The are not many scuba shops in Railay but Railay Divers seems to be the one with the most friendly staff around.
The Sunset Snorkeling organized by them is truly and experience not to be missed. A minimum of 4 pax is required before the trip can be organized for economical reasons. The trip will consist of snorkeling at 3 different locations before having dinner on an island 'survival' style. After dinner, the boatman will then bring you to view Phosphorescence as shown in the movie "The Beach". Those who are game enough can take a swim in the Phosphorescence.
Don't give the nearby beautiful beaches a miss when you are in Krabi. Snokeling around the island is a must!
Generally, the more popular island hopping tour packages would be to:
1) Phi Phi Islands
2) Hong Island
3) 4 Islands (Chicken Island, Tup Island, Poda Island and Phranang Beach)
There are many, many travel agencies along the Aonang Beach offering half day or one day Island hopping packages. Many may be offering you ultimately to the same tour operators. (Eg. Ao Nang Speed Boat Tour, Koh Phi Phi Tour, Green Planet Tour etc). They provide almost the same service and prices offered by the tour agencies are almost the same.
I've joined the @rt Canoeing tour and find them very alright. Staffs are friendly and they take care of the tourists very well. Fruits and drinks (including pepsi) were served and they even provide seasick pills if you need one.
You can choose speed boat trips or longtail trip which is cheaper. However, I strongly recommend speed boat since it's faster, which means you have more time to snokel.
I've joined the full day Phi Phi Islands tour ($1100 Baht per adult, Feb 08) and love it! The sand is so fine and white there. The fishes were beautiful and get to see gigantic sea urchins too!
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.
Snokerling is one thing can't miss when you in Beach. I try it all the time when i went to the beach. We went to the Phi Phi Island, Bamboo Island , pass by the Chicken Island... It's takes about 45minuts by Speedboat to Phi Phi island from Krabi. Along the journey you can see many beautiful and natural view.
Snorkeling is a great way to look underneath the surface and all the beautiful sealife. Unfortunately I never got the opportunity to go to Pee Pee Island but maybe next time! I was really satisfied with Kah Poda and Chicken Island. At the end of our stay the weather was a bith windy so it was difficult to snorkel and swim.
If you go to Pee Pee Islands (or just to Poda) a tip is to buy a underwater kamera and take pictures with it. You can get one for about 350 bath.
Chicken Island wasnt what I expected, it was really small and there were many other tourists and a some trash that tourist have left behind. Chicken island got its name from a bizarre rock formation which resembles the head of a chicken. One end of the island consists of steep cliffs, while the other end has beautiful beaches along a peninsula. This peninsula gets flooded at high tide, creating a small island.
I had come to Railey straight from Ko Tao where I had done some scuba diving. I went on a snorkelling trip from the railey viewpoint resort and noticed that the water visablitly was better here as well and the diversity of coral and fish species. The water was littered in places either by careless tourists of boat men.
Snorkeling and diving really is a must see activity. Clear, warm water and lots of activity in the sea. You can snorkel at Railay beach, but it's even better if you visit some nearby islands.