A Travel Price Comparison for Thailand Khao Lak vs. Railay Beach for Beaches, Couples, Resorts, and Scuba Diving & Snorkeling

Should you visit Khao Lak or Railay Beach?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Khao Lak and Railay Beach can help. It includes a travel cost comparison in addition to other factors. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Khao Lak

Khao Lak is a relaxed, friendly, and idyllic area. You'll find world class beauty here as well. It's also known for beaches, shopping, and nightlife.

Railay Beach

Railay Beach is a spectacular, fun-filled, and adventurous beach area. The famous beauty of this place is one of the main draws. It's also known for scuba diving and snorkeling, beaches, and nightlife.

Khao Lak and Railay Beach: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less walkable
Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Very walkable
  • Impressive beauty


Is there more to do in Khao Lak or Railay Beach?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Khao Lak. Although Khao Lak and Railay Beach are both popular with visitors, Khao Lak has more sights, activities, and attractions for travelers. Khao Lak is popular for its undersea marine life, white sand beaches, and mellow coastal vibe. It is also home to Khao Sok National Park. Railay Beach is popular for its beautiful limestone cliffs and its world famous rock climbing.

How is Khao Lak different from Railay Beach?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Railay Beach and Khao Lak. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Khao Lak or Railay Beach?

Khao Lak
Railay Beach

Neither Khao Lak or Railay Beach offer quality museums and landmarks.

Khao Lak offers a few options for museum-goers. You'll find plenty or natural beauty, but not much in the form of temples or museums.

If you're looking to pass the time, head to a museum or historic sight in Railay Beach. This is an adventure sport destination that is popular for rock climbing and its scenic beauty. Therefore, there are no real museums or temples in the area.


Is the Food Better in Khao Lak or Railay Beach? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Khao Lak
Railay Beach

Picking the best cuisine and restaurants between Khao Lak and Railay Beach can be difficult as they are each good in their own way.

Khao Lak offers number of good local restaurants to choose from. There's a range of southern Thai classics that include seafood, curries, grilled meats, and even vegetarian options. You'll also find an abundance of western food restaurants that serve everything from pizza to burgers.

Railay Beach has a delicious restaurant scene that relies on local flavors. You'll find a number of tourist oriented restaurants. Many are affiliated with hotels and resorts and serve the standard Thai options along with pizza and burgers.

Is Khao Lak or Railay Beach Better for Nightlife?

Khao Lak
Railay Beach

It's hard to distinguish whether Khao Lak or Railay Beach has a better nightlife scene.

Khao Lak has an active nightlife scene for those who seek it out. While it's a tranquil place, there are still some bars and clubs that have a laid back atmosphere and are fun places to hang out in the evening.

If you're looking for night time activities Railay Beach has a few options to choose from. It's a secluded area with a decent number of laid back bars that are usually associated with hotels or resorts. There's also a young crowd, including backpackers, who come for the beautiful setting and great rock climbing. This population insures that there's always something going on at night.

Is Khao Lak or Railay Beach Better for Resorts?

Khao Lak
Railay Beach

If luxury resorts are your style, both Khao Lak and Railay Beach have superb options.

In Khao Lak, you'll find some of the region's top resorts. The resorts cater to couples and families and offer a laid back and relaxed setting.

There are plenty of resorts in Railay Beach to choose from. You'll find a mix of beachside resorts and budget hotels, as well as a number of hostels in the area.


Is Khao Lak or Railay Beach Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Khao Lak
Railay Beach

Both Khao Lak and Railay Beach offer superb scuba diving or snorkeling.

Khao Lak is an extremely popular place to visit for scuba diving and snorkeling. There are many great dive and snorkel spots in the area and you'll find no shortage of excursions and day trips, whether you're interested in scuba diving or snorkeling.

There are many scuba diving and snorkeling spots near Railay Beach. There are dive centers that offer both snorkeling and dive trips to nearby areas.

Is Khao Lak or Railay Beach Better for Beaches?

