So, you’ve decided to make your way to the beautiful Railay Beach? Excellent choice!
Having been there and done that, I can say those postcard-perfect images you’ve seen of Railay don’t even do it justice. But before you can set foot on its pristine sands, you need to get to Railay Beach.
Fortunately, the journey to Railay is just as beautiful as the destination itself, and getting there is straightforward.
To Railay From Ao Nang
Ao Nang town, framed by limestone cliffs, is a vibrant hub for adventurers and sun-seekers alike.
Between the beach bars and the street food (oh, the mango sticky rice!), you might just want to linger here a little longer than planned.
For just 100 Thai Baht, you can hop onto a shared longtail boat from Ao Nang to Railay.
This is the express route, taking a brisk 10-15 minutes.
A quick heads-up: Boats usually set sail once they’re full (8 passengers) so you may have to wait a bit.
Ticket offices: You can buy the tickets at either end of Ao Nang’s beach street. I recommend heading to the southern end (near the Ao Nang Longtail Boat Service Club) as it’s more popular.
Arrival point: The boat will likely drop you off at Railay West, a sprawling stretch of white sand and blue waters. Prepare to get a bit wet as there’s no pier on West Railay.
From there, you can walk to your accommodation. Railay is pretty compact, so most places are within a 10-20 minute walk.
You can also request to stop at Railay East or Tonsai Beach for a small additional fee.
Pro-tip: Flexibility is your best friend. While round-trip tickets may sound convenient, opting for one-way ensures freedom in your return plans.
From Krabi to Railay
If you’re craving authentic Thai vibes, Krabi Town is where you should kickstart your adventure.
Think vibrant street markets, aromatic street food (you must try the pad thai from the street vendors), and a buzzing night market.
How to get to Railay from Krabi town?
You can depart from Chaofah Pier. It’s a bustling spot known for its boats, local vendors selling delightful snacks, and panoramic views of the waterfront.
Here, you can find boats to Railay East Beach for 150 Thai Baht. If you’re starting at Krabi Town, settle in for a leisurely 30-minute ride.
From Ao Nam Mao to Railay
For those near Ao Nam Mao Beach in Krabi, there’s a pier from where a longtail boat can take you directly to Railay East Beach for 100 Thai Baht.
From Ao Nam Mao Pier, the journey is halved, taking only about 15 minutes.
Pro Tip: The early bird not only catches the worm but also the calmest seas and the softest morning light that paints the landscape in a gentle hue. Board the early boats for a tranquil ride, and you’ll also get a head start on your beach day!
From Krabi Airport to Railay
If you arrive at Krabi Airport, you can opt to start your boat from either Krabi or Ao Nang.
There are more boats departing from Ao Nang though, so it may be a better choice.
After you land and collect your luggage, opt for:
- A private transfer for 850 Thai Baht to Ao Nang. From here, a longtail boat is the final stretch.
- A shuttle bus is also available from the airport to Ao Nang for 150 Baht.
Packing Tips for Railay Boat Ride
- Waterproof Your Belongings: Even on calm days, splashes are common. A waterproof bag or even a simple plastic pouch can protect your electronics.
- Dress for the Occasion: Light, airy clothes are perfect. Slipping off shoes is common in boats, so wear something easy to take off.
- Cash is King: Many vendors prefer cash, so ensure you have enough Thai Baht on hand.
FAQs about Getting to Railay Beach
Is Railay an island or part of Krabi?
You’d think so with its secluded charm and those distinct islander vibes! But here’s a fun fact: Railay is not an island. It’s a peninsula tucked away in Krabi.
How far is Railay from Krabi Town?
Strap in for a scenic 11 km stretch between Railay and Krabi Town. If you’re venturing by boat (which is, by the way, the only way!), expect a delightful 30-minute journey.
Can I just drive to Railay from Krabi?
Dreamy as that sounds with windows down and your favorite song blasting, it’s a no-go. Railay is cut off from the mainland by limestone cliffs, so the only way to reach it is by boat.
How often are boats from Krabi to Railay Beach?
Typically, boat services operate from early morning till late afternoon. Most services are from 8 am to 6 pm, so you may have to pay a bit extra for late trips.
How much does it cost for a boat ride from Krabi to Railay?
A ride from Krabi Town to Railay will usually set you back around 100 – 150 THB. But, prices might vary slightly based on where you start and when you travel. You may have to pay extra if you want to depart with fewer than 8 passengers per boat.
Which pier in Krabi is the best to board a boat to Railay?
You can board from either Chaofah Pier or Ao Nam Mao Pier. While both are excellent choices, I find Ao Nam Mao Pier may have more departures.