Railay Bay is a small peninsula located between the city of Krabi and Ao Nang. Accessible only by boat due to the high limestone cliffs cutting off mainland access.
These cliffs attract rock climbers from all over the world, but the area is also popular due to its beautiful beaches and quiet relaxing atmosphere. Accommodation ranges from inexpensive bungalows popular with backpackers and climbers, to the renowned jet-set resort of Rayavadee.
The four main areas of Railay consist of Pranang, West Railay, East Railay and Tonsai, with Tonsai catering more to climbers.
Railay Beach was not severely affected by the tsunami of December 26, 2004.
East Railay Bay is the docking point for boats arriving from Krabi. The East Beach is primarily covered in dense mangrove which is unsuitable for swimming.
West Railay Bay connected to the East side by paths through the large resorts or by trails through thin jungle cover -- is the primary destination for beach-goers in Railay. The beach, as pictured in the panorama below, is flanked by high limestone cliffs on either side. Long-tail boats are available to hire for transport to Ao Nang, 10 minutes north of Railay. In addition, ferries departing Railay for Koh Phi Phi and points west including Phuket depart from the West beach. The focal point of West Railay Beach is centered on a short promenade (walking street) lined with restaurants and shops.