If you’ve never heard of Railay Beach in Thailand, it’s time to seriously find out more about it! The beach is one of my favourite getaways in 2019. The pristine beaches, the soaring cliffs, the laidback vibe and the many things to do in Railay Beach are what Thailand dreams are made of.
Why Railay Beach in Thailand?
I first came across Railay while researching which islands to go near Phuket. Phi Phi island is the most well-known islands for sure, and I totally understand why people are crazy over Phi Phi because it’s really gorgeous. But, I’ve never heard of Railay beach in Thailand. After some googling, I came to realise that Railay is a paradise for rock climbing and adventure!
Imagine dangling your feet over the blue ocean, and admiring the view of freedom from the top of the cliff. This is exactly what you can do in Railay beach in Thailand. Of course, depending on how professional and skilful you are, the difficulty of the climb varies.
As a complete beginner, I was really excited for my first climb. Most importantly, I wanted to make sure it would be safe. So after researching on the internet for rock climbing tours, I came across Real Rocks Climbing, which is the only school in the South of Thailand that offers regular training and instructor certification for its climbing guides. All their guides are professionally certified as Real Rocks Climbing emphasises a lot on the safety of the operations.
Rest assured, I booked the afternoon half day rock climbing tour for beginner. It’s only 1200 bhat (about $40 USD) if you book directly on the website.
Rock Climbing at Railay Beach in Thailand
On my birthday, I booked a speed boat from Phi Phi to Railay, and the ride was amazing! The experience is so different from riding a big ferry. Highly recommended for anyone who wants to feel the speed and excitement on the sea!
Once I arrived Railay beach in Thailand, I checked into Rapala Rock Wood Resort and went to the meeting location to start the climbing tour. I was really surprised to see that there were so many kids climbing too! Little brave heroes!
After greeting me with a heart-warming smile, my guide helped me put on the safety gears and briefed me on all the safety instructions.
As I was waiting for my turn, I looked at how steep the rocks were, and how challenging it seemed for other climbers to reach to the top. I wondered to myself, “can I really do it?”
Soon it was my turn. I dipped my fingers into the powder bag to increase the grip power, and reached out to the first step.
I immediately felt my body weight as I lifted myself off the ground, and I found myself clueless where to grip next.
“Your right hand to the right, reach out to the hole, and your left leg towards your right,” my guide called out to me.
I followed his instructions, and found myself getting higher and higher.
With every step I take, the view became even more mesmerising.
As I reached higher, I was very surprised how my guide could still give me very clear instructions on what to grip, where to step, as if he was right next to me, seeing my every move!
He actually memorised the whole route!
And under his help, not only did I manage to complete the first hike safely, I even challenged the 30 meters hike and nearly reached to the top!
I stood at 27 meters above the emerald sea, and the view just took my breath away. Up above the cliff was so quiet, so peaceful, as if time had stopped.
The last 3 meters was too challenging for me (my guide called it spicy lol), and I decided to let go of my hands and slide down back to the ground.
This was my first time trying out rock climbing (real rock!) but it definitely won’t be the last. Yet on the other end of the spectrum, experienced climbers may want to check out something known as deep water soloing (DWS). Railay is beginning to build a reputation behind this unique style of free climbing which occurs over cliffs dangling over the ocean in the open water. If you miss grabbing your next hold, you plunge down into the sea below. It’s really for the true adventure junkie!
Where to stay in Railay Beach in Thailand?
As Railay Beach in Thailand is not as popular as it should be, the accommodation over there is surprising cheap too! The hotel I chose during my stay was a super budget-friendly resort, called Rapala Rock Wood Resort.
A private room in the resort can go as cheap as about $15 USD for a night! The room I stayed was slightly more of a luxury, but still, it was less than $45 USD a night.
Although the family-run resort is not some fancy hotel, I really like the fact that it’s surrounded by nature and has a unique vibe.
There are many different cute animals around, such as squirrels, chickens, cats and a cute puppy dog!
Due to its unique vibe, it’s also popular among western travellers. Many of them love to gather around the swimming pool for a dip under the stars, or just sit around the common area for a chat during breakfast time.
Oh did I mention that the dinner at the hotel was super delicious too? The price was much more affordable compared to restaurants outside, and the food was even more delicious too!
Most importantly, the owners are also super friendly. If you happen to see young owner Mint, go and talk to him. He speaks very good English! He even shared with me a secret trip to Ao Nang beach, where you can see thousands of “glowing stars” in the sea at night! I went there at midnight and I was amazed by its beauty!
Due to time constraint, I only stayed in Railay beach in Thailand for 1 night. But if you have more time, I’m sure you can find a lot more fun activities to do everyday in this tropical Thailand paradise!