Travel Guide

A Guide To Visiting Railay Bay & Tonsai Beach

The karst cliffs and azure waters of Railay Bay make it probably the most stunning seashores on this planet. But we discovered staying at laid-back Tonsai Beach was one of the simplest ways to see this beautiful surroundings.

The seashores that line Railay Bay are magnificent.

Steep-sided limestone karsts are shrouded in dense jungle and fringed by golden seashores. Playful monkeys swing by the timber watching climbers desperately cling to overhanging rocks. Colourful fish swim in crystal clear waters as long-tail boats parked on the sand provide tasty morsels to passers-by.

It is a picture-perfect paradise.

But attending to Railay Bay shouldn’t be simple. The excessive cliffs and dense jungle imply there are not any roads; a long-tail boat is your solely choice into this seashore paradise. Since you’ll be able to’t simply hop in a taxi to get round its necessary to remain in the correct place. You have 4 major selections: Railay Bay West, Railay Bay East, Phra Nang or Tonsai Beach.

Here is what you might want to know that can assist you resolve.

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Tonsai beach Railay Bay Phra Nang Beach


Railay Bay is blessed with 4 totally different seashores every with their very own environment. All are inside strolling distance of one another.

Tonsai Beach is mountaineering bliss and residential to adrenaline junky thrill seekers with a cool vibe. Railay West has a powerful arc of golden sands and is backed by seafront eating places and inns. Railay East accommodates many of the high-end resorts and the pick-up level for boat excursions. Phra Nang is a smaller seashore with roaming monkeys and nice views over karst rocks sitting out to sea.

Each has their very own explicit attraction, actions, lodging types and consuming choices. So the place you keep will decide the kind of Railay expertise you’ll have.

Tonsai beach Railay Bay Phra Nang Beach


Railay West is dwelling to 600m of curving golden seashore that ends in dramatic limestone karsts creating postcard perfection. The stunning water is nice for swimming and lengthy stretches of sand present loads of locations to loosen up. Colourful boats provide day journeys into the marine waters and karst wonderland round Krabi.

The again of the seashore is lined with inns and eating places. Walking Street – a small path that connects Railay West to Railay East – accommodates comfort shops, cool bars, larger-scale cafes and craft outlets. Unfortunately, the service at most of the cafés is in determined want of enchancment.

Railay West is a good looking location with many amenities and actions. Kayaks, canoes and long-tail boats could be employed; sight-seeing and snorkelling excursions head out island hopping round Krabi. It’s additionally a straightforward 5-minute stroll over to Railay East and quarter-hour to beautiful Phra Nang Cave Beach. Most vacationers select to remain at Railay West as a result of big range of lodging and amenities and the wonderful seashore in your doorstep.


Railay Bay East has a spread of lodging choices together with some higher-end inns. full with all the luxurious amenities they supply – the right place to reminisce about your favorite seashore quotes. Its pier is the principle decide up level for boats going to Phuket and Phi Phi Island.

Unfortunately, Railay East seashore shouldn’t be a swimming seashore. When the tide is out it’s principally mudflats and mangroves. When the tide is in, the water rises to an unappealing cement path that runs across the seashore.

Although Railay East provides very good views at excessive tide it isn’t an excellent place to hang around, however with solely a 5-minute stroll to Railay West or a 15-minute stroll to stunning Phra Nang Beach, you haven’t bought far to go for nice seashores and extra actions.


Tonsai Beach sits instantly beneath a powerful karst twisting into vertical partitions and overhanging rock faces. It is a perfect playground for rock climbers of all skills. Even in the event you’re not a rock climber, watching these daring athletes from the consolation of the close by bar is a take a look at of nerves.

Tonsai Beach has a a lot friendlier perspective than its neighbour, Railay West. Backpackers and rock climbers sit back on the beachfront bars and a small road (set again from the seashore and behind an unsightly concrete wall) is lined with partaking native bars and cafes serving terrific high quality, well-priced meals. It’s a cool vibe and relaxed environment.

Canoes and kayaks could be rented to discover the bay however there are not any golden sands and it’s tough to swim. At low tide it’s rocky and muddy, at excessive tide the seashore all however disappears. To attain good seashores you should cross the rock face that separates Tonsai Beach from Railay Bay West.

