Railay beach is the highlight of the Krabi mainland area and with good reason. Every single person heading to the isolated beach does so using a long tail from either Ao Nang or Krabi. I wondered whether you could actually walk from Ao Nang to Railay, and after a bit of thought and planning realised that you can actually walk from Railay, or to Railay from Ao Nang.
If you are in Ao Nang you will likely get a long-tail from the beach, but if you head down to Ao Nam Mao pier, it is 100 Baht each, or 700 Baht for the full boat. Timed services run from 8.30am hourly until 6.30pm. If you walk a little further from the pier to the Arawan Krabi Beach Resort you will see a small little beach with some boats moored.This is where you start or end the walk to Railay from Ao Nang.
The only way this can be walked is if the tide is low, (Krabi, Ao Nang, Railay tide check) on the day we were there low tide was at 3.30pm, so we hopped in a long tail to Railay with the intention of walking back from Railay to Ao Nang.
Read my post about what to do on Railay here.
Since I walked from Railay to Ao Nang you would obviously just follow this in reverse if walking from Ao Nang.
The start point is the far end of the path just past Railay Viewpoint Resort. I have marked on the map, but you need to slip down onto the beach, walk to the steps up to Railay Great View Resort and Spa, but then slip down onto the adjacent beach, East facing beach. Literally you are now on the route back to Ao Nang. I was conscious of the tide, we left about 2pm and the fact that I had kids with me. The beach very soon becomes rocks, which are slippy, but not too much.
Just stick to the coast and eventually you will come to a part that looks impassable, it isn’t, there is a hole in the rocks meaning you can slip straight through and continue. There is also a part where you have to climb around a cliff face, but there are millions of hand holes and foot holes, just watch out for the crabs hiding in them.
The walk was stunning. To know we were the only ones there, and doing something that few, if any people ever do was special.
The whole walk took us about an hour, but I was stopping to take photos and videos, powering it out alone, this could be done within half an hour. At no time did I feel like we were in any danger, and there seemed to be a number of places along the route to chill out if the tide did catch you off guard.
There was me and 3 kids and so ultimately I only saved 400 Baht by doing this, but money wasn’t the driving factor, the adventure, experience and the fact that I had been told it couldn’t be done was enough.
So what you waiting for, walk from Ao nag to Railay, it is far easier than you are led to believe.