From early in the morning until midday, Tonsai Bay is buzzing with activity. When the last ferry boat departs, peace settles in and the area reverts to feeling like a sleepy village. It has almost all the necessities you could possibly need in its small area, including ATMs, convenience stores, and a variety of inexpensive and cheerful Thai restaurants and food stands.
In this guide, we give you a broad overview of the well-known bays in Phi Phi, covering everything from how to navigate Tonsai Bay to Railay.
You can stay on Tonsai beach if you’re looking for a more laid-back and affordable place to stay. This area is a small haven for hippies, with breathtaking rock faces everywhere you look. Compared to Railay, it is also less populated.
A small dirt road in the back of Tonsai Beach leads to guesthouses and bars. There isn’t much else you need! Come soon because Tonsai is being developed with a sizable resort.
The trippy-themed Sunset Bar (previously known as Pirate Bar) serves drinks and other potentially fun substances. Like this bar, there are many others. The majority of visitors simply frequent this bar.
As long as you’re here during high tide, the beach is lovely. Unfortunately, once the tide recedes, it becomes very rocky and treacherous.
The atmosphere at Tonsai Beach is unique. The people all have that mellowed-out, island lifestyle aura, and the place has a very cozy, laid-back feel. All day tank tops and flip flops, beachy waves, beer, and sand under your feet. That is the way of life here.
You’ll also be surrounded by a diverse group of people. It’s the ideal paradise for those seeking that kind of adrenaline-fueled adventure because there is an incredible cliff to base jump off of and some of the best karst mountains in the world to climb.
It makes sense that base jumpers and rock climbers make up a significant portion of the Tonsai community.
Here, you’ll also run into the flow arts community. There is a thing for poi, hooping, staff, etc., frequently with fire. The aforementioned bar has an elderly local man who is truly amazing with the fire staff, fire poi, and slack line there but who is unable to speak or hear. You have to visit him.
Here, you can hoops and always run into other hoopsters, as well as non-hoopers who want to learn. It’s a great way to make new friends! The best part is that you won’t feel awkward doing it here! There are a ton of other eccentrics right there with you!
These crowds are more prevalent on Tonsai, but they are also present on Railay!
Cool views can be had from the massive rock face on the beach right next to the restaurant. To reach the platform, simply climb the two flimsy ladders leaning up against the rocks. amazing views
These bungalows are affordable. You tell yourself to remember the name of the bungalow you stay in every time you visit Tonsai, but even after coming here a million times, you always forget. You can at least use that price as a starting point when looking for bungalows: you can pay for a simple, double room with a bathroom. It’s common for monkeys to jump onto your roof in the morning.
Generators power Tongsai. In other words, you have access to electricity from 6 p.m. until 6 a.m., when it is turned off. In a nicer hotel, there may be electricity available throughout the day. Who cares? Your room isn’t used often.
Also take note that a resort is being constructed on Tonsai. Even though they were supposed to begin building it years ago, as of November 2016, they still haven’t. Having said that, take note that the beach is now completely empty. Except for one bar, everything on the beach had to be moved back. There are no accommodations on Tonsai Beach.
Krabi is one of the world’s top climbing locations, in case you didn’t know. It is breathtakingly beautiful and adrenaline-inducing.
Many people have engaged in bouldering in caves and repeated sessions of climbing. But even if you’re not much of a rock climber, don’t let that stop you! Even if you’ve never been, it’s a lot of fun, and the more you do it, the more addictive it becomes.
According to legend, Railay is a little easier to climb than Tonsai beach. The path you choose determines everything. There are a ton, and their degrees of difficulty vary.
It is more affordable when you have a teacher, a few friends, and are an experienced climber. Just rent the equipment and go. Other than if you’re a pro and you brought your own? which would be no cost!
Your most incredible travel experiences may have been the rock climbing you did here.
Information on rock climbing near Tonsai and Railay can be found here.
Amazing rock formations are available at both Tonsai Beach and Railay Beach, and you have the option of climbing them.
Your decision will be the best one.
Amazing Thai beach paradise Railay is isolated from the mainland by towering cliffs. With its pristine beaches, mountainous coastline covered in jungle, and laid-back atmosphere, Railay offers plenty of activities to keep visitors busy. Thailand dreams are made in Railay.
You might not want to leave Railay Beach because there are so many things to do there! It’s our favorite beach in Thailand, personally. And we’ve since visited numerous times, especially because we adore all the fantastic Railay activities you can enjoy in this tropical haven of Thailand!
The southern Thai province of Krabi is home to Railay (also spelled Rai Leh). Although there is a physical connection between Railay and the Thai mainland, no roads can reach it. That means Railay only has walkways, which is a pleasant absence of cars.
Railay can only be reached and left from by boat. Walking is the primary mode of transportation in Railay, which adds to the tranquility and peace of the area. Paths take visitors through the jungle, along the bay, and to the beaches. Additionally, they provide access to fantastic adventure activities like hikes, rock climbing, kayaking, and more.
This separation from the rest of the Krabi province also contributes to the carefree and laid-back atmosphere in Railay. You might even doubt that you are in the Caribbean given the atmosphere of Railay Beach, which is home to many Rastafarians.
Thailand’s Railay can be a relatively inexpensive travel destination. In comparison to other parts of Thailand, Railay has more expensive food and drink prices. But in the off-season, hotel rates significantly decline, offering some fantastic discounts and great values! It’s not unusual to find a 4-star beach resort with breakfast during shoulder seasons like May and September-October.
Railay Beach is one of favorite vacation spots because of the exceptional availability of luxurious amenities at reasonable prices, exciting adventure activities, and breathtaking scenery.
