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Railay Beach

Getting there and away

Air

The closest airport is in Krabi town. Upscale resorts will offer pick-up service at the airport. Otherwise, you'll want to catch the airport shuttle bus to Krabi town (90 baht) or Ao Nang (150 baht) and make your way to one of the piers with boats to Railay from there.

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Bus

The nearest inter-provincial bus station is in Krabi town. Tourist minibuses can also be caught in Ao Nang.

It's also possible to book all-inclusive tickets to several popular destinations direct from Railay. These will include a longtail boat ride to Krabi town, where a minibus or tourist bus will take you to the desired destination. Any subsequent boat rides will also be included in the single ticket. Sample fares include:

Bangkok (Khao San Road): departs at 14:30, costs 700 baht and takes about 15 hours.

Khao Lak: departs at 10:00, costs 450 baht and takes around 4 hours.
Khao Sok National Park: departs at 10:00, costs 450 baht and takes around 6 hours.
Ko Lipe: departs at 07:00, costs 1,200 baht and takes around 8 hours.
Ko Samui: departs at 06:00, 08:00, 10:00, 12:00 and 14:30, costs 550 to 750 baht depending on the ferry option you choose, and takes around 9 hours. You can also get to Ko Pha Ngan (650 - 850 baht) and Ko Tao (950 - 1,200 baht) using the same transfer.
Trang: departs at 10:00, costs 450 baht and takes around 5 hours.

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Boat

Because of the cliffs that cut off Railay from the rest of the mainland, the peninsula is only reachable by boat. If you arrive from Krabi town or Ao Nammao at high tide, you'll be dropped right on the walkway at Railay East. If you come at low tide, you'll have to wade through mud and knee-deep water to reach the shore. If you visit from Ao Nang, you'll be dropped at Railay West Beach and will need to wade through a bit of water.

From Krabi town, boats depart from Chao Fah pier throughout the day. The price is 150 baht per person and they leave when full, with the last boats typically running around 16:00. You can also take a songthaew from Krabi town to Ao Nammao pier and catch a boat for 60 baht to Railay East. These leave at least every half-hour from 08:00 to 23:00 and are more reliable as a lot of locals use them to get to work.

From Ao Nang, longtail boat tickets can be purchased from either of two stands at either end of the beach. The price is 100 baht and boats depart when full.

Getting off Railay is a matter of making your needs known to the boat guys and waiting around until there are enough people to go. Boats to Ao Nammao leave from Railay East and are the most reliable. From Ao Nammao it's easy to catch a white songthaew to Krabi town or Ao Nang.

Boats direct to Krabi town's Chao Fah pier also depart from Railay East. These leave when full. If you don't feel like waiting, it's possible to pay as low as 300 baht for a private boat, but you'll need to bargain to get that price. Over on the west side you can catch boats to Ao Nang, but especially in the low season you'll have to wait for a while, or pay for the whole boat. Generally speaking, the longer you hold out the lower the price gets.

To get to Ao Tonsai you generally have to go to Railay first, though you might try chatting up the boat driver and see if they'll drop you off directly. Boats leave when full from Railay East and should cost 50 baht per person, or around 200 baht (negotiable) to rent the whole boat.

At low tide, the beach between Railay West and Ao Tonsai is walkable, but it's a bit tricky -- making your way through tidal pools and over jagged rocks. If you take this route, footwear is a must and you need to take your time -- it's not a good place to take a tumble. The other option is to climb over the headland by taking the path that leads from Railay Cabana near Railay East over to the 'high road' on Ton Sai beach. It involves some steep, rocky slopes, but most people seem to manage it, and it's a bit of an adventure. The walk takes about 30 minutes.

A handful of speedboats run direct to nearby islands from Railay. Times are subject to change so be sure to check in at a travel office if you need to be somewhere at a certain time.

Ko Lanta: a speedboat departs at 10:45 during high season only, costing 470 baht. This boat also services Ko Jum for the same price. A minibus transfer can get you to Lanta any time for 450 baht.
Ko Phi Phi: a speedboat departs at 09:15 and runs all year, costing 450 baht.
Ko Yao Yai / Ko Yao Noi: a speedboat departs at 10:00 during high season only and can drop you at either island for 550 baht.
Phuket: a speedboat departs at 15:00 during high season only, costing 700 baht. You can book a transfer by minibus at any time for 450 baht.

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