West Rai Lei

West Rai Lei

West Rai Lei

Low tide on West Rai Lei beach in Thailand. The exploring opportunities are endless...


Taken on: 13th January, 2009. Copyright: All Rights Reserved - See WorldRamblers's page of Flickr

Read more about Railay Beach

Cut off from the rest of the mainland by a string of dramatic limestone cliffs, Railay Beach (alternately spelled 'Rai Leh') is among the most spectacular beach destinations in Thailand.

It has however been quickly and not always thoughtfully developed -- expect no shortage of ugly concrete walls, noisy construction sites and bland cookie-cutter resorts that seem to stretch for miles. Like nearby Ko Phi Phi, Railay's development could have been so much better. Still, there's no denying the natural beauty of Railay's beaches, sheltered by cliffs where rock climbers navigate the crevices and locals offer prayers at cave shrines dedicated to the area's very own mythical goddess -- Mae Nang.

Railay has no local community apart from those who perform some type of tourist-related work, so don't expect an "authentic" cultural experience. The overall dynamic is a bit strange really; ... Read our complete Railay Beach travel guide

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