Although on the mainland, access to Railay Peninsular is cut off by a surrounding majestic backdrop of limestone karsts, covered with lush jungle. Combined with beautiful beaches and the fact you get here by boat, it feels like a tropical island. Plentiful budget accommodation and being one of the world’s top rock-climbing destinations, make it popular with backpackers and climbers alike. Read our Railay Beaches Highlight to get the full info.
There’s no secluded, quiet beach shack accommodation on the beach here. While not rowdy, there’s undoubtedly a nightlife scene unless you want to stay at high-end resorts. Trash is a problem here, mainly lining the paths. Using the water refilling stations around instead of keep buying more bottles helps. There’s also a high number of food poisoning reports apart from at the high-end places.
Besides relaxing, climbing and swimming, you can also hire your own longtail boat to go out exploring the nearby islands such as Ko Poda and Ko Hong. For these two islands leave early if you want to avoid the Ao Nang day-trippers. For the adventurous, there’s a trail to a breathtaking viewpoint and hidden lagoon.
When To Go
The dry season is December to April. December through to March are the peak months with clear blue skies, moderate temperatures and calm seas. Around Christmas and New Year gets very busy. The transition months of the rainy season May and October/start of November will be much quieter (and cheaper) if you want to avoid any crowds. The weather can be unpredictable but usually is clear skies with brief rain showers.
Railay is made up of 4 separate beaches, connected by paths and each with its distinct character – Ton Sai Bay, Railay West, Phranang Beach and Railay East. The different levels of pricing between them mean you get a real mixed crowd: luxury travellers, backpackers, climbers, hippies and Thai’s. The 70m Walking Street between Railay West and East contains a lot of the shops, eateries and bars.