Khao Lak
Railay Beach

Khao Lak is an unbeatable place for its beaches. Also, Railay Beach is not as famous, but is still a good beach area to visit for the beache.

With world-famous beaches, Khao Lak is a very popular vacation destination. The beaches are a highlight of any trip to Thailand. They offer a laid back and peaceful setting with white sand, turquoise water, and tropical marine life. Some of the best beaches include Bang Niang Beach - which is one of the most popular, Nang Thong Beach - which is one of the most beautiful, and Coconut Beach - which is one of the most idyllic.

You'll have a great beach vacation in Railay Beach. The beaches are famous for their dramatic limestone cliffs. There are three areas: Railay Beach West is scenic with its surrounding cliffs and popular resorts. This is the place to swim or watch the sunset. Railay Beach East is most popular for its rock climbing. You should also check out Phra Nang Cave Beach, which is the location of Phra Nang Cave.

Is the Shopping Better in Khao Lak or Railay Beach?

Khao Lak
Railay Beach

Khao Lak is very good for shopping. However, Railay Beach is not a good beach area for its shopping opportunities.

Khao Lak is a great destination for shopping. You'll find night markets, souvenir shops, local tailors, and other places where you can grab essentials or pick up souvenirs from your holiday.

If you're looking to go shopping, Railay Beach has some nice offerings. The Walking Street has shops that sell bathing suits or anything you may have forgotten.


Is Khao Lak or Railay Beach Better for Families?

Khao Lak
Railay Beach

Khao Lak is a well-known place for its family-friendly activities. Also, Railay Beach is not as famous, but is still a good beach area to visit for its kid-friendly activities.

Khao Lak is a very family-friendly place to visit. This series of islands is filled with outdoor adventures for the whole family. You can explore the undersea world with a mask or snorkel or get out on the water on a kayak. There are also turtle sanctuaries and beautiful beaches where you can pass the time.

Railay Beach is a family-friendly area. This is a favorite beach area for many visitors to Thailand. It's only accessible by water and it offers adventure sports and calm waters that are nice for kids.

Is Khao Lak or Railay Beach Better for Couples?

Khao Lak
Railay Beach

Khao Lak is an unbeatable place for romance. Also, Railay Beach is not as famous, but is still a good beach area to visit for its romantic activities.

For those traveling as a couple, Khao Lak has plenty to offer. Underwater beauty, stunning beaches, outdoor adventures, and wildlife experiences all make these islands a world class honeymoon destination.

Railay Beach makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. Rock climbing is a favorite activity here, and couples who have an adventurous spirit will enjoy this dramatic location.

Is Khao Lak or Railay Beach Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Khao Lak
Railay Beach

Khao Lak and Railay Beach are superb places to visit for backpackers and budget travelers.

Backpackers come from all over to visit Khao Lak. Like most of Thailand, the backpacker amenities are abundant. You'll find plenty of hostels, fun activities, and affordable entertainment throughout the region.

Many backpackers visit Railay Beach. There's no shortage of affordable accommodation that attracts budget travelers and backpackers. The area's world class rock climbing also appeals to the young and adventurous crowd.


Is Khao Lak or Railay Beach Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Khao Lak
Railay Beach

Khao Lak is very good for its public transit. However, Railay Beach is not a good beach area for times when you don't have a car.

Khao Lak has a few public transit options. Transportation comes in the form of tuk tuks, Songthaew (pick up trucks), taxis, and public buses. There are also VIP buses and minivans as well.

Public transit is mostly limited in Railay Beach. The area is only accessible by boat and there is no road transportation.

Is Khao Lak or Railay Beach a more walkable city?

Khao Lak
Railay Beach

Railay Beach is an amazing beach area to visit for its walkability. However, Khao Lak is a area with minimal options for its high level of walkability.

Getting around Railay Beach on foot is easy. The area has no cars or road transportation so everything, including the beaches are easy to walk to.

Khao Lak is generally not a very walkable area. While there are areas where you can walk, the region isn't particularly walkable.

For even more information, also check out Is Khao Lak Worth Visiting? and Is Railay Beach Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Railay Beach or Khao Lak?

