We booked a 4 island day trip with Green Planet tours who are based in Ao Nang but they pick up from Tonsai Beach and Railay Beach too. We had a brilliant day. The guys who ran the boat and the trip were great - very good hosts.
Everywhere we went they'd explain where we were going, the name of the place, what there was to see etc. When we got to the snorkelling sites, a few of them came into the water and swam with us all, pointing out the various things to see (clown fish, different coral etc).
It was a fun day out with a good lunch and water provided and they were constantly giving out water so nobody would get dehydrated.
Life jackets were provided for anyone who wanted them (including children's life jackets for the little ones). Snorkels and masks also provided.
I felt like we were really looked after by them and the trip only cost 650 bht per person (for the larger boat, the smaller one, which took a slightly different route, was cheaper) so it was good value too.
Tonsai Beach may not be the best place for swimming, especially not a low tide, but you have to search for a long time before you find a more relaxed place than this. Maybe comparable to Koh Phi Phi many years ago. There are no big hotels and no cars. In the evening you have the choice of the beach bars and restaurant on the beach or the small restaurant strip in the forest. At day time you can have a massage (from 200 Baht an hour), relax at the beach side, rent a kayak or go climbing, the last of which most of the people here do.
Be prepared, however, that this is not where you go if you want a hotel with a swimming pool...
islands off rai lay
heard from someone there are little island/s off rai ley a longtail boat away with one or two restaurants and bungalows.Anyone else know anymore?by the way we are coming roundabout dec 27th. thanks!
Re: islands off rai lay
apart from Tonsai beach, dont know any. Good to hear someone speaking about railay though. going back there in march!!!!! wahoo!