Ton Sai Beach is a small, secluded beach located on the southern coast of Thailand’s Railay Peninsula. This charming and picturesque beach is well-known for its laid-back vibe, world-class rock climbing opportunities, and crystal-clear waters ideal for swimming and snorkeling.
Ton Sai is a popular destination among backpackers, climbers, and beach lovers looking to escape the hustle and bustle of more touristy areas.
Accessible only by boat, Ton Sai offers visitors an idyllic setting for relaxation and adventure amidst stunning natural beauty. It is a refreshing getaway from the tourists that frequent the surrounding area of Krabi.
So what exactly sets Ton Sai apart from its neighboring islands? Is it the inviting chill out beach bars where you can watch the sunset with a cold bottle of beer?
Or is it the many rock cliffs that surround you? Perhaps it’s the seemingly endless gentle ocean breeze that blows by you as you look out the horizon.
Although I can never pinpoint what it is exactly that makes Ton Sai so special, my advice? Don’t take my word for it. Instead, go see it for yourself.
In this travel guide, I will walk you through tips on how to visit Ton Sai Beach, best things to see and do in the area, and more.
How to Get to Ton Sai Beach
Getting to Ton Sai Beach can be an adventure in itself due to its secluded location. The beach is only accessible by boat as it is situated on the Railay Peninsula, which is cut off from the mainland by tall limestone cliffs.
The most common way to reach Ton Sai is by taking a long-tail boat from the nearby Ao Nang Beach. You can easily find long-tail boats for hire at the Ao Nang Beach pier, and the journey typically takes around 20-30 minutes, depending on weather conditions.
From Ao Nang Beach pier, ticket prices are around 200 Baht a person the last time we checked. Click here to check ticket prices
If you are arriving from the Krabi bus station, the easiest way to reach Ton Sai is to get a tuk-tuk or taxi to Ao Nang Pier. Alternatively, if you’re coming from the airport, there is a 45-minute shuttle ride to their pier then take the long tail boat from there.
What to Expect from Ton Sai Beach
• Compared to its neighboring islands, the value for accommodation at Ton Sai is better.
• There are lots of good and cheap street food!
• There are lots of really…really cool beach bars!
• Railey Beach is only a short 10 minute walk- however, when it’s high tide, the path going there can be dangerous and rocky. Alternatively, you can trek through the forest which takes about 45 minutes.
Things to Do in Ton Sai Beach
1. Go Rock Climbing in Ton Sai Beach
Similar to Railey Beach, the climbing in Ton Sai is world renowned. Climbers flock here and tend to stay for longer as the accommodation tend to be cheaper.
There are various schools and companies where you can rent gear from and do a day climb. A few popular climbing routes in Ton Sai beach are Tonsai Wall, Dum’s Kitchen and Tyrolean Wall.
If you are really serious about your climbing, they also have 5 day assault courses which you can take part of. Climb the many rock formations and stalagmites which have different levels of difficulty.
For those that are more experienced, you can simply rent gear from the shops and they will give you all the equipment that you need, along with a map on which rocks to climb.
Top tip: If you prefer to just watch, make your way to Freedom Bar near Ton Sai Beach Resort.
2. Rent a Kayak and Paddle Around Ton Sai Beach
Renting a kayak is a popular activity for visitors to Ton Sai Beach, Krabi. With its calm and clear waters, kayaking is a great way to explore the picturesque coastline and nearby islands at a leisurely pace.
There are a few rental shops located along the beachfront offering a variety of kayaks for rent, from single to double kayaks.
We recommend paddling around the bay as you enjoy the stunning scenery. You can kayak to Railay Beach, Podah Island, or even to Phanang Cave. Enjoy the sunshine and the serenity of going at your own pace as you explore the open sea. Trust me, the paddle out is VERY scenic!
3. Go Diving in Ton Sai Beach
While Ton Sai Beach is primarily known for its rock climbing and laid-back atmosphere, it also offers visitors the opportunity to explore the fascinating underwater world of the Andaman Sea.
There are a few dive operators in Railey Beach, located just 10 minutes away. The beach is located within close proximity to several dive sites, making it an excellent base for diving enthusiasts.
You can choose from a variety of diving packages and courses offered by local dive shops, with options ranging from introductory dives for beginners to advanced courses for experienced divers.
The area’s warm and clear waters are home to a diverse range of marine life, including colorful corals, tropical fish, and even sea turtles.
