Getting to Railay Beach from Ao Nang is really straight forward. Railay is a small peninsula in Krabi province of Thailand popular for its beautiful beaches and only accessible by boat due to large limestone cliffs separating it from the mainland of Krabi. The easiest way to get there is by longtail boat from Ao Nang Beach in Krabi Province. This guide will tell you how to get to Railay from Ao Nang, and what to do in Railay Beach.
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Krabi is a province located in the southern part of Thailand. Krabi province is directly East of Phuket Island. Railay Peninsula is near the Southern part of Krabi Province. Even though Railay is connected to the mainland of Thailand, large limestone karst cliffs have prevented Railay being reached by land.
Getting to Railay Beach from Ao Nang by long boat
Getting to Railay Beach from Ao Nang is easy to do by long boat, but here are some things you will need to know. Along Ao Nang beach there are two booths to purchase a longtail boat ticket to get to Railay. There are booths on the North and South ends of Ao Nang Beach.
- Open from 8am to 6pm
- 100 baht oneway per person (6.41$ USD)
- Boats are beached near ticket booths
- Will require you to get a little wet to board boat (no dock)
- Swim trunks, water shoes/sandals , and drybag recommended.
- Boats only leave when there are enough passengers
- Ride takes about 15 minutes
- You will need to hold luggage above water to board the longtail boats
Ao Nang Accomidation
When visiting the Krabi area, Ao Nang is a good economical choice with lots of tourist friendly restaurants along a nice long beach with beautiful sunsets. Many people choose Ao Nang as a base and day trip to Railay and other islands because accommodation is cheaper than staying on the islands. The best parts to stay are along the strip that runs from Hat Noppharat Beach to Ao nang Beach. You can find Airbnbs, Hostels from Hostelworld, as well as hotels using Agoda and Booking.com
Since Railay is secluded from the mainland and more picturesque than Ao Nang so accommodation will be more expensive and in some cases double. Railay will have more resort like accommodations with a bit more upscale amenities than the majority of what you will find in Ao Nang. If you would like to stay in Railay but on a budget there is a hostel in Railay called Blanco Hideout. You can also find Airbnbs,or hotels using Agoda and Booking.com at relatively good prices. When booking on Railay check with your accommodation as they may provide your transportation by boat from the mainland.
Railay Peninsula encompasses three beaches Railay West, Railay East, and Phra Nang Beach. Railay West is where you will get dropped off at when coming from Ao Nang and is the best of the three beaches in my opinion. Along Railay West there will be resort and restaurants, and in the middle there is a path with shops that leads you to Railay East. Once you are on the East Side of Railay you can go South to get to Phra Nang Beach, or hike to the viewpoint and hidden lagoon. If you go North you will be going toward Phra Nang Nai Cave and the national Park. Shops and restaurant will be found along all the beaches and in the center walkway between the East and West sides of Railay. Maps are posted as well as a visitor center so these attractions are quite easy to find. Other activities include rock climbing, sea kayaking, scuba diving, paddle boarding, and cave exploring.
Railay East Viewpoint
For a great view overlooking both Railay East and Railay West head to the Viewpoint on Railay East. The hike is a bit of a treacherous and steep climb and not recommended for children. It is literally almost 30 minutes of vertical climbing rocks with ropes. Once you get to the top of the trail there will be a split. One option continues going up toward the Viewpoint (I recommend seeing the viewpoint first). The second option goes down toward the Hidden Lagoon. Tennis shoes would be ideal, but people are know to do it in sandals. I actually had sandals with straps and it wasn’t too crazy, but definitely a good workout.
I would not recommend attempting this hike if it has rained because it will be very dangerous with muddy slippery jagged rocks.
If you plan on hiking down to see the Hidden Lagoon be prepared for a steep climb down and additional 30 minutes. The climb going down to the lagoon I felt was harder than climbing up to the viewpoint. Again I would recommend shoes if you have some, or some sandals with straps at the very least. I would also check to make sure there is no rain forecast as making the climb would be extremely dangerous if its wet.
Phra Nang Beach & Cave
Phra Nang Beach is also accessed by East Railay. A lot of people will go to Phra Nang after visiting the Viewpoint and Lagoon, or just go straight here. Phra Nang Beach is smaller than Railay West, but still very nice. There is also a cave with interesting wooden phallic sculptures. These phallic wooden sculptures are offered in belief it will bring fertility.
Getting to Railay Beach from Ao Nang is probably the easiest option you have when visiting the Krabi region and Ao Nang is also well worth staying and exploring. While there are other options to reach Railay from Krabi Town via Klong Jilan Pier, it is a longer journey, cost a little more, and less reliable. Ao Nammao Pier to the East of Railay Peninsula is yet another option to reach Railay. However keep in mind Ao Nammao is not as developed compared to Ao Nang. So my recommendation if you want to save a little bit of money is to plan to stay a couple of days in Ao Nang and day trip to Railay.
I have been traveling the world fulltime for the last year and 7 months, and I highly recommend having travel insurance when going abroad. There are all sorts of unknowns that can happen. Travel insurance can help ease the burden of an accident, a missed flight, and more.