Thailand has many phenomenal beaches but perhaps my favorites are found at Railay in Krabi Province on the west coast of the country. The town is reachable only by boat and is surrounded by water on 3 sides. The small peninsula makes a great family vacation destination owing to it’s slow pace, lack of cars, kid-friendly hotels and incredible mix of great activities for the more active and adventurous. It takes a little effort to get to Railay — usually by flying to Krabi airport, taxi to Ao Nang and then boat to Railay — but this resort town is well worth the trip.
Hanging out at one of Railay’s 2 great beaches. This one is called Railay West and it forms the social hub of the town with a majority of its restaurants, cafes and hotels residing here.
Phra Nang beach — a short walk from the main part of Railay — is without a doubt one of the best beaches in Thailand. Secluded and very swimmable it’s very kid friendly as well.
Railay East is the 3rd — and least appealing — beach on Railay. As you can see the beach turns to mud flats during low tide and though it can make a pretty background to an evening meal is almost never an appealing option for swimming. Staying on the east side though can be a good way to save money as the hotels tend to be a bit cheaper and offer larger discounts during the off-season.
Boats are the only way of getting to Railay and the longtail variety form the backdrop to just about every view that looks out to sea.
The different sides of Railay are connected by a web of paved lanes and dirt paths. It takes about 3 or 4 minutes to walk from one side to the other.
Leaving Railay to return to Krabi and a flight to Bangkok. When it’s low tide tractors transport guests and their bags out to waiting boats in the bay.