Though first-time visitors to Thailand will often flock to the overdeveloped town of Phuket, speak to the locals and they’ll all recommend a visit to Krabi province instead. Not only is Krabi home to the beautiful town of Ao Nang, just south is the small peninsula known as Railay Beach, a dazzling stretch of sand surrounded by towering limestone cliffs on both sides.
Its isolation from the mainland combined with the complete absence of cars and roads make Railay feel like an island all its own. The beach itself is everything you could want from a picture-perfect location – fine white sand, palm trees, and very warm water, due to its location on the Andaman Sea. Perfect for those who don’t necessarily want to laze on the beach all day, there’s a multitude of activities you can take part in, from the usual kayaking and snorkeling to the more challenging hiking and rock climbing (local climbing schools can take you on trips whether you’re a beginner or an expert).
Adventurers who want to explore further can climb a ragged jungle path from the beach to discover a hidden lagoon with the most beautiful emerald-green waters.
It’s worth hanging around at Railay after the sun has gone down, with lively reggae-style bars that stay open late. You might even catch one of the area’s notorious fire shows. Overall, it’s fair to say, Railay Beach has got to be one of the most stunning strips of sand on the Krabi coastline, and quite possibly the whole of Thailand.