From the Ao Nang beach, you can get a return Longtail boat for 200 Baht. They leave whenever they get 8 x people to fill it up. You're never really waiting very long for this to happen
Once on Railay beach (West) where you are dropped off, you have a choice of this beach, or heading to the south of the peninsula. You can do this by walking through the main resort in the middle of the beach and along a path that comes out on the other side. From here, turn right & walk along the waterfront path until you cannot go any further. Take a right here and walk through the caves and trees to come out in a little cove. This is the other main beach. From here you can relax and enjoy the sights. there are many longtail boat snack shops where you can buy fruit shakes, bbq corn on the corb or even proper thai dishes.
Another tip is to walk to the bottom of Ao Nang beach. There is a small pathway of steps that lead you up & through the trees to the private beach of the Centara Resort. Although it is technically a private beach, you can come here even if you are not staying at the resort. This is a lovely small beach, very quiet & tranquil, and if you're cheeky, you can use one of their beach bean bags (which is FAR more comfortable than just lying on the sand). When you come back in the afternoon, the tide is so low that you can actually walk around that rocks and the bay back to Ao Nang and the water shouldnt come up much about your waist
Railay or Railey is in south of Ao Nang. It is unaccessibility by road due to the towering cliffs.There are no vehicles on this island so you have to walk. There is Phra Nang Bay which has a famous `*** Shrine'. You can also try the rock climbing nearby. Nice place for relaxing and swimming.You can always take the long tails boat at the Ao Nang beach, Ao Nang Mao Pier or Krabi town old Chao Fa Pier. The boats run from morning till evening and you can always purchase the tickets from the booth on the Ao Nang beach road. It is only 15 minutes ride from Ao Nang beach and cost 200 baht ($6) to and froke a long tail boat from Ao Nang to Railey.
So most people know about Railay Beach, but I bet lots of people miss the cool viewpoints that can be reached by a short hike.
You find the path for them both by going from Railay (East) toward the mountain – walking along the sidewalk until you see a muddy and root filled path leading up the hill to the left. Take that up and when you reach a “Y” at the path take a left to see the scenic lookout and a right to find the lagoon.
The initial climb is a bit precarious but the path is well defined and provides a great spot for a photo. It was a bit overcast the day I was there, but still worth the climb.
West Railay is located on a peninsula attached to Krabi, but only accessible by boat. On the same peninsula, there are 3 other beaches (Tonsai, Railay East, and PraNang).
West Railay is a beautiful bay with limestone cliffs flanking on the sides. Water is not too shallow or too deep. It's a perfect spot for swimming. Accommodations are available. Ranges from 5 star resort to basic hut. This area is not as busy as Aonang Beach, but it is more peaceful and beautiful.
It's about 5 minutes walk from West Railay. East Railay is not really a beach for swimming. It is more like a mangrove area. Accomodations are available and slightly cheaper that on the West side. There are some restaurants and bars to hangout here. Ferry to Phi Phi Island leaves from here in the morning. Buy your tickets at tour agency.
Railay Beach is one of those beaches you see on countless postcards. It is a lovely beach, safe, sandy and even when the tide goes out you can still swim. If you stay in this area it is one of the must see beaches.
You can get food on the beach from hawkers or you can go to one of the restaurants around (a couple of independant ones but there are also the resort restaurants).
The only trouble with it is that there isn't much shade after around 1pm (no parasols) so go early, get under the trees and aim to leave by around 2pm or you will end up sunburnt.
This is a perfect beach to spent a day.
Clear water, white sand and a beautiful cave.
You can go by long tail taxi boat (see my warning tip) or you can hire your own long tail.
Dont worry because you can by some drinks and snacks on the beach.
Even if you are not staying in Railay, do pay the Railay West Beach a visit, if only to see the magnificent sunsets.
The geographical position of Railay West Beach is such that, it offers its visitors an excellent vantage point to view the sun setting in the most harmonious blend of colors.
The sun sets early at around 6.15pm and by 6.45pm it is already all dark. So do get back before 7pm, if you are staying in Ao Nang because it will be difficult (and more expensive) to get a boat back after this.
Just a 5 minute walk from Railey East, Railey West is a stunning bay flanked by huge cliffs all around. Many restaurants and hostels here. The beach gradient is very low and so the waves come in for quite a way. The sunsets here are very popular.
Raileh consists of two beaches on a peninsula called Laem Tham Phra Nang.
Raileh East is the less attractive one and tends to look a bit like a mud field during low tide, however, accommodation is less expensive here.
Raileh West is a gorgeous beach with mainly mid-range bungalow resorts, but it doesn't really matter where you stay since it's only a 5min walk between east and west.
Watch the sunset from sunset beach. (Railay west beach). Different every night but always beautiful.