Ao Nang is the busiest and most built up beach town in the Krabi province of Thailand. It was originally a very popular backpacking destination but is now becoming more and more of a package holiday spot. With more flights arriving into Krabi airport and more luxury resorts being built it’s definitely being geared up to rival Phuket.
We boarded the local white songthaew to Ao Nang from Krabi town. The bus cost us 50 Baht per person each way and takes about 40 – 50 minutes.
The town is busy! A good choice of bars and restaurants plus accommodation from super cheap hostels to 5 star luxury resorts. You’ll also find a lot of tour operators offering everything from transfers to Bangkok to island hopping. So if you’re in the market for a tour or transfer this could be a good place to get it, as more sellers means competitive pricing. Ao Nang is the centre of island tours heading out of the Krabi province, so if hitting the open ocean is what you want, you’ll be spoilt for choice here.
The beach isn’t quite as nice as nearby Railay but its still pretty nice. What takes away from it being spectacular is the sheer amount of long tail boats arriving and departing. The noise is sometimes deafening and relentless and really takes away from the tropical paradise vibe. Also the water is quite murky and dirty looking. I don’t know exactly why this is, maybe the boats, maybe the ever-growing number of hotels. But it is a little off-putting.
Getting around Ao Nang is easy, Everything is built along the beach so it’s pretty straight forward. Along the beach road you’ll find shops selling the usual tourist souvenirs as well as the bars and the obvious pushy tuk tuk drivers you find at tourist destinations.
If you walk to the left (if you’re facing the ocean) you’ll find a few more tiki style bars and a whole lot of beach massage parlours. Carly got a massage on the beach and she was happy, again a lot of parlours so good competitive pricing.
Ao Nang’s Hidden Beach
Carry on walking till you get to the end of the beach and you’re faced with a set of very unstable looking staircases which make up ‘The Monkey Trail’. (Ao Nang is famous for its monkeys on the beach, but in our day there we didn’t see one, very sad.)
The trail goes up the rocks and across the ridge before coming back down again onto a secret beach. Beware the steps are quite steep and can be thin in places so sensible shoes are advised.
The secret beach on the other side was nice, it’s only small but if felt a little bit cleaner than the main beach. It’s pretty much just a very fancy 5 star resort but the beach is free for the general riff-raff like us to enjoy nonetheless. The big rock barrier dulls the constant engine noise from the boats which is a plus!
When The Sun Goes Down
Ao Nang really comes alive during the night!
It’s nightlife is well-known among fellow travellers. The options are endless, you can experience live music and the infamous ladyboys if that’s what you want.
We didn’t hang around for this. We had our fair share of that when we stayed in Patong not too long ago.
If you have any other useful information about Ao Nang, especially nightlife.
Please comment so I can add it to the post!