Thailand, Trip Report

Rediscovering Paradise: A Journey Back to Railay, Thailand

Written by Travis · 2 min read >

My toes wiggled in the warm sand as I gazed out at the turquoise water of Railay, Thailand. It was my third visit to this stunning beach, and I couldn’t help but wonder if it was still as beautiful as I remembered it from my first trip years before. In my mind, Railay had been an idyllic paradise, an unspoiled haven with crystal-clear waters and pristine beaches. But had I simply been viewing the scene through rose-tinted glasses all these years? To find out, I decided to go back and see if it was still the world’s most beautiful beach.

As I ventured down the path towards Phranang Beach, the same path that inspired me years before, the sound of playful monkey chatter reached my ears. These playful creatures were still here, and I watched as they scampered about, comfortable in their domain. And then, as I stepped onto the beach, I was transported back in time.

All the sights and sounds that made me fall in love with Railay years before were still there, just as I remembered them. The water was still as clear as a mirror, and the invitingly soft sand was a familiar powder white. But as I looked more closely, I began to notice the subtle changes that had taken place. Unlike during my previous visits, there were now longtail boat restaurants on the beach, filled with the mouth-watering aromas of delicious food. There were also more tourists, with their colorful towels and parasols dotting the sand.

But despite these changes, the natural beauty of Railay remained unchanged. As I waded out into the crystal-clear water, I could still see the well-defined floor beneath my feet. The rock formations that once jutted out of the water were still there, only this time with more colorful fishes swimming among them. And even with the crowds, there were still moments of serenity, with the sound of the waves breaking on the shore offering me a sense of calm and peace.

Yet, my fears were not unfounded. Trash, particularly tied-up plastic bags, dotted the once pristine beach. My heart ached at the sight, but I couldn’t help but think that it might be a seasonality issue. Regardless of the cause, something needed to be done to protect this beautiful ecosystem.

So, is Railay still worth visiting? Absolutely. Even with the crowds and subtle changes, the natural beauty of this beach is something that can’t be put into words. But I would recommend visiting during the shoulder season to avoid the crowds, and perhaps to make a difference by picking up litter and raising awareness about the importance of keeping our planet clean.

As I made my way back towards the shore, I couldn’t help but think of Sean, the writer who inspired me years ago to embark on my own adventures. I wondered if he ever returned to Railay and what his thoughts would be on the changes that had taken place. But for now, I was content to sit on the beach and bask in all the beauty that Railay had to offer.

Essential Info:
Getting to Railay is a unique experience, as it’s only accessible by boat. While there are large ferries that travel here from Koh Lanta, Koh Phi Phi, and Phuket, longtail boats are the best way to experience the majesty of this place. It’s also important to pack lightly, as you’ll need to haul your own bags onto the boat. If you can, visit during shoulder season to avoid the crowds and consider staying in Railay East for cheaper accommodation. And if you’re looking for an adventure, Railay is one of the best places in the world to go rock climbing.

Written by Travis
I'm here to help you have the least stressful trip. I've got everything printed out in a folder, photocopies of all our passports, and it's time to take a family photo because we're going on a trip! Profile

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