Railay sits on a peninsula between the busy tourist centers of Krabi and Ao Nang, but because of its fairytale limestone cliffs, it’s only accessible by boat. The four interconnected beaches that make up Railay Beach (West Railay, East Railay, Phra Nang and Tonsai) have a distinctly bohemian, easy-going vibe.
West Railay, where many of the boats from Ao Nang dock, has the talcum powder-soft sand and cerulean waters of any beach bum’s dreams. The craggy limestone formations of East Railay make it one of Thailand’s top rock-climbing destinations, with safety bolts and marked routes covering much of the cliffy area. While advanced climbers will find plenty of challenges at Railay Beach, new climbers can register for “top rope” climbing classes to learn the sport with added safety measures. Both East and West Railay have small promenades lined with shops and restaurants.
While not the prettiest part of Railay, Ton Sai attracts backpackers and rock climbers with its inexpensive accommodation options and numerous climbing routes.
Railay Beach is only accessible by boat, either from Krabi (90 minutes) or Ao Nang (15 minutes).