Railay Dive Center is a reputable school that is based on the island itself but can also do pick ups from Ao Nang each day.
Related: Diving in Koh Tao, Thailand
4. Chill out in the Many Beach Bars
Although the beach in Ton Sai isn’t as pretty as Ao Nang or Railey, the vibe of the place makes up for it. Dotted along the shoreline are chilled out beach bars where you can listen to some reggae music, chill out with either a beer, a fresh coconut, or a cocktail.
The vibe of the place is infectious, the music is good, and the people are awesome! When I visited Ton Sai Beach, one of my favorite things to do was to relax and unwind at the various beach bars.
The bars are right on the sand, providing a laid-back atmosphere with stunning views of the sea. Overall, the beach bars in Ton Sai offer the perfect place to chill and soak up the relaxed vibe of this unique and picturesque beach.
5. Visit Railay Beach
There are two ways to get to Railay beach from Ton Sai. You can either catch a quick boat (around 50 THB or you can opt to walk. Walking to Railay Beach from Ton Sai is a popular activity for visitors looking to explore the nearby area. The walk takes approximately 45 minutes and involves traversing a jungle path that winds through lush vegetation and towering limestone cliffs.
While the path can be steep and uneven in places, the breathtaking views of the surrounding scenery make it well worth the effort.
If it is low-tide, there is a 20 minute walk over the rocks alongside the coast.
Once at Railay Beach, visitors can enjoy a wider range of amenities and activities, including beachfront restaurants, souvenir shops, and a wider range of water sports.
Walking to Railay from Ton Sai is an excellent way to experience the natural beauty of the region while also discovering the charm of the neighboring beach.
6. Ton Sai Beach Island Hopping
In order to fully see your surroundings, hire a long tail boat or join one of the many island hopping tours available.
The three most common boat trips around the area is a trip to the 4 islands which are: Chicken Island, Phanang Cave, Tub Island, and Podah Island.
Alternatively, you can also visit the Hong Group Island Tour which brings you around 5 islands for snorkeling. The last is a trip to Phi Phi island via speedboat. Here, you can see the various tourist attractions around the area including the famous Maya Bay.
7. Walk to Phra Nang Shrine
During good conditions (low tide), you can either take a 30 minute walk towards Phra Nang Shrine.
You can also kayak towards this place if you want to. What’s there to see? Interesting enough..a lot of penises. I kid you not. This place is actually frequented by Thai women in order to increase their fertility which is why you can see a shrine with lots of wooden penises.
Wooden penises aside, you can also visit a lagoon located down a path on the way to Phra Nang Beach. This place is worth visiting when it’s high tide as you have a perfectly good dipping pool to cool off.
By the very end of Phra Nang Beach is a cave where you will find four bamboo ladders.
As soon as you climb this, you will be rewarded with a stunning viewpoint overlooking Railey and Ton Sai.
8. Practice Yoga at Ton Sai
Yoga is a popular activity in Ton Sai Beach, with many visitors coming to the area to practice yoga and meditation in a serene and peaceful environment.
The beach is home to several yoga studios and retreat centers, offering a variety of classes and workshops for practitioners of all levels. Many of the studios are set amidst beautiful natural surroundings, such as lush gardens or on the beachfront, providing the perfect setting for a rejuvenating and relaxing practice.
We recommend checking out Base Camp Tonsai or Tonsai Yoga.
Whether you’re a seasoned yogi or a beginner, Ton Sai is an ideal destination for those looking to deepen their practice and connect with like-minded individuals in a beautiful and serene setting.
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Where to Stay in Ton Sai Beach
You can either decide to stay in the main island of Koh Phi Phi then just go to Ton Sai Beach for the day.
If you choose to stay in Phi Phi, we recommend checking our article on Best Places to Stay in Koh Phi Phi.
Alternatively, if you want to stay in Ton Sai itself, the accommodation options are quite basic and limited but here are a few places worth checking out:
- Tinidee Hideaway Tonsai Beach Krabi– This is probably the best spot in Ton Sai Beach if you’re looking for something comfortable and clean.
- Tonsai Bay Resort– 2 minute walk from Ton Sai Beach with private balconies.
The adjacent beach next to Ton Sai, Railay has more accommodation options to choose from.
There you have it folks! Hopefully, this guide can provide you with a better idea on how to plan a trip to Ton Sai Beach. Go see it for yourself and you will surely fall in love with its charming little island.