Use the quicklinks below to jump to the desired section regarding transport in and around Railay Beach.
The closest airport is Krabi international, located some 30 km to the east and, like the rest of the mainland, only reachable after a boat ride. 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.
The nearest inter-provincial bus terminal is in Krabi town. Several popular destinations can be reached via combined boat and minibus tickets, which also include subsequent ferries if it’s an island that you’re headed to. These can be booked at any travel office on Railay. Some of the transfers listed here are dependent on demand in low season. Fares we were quoted include:
Bangkok: Departs Railay at 15:00 all year, costs 800 baht, takes 15 hours and also services Hua Hin.
Khao Lak / Khao Sok National Park: Departs at 10:00, costs 500 baht to either destination.
Ko Jum: Departs at 09:00 and links to the local ferries at Laem Kruat, costs 600 baht, takes around four hours.
Ko Lanta: Departs Railay at 10:00 and 15:00 all year, costs 450 baht including the car ferries to Lanta, and takes around four hours. Lanta can also be reached direct by speedboat in high season (see below).
Ko Lipe: Departs at 07:00 all year, costs 1,200 baht, takes around seven hours. In high season, an additional transfer departs at 09:00.
Ko Muk / Ko Ngai / Ko Kradan: In high season only, combined tickets can be booked along with the 10:00 minibus to Trang. The cost is 1,200 baht to any of the three islands.
Ko Samui / Ko Pha Ngan / Ko Tao: Departs at 06:00, 08:00 and 11:00, costs 750 to Samui, 850 to KPN and 1,100 to Tao, and includes a speedboat transfer to the islands. Additional transfers link to ferries rather than speedboats and cost a little less. The last transfer departs Railay at 15:00.
Pakbara (pier for Ko Tarutao, Ko Bulon Lae and Ko Lipe): Departs at 10:00, costs 650 baht, takes around six hours.
Phuket: Departs at 10:00 all year, costs 450 to 500 baht depending on where you’re heading on Phuket, takes around five hours and includes a stop at Phang Nga town. Phuket can also be reached by direct ferry (see below).
Surat Thani: Departs at 10:00, costs 450 baht.
Trang / Hat Yai / Satun: Departs at 10:00, costs 500 baht to either Trang or Hat Yai, 650 baht to Satun.
To/from the mainland
Our preferred pier with boats to Railay is Ao Nammao, reachable until 20:00 by readily available songthaews from either Ao Nang or Krabi town. Longtail boats depart when full and cost 80 baht per person, with the last one leaving around 23:00. These boats are preferred by locals and so run more consistently (typically every half-hour) than those from Krabi town and Ao Nang. They disembark at a floating pier off Railay East. To return to Ao Nammao, simply show up at the same pier and tell the ticket sellers where you’re headed.
From Ao Nang, tickets to Railay can be purchased at a booth where the main drag meets the beach road. Longtail boats depart when full from 08:00 to 0:00 and cost 100 baht per person until 18:00 and 150 baht thereafter. These can drop you at Railay West, Ao Tonsai or Haad Phra Nang. Expect to wade through shallow water on either end. Boats return to Ao Nang in the same timeframe -- purchase tickets at a booth in the centre of Railay West beach, or simply listen for the boatmen shouting “Ao Nang!”
From Krabi town, boats to Railay use the Chao Fah pier near downtown and the traveller area. In high season, they supposedly depart at 09:30, 11:30, 14:00 and 17:00, but don’t expect promptness as they leave when full. The cost is 150 baht per person and they disembark at Railay East. They return to Krabi town when full, usually once around 10:00 and again at some point in the afternoon. Expect to pay around 1,500 baht for a private boat.
To/from the islands
Ko Lanta: In high season, a ferry to Lanta picks up on Railay at 10:45, arrives at around 13:00 and costs 450 baht. From Lanta, it returns to Railay at 13:30. Note that unlike the speedboats from Krabi town, this one does not stop at Ko Jum.
Ko Phi Phi: A year-round ferry departs Railay at 09:45 and costs 400 baht. From Phi Phi, it returns to Railay at 15:30.
Ko Yao Yai / Ko Yao Noi: In high season, a speedboat picks up at 10:30 and costs 650 baht to either island.
Phuket: A year-round ferry departs Railay at 15:00 and costs 650 baht. In high season, a speedboat departs at 10:30 and costs 1,200 baht. From Phuket, the year-round boat returns to Railay at 08:30.
Railay is not on any of the high-season island-hopping speedboat routes. To catch up with them, make your way to Ko Lanta, from where speedboats depart at 10:30 and 11:00 and stop at Ko Muk, Ko Ngai, Ko Kradan, Ko Bulon Lae, Ko Lipe and Langkawi in Malaysia. You could also pick up the Tigerline high-speed ferry that departs from Ko Phi Phi at 09:00.