Hidden by towering limestone cliffs in a beautiful cove of white sand is Railay Beach, famous for its tranquility and picturesque surroundings. There are no cars or buses here, just peaceful footpaths and a chilled-out vibe which is hard to say no to!
Who could blame us for adding this slice of paradise to our list of places to explore? The only problem was that we chose to visit on possibly the most rainy day of September!
Longtail boats run frequently from Ao Nang and this is the only way to access Railay Beach. When the rain clouds had passed (or so we thought), we hopped on one of the boats and paid 200 baht each for a return trip.
As soon as we sailed away, it was clear that the ride would not be as smooth and enjoyable as we had imagined. The sea was ridiculously rough and the boat struggled against the waves, soaking all of us as we gripped onto our seats. After a 20-minute journey, we couldn’t wait to get off and wondered how the driver even managed to control the boat!
At the shore, we were met by an incredible view of the sandy bay and its beautiful surrounding cliffs. This was sadly paired with black clouds and a gush of rain, forcing us to take cover behind a wall until the storm passed. Some people ran to a nearby hotel for shelter, but a rude security guard wouldn’t let anybody in and forced us to stay ducking behind the wall.
Our boat driver had only given us 20 minutes to explore the beach and we were a little disappointed with this short amount of time, however this could have been due to the heavy rain. If you enjoy the freedom of having no time schedules then we suggest getting a one-way ticket, as there are plenty of longtail boats lined up waiting to transport people every hour.
When our time was up, the storm was in full force and we couldn’t bring ourselves to get back on the boat. We watched it ride away and crash against the waves, disappearing into the mist and leaving us panicking that we would be left stranded. Luckily, after an hour of waiting we decided to dash for the remaining boats as the weather had slightly improved and paid 150 baht for a one-way ticket back to Ao Nang. This time, we had life jackets at the ready and prepared to be soaked, however it was a little calmer and thankfully more bearable than the first journey!
– Especially in monsoon season (July to October), a waterproof bag is a must for any boat ride and having a rain coat handy is also a good idea!
– Be prepared to wait when getting a longtail boat as the drivers won’t leave until they have enough passengers, unless you are willing to pay a higher fee of course.
– Only get a one-way ticket if you don’t want to rush your sight-seeing, there are plenty of boats that will take you back every hour.
– Trust the boat drivers! They have sailed in storms before and know exactly what they are doing.
– Lastly, don’t let the rain ruin your day! If you know what to expect and arrive prepared, Railay Beach is a beautiful cove to visit whatever the weather.