As hotels in Railay become ever more expensive, the adjacent beach of Ton Sai is looking increasingly more appealing for the budget traveller, though the recent price hike at this resort means things may soon be changing here as well.
Nonetheless, Tonsai Bay Resort, opened in late 2005, still offers a viable, good-quality alternative for those who have been priced out of Railay. Its concrete bungalows are currently the best on offer on this beach, and located less than a hundred metres away from the sand, in the shadow of an impressive cliff. This is a real bonus, as most accommodation in Ton Sai is located up on the hillside, often a lengthy walk from the shore.
In terms of location, Tonsai Bay Resort is also ideal for those who may have preferred to stay in Railay itself. At the southern tip of the beach, it is actually closer to Railay West (Sunset) Beach than many parts of the much uglier East Railay (see map below for a visual). You can simply scramble over the rocks that separate the two beaches (easier at low tide), or at high tide, take a longtail boat (40 baht per person) – a small price to pay considering you will be paying less than half the price of rooms only a few hundred metres away.
So what’s the catch? The only real downside is that Tonsai Bay has no swimming pool, and the sea is only swimmable at high tide. Other than that, you have access to a much livelier beach bar scene than Railay, which is becoming increasingly family and package-tourist orientated, as well as all the climbing activities available on Railay itself.
The rooms themselves are nicely decorated and tiled throughout, though the tag “villa” is a little pretentious, as they remain fairly ordinary bungalows. Superior villas come in pairs (semi-detached) with double beds only, whereas Deluxe villas are free-standing and slightly larger with a choice of double bed or 2 twin singles. All rooms have a large terrace out front. TV with satellite channels, air con, fridge with complimentary drinking water, and hot water shower are standard. Unlike most resorts in Tonsai, this one also provides 24 hour electricity during the high season months. Please note however, that from May – October, electricity is provided between the hours of 5pm and 9am only.
Last updated: July 10, 2014