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Nov 21

Tonsai Beach ( Railay, Krabi) – big overview

tonsai-beach-railay-krabi-big-overviewTonsai Beach (or Ton Sai beach) is the most quiet and calm on the peninsula of Railay in Krabi province. The beach is a popular destination for climbing enthusiasts, but to visit it visit it have the opportunity to everyone who decided to relax on Railey peninsula during the day or staying there for a longer period in one of the local hotels. This review describes the features of Tonsai Beach, the best places for swimming, as well as ways to get to this beach. For greater clarity in this review you will find many photos taken along the way to the Tonsai beach, as well as photos and short video directly from this amazing Tonsai beach on the Railay peninsula (also it is often called Railey) in Krabi province (Thailand).

For the convenience of description, hereinafter I will call the “southern” part of Tonsai Beach, located close to the beach West Raleigh, and “northern” the opposite end of the beach, which is fenced off high vertical cliff from the Pai Plong beach in Ao Nang. Like all the other beaches of the peninsula Railey, Ton Sai beach is cut off from the mainland inaccessible vertical cliffs, which reach heights of 200 meters. This means that you can visit to this beach only with using the main local transport – long-tailed boats.

Longtail boats from Ao Nang beach near West Railay

Longtail boats from Ao Nang beach near West Railay

How to get to Ton Sai Beach

The easiest way – to buy a ticket for the boat directly at the kiosk for the sale of tickets for the boats in Ao Nang. From 8:00 am to 18:00 and a ticket will cost 100 baht chelovka, in the rest of the time – 150 baht. The boat leaves in the presence of at least 8 passengers. Tickets from Ao Nang resort to Thon Sai beach can only be purchased only in one direction. And if you do not want to waste time, yet typed the right number of passengers, you can pay the remaining amount of the boatman (800 baht) to sail immediately. Since all guests in Ao Nang more popular option in which for Tonsai beach allotted a whole day, but only part of it, I’ll tell you how to get to the beach from the other beaches of the peninsula Railey.

Tonsai Beach (Peninsula Railay) - view from the sea

Tonsai Beach (Peninsula Railay) – view from the sea

If you read the article “Railay Peninsula (Krabi) – overview of resort”, then you already know that most of long-tailed boats arrive at the beach East Raiilay (from Krabi) and West Railay (from Ao Nang), so in the article below will explain how get to Tonsai after you have arrived at the peninsula Railay. The easiest option when you got on the longtail boat from Ao Nang. Directly on the Railay West beach you can negotiate with the boatman that he will take you to Tonsai beach for 50 baht per person. True passengers must be at least four, or do you have to be willing to pay 200 baht for the whole boat and go immediately.

Cliff, separating beaches Tonsai and Railay West . View from the sea.

Cliff, separating beaches Tonsai and Railay West . View from the sea.

I must say that the second option is more realistic, since a large number of those wishing to go on a boat on the beach of Ton Sai is usually no. To get from the East Railay beach to Ton Sai Beach, you can use one of the shady forest trail, which begins in the northern part of East Railey beach. This way is not very difficult, but you need walk about half an hour. In my opinion, much more interesting to get to the beach Ton Sai beach from the Railay West beach, using the pathway, which laid along the slope serving sea cliff between the beaches. But it is not all easy. The trail starts amongst large boulders at the northern end of the beach Railay West (when facing the sea, you need to go to the right). The main problem that may be encountered in this case – in the tide will have to do part of the way through the water, avoiding large boulders dark-colored rocks.

Start the trail to the Tonsai beach from Railay West. Climbing over the big stones.

Start the trail to the Tonsai beach from Railay West. Climbing over the big stones.

However, if you rest in Krabi not in the rainy season in Thailand, the big waves should not be and the path is safe. During the low tide to the trail can be reached by land, or just do a bit of soaking feet. In the photos posted above (view of the rock from the sea), it may seem that a very small distance between the beaches, a few tens of meters (in reality, between the beaches of 150 meters straight). However, a rocky trail, which begins not at the beginning, but only about the middle of overgrown green cape, is slightly longer than it seems at first glance. First of all, due to the fact that this is not a smooth path, and the alternation of ascents and descents.

