Railay beach is just spectacular, and everyone knows it. Because of this realization the prices of accommodation and food have risen significantly and there are few budget backpacking friendly places to stay.
have your camera ready while approaching by boat- very beautiful
A popular area for backpackers to stay is called Ton Sai Beach. Ton Sai Beach is separated from Railay by a stretch of rocks and shallow water. From Ton Sai beach you can see Railay Beach! It’s a bit of a tease since Railay has much nicer sand.
Taking in the view! both of them...
Although the actual beach at Ton Sai is fairly rugged you are in such close proximity that you will spend your days at Railay beach if you desire and save money on accommodation.
An example of the rocky beach
Many people who stay in Ton Sai choose to do so for the world famous rock climbing. We are not rock climbers and unfortunately did not have the chance to try on this trip. Ton sai is filled with many climbers but that is not the only people who choose to stay.
crazy adrenaline seaking climbers....must be a great view from up there!
The accommodation is budget to mid range bungalows in the jungle, ranging in price from 300-1000 baht.
the long-tail boat transfering us from the large ferry to Ton Sai
We arrived from Koh Lanta around 3pm and easy navigated our way to the single street where all the accommodation and restaurants are. Most of the cheap rooms or bungalows were already sold out for the day and we began to panic a little. I had read online that making an online reservation was near impossible since the majority of the places did not have websites and that in February it should not be an issue. We headed up the adjoining road into the jungle from Base Camp Climbing Headquarters and found an empty shack for 500 baht at Country Side Resort. It was very simple and in our minds fairly overpriced for what it was but it did the trick.
our simple accomodation in Ton Sai
the inside of our bamboo hut....very basic inside.
There is conflicting information online about how to get to Railay beach from Ton Sai. It is very simple in both low and high tide the easiest way of getting there is to go to the beach and follow it towards Railay Beach near the beach bar and large climbing rock. Where the beach ends there are stairs in the rock that lead to a few more climbing sites and then further down to Railay Beach. The whole walk takes about 12 minutes with a few up hills and down hill climbs.
the path between Ton Sai and Railay Beach- Easy!
The atmosphere of Ton Sai is very laid back. There is not much infrastructure and many of the bars are made of bamboo. Travellers try their luck on the slack line as people sit back and most likely smoke some weed. There are bars that advertise magic mushrooms shakes and one too many posters of Bob Marley.
one of the 'main streets' of Ton Sai.
Beautiful undeveloped walkway to the beach
If you are wondering where to eat on a budget surprisingly Ton Sai was a bit more expensive than most rural thai villages. Expect to pay about 200 baht a meal if you’re wanting to visit many restaurants. We like to save money and found Mama’s Chicken. It is hard for a vegan traveller to admit to going somewhere called ‘Mama’s Chicken’ but the price was right. ‘Mama’ has many vegan options for vegan travellers in Ton Sai, including tofu in any dish and easily takes out egg, fish sauce and oyster sauce. The portions are much larger than many places and the place gets packed! We ate here every night. If you are still hungry a great snack is found beside Chill Out bar where there is a lady serving sticky rice for 30 baht and it’s a nice large portion big enough for two.