Tucked away in the south of Thailand is the small peninsula of Railay in Krabi. Only accessible by boat, this tropical treasure is a must-visit. Here is your guide to not only getting to this hidden gem but also what you should do there.

Sunset in Railay Beach
Longtail boats & Sunset in Railay Beach

The Arrival

After landing in the Krabi airport (KBV), you want to pick up as much local currency as you may need from the airport ATM. After that, you are greeted by a mob of taxis, and any one of them will get you to your destination which is the Ao Nam Mao Pier.

A view of Krabi from the air

The Drive

Getting There…

Once at the pier you have a picturesque view of the sea with several trademark long-tail boats waiting to take you to their hotels. The reason for the cash is that you will need it to pay for your boat ride to the actual island. The 10-15 minute trip to Railay typically costs around 100 baht depending on which season you’re in. The long tail boats run on a scheduled half an hour apart so you may have to wait a bit until it’s your turn. 

Ao Nam Mao pier
Ao Nam Mao pier, Krabi

The boat ride is quick, and you get a nice, panoramic view of the limestone cliffs as you’re moving toward your destination. 

Relaxing At The Resort

Fortunately, we stayed at Princess Resort and Spa, which is a stone throw away from where all the tourist boats dock. Check-in was not until a few hours, so we decided to grab a few drinks and an order of the classic Pad Thai at the resort to relax after the journey. We then spoke to the concierge, who suggested several excursions for us to try.

Singha Beer - Railay Bay, Krabi, Thailand
Sitting in a restaurant at the resort

Day 1 Sightseeing – Sunset Dinner Cruise

The way the schedule had worked out, we decided to immediately hop on the Krabi Sunset Dinner Cruise, which lasts about 6 hours. About half an hour before our meetup time, we walked from our resort to Railay Beach West, where there were already tons of tourists enjoying the sun and sand. The characteristic limestone cliffs were acting as a backdrop for the long tail boats that were docked.

railay beach west
We were off the Railay Beach!

The cruise itself was wonderful! I was not expecting a boat this large, and it did not disappoint. We were greeted by Michael who ran the operation and several boat crewmembers who explained the rules and had us sign waivers just in case of any incidents.

Krabi sunset view cruise
Beautiful view on the way!

After that, we were off! The cool breeze and lapping water offset the hot sun that warmed our backs and faces. We were able to get water and soft drinks as part of the package and pay separately for liquor i.e cocktails and beer/wine if we wanted something harder.

Krabi Sunset Dinner Cruise
4 Island Krabi Sunset Dinner Cruise, Krabi

Guided Tour from Railay Bay

There are guided tours available in Moscow, they usually combine sightseeing, lunch and a few sightseeing stops on the way. Get Your Guide is the one I recommend.


Tour Activities

We stopped at 4 different islands on the tour and had the ability to swim, snorkel, and paddleboard. The guides helped us get over our fear of the deep ocean and were there the whole time to make us feel comfortable in the water.

dztraveler-Kayaking-in-krabi
Kayaking is one of the many activities we did during the trip

Island Hopping

During our sunset cruise, we stopped at 4 islands including the beautiful Bamboo Island (Ko Mai Phai).

bamboo Island
Bamboo Island part of our 4 island sunset cruise.

Snorkeling and Diving

One thing to note is that there are quite a few jellyfish in some areas of the ocean so if you are to swim and snorkel just keep a sharp eye out for these. I did get stung by one but it hurt as much as sunburn and went away after an hour or so. 

snorkeling
Snorkeling in crystal clear water!
Upper deck of the boat for diving experience!

You also had the ability to climb up to the teak deck to relax and enjoy the panoramic views. Michael and his crew took awesome pictures and videos of us jumping off the roof and were patient with us the whole time.

Krabi Sunset Dinner Cruise
Diving, Kayaking, Snorkeling, Sunset Watching on The Krabi Sunset Dinner Cruise Tour

Watching the Sunset

When it was time for sunset, we all climbed to the roof and watched together as a few people paddle boarded quietly soaking in the beauty of it all.

sunset in krabi
Sunset viewing from the Krabi Sunset Cruise

After the sunset, we enjoyed an authentic Thai dinner that was served to us on the boat. After all that swimming and jumping, this meal was the perfect way to end our day. After dinner, we sailed back towards Railay Beach West, but not before we had another opportunity to swim next to Pranang beach in the dark and experience the bioluminescent waters.