Kayak rentals are available at the hotels or in front of Walking Street on Railay West Beach. Simply choose a kayak from the row that is set up on the beach. You can rent kayaks for an hour or a whole day. To paddle around the coastline and outcroppings south of Railay Beach, we advise allotting at least two hours.
Following the rocky coastline as you leave Railay Beach will lead you to some cave passageways that you can use as a shortcut. A fun little thrill can be had by paddling through this natural tunnel if the waves aren’t too strong and you’re skilled at it. Observe your head if the tide is high!
Eventually, this path will take you to the stunning Phra Nang Beach. But we’d advise spending some time first paddling around the nearby small limestone islands. Consider paddling in the opposite direction to Ton Sai beach when kayaking.
No matter which way you paddle, Railay Beach is a great place to kayak!
Getting from Tonsai to Railay
Tonsai to Railay is incredibly simple. Look right after glancing at the ocean in Railay. Look at the little forest on the hill. You should see a path if you proceed in that direction.
To get from Tonsai to Railay, head to the beach, turn left, and head up the hill. You should be able to ascend the path using a short flight of uneven rock stairs.
When the tide is low, it is possible to navigate around this small, wooded hill. It sinks so low that you can simply cross the rocks to reach the other side. I don’t advise taking this path. If you’re unlucky, you might be close to a location where the water is crashing up against the rocks because the tide isn’t low enough.
Your belongings might get wet, and you run the risk of getting hurt. The rocks are slippery, and injuries are another issue. Be cautious.
The ascent of the mountain couldn’t have been simpler. You may put on flip-flops. 15 minutes are needed. Simply taking this route makes more sense because it is safer and more obvious.
Can you walk from Tonsai to Railay?
Tonsai Beach and Railay Beach are both accessible on foot. There are a few possibilities. The most effective method is to walk 45 minutes through the forest to Railay East. Walking along the shoreline from Tonsai to the end of Railay Beach West during low tide is another option. It will require climbing over rocks, which I haven’t done and don’t advise doing, but it can be done.
Ready to visit the paradise?
Bring light, comfortable clothing for the warm weather when visiting Railay Beach in the hot and muggy Philippines. There is no need to bring clothes to dress up because Railay Beach is very casual. Sandals, a bathing suit, and a t-shirt are necessities!
We sincerely hope that this travel guide has been useful in providing you with some inspiration or ideas for your trip to Railay, Thailand.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I reserve a Railay Beach Island Hopping Tour?
There are a few different island hopping tours to consider in Railay. The aforementioned four islands are visited by all of them. Some include a few additional stops. Another consideration is whether to go on a longtail boat or a larger boat. For your decision-making, consider the following additional information.
A nice option for a more private experience is a private longtail boat. Yet, organized tour boats can be of better value for solo travelers and couples. They frequently have more stops and include a decent lunch as well. Those who might be prone to seasickness may find the larger boats to be a safer option.
What modes of transportation are there between Tonsai Beach and Railay?
Both of these places must be reached by boat, but they are not islands. It’s also important to remember that your only means of transportation when you get here will be your feet. No motorcycles, cars, or other vehicles.
All day long, boats are available, but you may have to wait a little bit because they will likely wait until the boat is completely full, which is usually eight to ten people. You’ll be taken away on a kind of longtail boat.
I wouldn’t advise staying up too late because the first boat leaves probably around 8 or 9 in the morning and the last one leaves usually around 6 in the evening. After 6 o’clock, expect to pay 50 B or more more per ticket for groups of six or more.
Does Tonsai beach have any dining establishments or bars?
Although there aren’t as many top-notch restaurants as in other parts of the country, you can still find delicious food for a variety of budgets.
With dishes like barbecue chicken, mango sticky rice, and pad thai, the venerable Mama’s Chicken can keep you satisfied.
Since there isn’t much room, you always find yourself seated next to friendly travelers who are almost always up for conversation.
Even banana loaf is sold there. For the largest portions of Pad Thai, Lad Naa, or veggie burgers, visit Sao Legacy. They serve a fantastic breakfast.
You can easily end up for a meal at many of the restaurants, which offer affordable delicious Thai and Western food.
The simplest way to stay energized during the peak season (November to April) is with a fresh fruit juice or shake.
All of the bars offer fantastic deals on cocktails and other alcoholic beverages during happy hour. Happy Shakes can be purchased from a variety of bars and coffee shops for the more daring. Be ready for many hours of intoxication.
How do you reach Railay Bay?
Railay will be a stop on the well-liked 4 islands tour in Krabi. You don’t have enough time to fully explore this wonderful bay—you only have about an hour! Not to mention that many people will be present at the same time. This is why I advise going on a solo trip to Railay Bay!
You can simply hire a boat from one of the beachside boat vendors to get to Ao Nang. It is a little challenging to locate the right person who sells tickets at Railay Beach, so if your trip is already planned, I advise you to purchase a ticket for the return as well. You can also depart from Tonsai Beach to begin your journey.
When should you visit Railay Bay?
Keep an eye on the tides whenever you visit Thailand’s coastline. The time of day is important because a stunning, paradisiacal view can quickly change into a muddy, rocky view.
The moon’s gravitational pull on the Earth is what causes the tides, which are constantly shifting depending on the moon’s position in relation to the Earth. Since Krabi’s maximum tidal range can reach 2.3 m, the tide can alter both the local environment and the way of life of its residents.
Planning your trip so that you can see Railay East at high tide is the best option. With respect to low tide and high tide, Railay East’s environment significantly changes. You wouldn’t want to miss the amazing scenery at Railay East Beach during high tide with its mangroves and trees in the sand.
Additionally, if you intend to ascend to the Princess Lagoon, you must carefully plan your route to arrive at the lagoon during the highest tide. Otherwise, the reward for your work won’t be as great.