Finding the best beach in Thailand can be a hard job. With so many beautiful places in the Land of Smiles you will have to spend months on a Thailand island hopping adventure to find the best beach. But those who go around will for sure find a place to their likings. Around Krabi there are many islands, but may be the best beach in Krabi is not even located on an island...
Best beach in Thailand
I have been around the country many times, but who am I to tell you what is the best beach in Thailand? I can tell you about my favorite places in Thailand, but all beaches have their own charm and therefore it is impossible to tell you where to go to find the best beach in Thailand. What I can tell you about are my favorite ones. Since I have spent a lot of time in Koh Tao, there are definitely a couple beaches from Koh Tao that make it to my top 10. But here in Krabi there are just as charming beaches to be found.
The best beach in Krabi
There are 3 popular beaches and all of them are different. Tonsai Beach, Railay Beach and Ao Nang Beach are those places people come to Thailand for. Their unique setting surrounded by mile high limestone cliffs make these beach extremely popular to photograph. The traditional Thai longtail boats make the picture complete.
Although Tonsai Beach is located on the mainland in the Krabi province it is only accessible by boat. Its surrounding limestone cliffs cuts it off from civilisation and therefore can only be reached by boat. The first time I visited Tonsai Beach I ended up there coincidentally as I got off at the wrong beach during an island hopping trip, but I straight away fell in love. It seems like life has stood still on this beach. Where are all the tourists? Why are there only a handful people around here? It was very surprising to see that there were probably only like 25 people around. There was a little bar where I ordered a banana shake and I plunged in a beanbag. There were some youngsters reading a book in the shade, and I would say a little bit more of a hippie crowd smoking some funny cigarettes and trying to balance on a rope! Tonsai was laid-back as hell, for me may be the best beach in Krabi, definitely if you are looking for peace! :)
Tonsai Beach and Railay Beach are connected by a adventurous but very easy jungle walk. Getting from one beach to the other will only take you about 15 minutes and it is such an easy walk that you can do it on bare foot, though I would advise you to wear flip-flops. Railay Beach is also cut off from the mainland by huge limestone cliffs but nothing like its little brother Tonsai Beach. As soon as I got a first glimpse of Railay Beach I was shocked how busy it was compared to where I just came from. I mean there was still plenty of room on the beach, but I saw at least 50 tourist boats lined up. Railay beach definitely is the most touristy of the two. Though on this beach there is way more to do and to see. There are little shops, there is a hike to a viewpoint, there are restaurants and bars, way more bustling than Tonsa Beach. The bay is also a little bigger, but equally stunning and in the past rated as best beach in Thailand. To get to railay beach you have to take a longtail taxi boat from Ao Nang for 100THB one way.
Ao Nang Beach
To be really honest this is nothing fancy, it is just huge and has a couple cool beach bars, but it is the tourist hub for all the people that go on tours to nearby islands or those who go to Railay Beach. When the sun set, locals tend to come out and hang at the beach as well. So if you are in for a game of football you will always find some people to play with.
Why Tonsai is the best beach in Krabi
It can be really hard to get away from the crowds nowadays especially on the banana pancake trail. Krabi is a famous backpacking destination in Thailand and therefore you will find many tourists here. Tonsai Beach is somehow still one of the more quiet places and therefore the best beach Krabi has to offer, totally forgotten by tourists who en mass go for Railay Beach. As I arrived in Ton Sai I only saw a handful people on the beach. Most of them clustered below a massive tree, reading or sleeping in the shadow. The beach was deserted for a couple hundred meters and the only bar I spotted was empty. If you are looking for an islandlife destination on the mainland this is your spot.
I ordered an ice-cold beer and plunged in a bean bag. The vibe in Tonsai bay is so amazingly laid-back that it is hard to leave! From what I could see this place was definitely a retreat for hippies, but as well for some die hard rock climbers. Tonsai Beach is a rock-climbing mecca with very challenging climbs. Krabi is famous for its limestone cliffs and apparently they are perfect for rock climbing. I put it on my bucketlist for next time!
Best beach in Krabi to stay overnight
Tonsai Beach is still pretty untouched and obviously pretty basic. Though pretty recent Dream Valley Resort has been going through a renewing process and is now one of the most luxurious places to stay. Dream Valley has built an impressive swimming pool and some luxury bungalows. It is by no means a 4* resort but still the most upscale one on in the bay. Apart from this resort there is also a budget option that rents out huts, walk in is advisable. Although I love Tonsai Beach I think Railay Beach is the best beach in Krabi to stay. There are simply more facilities and you can choose a restaurant, buy beers and mingle with other travellers. There are also two upscale options to stay, Rayavadee is the most luxury option with an impressive infinity swimming pool. Check out their best rates on Hotels.com!
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