The Best Beach Town in Thailand
Railay Beach / Tonsai Bay
There are so many beautiful beaches in Thailand, but nothing beats this not so hidden gem! Tourists are well aware of this spot and venture from all over the world to experience the best beaches and rock climbing! If you’re anything like me, you want something a little more secluded, less popularized and a little quieter, but can still offer some great restaurants, activities, shopping and tourist attractions. Coming straight from Koh Phi Phi, Railay Beach was a breath of fresh air! The beach was not nearly as crowded as the Phi Phi Islands. White sandy beaches stretch along this amazing peninsula, which is hidden from the mainland (Krabi). You will find mountains at each end of the beach, with hiking trails that lead up to the lagoon, caves and other rock climbing spots. The Railay town is adorable and offers great local shops, ice cream parlors, cafés and restaurants, all within walking distance.
The best part of Railay was the neighboring hippie town: Tonsai Bay. YES, IT IS A BAY, surrounded by Avatar like cliffs that penetrate through the water. We stayed at the Tonsai Bay Resort, which was amazing! Unlike a few of the resorts in Railay, this particular resort did not have a pool... but who cares when you are steps away from the most beautiful beach, am I right?
Tonsai is a fifteen-minute scenic walk away from the Railay town and beach. We chose to stay at Tonsai, as it was far less crowded with down-to-earth bars and restaurants. We noticed that the Tonsai hotels seem to accommodate mainly rock-climbers and adventurists, while Railay catered to Yuppie resort goers. Take your pick!
Top Things to Do in Railay and Tonsai:
+ Sea Kayaking (WHICH WAS UNREAL!!! Be prepared to find hidden caves and secluded spots all along the coast!)
+ Rock Climbing (Best in Thailand)
+ Boat rides + island hopping tours
+ Snorkeling and swimming
+ Jungle treks + elephant trekking
+ Chillin' on the beach with a margarita in hand
How to get to Railay Beach/Tonsai Bay
The best way to get to Railay Beach / Tonsai Bay is by ferry. We took a ferry from Koh Phi Phi directly to Railay. Those with Tonsai Bay destinations, transferred from the ferry onto a longtail boat that took us directly to Tonsai Bay beach. Our hotel was 20 meters down the beach from the drop off point. Not ever will I recommend a backpack for your travels, because I truly believe that roller suitcases are much more practical. However, at that moment, we were walking down the beach carrying roller suitcases. We felt extremely judged and out of place by those passing us with backpacks. Not only did it take us a lot longer to get to our final destination, but our suitcases took a beating. When you are traveling to remote places in South East Asia, I highly recommend bringing a large backpack!
There are also other ways to get to Railay Beach/Tonsai Bay. From Bangkok, you can take a train or a bus to Ao Nang. From there, you will take a longtail boat transfer of approximately 15 minutes to Railay / Tonsai. To find out more on how to get to Railay and Tonsai, click here.
Thanks for reading :) Kyra xo
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