At low tide, you’ll be able to stroll across the base of the rock face, scrambling over rocks. At excessive tide, there’s a path that goes up over the rock and thru the jungle earlier than dropping again down into Railay West. Both take quarter-hour to stroll. The stroll is just a little tough, however if you’re regular in your ft, not an issue. However it turns into tough with baggage, so make it possible for upon arrival you’re taking your boat to Tonsai Beach and never Railay West or East. It can also be more durable when it’s darkish as the trail shouldn’t be lit, so convey a torch or make it again earlier than the sunshine disappears.

Tonsai beach Railay Bay Phra Nang Beach


Phra Nang Beach is the least developed of all of the seashores however fairly probably essentially the most stunning. It’s a 15-minute stroll from Railay East beneath steep karsts and thru dense jungle as monkeys swing on the timber overhead. The 450-metre seashore accommodates mushy fluffy sand and shallow heat waters. Two small karst islands sit simply offshore, rising out of the crystal blue waters.

While there are not any amenities on the seashore, shade could be discovered beneath timber, and at lunchtime, long-tail boats pull up providing an excellent collection of scrumptious Thai meals. Standing within the water, sipping your coconut, ready to your meals to be freshly ready by a smiling face is a vacation spotlight.

With stunning surroundings, clear water, mushy golden sand, and nice native experiences, Phra Nang Beach is solely probably the greatest seashores anyplace on this planet


There’s no scarcity of lodging choices on Railay. From chilled-out backpacker digs to top-end luxurious, there’s one thing on Railay for each kind of funds.

Each of the principle areas provides a barely totally different expertise primarily based on what you’re on the lookout for. Are you on the lookout for a relaxed indulgence or one thing extra party-oriented?

Here’s our decide of the most effective selections on every of the seashores at Railay.



With a cool relaxed vibe and wonderful worth lodging, Tonsai Bay Resort is an efficient choice for impartial travellers who don’t thoughts the tough 15-minute stroll over to the principle seashore.



With beautiful surroundings and delightful seashores inside a straightforward stroll of the principle hub, Railay Bay Resort & Spa is a good choice in the event you care about comfort and having a lot of stuff in your doorstep.



Phra Nang Beach is situated on a very magnificent seashore and Rayavadee is the one – and really upmarket – selection. If a visit to Railay is about splurging out, this place won’t disappoint

Tonsai beach Railay Bay Phra Nang Beach


Our decide for staying at this magnificent seashore is Tonsai Bay, principally as a result of it suited our every day schedule.

We spent the times on Phra Nang Beach, swimming, sunbathing and consuming egg-fried rice from lengthy tail boats parked on the shore. Late afternoon we spent again at Tonsai Beach bar with a beer in hand watching the climbers scale the cliffs. Dinner was often on the native eating places behind Tonsai Bay Resort the place the standard and value had been considerably higher.

This meant we didn’t must make the stroll over to Railay West within the night or put up with the awful service and noisy vacationers. The 35-minute stroll each morning and afternoon to get to Phra Nang by the jungle was a pleasure fairly than an annoyance for us.

Regardless of the place you select to remain, you should go to Railay Bay. It’s merely a shocking location and fairly probably essentially the most stunning seashore on this planet.

If you have got extra time to discover the remainder of the nation, take a look at this 2 week Thailand itinerary.


To get to Railay Bay, fly into Krabi. From the airport, take a 45-minute taxi (600 baht) or bus (150 baht) to Ao Nang Beach. From Ao Nang Beach pier, take a 20-minute long-tail boat experience to both Tonsai Beach or to Railay Bay West. The public longtail boats will wait for no less than 10 passengers earlier than departing and value 100 baht per individual. When you arrive, the boats will drop you on the seashore, that means you should wade into shore carrying your baggage and make your option to your lodge.

Alternatively, get your lodge to organise a personal switch from the airport. This will embrace taxi, non-public boat and assist together with your baggage to your lodge. The value ranges from 1,000 to 1,500 baht for as much as 4 individuals.

If you’re arriving from Phuket (Bang Rong Pier) or Phi Phi (Ao Tonsai Pier), many boats recurrently plough the route. They drop you on the pier at Railay East, so that you don’t must get your ft moist.


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The karst cliffs and azure waters of Railay Bay make it one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. But we found staying at laid-back Tonsai Beach was the best way to see this stunning scenery. | Where to stay in Railay Bay Resort and Spa | Railay Bay Beach Thailand | Thailand beaches | Tonsai Bay | Railay Beach Krabi

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