I read a lot of reviews bemoaning the development in Railay but all whining aside this is happening all over Thailand and has been for the last 20 years if not longer. Yes, there are longtails. That's how most people travel here. Yes, you can taste fuel if you swim right by them but why would you want to do that? There is plenty of room to swim on the North end of the beach not to mention some world-class limestone cragging. There are no pushy vendors and despite the fact that the peninsula is now wall to wall hotels you can stay there for a week and not feel hemmed in. Try to get out to Phranang Beach instead of just Railay West and take a moment to look around and truly appreciate the beauty of your surroundings. Swim out a hundred meters or so and turn around - This is one of the most ebautiul beaches in the world and I can say that with some authority as I've been to most of the "World's best beaches". There will always be development and it will always sadden those who remember when things were a little less crowded but on the balance Railay is still a very laid back place to hang out on the Andaman.
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