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Railay Beach

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So many places, so many beaches, which is the right one for you?

  • Where to stay on Railay Beach

    Where to stay on Railay Beach

    Our pick of the bunch

    Railay’s accommodation is quite pricey on the whole. Most of the midrange resorts are underachievers, at best, or flat-out awful at worst. Well-heeled travellers will have no trouble finding a ... Read more.

Railay West

Railay’s largest and most popular beach is a prime spot for swimming, beach lounging and soaking in sunsets, but you'll need to pay for the privilege of staying here. If the beach club and three mid- to upper-range resorts aren’t luxurious enough for you, rates at Rayavadee start at 15,000 baht in high season, with the top-end villas fetching a mere 139,000 a night.

Railay East

Railay’s long east coast has been almost entirely filled in by resorts that run the gamut from 500 baht mattress-on-the-floor rooms to 12,000 baht luxury pool villas. Our two favourite resorts also happen to be the most isolated. Note that both Rayavadee and Railay Bay resorts cut all the way across to Railay East but have their reception areas on Railay West.

Railay Inland

A couple of decent budget to midrange resorts are located on the inland road past Phra Nang Nai Cave and on the way to the forest path to Ao Tonsai. They put you within a five- to 10-minute walk of either Railay West or Railay East, and around 20 minutes to Haad Phra Nang and Tonsai. Both are good choices for a quiet atmosphere and reasonable rates.

Ao Tonsai

Tonsai has long danced to its own hippie-rock-climber drum, but at time of writing preparations were being made for the construction of a large resort that, we were told, will cover nearly all of the beachfront land and drastically alter the vibe. A handful of the reggae shacks had already been pushed back towards the woods, where bare-bones huts are still readily available. Most of the resorts run electricity only from around 18:00 to 06:00, with some of the cheaper places shutting it down around midnight. Rates are almost always negotiable, especially if you’re staying for a few nights or more.

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