotel Review
  16. Things to do in Hong Kong
  17. A Day in Macau

Some of my favorite days in Thailand were that spent on Railey Beach! It is an island just a few miles off of Ao Nang (the main town area of Krabi) and offers some high end resorts along with a huge backpacker population. Getting to Railey Beach is super easy. You can take a long tail boat right from Ao Nang and be in Railey about 15 minutes later. The cost is 200 baht/person round-trip (roughly $8) and is well worth it.

The long tail boats to take you from Ao Nang to Railey

There is no real time table for the boats – once they have 8 people to fill the boat they go. There are two long tail operations (one at the beginning of town and one at the end of the road while in town). Make sure to grab the one at the end of the road after you enter town as it is more populated (meaning you will not have to wait to fill the boat) and their last departure back at the end of the day is 6pm (the other operator is 5pm). The boat will take you to Railey West, however, it is very easy to walk around the island and get to some other areas. What you’ll want to do is walk straight back from Railey West to Railey East (this is the walkway with food vendors and little shops). Once you get to Railey East, bang a right and you will eventually get to Phra Nang Beach.

Different locations in Railey:

  • Railey West – Very nice beach, but slightly more crowded and backpacker-ish. This is where the longtail boats go in and out of, so could get a litle noisy.
  • Railey East – Hardly any beach, and during high tide, no beach at all. More secluded and hotels/bungalows are slightly cheaper. You can walk to Railey West in 5 minutes though. It is also closer to Phra Nang beach where you absolutely have to/want to go. In many of the reviews people say to avoid Railey East because of the lack of beach, but that would not stop me because of the proximity of everything.
  • Phra Nang Beach – Absolutely beautiful beach, with many rock climbers and long tail boats selling food right off the boat. There is only one hotel in this area (Rayavadee) and goes for about $800/night! It did look amazing and apparently it’s biggest competition is the Ritz on Krabi, but you can stay at another part of the island for about $100/night (or even as low as $30/night).
  • Tonsai Bay – We attempted to walk towards this area of Railey, but we were not 100% sure were we were going and had to walk through a jungle like area where we were getting bitten up – so that ended that attempt. You can take a long tail boat from Ao Nang straight to Tonsai.
Railey West
Railey East. This is during high tide so there ultimately was no beach. We couldn’t even walk along the beach to get to Phra Nang beach. During low tide though, the beach is muddy and is really not a beach to relax on.
We walked around the island a little, but ultimate spent most of the day at Phra Nang Beach. Words cannot even describe the beauty of this beach. All of Railey Beach is a rock climbers heaven, with many of the walls right on Phra Nang Beach. While there is a little cafe on this beach and some food shops while walking from Railey West to Railey East, the best food options are the long tail boat vendors. They all set up shop in a row right on Phra Nang Beach making you anything from pad thai, thai pancakes (more on those later!), and smoothies – any many other items. Food is dirt cheap and amazing.
Phra Nang Beach. The views were beautiful and the water aqua blue.
Long tail boat food vendors on Phra Nang Beach. This was awesome!
You can also rent kayaks on Phra Nang and Railey West, but that is the only water sport right off the island. If you decide to stay on Railey (which I’d 100% recommend!) there are many excursions you can take right form the island. You also have easy access to Ao Nang where many tours leave from. There are a few restaurants on the island, and while I was not there at night, I can see it being a fun place. It is not as backpackery as Phi Phi Island (at least the part of Phi Phi I saw), but still does have that backpacker feel. Most of the hotels consist of little bungalows with a small central pool. This is not a place for using points! The other thing to note is that if you are not staying at a hotel that has a private boat to take you there, depending on the tides, the long tail boats will not be able to pull right up to the beach on both ends – something to remember when packing as a massive checked bag might be difficult and you’ll be walking through the water with it.
We actually loved Railey so much that we went back for a second day!
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10 years ago

According to me Thailand is the best place for traveling. Because their are many places in Thailand for traveling. And their are many good beaches in Thailand for traveling. So thanks a lot for providing the information related to Beaches in Thailand. Because I love traveling and different kinds of places. I really like your blog. Thanks a lot for your posting.


[…] Thailand Beaches Day 2 & 4: Railey Beach […]

10 years ago

Great post! So who wins in your eyes: Maya Bay or Phra Nang Beach?

10 years ago
Reply to  Dennis

@Dennis – I would say Phra Nang Bay all the way! Maya bay was just too populated and couldnt stay long. Phra Nang was a great day activity.


[…] Thailand Beaches Day 2 & 4: Railey Beach […]


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