How long in Khao Lak or Railay Beach?

It's fun to spend time in either Khao Lak or Railay Beach. Generally, people tend to spend more time in Khao Lak due to the larger number of activities and things to do. Usually, 5-7 days is a good amount of time for Khao Lak, and 2-4 days is enough time in Railay Beach.

Families should spend more time in Khao Lak than Railay Beach. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Khao Lak, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Khao Lak than Railay Beach. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Khao Lak that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Khao Lak than Railay Beach if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Khao Lak.


  • How many days in Khao Lak or Railay Beach? Ideal Length of Stay
    Khao Lak 5-7 
    Railay Beach 2-4

One day in Khao Lak or Railay Beach?

In Khao Lak, many people enjoy the food and scuba diving and snorkeling that this serene area offers. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything.

The beautiful beach area of Railay Beach offers nightlife and food. Most people come for the beaches. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.


A weekend in Khao Lak or Railay Beach?

Khao Lak is a fun place to experience. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. It will give you the chance to have new experiences. Lots of people come for the beaches. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than a weekend exploring.

Railay Beach is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this beach area makes for a great vacation. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Railay Beach, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

Five days in Khao Lak or Railay Beach?

In Khao Lak, many people enjoy the shopping and nightlife that this friendly destination offers. Most people come for the beaches. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. Plenty of people spend five days in the area when traveling. Lots of people come for the beaches. So, five days is just the right amount of time to spend here.

Railay Beach is a popular choice for travelers. Five days is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

A week in Khao Lak or Railay Beach?

Khao Lak is a popular place to visit. Many people spend one week here. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. If you enjoy all that's offered here, then one week is just the right amount of time to spend here. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Railay Beach is a great place to explore. It's also a great beach destination, too. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This beach area offers something for everyone.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best 10-Day Tours in Thailand, The Best One Week (7-Day) Tours in Thailand, The Best 2-Week Tours in Thailand, and The Best Bicycle Tours in Thailand.


Which place is cheaper, Railay Beach or Khao Lak?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Khao Lak is $113, while the average daily cost in Railay Beach is $106. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Khao Lak and Railay Beach in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Khao Lak $51
    Railay Beach $63
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Khao Lak $102
    Railay Beach $126
Compare Hotels in Khao Lak and Railay Beach

Looking for a hotel in Khao Lak or Railay Beach? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Khao Lak


Hotels in Railay Beach


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Khao Lak Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Khao Lak $53
    Railay Beach $25

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Khao Lak

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Khao Lak:

  • Phuket: Private One-Way Transfer to/from Khao Lak by Car: $30
  • Private Airport Transfer in Khao Lak: $34
  • Kata Lux Transfers, Tour and Travel: $39
  • Khao Lak/Bang Sak: 1-Way Private Transfer to Phuket Airport: $42
  • 30-Minutes Guided Tour & Transfer to Khaolak Elephant Sanctuary: $43
  • Private Transfer from Phuket Airport to Khao Lak: $45
  • KhaoLak: Elephant Sanctuary Guided Tour with Hotel Transfers: $50
  • Private Minivan Transfer from Khao Lak hotels to Phuket Airport: $55
  • 2-Hour Guided Eco-Tour & Transfer to Khaolak Elephant Sanctuary: $57
  • Khao Lak To Khao Sok Private Minivan & Car Transfer: $58
  • Krabi airport to Khao Lak any hotel Private transfer: $91
  • Khao Lak any hotel to Krabi airport Private transfer: $94

Is it cheaper to fly into Khao Lak or Railay Beach?

Prices for flights to both Railay Beach and Khao Lak change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Khao Lak $31
    Railay Beach $22

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Khao Lak

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Khao Lak.

