From Florence to Salerno
I lived in Bangkok, Thailand for just shy of two years, and spent an extensive amount of time visiting as much of the country as I could cram into my vacation time and long weekends. Because of that, I tend to be the go-to recommendation person for friends planning a trip to the Land of Smiles.
While I get asked a lot of questions of every topic imaginable (everything from “Are ping pong shows real?” to “How do I NOT get ripped off taking a taxi?”), there is ONE questions I get asked more than any other.
“Which is the best island in Thailand?”
It might seem like a difficult question – there are SO many beautiful and unique islands in Thailand, probably thousands, all with their own upsides and downsides and perks and quirks – but it’s not.
For me, the answer is easy. It’s Railay.
Which leaves most people a bit confused, as they’ve heard of Koh Samui, and Koh Phangan (Full Moon Party!), and Phuket, and Koh Phi Phi… but, Railay?
Well, that’s because Railay isn’t QUITE an island.
Interestingly, while Railay has all the makings of an amazing tropical island (you have to take a boat to get there, the beaches are ridiculously beautiful, and the pace of life immediately slows to island time), to be honest it isn’t actually an island.
Yes, of all the amazing islands to choose from… The best island in Thailand isn’t an island.
Railay is split off from the mainland by impenetrable cliffs, not by water, but in my mind, it’s still the best “island” destination in Thailand.
The stunning and unusual landscape of Railay creates a gorgeous backdrop for some of the most beautiful sunsets you’ll ever witness in your entire life. Whether you’re viewing it from the balcony of your guest house or rolling out your beach blanket for a seaside seat, Railay sunsets are not something you’ll soon forget.
The same beach you arrive on will later transform into the ultimate place to sit and watch the sky turn to red and the sun into a ball of orange fire.
Convenient and quick to reach
Because Railay isn’t isolated in the middle of the Andaman Sea (or on the opposite side, the Gulf of Thailand), it is much easier to reach than any other island destination in Thailand. Even Phuket, which has its own airport, will provide more of a hassle in actually reaching your destination, as you have to argue with CRAZY overpriced taxis and sometimes battle traffic.
Not so with Railay. After taking a plane to Krabi, and a 150 baht bus to Ao Nang (less than 30km from the airport), all you need is a quick long tail boat ride (about 15 minutes) and you’re on the beaches of Railay!
The karsts of Railay are incredibly eerie and pretty at the same time. For me, walking the beaches of Railay feels like being on another planet and in a movie at the same time.
Bonus – the crazy karsts make for extremely accessible (and affordable) rock climbing opportunities! Railay is one of the most popular places in Asia to go rock climbing, especially for beginners.
Compared to Phi Phi or Phuket (other nearby islands), Railay is a budget dream. You can rent a cute cliffside bungalow (with a direct view of the sea) starting around $25 a night. Restaurants are reasonably priced, with meals for just a few dollars.
Because you aren’t shelling out major cash for taxis (the reason why, I’ll touch on below), you’ll save money without even trying.
Because Railay is so small (and split off from the mainland), there are no cars or motorized vehicles (I did see a motorbike once, though). You need to walk everywhere. Thankfully, Railay is quite small, and you can walk from one side of the “island” to the other in around 20 minutes.
But don’t worry, Railay definitely isn’t too small. You have a decent variety of restaurants (including a great Indian spot) and bars, along with a few different beaches (2 or 3 big ones, depending how you count).
So awesome place and full with beautiful things. Natural beauty is one of the best attraction and so stunning photos you shared.taj mahal tour by car
I love this Iceland, these place are very interesting and enjoyable I like these with fun.
Thanks for share your Iceland experience, I read your article its amazing and useful also.
Such a wonderful post, it’s awesome blog, thanks for share charming photos I like Iceland.
What a beautiful place, i really like the beauty and nature of that place. So stunning pics of Iceland. Thanks for sharing it.
Wow…! awesome photos. Indeed, I have never been there in Florence. But after seeing these amazing pictures, I think I should make my trip soon.
Great post. I lived in Thailand for two years also. I’m married to a Thai and we toured Thailand last July. My wife has a cousin who owns two traditional Thai Massage places on Tonsai Beach West, Koh Phi Phi Don. Joy (my wife’s cousin) is married to a Phi Phi local named Bao. Koh Phi Phi was lovely (a bit over-developed, but lovely nonetheless). Joy and Bao told us of Railay and said that they would take us there on our next jaunt to Thailand. I’m off trekking this year to the Everest Base Camp but we will be back in Thailand early 2018. I’ve read a lot about Railay and I’m really looking forward to going there. Your pictures are lovely btw, especially the sunset one.
Thank you for Valuable Insights! It is very awesome pictures, Thanks for sharing with us. I will try to visit island.
I can’t tell you how much this post meant to us
This is such a stunning place.I had no clue about this island….gonna visit this piece of beauty on my next trip to Thailand for sure.
All pictures looks really beautiful. Fantastic experience after reading your outstanding blog. My dream is to travel the best and famous place in the world. And I am really glad I have found your blog.
Thanks for sharing this wonderful post, the Island is the nice place to visit and beautiful pictures to see.
Wow! this is so mesmerizing. Railay certainly tops my travel list now. Thanks a ton for sharing!
Bangkok is nice city, this is a good place for traveler, this is tourism place, this article is very interesting and useful for us.
Thanks for the next place in my bucket list! It’s always great to a take a trip to Thailand, as it has a lot stunning islands around 🙂
What a beautiful place!
Sharing your Iceland experience, makes me add Iceland on my travel bucket list. I love it! Thanks for sharing it with us!
What a beautiful place to see, really beautiful pictures.i really like its Nature beauty. Thanks
Fabulous photos! Really beautiful.
nice tour, your photos are the best, the form of rocks are incredible
Hi Stephanie Kempker,
Great blog.Thanks for sharing this information with us.
Phuket is very amazing holiday island. But i don’t like hotels, i prefer rent a holiday villa
This is a beautiful island, I say because it is not affected much by humans.