The goal of this vacation could have pretty much been summed up with one word- Beach. So after our Bangkok day trip, we headed straight to Phuket- the entryway to Thailand’s southern coast. I’d tried to do my research beforehand to find the beach with the optimum mix of gorgeous setting, lack of obnoxious partiers and tourist crush, and a few amenities and activities to take advantage of. As far as I could tell, Railay Beach was that place.
Railay is not located on an island, but might as well be, as the limestone cliffs that make it so beautiful also cut it off from the mainland, meaning it can only be reached by sea. While at some other beaches that means the ever-present longtail boats clutter up the place, Railay Beach is a long strip where only one side (the less-attractive, mangrove-littered one) sheltered the majority of the watercraft. The other side, Railay West, had the white-sand, paradise beach we were looking for.
I’d never been to a beach quite like this one, with calm, clear, and incredibly warm water and white sand (where there weren’t rocks or coral) stretching out for hundreds of meters before dropping off into deeper water. Just relaxing on the beach and in those shallows wouldn’t been plenty enough of a vacation, but we got up to more than that.
The one thing I did regret about this choice was the fact that it was quite a bit more built up than the impression I got from my research. This wasn’t all bad, though, as there were plenty of food choices to choose from, ranging from Thai to Italian, as well as more variety in tours and activities than I expected. Everything was on the pricey side for Thailand, which just put it on the cheap to reasonable scale for American pricing.
Overall, Railay was a great base of operations for us our five days there. I’ll talk about the trips we took and the food of course in upcoming weeks, but really the highlight of the trip was lounging around that stunning beach, Thai beer in hand and close by.