  • Khao Sok: Private Authentic Jungle Cooking Experience: $48
  • Authentic Thai Cooking Class in Khao Lak with Market Tour by Pakinnaka School: $56
  • Riverside Thai Cooking Half Day Class: $58
  • Thai cooking class &Market tour by Amazon Prime Series Chef.: $61
  • Thai Cooking Class in a Garden with Transfer: $61
  • Thai Cooking Class in Khaolak: $62
  • 3 hours Khao Lak Cooking Class and Market Visit: $69
  • Half-Day Cooking Class and Ingredient Hunt: $69
  • Private Local Style Cooking Class With Charcoal Stove: $75
  • Khaolak Finger Food Tour with Cabaret Show: $85
  • Khao Sok Local Life Adventure & Traditional Cooking Class: $86
  • ATV Quad Bike Excursion to Stunning Waterfalls with Dinner: $99

Typical Food Prices in Railay Beach

Some typical examples of dining costs in Railay Beach are as follows:


  • Casual Lunch (for Two)
    $5.49
  • Pizza
    $4.66

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Khao Lak $19
    Railay Beach $23

Tours and Activities in Khao Lak

Here are a few actual costs in Khao Lak for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Guided Walk & Feed Elephant Experience with Pickup: $36
  • Bamboo Rafting and Sea Turtle Conservation Center Half Day Tour From Khao Lak: $38
  • Evening Guide Tour to Khaolak Elephant Sanctuary Free 1 Cocktail: $51
  • Elephant Bathing and Feeding Tour: $52
  • Elephant Sanctuary Guided Tour: $53
  • Khaolak: Begin the Day with Elephants - Walk and Feed Tour: $53
  • 30 Minutes Khaolak ATV Quadbike & Waterfall Adventure: $54
  • Little Amazon Canoe Ride & Tam Nang Waterfall Tour: $56
  • Historical And Cultural Day Tour To Takuapa Old Town From Khao Lak: $62
  • Khaosok Night Safari Experience (From Khaolak): $66
  • Full-Day Temple Tour Including Dragon Cave from Khao Lak: $68
  • Temples Tour in Thailand: $68

Typical Entertainment Prices in Railay Beach

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Railay Beach are as follows:


  • Rock Climbing (for Two)
    $19

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Khao Lak $13
    Railay Beach $15

Typical Alcohol Prices in Railay Beach

Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Railay Beach are as follows:


  • Beer
    $1.65


When comparing the travel costs between Khao Lak and Railay Beach, we can see that Khao Lak is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in Asia, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Khao Lak Expensive? and Is Railay Beach Expensive?.



When is the best time to visit Khao Lak or Railay Beach?

Both destinations experience a warmer climate with nice weather most of the year. Instead of summer and winter seasons, they usually have a rainy season and a dry season.

Should I visit Khao Lak or Railay Beach in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Khao Lak and Railay Beach. Warm weather and sunshine bring visitors to Khao Lak year-round. Railay Beach attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and sunny climate.

Also, August to October is the rainy season in Railay Beach. Railay Beach receives a lot of rain in the summer. Khao Lak gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In July, Khao Lak usually receives around the same amount of rain as Railay Beach. Khao Lak gets 284 mm (11.2 in) of rain, while Railay Beach receives 287 mm (11.3 in) of rain each month for the summer.

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Railay Beach this time of the year. In Khao Lak, it's very sunny this time of the year. Khao Lak usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Railay Beach during summer. Khao Lak gets 206 hours of sunny skies, while Railay Beach receives 206 hours of full sun in the summer.

Khao Lak is around the same temperature as Railay Beach in the summer. The daily temperature in Khao Lak averages around 28°C (82°F) in July, and Railay Beach fluctuates around 28°C (82°F).


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Khao Lak 28°C (82°F) 
    Railay Beach 28°C (82°F)

Should I visit Khao Lak or Railay Beach in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Khao Lak as well as Railay Beach. Khao Lak attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and sunny climate. The warm climate attracts visitors to Railay Beach throughout the year.

Also, November to April in Khao Lak is the dry season. May to October in Khao Lak is the rainy season. Also, December to March in Railay Beach is the dry season. August to October in Railay Beach is the rainy season. It's quite rainy in Railay Beach. Khao Lak receives a lot of rain in the autumn. Khao Lak usually gets more rain in October than Railay Beach. Khao Lak gets 351 mm (13.8 in) of rain, while Railay Beach receives 304 mm (12 in) of rain this time of the year.

