Railay is an attraction in itself. It is a small peninsula accessible only by boat due to the tall limestone cliffs casting it away from Krabi Province mainland. As in most present-day popular destinations, it was first discovered and frequented by hippies and backpackers in the late ‘70s, and due to its seclusion, could retain this laid-back atmosphere until today.
Our Top 5 Railay Attractions’ list introduces the most interesting natural places that make Railay so looked-after. Despite its development since the ‘90s – with the addition of hotels and restaurants – Railay is still the kind of destination to get away from it all, a place at which vacationers can relax in a stunningly beautiful natural environment.
- 4 Islands Day Trip
- Rainforest Discovery Tour
- Phi Phi Islands Excursion by Speedboat
- Excursion to Hong Islands via Speedboat
- Ban Bor Thor Kayaking Full-Day Tour
- Sunset Cruise in Catamaran over Andaman Sea
- Whitewater Rafting & 4-Wheel-Drive Adventure
- Phi Phi Islands Tour with Express Boat
- Ao Thalane Kayaking Adventure
- Shared Shuttle: Krabi Airport (KBV)
Accessible only from the sea, Railay's four beaches Tonsai, Railay West, Railay East and Ao Phra Nang (Princess Bay) are situated between towering limestone cliffs. Railay West is one of the southern Thailand's most impressive, atmospheric and beautiful beaches and is outstanding any time of day (or night). It's possible to walk between these beaches to compare and contrast their attractions.
Railay West is the main beach; it offers perfect soft sand, informal beach restaurants, friendly locals and a tiny community of travellers who just can't seem to leave. Ao Phra Nang is not as developed as the others and has silky-soft sand while Railay East can seem a little rough but is nevertheless the centre of nightlife in the area. Don't believe the (sometimes crooked) boatmen who say that you can't reach Tonsai on foot. You can, through the jungle. Read More...
Princess cave is located near the eastern end of Ao Phra Nang (Princess Bay) the southerners’ beach of Railay. In fact, there are two caves next to each other featuring the same decorative items: a large collection of carved wooden phallic symbols, offerings and other objects believed to help with fertility. The two caves are mostly just anfractuosities in the cliff, their depth is about three or four metres.
Since ancient times, Phra Nang Cave has been where fishermen, before going out to sea, have made offerings to the symbolic Phallus of Shiva (known as the Siwaleung or Palad Khik in Thai). The fishermen, who say the cave is the home of a mythical sea princess, believe their offerings will bring them success in their fishing and protect them from danger. Nowadays, it gives tourists a great photo opportunity, although fishermen from the new generation steadily come to make offerings. Read More...
Diamond Cave (Tham Phra Nang Nai)
Diamond Cave (Tham Phra Nang Nai) is a quite large cave located at the foot of the limestone cliff separating Railay peninsula from Krabi inland. Accessible from Railay West and Railay East, it doesn't take long to get there and lights and a wooden walkway have been installed inside. Belonging to Nopparat Thara Beach – Phi Phi Island National Park, this cave features bats, a very high roof, stalactites, stalagmites and is a true wonder of nature. Reaching the end of the walkway doesn’t take a too long time as the succession of caves is about one hundred metres.
It offers a cool shelter from the outside heat and the rather spectacular rock formation are great photo opportunities. Entrance fee is 40 baht for adults and 20 baht for children. Please note that the dim light doesn’t make people with impaired vision’s progression easy.
Railay is the most famous destination for rock climbing in southern Thailand. Using the French grading system, routes range from beginner 5a's to classic multipitch 6a's, right up to the extremes of 8c. The headland between Ao Phra Nang and Railay East harbours some particularly popular spots, with good climbing for both beginners and more experienced climbers.
Guided climbs and instruction are available around most of the resorts and bungalows in Railay. Climbing gear is readily available for hire if you don't want to bring your own or don't have any. Ensure that your guides and equipment are from a reliable company. King Climbers is one such example, one of the first climbing schools in Thailand at which guides have a minimum of five years climbing experience and are accredited by the ACGA. There are enough routes in Railay to keep any climber busy for years. Read More...
Hidden Lagoon (Sa Phra Nang)
Sa Phra Nang means 'Holy Princess Pool', and while it’s difficult to reach, if you're young and fit it's worth a look. The lagoon is tidal so try to ensure that it's high tide when you go. Be aware that you will get dirty so wear appropriate clothing. Located on the path between Railay East and Ao Phra Nang, there's a small shack with some instructions about how to get safely to the lagoon. The path to get there starts opposite the shack and is rather physical; you have to climb up muddy slopes then down a rocky ravine. At parts you must use the ropes provided to get down. The mud is slippery and there's more scrambling than climbing involved so think twice about it after rain.
Once you reach it you find a pool surrounded by sheer cliffs and lush vegetation most of the way around. The water is tranquil and the bottom is full of sediment which feels strange between your toes. Most find it beautiful however some find it a little disappointing after the tough 45 minute journey to get there. Those who get there at low tide will be very frustrated to find a small muddy pool. Don't attempt to go there alone.