Railay Beach

July 15, 2009 by  
Filed under Attractions

Railay Beach : Surrounded by sheer limestone cliffs on 3 sides, Railay Beach, just South of Ao Nang, can easily be reached by local taxi boat in 15 minutes. The name ‘Railay’ is supposedly an abbreviation for ‘Rai Tale’ in Thai, which means ‘orchard near the sea.’ Railay Beach consists of two bays  joined at the headland on the West and East respectively.

West Railay is a narrow beach with towering karst formations and cliffs suitable for rock climbing. The turquoise water and long beach are highly popular amongst holiday makers for sunbathing and swimming. What has brought Railay its fame, however, is rock climbing. Back in 1992, a French rock climber explored the cliffs thoroughly and returned home to reveal his discoveries in rock climbing circles. since then, a great many experienced climbers have followed in his footsteps to enjoy the beauty and mystery of the soaring limestone pinnacles. The routes which they and others in their turn have established, vary in difficulty from 5C to 8C in the French system of standards, which include multi-pitch and single pitch climbs. Railay is said to have very challenging rock climbing by international standards. One of the best known routes is called ‘The King and I’, which is multi-pitch and to be found on the cliff named ‘Thai Wand Wall’. Tonsai Beach has 32 difficult and easy routes, with overhanging rocks that will test the strength of any climber. The ‘Humanity’ route offers more muti-pitch options.

East Railay, (Nam Mao Beach), is the most popular of all for rock climbing, especially ‘Pa 1-2-3’, because of its easy access to accommodation. The 22 routes here, assessed at 5-7C in difficulty, suit the needs of both individual rock climbers and rock climbing schools.


Although it is one of Krabi’s mainland beaches, it is inaccessible by road, being surrounded on all sides by cliffs. There are local taxi-boat services from Chao Fa pier in Krabi town (40 minutes), from Ao Nang (15 minutes) or from Nam Mao Beach (10 minutes).

There are many rooms available in hotels and resorts in Railay, ranging in price and comfort. Pre-booking is nearly always advised, and during peak periods (including Thai holidays), reservations are a must. Railay Bay Resort & Spa is in  West Railay and faces the sea.


Most restaurants on Railay these days meet international culinary standards, and the seafood dishes here always receive the most orders.


Railay Beach has more or less the same standard and range of facilities as its neighbouring beaches, with the main additional activity being rock climbing.

Source : Krabi Tourism Association

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