Located in Thailand's southwestern province of Krabi, Thailand, Railay is one of the original rock climbing destinations in Thailand, and indeed Southeast Asia. World famous among dedicated rock climbers, people travel from all over the world to embark on some Railay rock climbing.
However, people don’t just go rock climbing in Railay, people also travel to Railay to experience the absolutely stunning beaches and the laid back lifestyle of this exotic peninsula on the tip of Krabi. Railay has really got something for everybody from climbing and kayaking to simple chilling on the beautiful sandy beaches.To Railay by Ferry & Long Tail Boat
Railay is separated from mainland Krabi not by sea, but from the towering limestone mountains and cliffs which makes this dream destination inaccessible by road. The rest of Railay is surrounded by the warm waters of the Andaman Sea. Yes, you can only arrive in Railay by ferry and then long tail boat, which somehow makes this place even more wild and exotic. Phuket Ferry
offers trips to Railay from Phuket
, Phi Phi
and Koh Lanta
, all of which involve a ferry trip until Railay is in view, where tourists will then transfer to a long tail boat (it’s easy) that will take them to Railay’s golden shores. Rocks and Beaches
Without doubt, the two main attractions in Railay are either sunbathing on one of the two beautiful beaches or rock climbing. Railay is relatively small, so crossing from one side to the other shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes. In fact, the journey from one side to the other is made through a wonderful alleyway right next to great rock structures.A Railay Outline
There are four main areas in Railay, each of them offering a different, unique experience. Phra Nang is one of these, which offers a fantastic beach area to the southern part of the peninsula. This beach was recently voted one of the top 10 beaches in the world, although, these days can get very busy with tourists from nearby islands or the mainland of Krabi Province. You can watch the climbers scale the limestone cliffs and is an excellent swimming beach.East Railay Beach
The majority of boats traveling from Krabi will arrive at East Railay Beach. This particular area is not suitable for swimming. Along the waterfront is where most of the restaurants and bars are located and more of the lower priced accommodation. This area tends to be used for delivery of goods to the big reports on the island.West Railay Beach
West Railay Beach is well connect to the eastern side by pathways and is the main location for swimmers and beach goers. On this side of the beach you can swim in crystal clear water flanked by high limestone cliffs. You will find that boats departing for Koh Phi Phi and Phuket, heading west will depart from this side of the peninsula. West Railay is where you can find most of the big more expensive resort offering high quality accommodation. Most of the restaurants, rooms and relaxation areas are located right next to the sand. The beach is beautiful but can get somewhat noisy during the day with the arrival of tourists on speedboats from other areas such as Phuket and Phi Phi.
Ton Sai is a small cove like area not far from Railay West, where again, rock climbers and backpackers usually tend to hang out due to the variation of low cost restaurants and low cost accommodation-much more suitable for backpackers.Railay Climbing
Apart from sunbathing either as a day tripper or a longer staying tourist, the main activity on Railay is rock-climbing, which attracts enthusiasts from all over the globe. Although the majority of rock climbing lessons and schools cater for the more advanced climber there are a few who teach beginners. Many of the more experienced climbers, climb around the Ton Sai area. This area has cheaper places to stay and cheaper eateries. Once the sunset disappears party goers tend to congregate around the east side bars, while the more romantic atmosphere is to be found on the west side of the peninsula.Railay Accommodation
Railay Beach hotels vary in size and price depending on your budget. West Railay has the more expensive hotels suitable for honeymooners or romantic break, while East Railay accommodation targets the backpacking travel market.
If you are looking for a beach holiday or a romantic getaway then Railay really does have both to offer in abundance. However, if you are an experienced rock climber, then Railay is the perfect destination with some of the best climbing facilities in the world.