Day 2 Activities

Early Morning Trip to Phra Nang Beach

The next day, we wanted to take it easy after all the excitement from the day before and explore the resort and surrounding beaches. We decided to wake up early and head over to Phra Nang Beach, hidden at the far end of Railay that can only be accessed via cave.

Early Morning view of Phra Nang Beach

Rock Climbing

As you trek to this beautiful beach, you can see several rock climbers test their skills on the steep cliffs Railay has to offer as well as mischievous monkeys swinging through the trees looking for a snack left behind by a tourist. The reason we recommend coming here early is that at about 9 AM, all the tourist boats from other islands dock here and it becomes extremely crowded. 

Rock Climbing in Railay Bay, Krabi
Rock Climbing from Phra Nang Beach in Railay Bay, Krabi
Early Morning on the beach – No One Around!

Hiking to the Railay Viewpoint

The trail to the Railay viewpoint is a challenging and adventurous trek, which requires some levels for climbing. But once you are up there, you will be rewarded with a beautiful panoramic view of emerald-green seawater and longtail boats in East and West Railay Beach.

Railay beach from viewpoint, Krabi province, Thailand

We came across a merchant boat that was selling smoothies and coconut water from freshly cut coconuts such a treat on a beautiful, hot beach day.

Soothing Thai Massage

We made our way back to the resort for our scheduled massage that was overlooking a beautiful lotus pond. We enjoyed a complimentary drink and were given an authentic Thai massage and facial treatment which was heavenly! 

Spa in Railay
The Spa overlooking a beautiful lotus pond

Can’t Get Enough of Those Sunsets!

After our treatments, we made our way to Ao Nang to watch the sunset. If you’re looking to relax on the beach with a bottle of Singha beer watching the sun coat the beach in the most beautiful orange glow, then watch the sunset at Railay Beach. There is a sense of calm among everyone watching this magnificence that happens here every night. The only movement was the locals having a soccer match on the shore which only added to this surreal view.

Relaxing at the Railay Beach and enjoying the sunset

Thai Cooking Class

We decided to take a cooking class that the resort offered right on the bar/restaurant strip. The night was hot, but even hotter near the flame of the stove. However, this experience was once in a lifetime and learned a lot. We made dishes that included spring rolls and authentic Pad Thai. 

Day 3 – Last Day in Railay Beach

On the last day in Railay beach, we wanted to take advantage of the early morning activities before heading towards the airport

Early Morning Sunrise Viewing

Actually, the sunrise view window is so limited we wanted to do it again this morning hoping for a much better experience than the last time. From our hotel, we walked to Railay Beach West and spent some time on the beach.

Early Morning Sunrise in Railay Beach
Early Morning Sunrise in Railay Beach

Heading Back to Krabi Airport

Our flight out of Krabi airport (KBV) to Bangkok Don Muang Airport (DMK) was at 1:10 PM, so considering boat ride to Ao Nang (about 20+ min) and van from Ao Nang boat pier to the airport another 45 to 50 minutes. Therefore we planned to leave the island at about 9:30 keeping enough time on hand.


A Few Photos That Tell The Story


Where Did I Stay In Railay Bay, Krabi

Railay Bay Resort & Spa, Railay Beach West, Krabi

Railay Bay Resort & Spa is located at Railay Beach East with a beautiful view of the Sea. There are a few Swimming Pools and restaurants with a great view.

Railay Princess Resort & Spa, Railay Beach East, Krabi

I loved staying in Railay Princess Resort & Spa right on the Railay Beach West. The clean and spacious rooms with one queen size bed were beautiful. The breakfast was excellent. 

Railay Bay Resort & Spa
Railay Bay Resort & Spa, Railay Beach, Krabi
Railay Princess Resort & Spa
Railay Princess Resort & Spa, Railay Beach East, Krabi

My Opinion and Last Word

Have you been to Railay Beach, Thailand? Any cool tips to share?

I loved being in Railay and want to go back again. I hope my story has motivated you to plan your visit

Please leave a comment below! I would love to hear from you to improve my knowledge. 

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