real life

TRAVEL: Beautiful island bungalows below $50 a night


Rebecca Sparrow reluctantly shares a secret – the amazing Sand Sea Resort in Thailand, where bungalows can cost below AUD$50 a night.

You know when you discover a place, a getaway, that is so perfect you’re torn between bragging about it to all your friends and… well, telling absolutely no-one so you don’t have to share it? Well the Sand Sea Resort at West Railay Beach in Thailand is one of those places. A few years back when my husband and I were planning a month long holiday in Thailand, my Publisher spilled the beans about this resort and then (immediately regretting it) begged me to keep it to myself. And I did. Until now. (Sorry, MD).

Sand Sea Resort is a fairly simple resort. It’s three stars. You stay in bungalows. There’s no room service. No “pillow menu”. No fancy-schmancy chocolates with the nightly turn down service. Actually, there’s no turn down service. So what’s so good about the place? The location. And the price.

Railay Beach is considered by many to be the most beautiful beach in Thailand. And with no roads, no cars and no buses – it offers the ultimate tranquil getaway. You see, Railay Beach is only accessible by sea. It’s actually a small peninsula in Southern Thailand located between the city of Krabi and Ao Nang. But despite being connected to the mainland, Railay is accessible only by boat due to the surrounding sheer limestone cliffs and steep jungle valleys. So if you’re looking for the ultimate peaceful beach escape – this is it. That said, it’s also an adventurers haven offering rock-climbing, sea kayaking, beach soccer, beach volleyball and plenty of caves and lagoons to explore.

But for me the appeal of Sand Sea was spending my days relaxing by the pool drinking cocktails, reading, drinking cocktails and having Thai massages.

What: Sand Sea Resort, West Railay
Where: Railay Beach is a 15-minute longboat ride from Ao Nang (approx 60 baht per person) or a 45-minute longboat trip from Krabi.
How much: You can get a deluxe bungalow with fan for $48 per night (air conditioned bungalows are available).
For more information:

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