Having spent the night in a Bangkok airport hotel, we flew to Krabi and caught a quick bus to Ao Nang followed by a long tail boat to Railay. This has been my tried and tested route into the West coast Islands of Southern Thailand since my first visit in ‘99. I like the small island vibe to Railay and you can feel like you’ve escaped the real world in a little under three hours from Bangkok. These days Railay is heavily built up and seems to be under constant re-development. The usual West Beach complexes are still there, however the East side seems to be springing up a few luxury resorts.

Railay is a climbers haven; I’ve never gone any further than an introduction course but I’m told it’s great.  Nightlife is still ok, especially if you’re a Bob Marley fan (which seems to be on repeat in nearly every bar).

Loads of day trips run from the island, and I recommend you convince a long-tail driver to take you out to Bamboo Island if you’re not planning on making it to Phi Phi. There’s a small path at the South end of East Beach that will lead you past some More >