The rise of the path between the beaches of Tonsai and Railay West

The rise of the path between the beaches of Tonsai and Railay West

When traveling on this path often have to jump from a stone on stone, to hold on to the branches of trees or ropes strung between the trunks of trees. During dry weather, this trail is pretty easy and safe, so you can make this way without problem. But after the rain clay under the feet can be dangerous and it is better to use caution when traveling and use shoes with a good fixation of the foot, not to slip and avoid bruises and sprains. The trail is fairly narrow, and sometimes you have to wait until the people walking along the trail in the opposite direction, finished the rise or descent and release you the way.

The trail between the beaches Tonsai and West Railay Beach - a difficult area

The trail between the beaches Tonsai and West Railay Beach – a difficult area

But overall, a walk along the path between the beaches does not take a lot of effort, so even kids without too much difficulty to cope with it. I took the road less than five minutes, but I love to overcome the obstacles encountered on the pathway at a high enough rate. Closer to the beach of Ton Sai, path does a fairly long section without any height differences, which is quite picturesque and personally I cause visual associations with canyons. By the way, at the end of the trail, when you have almost reach the beach of Ton Sai, you can little bit  lost right direction, because the trail is slightly forked and you can turn not to the right place.At one point, I even wanted to jump down from a height of 2-3 meters, but logic told me that the children whom I met a little earlier, would not be able to get here and I can find another, easier way. This path was soon found: at the end of the road to Ton Sai, you need to stay close to the sea, rather than a high cliff.

The trail between the beaches Tonsai and Railay West

The trail between the beaches Tonsai and Railay West

Review of Tonsai beach (Railay)

To descend to the sand beach of Ton Sai, a total length of about 600 meters, you need to use a small wooden stair. However, up to this point you have the opportunity to admire from the height to the Tonsai beach and make beautiful pictures or selfie on his background. Kind is very picturesque (see photo below). In the foreground – the southern part of Tonsai beach. Location is very good for swimming near the rocks can be seen colorful fish. Just as you can see in the picture, due to the cliff and the lack of life-giving vegetation, this beach almost without  shadow. Therefore if you will be stay here  without use of a protective cream from the sun, you can quickly burn your skin.

Tonsai Beach (Railay). View of the southern part of the beach from the cliff

Tonsai Beach (Railay). View of the southern part of the beach from the cliff

So do not forget to use the tips described in the article “How to sunbathe in Thailand correctly“, or you can try to hide in the small shadow that in some places it is still possible to find if arriving at the beach early and if you first can take this place, because wanting to do this, despite the unfrequented beach, still a lot. Good for swimming and beach area of Ton Sai, located in a place where the waters of the Andaman Sea directly suited to the rock, which is due to several years of exposure to waves hangs over a thin strip of sand. Rocks have a lot of projections on which you can hang up your beach bag or t-shirt.

Tonsai Beach. Swimming area near high cliff

Tonsai Beach. Swimming area near high cliff

Some parts of this cliff, especially closer to the central part of Tonsai Beach, designed for climbing. On the surface you can see special routes of varying degrees of complexity and have special brackets for the climbing equipment.  Also, after going a little further you can notice that on this rock, on the border with the central part of Ton Sai beach (Tonsai beach) has a special staircase leading to the observation deck. It is located not very high, but a visit to see the beach from a height it is worth, if you want.

Tonsai Beach (Railay) - a small bungalow in the central part of the rock

Tonsai Beach (Railay) – a small bungalow in the central part of the rock

In the central part on the first beach line, there are several hotels, bars and massage parlors under the eaves. Log into the water as every where on this beach, very flat, under the feet of fine sand and the water is clear and has a beautiful green color. Not far from the big rock in the center of the beach I saw in the water a small shark light color (about half a meter long). The advantage of this part of the beach Tonsai is the presence of a large number of trees and large shrubs along the shoreline, in the shade of which it is convenient to hide from the sun. There are interesting trees with buds (or fruit) similar to pineapple, which when ripe become red-orange (see. Photo below). Surely everyone knows that pineapples grow on the ground, like cabbage, but the wild pineapple, or Pandanus grows directly on such trees.

