Railay viewpoint - Railay West, Krabi

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Heading to Krabi, Thailand? Make sure not to miss Railay beach.

And if you are up for a short yet rewarding hike, go for the Railay Viewpoint Hike! Want the easiest option? Go to Railay East. Are you ready for a more challenging hike? Head straight to Railay West beach. But be prepared, that you may decide to turn around at some point…

Having been to Krabi several times over the last few years, I had never visited Railay beach. Until this year.

Because I thought that it’s just a nice beach there. But it isn’t just a beach.

You can go supping (stand up paddling) there. Rental kayaks are available, and very pretty, rugged coastline to explore with it. There are 2 beautiful viewpoints in Railay, one of them accessible by most. Plus you can go rock climbing there. Or take rock climbing classes, if you don’t have any experience just yet.

All of that you can do in Railay.

But let’s talk about Railay beach viewpoint hike. Well, both of them.

1. Railay Viewpoint Hike – Railay East (the Easy One)

A view from the Railay viewpoint - Railay East, Krabi
Railay beach viewpoint – Railay East, Krabi

See the photo above? That’s the view you’ll be hiking for.

Getting to the view point is rather easy. And it takes only around 20 minutes one way. I actually saw many parents going up with children and even few with infants. So, if you were thinking if its doable by kids? Yes, it is.

But you should be prepared that your clothes can get dirty. As you may sit down in some places, while climbing over huge rocks.

Here is how the very beginning of the hike looks:

Starting point of the Railay viewpoint hike - Railay East, Krabi
Starting point of the Railay viewpoint hike – Railay East, Krabi

Further on there are some big rocks.

And afterwards you’ll need to turn to the left. You’ll see that yourself.

There it’s just a trail, that you need to follow. No more rocks.

You can’t get lost there.

You can go down the same way as you came. Or you can follow the trail that took you to the viewpoint. It leads down as well.

View from the top - Railay East viewpoint, Krabi
View from the top – Railay East viewpoint, Krabi

1.1 Getting to Railay East From Ao Nang

The ticket counter at Ao Nang is located here, next to the main road.

Return ticket costs 200 THB per person.

Boats from Ao Nang to Railay stop at Railay West beach.

Once you get off the boat go a little bit to the right. At about the middle of the beach there is a single road going across the Railay peninsula. It’s a short walk and some 5 minutes later you’ll already be on the other side.

There turn to the right, and go until the end of the beach. You’ll see rock climbers hanging off the mountain there.

Turn right again, and follow a path for a few minutes.

Until you see a wooden shelter. Right in front of it is the Railay East Viewpoint Hike. It starts right there.

If you have reached a beach, it means you have passed by it. Turn around.

2. Railay Viewpoint Hike – Railay West (+ Rock Climbing)

Railay West Viewpoint Hike - Railay, Krabi
View from half-way up – Railay West Viewpoint Hike – Railay, Krabi

Here comes the not-so-easy one.

I had read about hiking to the Railay viewpoint before. But I didn’t pay attention to the fact, that there are 2 viewpoints. So when I got off the boat, I looked at the map and went for the nearest one.

Which turned out to be the Railay West Viewpoint Hike.

The trail starts right from the beach.

You climb over some big rocks, and then you have to turn to the right. You see rock climbers there. Since there is no clear path at first you can simply follow the rock wall. Then it starts going up.

Until… the only way up is by rope.

Afer some thinking and several attempts to find another way up (without using this rope) I decided to STOP my hike there.

As it looked just too unsafe.

To rely only on a rope I don’t know where it’s attached to? Or how old is it? Seeing the place, and aknowledging that the fall there might be fatal, I decided that, nah, it’s not worth it.

Instead I went for a short off-the-trail exploration. Got a few scratches here and there, while walking through the bushes.

And here is the view I was awarded with.

Railay West beach
Railay West beach as seen from above

2.1 Getting to Railay West From Ao Nang

It’s super easy to get to Railay West from Ao Nang.

At Ao Nang go to the left side of the beach. The ticket counter is located here, next to the main road. Buy a ticket, wait for a while until there are more passengers. Boats to Railay leave frequently. As soon as there are enough passengers (usually 6-10).

Return ticket costs 200 THB per person.

Boats from Ao Nang to Railay stop at Railay West beach.

