Ao Nang or sometimes Ao Phra Nang is the most vibrant and westernised beach of Thailand located in the Mueang Krabi district of Southern Thailand. A former backpackers’ spot Ao Nang has now developed enough to be an absolute tourist's bliss. One can indulge in various activities like getting a relaxing spa, rock climbing, kayaking, scuba diving or go on a shopping spree.
The best way to enjoy beach life on Ao Nang Beach is to relax during the day and join the hustling crowd at night. From quiet and peaceful restaurants to boisterous pubs, the atmosphere of Ao Nang Beach will offer you unexpected friendliness in a new country.
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Things to do
With so many places to visit, here is a list of exciting activities which can be enjoyed by visitors. Kayaking You can easily rent a kayak in Ao Nang for THB 500 to THB 1000 a day and paddle to Tonsai, Railay, or even to Chicken Island. These islands are worth exploring on kayaks through the cliffs and jungles, and it is probably one of the unusual activities on the quiet Ao Nang beach.
Trekking This can be best by getting in contact with any of the hiking tour agencies in Ao Nang. The most sought after option for trekking is the Hang Mak Mountain. The climb can be quite strenuous, but the hard work will be worth the view at the top.
Snorkelling and Scuba Diving Another popular activity in Ao Nang is Snorkelling and Scuba Diving. You can get in touch with any of the diving companies which will get you a certified diver. The Dive Ao Nand, Aqua Vision, Ao Nang Divers are some of the dive shops located in Ao Nang. These centres are open daily from 08:00 AM to 06:00 PM and it can cost around THB 2,600 for two dives.
Rock Climbing The limestone cliffs in Ao Nang are the best to provide an excellent rock climbing spot for the visitors. For beginners, rock climbing schools are providing a range of courses. The “Deep Water Soloing” is another rock climbing opportunity which will involve climbing the cliffs which are hanging over the water without any ropes. Depending on the choice of your height, you climb the cliff and then jump back into the sea. This activity will surely pump up your adrenaline.
A speedboat or longtail boat visit is perfect for an island-hopping scene. You can leave in the morning and visit some of the secluded beaches with some wildlife in it. Local Agencies are the best way to sign for the tours. You can choose an excursion according to your budget, between a range of THB 400 to THB 1,500.
Muay Fight While in Ao Nang, you might come across trucks driving and announcing about a Muay Fight on a Friday night. A Muay Fight is one of the most incredible matches you will find on your visit. You can always get tickets for the game in Ao Nang from your hotels or tour agencies.
Ziplining Ziplining in Ao Nang is an incredibly fun activity where, soaring above the jungle canopy along with the monkeys below can give a good memory during your stay. A safe activity, Ziplining, is often conducted by agencies.
Shopping in Ao Nang
Although shopping around Ao Nang Beach might not be very intensive, there are a decent number of shops which can bring you some great deals.
Here is a list of the top shopping zones you could visit:
1. Ao Nang Tattoo Studios There are quite a few tattoo studios like Cool Point Tattoo Club, Tattoo de Cafe, Ink Me Tattoo, Family Tattoo, The King Tattoo, Popeye Tattoo around the Ao Nang Beach Road. You can choose the option of getting inked with either a bamboo or the machine. These shops provide a neat and clean environment for their customers. Timings: 10:00 AM to 11:00 PM
2. Walking Street This is an L-shaped street at the southern corner of Ao Nang Beach Road. You will find several local shops in the street selling clothes (women and men), bags, handicrafts, tailors, paintings, souvenirs, and also food joints.
3. Beach Wear Head down the road from Ananya to haggle for some beachwear, beach toys, and snorkelling equipment. Timings: 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM.
4. Chock Dee Handmade This little shop is known for jewellery, precious stones, beads, boxes, necklaces, rings, bracelets, and fossils. The shop is impeccable enough to attract visitors who also find a good deal after bargaining for the product. Timings:10:00 AM to 10:00 PM.
5. King’s Fashion Ao Nang Beach Road also has tailor shops which have been long established there. To add more to the uniqueness of the shop, they provide free transportation to the customers and 24-hour services. Timings:10:00 AM- 09:00 PM.
You can also find shops which sell cushion covers, scarves, handicrafts, ceramic products, handmade pashmina clothes, Thai silk, accessories, wallets, leather bags, and a lot more while strolling along the streets of Ao Nang. The best part is one can bargain for the products and can quickly get hold of it for a reasonable price.
The accommodation scene near Ao Nang has progressed to a reasonable extent since the 90s. There are almost no hotels on the Ao Nang beach; hence, you will have to walk down the road towards the mountains to find your accommodation. Most of the hotels have necessary facilities like all-day dining restaurants, lobby bar, pool, meeting venues, 24-hour room service, spa centre, complimentary breakfast, etc. Resorts are starting from as low as THB 1,621 to as high as THB 8,100. You can select the place of your accommodation depending on your budget and the facilities required. Know that online websites can help you book your accommodation.
Getting around the island
There are two viable options to get around the island.
1. Tuk Tuk The most straightforward way of getting around anywhere on the island is to hire a tuk-tuk. Prices: A tuk-tuk ride will cost THB 20 for trips anywhere around the town.
2. Songthaews Another cheap option of transportation within the island is to get on a Songthaew. Prices: Their fares start from THB 10 and can go high depending on the distance you want to travel.
3. Motorbike You also have an option of renting a bike from the renting shops available on the island. Prices: Motorbike rides will cost around THB 150 to THB 200 for a day.
4. On Foot Since Ao Nang is a small place, you can get around the site by walking. It will save you money but will require a lot of physical strength.
Best time to visit
October is the best time to visit Ao Nang Beach; it is the period just before the high season. The weather during this time is favourable for outside activities with clear skies and bearably warm days. Also, hotel prices are not quite average, and you can get some of the best hotels on discounts.
Tips for visiting
Some of the essential tips to keep in mind when travelling to Ao Nang are:
Carry an international driver’s license if you are looking forward to renting a motorbike for your transportation on the island.
While shopping, keep in mind to bargain and not agree to the rate proposed by the shopkeepers. They tend to demand higher prices from visitors; hence, it is better to get your item at a bargained price.
Keep the beach clean after your visit as the local people put in a lot of effort to provide a clean tourist place for the visitors.
How To Reach Ao Nang Beach
By Air The distance between Ao Nang and the Krabi International Airport is just 25 kilometres. There are three options of commuting from the airport to Ao Nang. Hire a Taxi: This will take around 30 minutes and cost THB 600 Private minibus: If you are a bigger group, this is the better option for getting to Ao Nang which would cost THB 1000. Take the Bus: This is a slower and cheaper option amongst all. It will cost THB 150 per person.
By Taxi Besides this, if you are travelling to Ao Nang from Klong Muang or Tubkaek, you can hire a taxi which will cost THB 400 from Klong Muang and THB 500 from Tubkaek. This journey will take only 20 to 30 minutes.
By Ferry or Boats There are also ferry services or longtail boats available from Phi Phi Island, Koh Lanta, Phuket but only between November and April. Best Option However, the cheapest option is to take a songthaew from Krabi Bus Station to Ao Nang, which are available until 10:00 PM. The ride would cost only THB 60 and can be expected within 15 to 20 minutes of intervals. Finding a songthaew to reach Ao Nang is easy because the songthaews are colour coded according to the destinations. You will need to get on a white songthaew to get to Ao Nang which you will find from 7-Eleven at the corner of Soi 8 and Maharaj Road.