Tonsai Beach (Railay peninsula) - Pandanus tree (wild pineapple)

Tonsai Beach (Railay peninsula) – Pandanus tree (wild pineapple)

A special attraction of the Tonsai beach gives is located in the central part of the plantation of high coconut trees, which in late 2014 had been thoroughly cleaned of other shrubs. On the Internet you can find information according to which the entire central part of the beach is occupied by numerous cafes, bars and inexpensive bungalows. The same sort of confirms and beach map, located on the banks (see. Photo below). But in reality, the beach seemed somehow abandoned, as though there still has not eliminated the consequences of the devastating tsunami.

Palm grove in the central part of Tonsai Beach (Peninsula Railay)

Palm grove in the central part of Tonsai Beach (Peninsula Railay)

In some places there are dilapidated buildings, visible foundations of buildings, which once stood on the first line. Here and there are already visible reconstruction work, has several cafes, but heaps of building rubble and shrubs (which in my locals gradually burning) do not add a special attraction. Perhaps if the investment in the development of the beach will continue, all the beach infrastructure will be restored and will be better than it was before, but at the end of 2015 the coastal infrastructure leaves much to be desired.

Tonsai beach tourist map

Tonsai beach tourist map

Somewhat better situation, if you go deep into the beach, along the pathways  through the palm grove. There currently can be found and a climbing school, and rent all the necessary equipment for this activity, as well as to find a cafe, bars, massage parlors, mini-market and a lot of options for affordable housing. From the sea and the photos may seem that the distance from the coast to the cliffs, limiting the beach area in depth, very little. In fact there is enough space for all the buildings, there are even a few streets.

Ton Sai Beach on the peninsula Railay - the impact of the tsunami...

Ton Sai Beach on the peninsula Railay – the impact of the tsunami…

The main contingent of Tonsai beach – European youth and some of the locals that serve as attendants. Judging by the state of many buildings, in low season Tonsai beach leave some of their respective owners. A little further from the central part of the Tonsai beach starts place for parking longtail boats  which are fixed on the shore with the help of anchors in the beach sand. When you walk along the water’s edge, you need be careful,  because the boat rocking on the waves, periodically pull the ropes to the anchors, lifting them above the sand. As a result, you can trip on the rope and fall, looking at the beautiful rocks and palm trees.

General view of the Tonsai beach (Railay) on the north side

General view of the Tonsai beach (Railay) on the north side

The northern part of Tonsai Beach is unsuitable for swimming. Firstly, because a lot of boats in the water and on the shore, some of which will never be launched. There are you can find a place for longtail boats repairs:  locals make a repairing old engines, straighten shafts and repair screws. Secondly, on the shore and in the water there are many large stones. Third, because of the high cliffs here in the afternoon shade so swimming is not very interesting. Finally, water at this location less transparent than other parts of the beach.

Tonsai Beach (Railay). Zone in the northern part of the beach in the shadow of the rocks

Tonsai Beach (Railay). Zone in the northern part of the beach in the shadow of the rocks

Thus, Tonsai beach on the peninsula of Railay in Krabi Province it is quite a quiet place where you can relax both during the day and stay for a longer period of time. The second option is more suitable for those who are not too picky about the comfort, can do without the shops, cafés with a wide selection of European dishes, who are young in body and soul, ready to be content with a small amount of entertainment (rock climbing, swimming and kayaking).

It is also desirable to know the English language, or to communicate with the majority of local residents will be difficult. It should be remembered that with the exchange of money for Tonsai beach can be difficult, so it is best to take care of it in advance. Mobile internet is operating within normal mode (I used the operator DTAC). And another fact: at this beach at times there are large low tides (there is information that this occurs within 10 days of each lunar month). At this time, less picturesque beach, as the water goes far into the sea and swim due to the shallow depth is not very comfortable with.

Short video from Tonsai Beach (Railay Peninsula)

I hope this review of Tonsai Beach (Ton Sai beach) gave you some idea about it and you can make the right decision about whether to spend time on it. My conclusion – at least once a visit is necessary. Enjoy your thai vacation!!!

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