Traveling to Railay, Thailand & 6 Quick Tips for a Day Trip!
When I made my way from Bali, to Singapore, to the islands of Thailand, I knew I HAD to go to Railay. Everything I saw - photos, videos - and stories I heard about Railay made me bump this beach high up on my Thailand itinerary.
Railay isn't actually an island; it's on the mainland, though you need to take a boat to get there. Since I was based in Ao Nang (about 30 minutes west of Krabi Town), my hostel buddy Nick and I took the 10-minute longtail boat ride out to Railay on my first full day in Thailand.
After walking through the beach, snapping a few photos, and watching the rock climbers, we started walking down a pathway to what turned into my favorite part of Railay - a high viewpoint!
I probably vaguely knew there was this viewpoint, but it wasn't on my radar that day. Coming across an unexpected viewpoint is even better.
We saw a group of people climbing up toward the viewpoint - they had definitely planned for this, wearing athletic shoes and backpacks. I quickly scanned the wall and looked down at my flip flops, wondering if it was worth it...and if I would fall.
"You shouldn't climb this in those shoes," someone warned me, as if reading my thoughts.
However, we were already here and flip flops were the only shoes I had.
After some hesitation, we decided to just go for it. Who knows when I'd be back in Railay?!
So up we went!
We passed by a girl who was coming down, wearing a semi-fancy dress and flip flops, which gave me encouragement. (Why she was wearing a semi-fancy dress to the beach I do not know, and how she got up and down keeping it clean and in pristine condition I also don't know.)
TIP: the sign advised not to climb up if it had previously rained due to slippery and muddy conditions. Luckily it was bright and sunny on the day we went.
The climb up is fairly easy. Perhaps my previous years of rock climbing came into play, but there are plenty of rocks and roots to hang onto, as well as ropes that were installed. Also, the rock is smooth from people going up and down daily.
Once you've made it up the rock-y mud wall, follow the path and go down a slight hill to get to the viewpoint.
The view is incredible:
6 Quick Tips for doing a Railay Day Trip!
1. If you are taking a day trip, you're probably already based in Krabi, Ao Nang, Phuket, or Koh Phi Phi.
The longtail boat prices will vary based on where you're coming from, and you can buy boat tickets at the stands near the water.
Nick and I paid 150 baht each straight to the boat driver on the way to Railay from Ao Nang - he just let us on and we passed the ticket counter - but on the way back, a guy was guarding the area not allowing tourists to directly pay the boat drivers. So we paid 200 baht each on the way back which is standard/fair.
2. You can go rock climbing
Love rock climbing or want to try it? In Thailand, rock climbing on Railay is a great spot! I used to climb in college, but didn't climb at Railay. I can only image the what the high viewpoint would look like atop the limestone cliffs 😍
I'm not sure how much this costs, but I'm sure a quick TripAdvisor or Google search would tell you.
3. Try to bring sturdier shoes if you can for climbing to the viewpoint area
I wore my Havianas flip flops that day, not expecting to stumble upon the viewpoint (like I mentioned above).
It was easy on the way up, but slippery on the way down and the front part of my flip flop strap things kept popping out of the shoe. I kept having to fix my shoes.
Nikes or Converse, or whatever those outdoorsy-sandals (I think they're called Tevas?) would be better. Just prepare for your shoes/feet to get dirty no matter what!
4. There is more to see on Railay than the main drop-off point
The boats will likely drop you off on a small section of the beach, but you can walk through and continue walking around to other beach areas.
Don't get confused if you're dropped off at a small area! There are more beaches and resorts/hotels lining the water when you walk around. There is also map signage in the entire area that show you where you are.
5. Watch out for jellyfish
You'll see warning signs on the beach for these jellyfish, too.
They are purple so they're easy to spot washed up on the shore, but still keep an eye out - especially if you're barefoot!
6. Grab a watermelon shake
Okay, well, the watermelon shakes can be found anywhere in Thailand, but they are SO GOOD so I wanted to make this its own point. Ha!
Pure, blended watermelon for only 30-50 baht. No artificial crap or added sugar like smoothie places back home - just real, pure juice.
Have you been to Railay - what did you think? Would you go to Railay if you find yourself in Thailand?