Tonsai Beach is known for two things. Firstly for the breath-taking cliffs surrounding the beach, in places right next to the water’s edge, which are a pilgrimage destination for all climbing enthusiasts. Secondly, further inland there is a backpacker colony offering cheap accommodation and with bars with a hippy-like atmosphere where there are wild parties every night.
Tonsai Beach is also good for swimming as there are hardly any stones on the way into the water and you can reach the deeper parts quite quickly. Although there are no designated swimming areas, the motorised long-tail boats are concentrated in just two places which you can easily avoid. The noise of the boats is not that disturbing, as there are considerably fewer boats arriving here than, for example, at the neighbouring Railay Beach West. If you are not into climbing, there are other sporting activities available and you can hire kayaks directly at the beach and there is also a volleyball net here.
You can get food, drinks and snacks at a beach restaurant, at one of the hotel restaurants and at a beach bar, which also has a pool table and a nice terrace with comfortable seat-cushions from where you can enjoy the great views of the sea and one of the cliffs used for climbing. Just a few hundred metres inland you will find a backpacker colony where you can get basic and cheap accommodation in huts and where there are several small shops and some bars with a completely crazy hippy atmosphere. Here there are loud and boisterous parties every night and roughly once a week there is also a party directly at the beach. Many backpackers come here for several nights and go climbing during the day and partying at night. A little further away from the action are two more expensive hotel complexes where it is quieter and more family-friendly.