December 19, 2014


Thailand’s Beautiful Railay Peninsula


The harder a beach is to access, the more rewarding it often is. In the case of Railay in Thailand, this is most certainly true. Spectacular cliffs prevent access to the peninsula’s beaches from the mainland so you’ll need to get a boat to sample the sands of one of Thailand’s most stunning areas.

Thailand’s Beautiful Railay Peninsula

Situated on Thailand’s Andaman coast in the south of the country towards the Malaysian border, the Railay peninsula is surrounded by majestic limestone cliffs and lush jungle. Access is by boat from Ao Nang, which is near the town of Krabi, and takes around 15 minutes. Flights to Thailand are readily available from most places these days and since 1999, there has been an airport in Krabi itself so from Bangkok you can either take a bus, train or plane to easily get within striking distance of Railay.

Railay climbing

Once you do arrive on the peninsula, there is no shortage of things to do. The beaches themselves are beautiful and tend to be less crowded than some, owing to the slightly greater effort required to get there. However, it doesn’t all have to be about lying around on the sand. The rocks may look amazing but they are also there for climbing. Rock climbing is a popular activity in Railay, with 700 climbing routes, beginners and more accomplished climbers will all find something suitably challenging and there are plenty of climbing shops in the area where you can buy and hire equipment as well as seek guidance.

There’s also plenty snorkelling around the beach and the nearby islands. Longtail boats are the best way to do this and these can be hired from boatmen on the beach itself. The more of you there are, the better a deal you’ll be able to strike with them. These boats may be the traditional ones of the area but times are changing and you can now also hire speedboats at Railay which will enable you to visit a wider area.

Sunset in Railay

Another water-going option is to go in a sea kayak. There are companies that operate sea kayak tours that will take you into some fantastic caves, tunnels and unspoilt lagoons so that you can really experience this magical corner of the country.

If you want more than a day trip to Railay, there are a small number of hotels although none of these are on the beachfront itself. These have developed from little more than bamboo shacks into more modern accommodation in recent years and construction does continue apace. However, hopefully the scale of this will never impinge on the natural beauty of the beach area which is arguably the best in Thailand.

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Author Bio: Jane Shelley is an Australian travel writer. She loves venturing to Asia, Europe, Britain and the United States.

Photo Credits (Flickr Creative Commons): Railay by mst7022/ Rock Climbing by Argenberg/ Sunset in Railay by wharman

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