Adventure Cruises in Railay Beach
About Railay Beach Cruises
A Railay Beach cruise is the only way to see Railay Beach. Literally, because the only way to reach Railay Beach is by water. It is not an island, although many think it is, and it might as well be. Part of the beautiful province of Krabi, impassable mountains cut Railay off from the rest of the mainland, although it is still quite easy to reach. A short 15-minute boat ride from Ao Nang will do the trick and get you to the peninsula.
Top Things to Do in Railay Beach
Railay Beach used to be a quiet fishing community, but due to its spectacular and unique scenery, it has started to attract bigger and bigger crowds over the years whilst still not nearly as busy as nearby Ko Phi Phi. Railay Beach has, however, become a haven for rock climbers. Over 1000 routes will lead adventurers all over the limestone cliffs that dominate Railay Beach, and some monkeys might even accompany them on their ascent.
The main other attraction of Railay is the beaches. The peninsula is made up of three main beaches. Railay East makes for a beautiful sunrise but is otherwise best avoided. It is part of a mangrove swamp and doesn’t make for very nice swimming or sunbathing. The best beach for sun lovers would be Railay West, where they can find the bright white sand and turquoise water usually expected on the Andaman Sea.
Railay West is also where you will find most of the restaurants, bars, and resorts on the Railay peninsula. A number of alleys connect it to Railay East and also Hat Tham Phra Nang, one of the most gorgeous beaches in all of Thailand. It is an oasis on the southern tip of the peninsula, framed by cliffs and jungle with a unique rock formation towering over the shallow and clear water and the islands of Ko Poda and Ko Kai lurking in the distance. On the eastern end of the beach, you will also find the Phra Nang Cave, also known as the Shrine of the Sea Princess. The story goes that in the 3rd century, a ship carrying an Indian princess named Phra Nang got lost in a storm and perished near the beach, drowning the princess. Her spirit is said to have taken over the cave, and fishermen have taken up the tradition of bringing her phallic artifacts for good luck, which nowadays attracts hordes of selfie-taking tourists.
Top Tips for Visiting Railay Beach (Where Applicable)
Beach attire is indispensable when visiting Railay, as the area mainly comprises beaches. A good pair of shoes or hiking boots are also recommended. If you want to try out some of the spectacular climbing, you’ll need to be able to get a grip on the rocks. Additionally, there are also a few short hikes to viewpoints that can prove surprisingly challenging, and you won’t be able to do them with your slippers or sandals. Also, bring mosquito repellent if you don’t want to be covered in bites!
Best Time to Cruise Railay Beach
The best time to cruise Railay Beach is probably between November and March. The coolest months of the year are December to February, when temperatures average between 23°C and 30°C but also rarely drop below 20°C at night. This is also when humidity levels are at their lowest. Temperatures are highest between March and May when they rise to 35°C, and humidity rises significantly as well.
It’s probably best to avoid Railay Beach during the monsoon season, which runs from May to October. While prices may be low then, there will be lots of heavy rain pouring down. This will make cruising conditions far from ideal, as the Andaman Sea near Railay can get quite rough.
Where Do Railay Beach Cruises Depart From?
Most cruises that include Railay Beach in their itinerary seem to leave from the island of Phuket and will take you all along Phang Nga Bay and other nearby islands. The most common point of departure in Phuket is Chalong Pier, which is located near the south of the island. It will take you 20 minutes by car from Phuket Town or 45 minutes from Phuket International Airport.
When flying in from abroad, you will most likely arrive at Phuket International Airport. There are very few direct flights from Europe nowadays, so you will most likely need to account for a layover on the way. The most likely option for that will be Bangkok, although Malaysia and Singapore are possible too. If you want to reach Railay Beach directly, you can also take a bus or plane from Bangkok to Krabi and take a ferry from there, as Railay Beach can only be reached by boat.