Sometimes in life, you just really need a mind, body and spirit reset – a getaway where you can detox, meditate, look inward, organize your thoughts, and take a step back and look at the bigger picture.
It isn’t always necessary to travel to another country, however, if you’re looking to find a place to really recharge – whether alone, with a lover, or with a group of friends – I recommend Railay Beach in Krabi, Thailand.
Never heard of it? I hadn’t either until I was bored in Krabi looking for some fun activities and adventures nearby. I wasn’t a fan of Krabi – it’s very dirty and revolves around younger adults/kids/fratty boys drinking cheap alcohol out of mini buckets – which I’m not hating on – it’s just not my cup of tea or why I went on this trip. However, Railay Beach felt like a special, quiet safe haven full of simple adventures and relaxation. This special place really helped me reset and I would definitely go back at a later point in my life.
Railay Beach is one of those places where you can connect with inspiring individuals who have inspiring perspectives and intriguing stories while adventuring a foreign place – creating memories that last a lifetime. There is something so unique about being in a foreign place with no plans and embracing the unexpected detours as you travel with an open mind and heart. You wake up and have the freedom to do whatever it is that inspires you – I think it is times like these when we find what brings us true happiness because you can be honest with yourself which ultimately will make you a better human and find what fulfills you.
Here is a list of tips, reasons why Railay is so great and things to do while in this magical oasis. I hope this post inspires you and if you have any comments please leave below!
The only way in and out of Railay is by boat.
Although Railay is attached to mainland Thailand in Krabi province, it is not connected by any roads due to the tall limestone cliffs which surround it. This means no cars. The only way in and out of Railay is by longtail boat. Your means of transportation here is by foot, which adds to Railay’s simplicity and serenity. This detachment from mainland Krabi also lends to Railay’s carefree and relaxed atmosphere.
This vibe is also due to the fact that Railay is inhabited by a number of Rastafarians who run local bars around the beach. You can spot these bars by their red, yellow and green colors and Bob Marley flags. If you’re looking for some reefa – stop by one of these bars and they will roll you a joint.
Walking Street – located by Railay West Beach.
You can rent a kayak, grab a smoothie and do some shopping here.
There is plenty of fresh fruit- great for detoxing.
I drank at least one fresh coconut a day – highly recommend.
Railay is cheap AF.
Yet, they still have a few luxury resorts. Everything is reasonable due to the fact that this place still is relatively low-key, not the easiest to travel to, and not yet a major tourist destination. They have a few luxury resorts where it seems a lot of couples on their honeymoons went, but everything else on the island is inexpensive. There are about 5 budget hotels ranging from $40-90 and about 10 luxury resorts ranging from $120-$435 per night.
Try a group tour if looking to make some new friends.
I did a couple day trips and made some awesome friends I still stay in contact with.
The hikes and viewpoints.
I still think about this hike all the time. I climbed the Railay Beach Viewpoint and Lagoon twice. You have to climb straight up these rocks and the only thing to help you is a rope. It’s very steep and intense but so fun and rewarding once you make it to the top. The trail splits a couple ways and I recommend trying them both because one way is a viewpoint and the other way leads you to the lagoon which is magical AF. The saltwater lagoon is fed from the ocean, yet is fully enclosed, 360 degrees, leaving you in your own little world. Definitely do this climb with at least one other person and make sure to go in the morning so you don’t have to worry about it getting dark out.
Watch out for the monkeys.
I used to love monkeys. I still do love some monkeys. Just not at Railay Beach. Had my coconut stolen straight from my hands – I freaked out like a basic white girl. Be aware of your surroundings, don’t wear shiny objects and steer clear of the monkeys here.
It’s quiet, calm and serene.
Less hotels and no hostels makes Railay Beach the perfect destination to reset the mind and feel fully present. No outside influencers, yet access to the necessities you need.
Check out Tonsai Beach – land of the mushroom milkshakes.
Tonsai is a secluded beach that is part of the Railay peninsula – a great place to explore. You can walk from Railay West Beach if it’s low-tide, kayak, or take a longtail boat. Tonsai Beach has a bohemian feel due to the fact that everything is made out of natural materials, there are no resorts – only bungalows, beautiful murals have been painted by artisans everywhere, live music, yoga classes, and you can order mushroom milkshakes and/or joints at the bars. Tonsai is even less crowded than Railay – there are only only two bungalow operations located directly on the beach and the rest are a two minute walk past the sand. Many people stay here for months at a time loving the relaxed, intimate environment. The bungalows are about 300 baht ($9 US) per night making this destination very affordable.
The caves – especially Pranang Cave at Phra Nang Beach.
Enclosed with Railay’s signature limestone – this cave is a must.
There is a cove at Phra Nang Beach where you will find hundreds of objects that look like wooden dildos. These penis carvings are placed here by fisherman, other locals, and visitors as offerings to the princess of the cave who will hence bring them prosperity.
Railay sunsets are magical.
The formula of beach + ocean + cliffs becomes a perfect recipe when the sun is dropping down into the sea. Railay West or from a kayak is the best place to watch sunset but make sure to bring a flashlight so you can find your way back to your room after the sun has set.
“Sunsets are proof that no matter what happens, every day can end beautifully.”
“Every sunset is an opportunity to reset.”
“When I admire the wonders of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in the worship of the creator.”
Travel can be an extraordinary catalyst for change. The leaps of faith we take and the differences we embrace, the paths we get lost on and the people we connect with—they all play a part in shaping the person we are and will be, wherever we happen to be. I hope you travel more this coming year – I promise you will learn something new about yourself.