Ton Sai Beach in Thailand – An Anekdotique Travel Guide

Looking for a beach paradise? Meet Ton Sai Beach in Thailand. As the Kingdom is one of the most visited countries in SEA, it’s hard to find a lonely beach spot, just like the one we all might know from the Di Caprio movie The Beach: a tiny, picturesque bay, silky soft, white sand and coconut palm trees hanging their heads over the bay. But on my last trip to the land of smiles, I actually found a spot, that is pretty close to what you might have in mind right now. It’s name is Ton Sai Beach.

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Ton Sai Beach near Krabi in Thailand

I’ll leak the point before you read on: no, Ton Sai Beach (Thai: จังหวัด กระบี่) is not a lonely beach and there is not gonna be young Leo jumping out of the jungle to scar you and convince you of taking fancy drugs. (Well, actually, that might happen. Even though it will probably not be DiCaprio.) But I swear, everything else is just like it is supposed to be. Sounds good? Read on.

Ton Sai Beach in Thailand PanoramaSwimming at Tonsai Beach in Thailand

What is Ton Sai Beach?

Ton Sai Beach or also Ton Sai Beach is a beach (well, obviously) close to the southern Thai town of Krabi, that comes up with a small bay surrounded by steep rock walls that are a climbing enthusiasts’ dream. So most of all, people come here for two things: climbing and chilling.

Strolling along the Ton Sai Beach

What is the beach like?

It’s pretty sandy. Ok now, seriously, it’s stunning. Gentle lapping, glistening turquoise water, bright sand, huge palm trees everywhere, long-tail boats lying in the bay. There is not much more that you could ask for. Be aware, due to the strong sun, the shade at Ton Sai sites are in great demand.

Climbing at Ton Sai Beach

What to do in Ton Sai Beach?

Well, climbing and climbing. And than chill at the beach and chill even more. And then begin all over again. And when the sun sets at the horizon, have a cold beer or a fancy cocktail at one of the beach bars. The Ton Sai Beach boys that are all around the place will be ready to entertain you with their impressive fire tricks, that mostly consist of these totally well trained, well-tanned and probably also well-stoned young men throwing sticks in the air that are on fire. Seriously, Ton Sai could well be the world capitol for fire tricks.

Ton Sai Beach Boys

Is Ton Sai Beach child-friendly?

Wow, you have kids? Congratulations! …Yes and no. Because it pretty much depends on low and high tide. At some times, the water is pretty steeply sloping. At others, it’s very suitable for swimming, even for children.

How to get around in Ton Sai Beach?

The only way to get around Ton Sai Beach is on foot. The beach and the main road act as the primary thoroughfares in the area. But be sure, it won’t take you more than a couple of minutes to walk from one end of the bay to the other.

Are there shops, bars and restaurants in Ton Sai Beach?

Yes, there is one beach bar after the next and each looks even more relaxed and has an even bigger Jamaican flag hanging somewhere (besides the Thai flag of course). So you are spoilt for choice.

Ton Sai Beach BarsUnique Ton Sai Beach Bars

What is the atmosphere like at Ton Sai Beach?

Well, there are lot’s of people with a true backpacker look and loads of people with a rastafari style. And as everywhere in SEA, there are some few that look more like they would be on an everlasting trip of the other type. If you know what I mean… What they do all day? Just hang around, ya know.

Ton Sai Beach in Thailand

Can I learn how to climb at Ton Sai Beach?

Yes, the bay is hosting a number of climbing schools and guiding companies.

Can I stay overnight at Ton Sai Beach?

Yes you can! In a handful of hostels and backpacker stays that all call themselves “resort” (just like everywhere else in Thailand. It seems like the whole country is one huge resort.) Nevertheless, they should be pretty ok and price worthy in relation to most other accommodations in that area of Thailand.

So how to get to Ton Sai Beach?

There’s no easy overland access to Ton Sai, so most visitors arrive by long-tail boat, which is very scenic!

Boats at Ton Sai BeachTon Sai Beach panorama

If you’re arriving from Krabi bus station to Ton Sai, the best idea is to get a tuk-tuk or taxi to Ao Nang Pier (around 60 Baht).

From there, share or charter a boat to Ton Sai Beach (100 Baht, 10 minutes). Boats run frequently, but only when enough people have gathered and when there are at least 8 persons. It will depend on the time of the year, weather you will have to wait 5 minutes or an hour. The other idea is: make a deal with the boatman. Money and a good talk make the world go round, you know.

From the other side, Ao Nam Pier, a long-tail boat to Ton Sai Beach is 50 Baht, with a travel time of about 5-7 minutes.