Once you get off the boat, turn to the right and go until the very end of the beach, after the very last beach resort. During high tide this part of the beach may be mostly under water, leaving only a narrow stretch of sand. Enough to walk on.

As you reach the very end of the beach, you can’t miss the trail heading inland.

A boat from Ao Nang to Railay beach
A boat from Ao Nang to Railay beach

Frequently Asked Questions About Railay

1. Getting From Ao Nang to Railay Beach

There are frequent, public boats from Ao Nang to Railay beach. The ticket counter at Ao Nang is located here, next to the beach.

Round-trip from Ao Nang to Railay costs 200 THB.

Get the ticket. Wait until there are at least few more passengers (usually 6-10). Leave. That’s how it works here.

The boat ride to Railay takes only around 15 minutes. Boats stop at Railay West.

2. How to Get to Railay Beach From Krabi Airport

Arriving to Krabi and planning to go to Railay beach right away?

There are 3 easy options:

  1. Taxi to Ao Nang + boat.
  2. Airport shuttle to Ao Nang + boat.
  3. Taxi or airport shuttle to Krabi town + boat.

Taxi ride from Krabi Airport to Ao Nang costs around 600 THB.

Airport shuttle currently is the cheapest way from Krabi airport to Krabi and Ao Nang.

It costs only 150 THB (90 THB to Krabi town). And the ride takes between 60 – 90 minutes.

Last bus leaves the Krabi airport at 10 PM.

Once you are at the Ao Nang, go to this place (ticket counter) to get yourself a boat ticket. Boats to Railay leave right from the beach, only a short walking distance away from the ticket counter.

A boat trip from Ao Nang to Railay costs 200 THB (round-trip). You will arrive at Railay West beach.

A boat ride from Railay to Ao Nang
A boat ride from Railay to Ao Nang

3. How to Get to Railay Beach From Krabi

The easiest option – take a boat from Krabi town to Railay beach.

Transfer within Krabi town + a boat to Railay beach should cost around 400 THB per person. For a round-trip. 200 THB for one-way trip to Railay.

4. Railay East or West

Railay East is more peaceful. There isn’t much going on here.

Railay West has all the restaurants and bars, and the best beaches for swimming are on this side of the Railay peninsula.

Railay viewpoint - Railay West, Krabi

Where to Stay in Railay Beach

There are quite a few accommodation options on the Railay peninsula. But, of course, in Ao Nang the choice is much bigger. And the prices on everything are overall smaller. Hotels in Railay are significantly more expensive.

If you want to save, it’s a good idea to stay in Ao Nang and come to Railay by boat.

BUDGET – Chill Out Bar & Bungalow

There are only few backpacker hotels in Railay. And this one is one of the best choices here. The nearest beach is Tonsai beach. Getting to Railay beach takes about 20 minutes of walking.

Double room starts at 630 THB. Check prices and availability.

MID-RANGE – Tonsai Bay Resort

A very popular 3-star hotel situated near Tonsai Beach. Railay beach is a 20-minute walk away. A great choice for rock climbers.

Double room starts at 1400 THB. Check prices and availability.

LUXURY – Railay Princess Resort & Spa

A great 4-star hotel featuring 2 outdoor pools. Unlike the above mentioned hotels this one is only a short walk away from Railay beach. Breakfast is included in price.

Double room starts at 3400 THB. Check prices and availability.

Any other cool things to do in Krabi? Oh, yes, if you have time, definitely hike the Tab Kak Hang Nak Nature Trail.

Have you been to Railay? Did you do the Railay Viewpoint Hike?

Book Your Trip Like a PRO

1. Book Your Flight

Find cheap flights using Kiwi.com, Momondo.com. Or subscribe to Dollar Flight Club, if you don’t want to be searching for the flights yourself. Momondo usually is my first choice.

2. Book Your Accommodation

Booking.com, Agoda.com and Airbnb. I use Booking and Agoda at least a dozen times a year, and Airbnb – when looking for a long-term stay. My best tip is to ALWAYS compare the price. Sometimes the same hotel is cheaper on Booking.com, other times – on Agoda. Always compare the price!

3. Buy Your Travel Insurance

World Nomads and SafetyWings are two companies I can recommend. World Nomads offers some extra benefits, that will be important for those doing some higher risk activities, while SafetyWings is significantly cheaper. SafetyWings is only $9.25 / week.