Ending up at Railay was an obvious result of trajectory of choosing Krabi and booking a fancy looking resort without the disclaimer of high rising limestone cliffs at the end of peninsula, by the deep dark sea! The poignancy of passing through scenic Krabi highway was soon replaced with the eclectic panoramic view of the quaint little island exhibiting many stories of backpackers and luxury travelers at the backdrop of Andaman sea.

Orhan pamuk says, “A person could wish for one thing and speak of another, and their fate, their kismet, was the thing that could bring the two together, even”. I wished for Krabi and settled in Railay. None of my friends had visited Railay and little was written in world wide web. It is hidden as a gem as the keeper of the soul of Krabi.

As we stood witness to spectacular sunset by the Andaman sea, waiting for our long tail boat to transport us from the Ao Nang Pier, I gathered the facts validating Railay to be an attraction of rock climbers. But I was enchanted with the place for things more eternal!!

Railay shows to a couple of sides of a beach life, white sandy beach on the West beach with monoliths standing tall and mangroves amass on the eastern part with a narrow road dotting with budget stays.

Also read: Travel Guide to Explore Koh Yao Yai and Koh Yao Noi, Best Kept Secret of Phang Nga Bay

How to reach Railay Island, Krabi

Reaching Railay is only possible by boat. The beach is separated from the mainland with monolithic limestone karsts that touches the sky. It is impossible to cross them by road. Reach Krabi pier, the main one and head to Railay by Boat. 

Check for the ferry schedule to Railay here. If you are heading to Railay from Phuket, there are boat services available as well. The ferry service is also applicable if you are heading to Krabi from other famous Thai Islands Suratthani, Koh Phi Phi, Koh Phangan, Koh Lanta, Hat Yai etc.

West beach

Where all the boats will bring in guests. They may come for a quick one day trip excursions or like us, with a longer staying intent. The beach decks up at night with teeming dainty lamps and mats while lovers sing to each other.

East beach

More earthy and rustic charm of the land. Humongous rocks with 90 degree steep separates Railay from mainland Krabi but like found it’s way. The waterborne civilization has even bestowed the habitat with a school for children. You have to visit here to ride your boat back home.


One distinctive identity of East beach is the lush green mangroves, spurring up from the depth of sea. Quite a view are the roots growing vertical for the assurance of oxygen.

Rock Climbing

Both the beaches are connected with a promenade by diamond cave and many more where Andaman sea has left kisses of love. It is possible to hike through the rocks and find a lagoon on the top, even find a place to dive down directly in the depth of sea. I strongly recommend a guided tour for this adventures though. Your hotel will provide you with gears to use.

Resort stay
We booked with Railay Phutawan Resort which boasts of a spectacular pool. Even with a villa stay be convinced to encounter many insects, frogs, few rodent variants in close vicinity. Do not blame for the land belongs to them.

Sunset and water monitor

Crowd gather at the West beach to stand witness to the sunset, with Andaman sea sky hues in rich spread of vermilion. But we stopped on our way. we stopped since a four feet long water monitor crossed our road. I spoke to a shop keeper nearby. He tells me to travel up in the Northern remote areas to taste this delicacy. My mind shinks in awe. So much to learn and explore about new culture, it is an immense labour I love!

Phra nang deity cave

Legends has it the princess drowned in the sea near by. Her spirit is looming large behind the rocks, satiating her hunger with the sailors. To avoid dark fate sailors offer their genitals to her. The temple attracts huge footfall till date, with locals paying respect till date.

The last bar
Staying true to it’s name, it mark the end of the stretch that east beach is. With live music and great sea food, I could spend my entire vacation here, I suppose. Nim is the waitress who told me about the school she sends her daughter to.


The Ao Nang Pier
The Ao Nang Pier
Railay beach
Aye Aye
First glimse of Railay
First glimse of Railay
I am happy, happy, happy!
I am happy, happy, happy!
The boat, the rock at Railay beach
The boat, the rock
Railay Island
Sold to the island for good
Railay Phutawan resort
The swiiming pool where we spent most of our stay, at Railay Phutawan Resort
Railay Phutawan Resort
The bliss of swimming
hmm… what to eat tonight?
The East beach at Railay
The East beach
An island full of cats without tail. I wonder if Murakami has visited here!
Prawns and morning glory
To have known a breakfast like this!
Phutawan Resort Railay Krabi
My villa. No, Railay is not exaxtly for backpacking 🙂
Simba knows no swimming. do not judge him please?
The night, the rain, the island, the alcohol!
Mangroves, because life finds a way!
Good bye, I will be back.
leaving a part of my heart here…
Krabi, one last time

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22 Responses

  1. I loved that area of Thailand! I stayed on Tonsai beach next door as it was a bit quieter and I JUST LOVED the bars and faces and everything was made of drift wood! 🙂

    1. Yes. It is usually less crowded that the otherwise known touristy destinations and very beautiful. Thank you!
      Drift wood? Are you talking about the Phrang Nga temple?

  2. To every detail you mentioned walah ?? I loved it, I almost started to visualise also the pictures made it easy for me to do so. In this blog ,you Toon me along with you as always again, this kinda passion deserves more, I feel the calmness through what I read, I’m content with what I read and forgive me content is just a sub stated word pardon my vocabulary… on to the next blog I will go I got so hooked like I never wanted you to stop writing about this endeavouring trip.

  3. Wow this beach looks so pretty. I would love to travel to Thailand… this country just seems so fascinating. And your pictures look so refreshing as well.

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