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Railay / Tonsai

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Sports & Things to Do & See


Railay possesses the most beautiful topography in Thailand.

Railay, Tonsai, adventure holidays Thailand

If there is a more beautiful place in southeast Asia, it has so far eluded us. Cut off from the rest of Thailand by towering karts cliffs, Railay is a peninsula made up of four beaches, each separated from its neighbour by huge cliffs. Although not an island, access is by boat only, and there are no motor vehicles.  

Whilst Railay is southeast Asia’s premier rock climbing destination, it is far from being a destination that only climbers will enjoy.

Home to two of southeast Asia’s finest beaches, it is also a great place to do nothing much except soak up the rays and the peaceful atmosphere, admire the scenery and maybe puzzle at the ant-sized antics of the climbers battling up the rock-faces.

If you are one of those for whom relaxation is aided by watching other people do energetic things, Railay is the place for you.

Railay, Tonsai, adventure holidays Thailand
Railay, Tonsai, adventure holidays Thailand

Primarily a family and romance destination, Railay is also a good if rather expensive choice for backpackers, who will enjoy the wholesome party scene on East Railay beach.

Railay is crowded during high season, and many people choose to stay in nearby Ao Nang, and visit Railay on day-trips.

The cliffs that cut the Railay/Tonsai pensinsula off from the rest of Thailand free it from all motor traffic and protect the unique landscape.

Railay, Tonsai, adventure holidays Thailand

Railay possesses arguably the most beautiful tropical seascape in the entire world, and has certainly Thailand's most dramatic scenery.



Phra Nang and West Railay are by far the best beaches on the Railay peninsula. East Railay is where the nightlife is, while Tonsai is the rock-climbing mecca. Click on one of the thumbnails below for more.

Phra Nang Beach   West Railay Beach   East Railay Beach
Tonsai Beach        



Things To Do & See

There is lots to do in Railay, almost as much as in nearby Ao Nang. Click on one of the thumbnails below for more.



Ao Nang Activities

The following activities are not available from Railay, only from nearby Ao Nang. You can take a boat from Railay to Ao Nang and then take the day-trips below, but it means getting up very early. On your way to and from Railay you will pass through Ao Nang. If you would like to do any of these activities but don't want to get up early, you should stay in Ao Nang for a few nights while doing them.

Note that all the activities available from Railay are also available from Ao Nang, so for those travellers who want to do the activities below, but don't want to have to get up really early, it makes sense to stay in Ao Nang and not Railay, and to visit Railay on daytrips.

There are several other factors, besides the variety of activities available, to take into account when choosing to stay on Railay or Ao Nang. These are (a) how important food is to you (Ao Nang has better restaurants) (b) how important scenery is (Railay's in unbeatable) and (c) the time you are coming (Railay is too crowded for some in peak periods). Contact us for advice on whether to stay on Railay, in Ao Nang, or at both destinations.




There are only 15 resorts and hotels on Railay, so it fills us quickly in the high season. If stuck for a place to stay, or averse to crowds, stay in a hotel in nearby Ao Nang instead, and visit Railay on day-trips.

The Railay Bay Resort and the Railay Village are the best hotel choices for travellers with fairly deep pockets, but not deep enough to cover the stratospherical prices at the Rayavadee. The Sunrise Tropical hotel offers the best value quality rooms on the peninusula, and the Railay Princess resort is another good mid-range choice. Travellers on tighter budgets who still want a pool should stay at the Diamond Cave Resort hotel or the Diamond Cave Private Resort, whilst the Phutawan hotel offers by far the best value budget accommodation on the peninsula.

Click on a resort for more:


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Soft Adventures 12 Nights
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5, 6 & 12 Nights
Kayak Thailand
3,4,5,6 & 12 Nights
Snorkel Thailand
6, 9 & 12 Nights
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4, 6 & 11 Nights
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12 Nights +/-
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Hotel Name.  Location.  Metres from Beach. Price. Show only
Rayavadee Phra Nang Beach 1 $$$$$ recommended
Railay Bay Resort West Railay Beach 1 $$$$ recommended
Railay Village West Railay Beach 1 $$$$ recommended
Bhu Nga Thani East Railay Beach 1 $$$$
Sunrise Tropical East Railay Beach 1 $$$ recommended
Sand Sea West Railay Beach 1 $$$
Railay Princess Inland 200 $$$ recommended
Diamond Cave Inland 100 $$$ recommended
Diamond Private Inland 100 $$$
Anyavee East Railay Beach 10 $$$
Railay Phutawan Inland 500 $$ recommended
Viewpoint East Railay 10 $$
Ya Ya East Railay Beach 1 $$
Rapala Railay East Beach 100 $$
Cabana Inland 700 $

This is the only 5 star resort on Railay. It occupies spacious grounds and can lay claim to being the best located resort in Thailand, set between 3 beaches, 2 of which are superb

This resort has a fantastic location on West Railay beach, and offers the best pool-side view on the peninsula. The Deluxe Cottage units are the best value luxury on Railay

This resort offers 4 star accommodation in a fantastic location on West Railay beach. The shared facilities are nearer 3 than 4 star.

4 star resort on a 2 star beach

This resort is not located on one of ther peninsula's best two beaches, but is not far from them, and offers great value for money and beautiful luxury bungalows

This resort has a great location on West Railay beach, but is in need of renovation

This resort is inland, so does not offer a great beachfront location. It is however a great choice when the other better-located resorts are full, as residents here can use the pool at the Railay Bay Resort, which is owned by the same company

This is the best choice for travellers who want a pool, but can't afford one of the more expensive resorts.

This resort has a few units that are in reasonable condition.

This resort is located next to the peninsula's noisy bar area, so is a good choice for those who want to drink till dawn every night.

The rooms here are excellent value for money. While the rooms are great, the bungalows are in need of renovation.

This resort is in need of renovation.

This is Railay's oldest established backpacker resort.

This resort is in need of renovation.

Dirty beds and squat toilets.

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Andaman Sky, Co., Ltd, 454/2 Moo 1, Ao Nang, Thailand