Ton Sai Beach Clear Water

Conclusion:

Ton Sai on not a lonely beach, but a pretty nice bay to hang around and just have a good time lying at the beach or hanging at a rock. So if you fancy one of those options, this could be your dream location.

Have you been to Ton Sai Beach in Thailand? What anekdotiques and tips do have? Leave a comment!

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  1. malapascua says:

    Wow, it looks just amazing. I love Thailand so much. Greetings from Zurich!

    Reply
  2. Wunderschön! Ich liebe diese Ecke Thailands. Manchmal sollte man allerdings kein zweites oder gar drittes Mal zurückkehren. Ich war 1997 das erste Mal da und es war paradiesisch. Mittlerweile ist mir das alles etwas zu überlaufen. Trotzdem…traumhafte Bilder. Please beam me up.

    Reply
    • Clemens says:

      Oh 1997 muss es toll gewesen sein! Ja, das ist leider in den meisten Ecken in Südoastasiens so, das immer mehr los ist. Auf den Gilis bei Lombok war ich 2003 mit ungefähr 10 anderen Menschen auf der Insel. Jetzt rennen sie alle hin, in Scharen. Dabei ist das gar nicht schlimm. Es ist nur gut zu wissen, es auch mal anders erlebt zu haben.

      Reply
  3. Lily La says:

    This place looks really cool! I would love to learn how to climb like a pro. What a beautiful place it would be to learn 🙂

    Reply
    • Clemens says:

      Absolutely! I also learned today that climbing is a must if you are in Ton Sai. So well, it seems like I did everything wrong just hanging out at the beach 🙂

      Reply
  4. Albert says:

    I love this post. It makes me want to go back. I never should have left. Maybe I should make another trip.

    Read about my experience here:
    http://heretostray.wordpress.com/2013/09/16/ton-sai-krabi-a-place-all-backpackers-should-avoid-at-all-costs/

    I am definitely adding you to my blogroll.

    Reply
    • Clemens says:

      Thank you so much, Albert. I don’t have a blogroll yet, but it’s in the planning.

      Reply
  5. Samantha says:

    What a beautiful place…I’d love to visit there someday…at least for now I can drift off and dream with your gorgeous pictures. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Clemens says:

      Wow Samantha, that’s like the greatest thing someone can say to me. I hope you had a great dream-stopover!

      Reply
  6. Beautiful photos, it’s the first thing that caught my attention. You capture the atmosphere perfectly. I’m curious… what other beaches would you recommend? I definitely want to see Tonsai too

    Reply
    • Clemens says:

      Thanks Rashad! You should definitely visit Railay Beach as well, it’s on the other side of the bay and you can get from there easily to Tonsai Beach by longtail boat.

      Reply
  7. Thanks for this article. I’m heading to Ton Sai in a couple of weeks and there’s not a whole lot information out there about what to expect. Not pre-booking accommodation so I’m hoping to snag a decently priced bungalow when I show up. 🙂

    Reply
    • Clemens says:

      Awesome David, that sounds really cool! I hope you’ll get a nice place to stay. That should not be that hard. Good luck and tell me if you like it!

      Reply
  8. CeecesTaxi says:

    Well! This is just BRILLANT! I LOVE the way you have written this article. Everything you have highlighted and your honesty. I cant wait to get to this beach paradise. Sun, Sand, Sea AND CLIMBING areas? This is my heaven! Hopefully I can convince a friend to join me, if I cant though I am sure, there will be some new back packing, friends to make.

    That sign outside the Rasta Bar say’s REAL Coffee, I like that! I’ll have to switch between the Island Cocktails and the Coffee along the way 🙂

    Cant wait to get there and if you have any other tips please let me know. I am VERY interested in this particular spot.

    Great Article., Great Photo’s all round Amazing!

    Reply
    • Clemens says:

      Wow! Thanks for that overwhelming words! I’m so happy to hear that you like my writing style and how I try to bring this place closer even to people who haven’t been there before. If you have the chance, try to go to Tonsai Beach, it’s very worth a visit.

      And I’m pretty sure you’ll find some new friends along the beach and yes, I totally know what you mean when it comes to coffee!

      Do you have any particular questions? I’ll try to help you as much as I can, promise!

      Reply
  9. Lauren says:

    Great photos, the beach looks incredible! I love beaches that are surrounded by mountainous scenery. Stunning!

    Reply
  10. Thairing says:

    The Thai translation is wrong. It reads “djangwat Krabi” which means “Krabi province”.

    Reply

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