In the autumn, Khao Lak often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Railay Beach. Khao Lak gets 181 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Railay Beach receives 181 hours of full sun.

In the autumn, Khao Lak is around the same temperature as Railay Beach. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Khao Lak in October average around 27°C (81°F), and Railay Beach averages at about 27°C (81°F).


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Khao Lak 27°C (81°F) 
    Railay Beach 27°C (81°F)

Should I visit Khao Lak or Railay Beach in the Winter?

Both Railay Beach and Khao Lak are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. The warm climate attracts visitors to Khao Lak throughout the year. Plenty of visitors come to Railay Beach because of the warm climate and sunshine that lasts throughout the year.

The dry season in Railay Beach is December to March. In January, Khao Lak usually receives more rain than Railay Beach. Khao Lak gets 42 mm (1.7 in) of rain, while Railay Beach receives 31 mm (1.2 in) of rain each month for the winter.

It's quite sunny in Railay Beach. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Khao Lak. Khao Lak usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Railay Beach during winter. Khao Lak gets 287 hours of sunny skies, while Railay Beach receives 287 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Khao Lak is generally around the same temperature as Railay Beach. Daily temperatures in Khao Lak average around 27°C (80°F), and Railay Beach fluctuates around 28°C (82°F).


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Khao Lak 27°C (80°F) 
    Railay Beach 28°C (82°F)

Should I visit Khao Lak or Railay Beach in the Spring?

Both Railay Beach and Khao Lak during the spring are popular places to visit. Plenty of visitors come to Khao Lak because of the warm climate and sunshine that lasts throughout the year. Warm weather and sunshine bring visitors to Railay Beach year-round.

November to April is the dry season in Khao Lak. May to October is the rainy season in Khao Lak. Railay Beach gets a good bit of rain this time of year. It rains a lot this time of the year in Khao Lak. Khao Lak usually gets more rain in April than Railay Beach. Khao Lak gets 157 mm (6.2 in) of rain, while Railay Beach receives 120 mm (4.7 in) of rain this time of the year.

In Railay Beach, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Khao Lak. In the spring, Khao Lak often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Railay Beach. Khao Lak gets 249 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Railay Beach receives 249 hours of full sun.

Khao Lak is around the same temperature as Railay Beach in the spring. The daily temperature in Khao Lak averages around 29°C (83°F) in April, and Railay Beach fluctuates around 29°C (84°F).


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Khao Lak 29°C (83°F) 
    Railay Beach 29°C (84°F)

Typical Weather for Railay Beach and Khao Lak

Khao Lak Railay Beach
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 27°C (80°F) 42 mm (1.7 in) 28°C (82°F) 31 mm (1.2 in)
Feb 28°C (82°F) 30 mm (1.2 in) 28°C (83°F) 22 mm (0.9 in)
Mar 28°C (83°F) 60 mm (2.4 in) 29°C (84°F) 52 mm (2 in)
Apr 29°C (83°F) 157 mm (6.2 in) 29°C (84°F) 120 mm (4.7 in)
May 28°C (82°F) 345 mm (13.6 in) 28°C (83°F) 318 mm (12.5 in)
Jun 28°C (82°F) 286 mm (11.3 in) 28°C (82°F) 279 mm (11 in)
Jul 28°C (82°F) 284 mm (11.2 in) 28°C (82°F) 287 mm (11.3 in)
Aug 28°C (82°F) 272 mm (10.7 in) 28°C (82°F) 262 mm (10.3 in)
Sep 27°C (81°F) 417 mm (16.4 in) 27°C (81°F) 399 mm (15.7 in)
Oct 27°C (81°F) 351 mm (13.8 in) 27°C (81°F) 304 mm (12 in)
Nov 27°C (80°F) 188 mm (7.4 in) 27°C (81°F) 165 mm (6.5 in)
Dec 27°C (80°F) 71 mm (2.8 in) 27°C (81°F) 62 mm (2.4 in)


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