Ao Nang is a lively and vibrant holiday destination famous as a beach and resort point in Krabi, Thailand. Krabi is located almost 800 kilometers away from the glitzy and glamorous Bangkok on the west coastal side of the southern part of Thailand. Ao Nang is the most famous beach spot in the whole of Krabi thanks to its idyllic turquoise blue waters, stunning limestone formations, and snow-white sandy beaches.
Getting to Krabi is extremely easy as it can be accessed via air, road, and water. The Krabi international airport is just over half an hour away from Ao Nang. It is located at a distance of about 10 kilometers outside of the town of Krabi. Krabi being super close to Phuket, makes it very easy for you to interchange island and bay tours from Krabi and Phuket.
This beautiful resort town of Ao Nang is truly blessed with some of nature’s most precious gifts, and so is nothing short of a paradise for all beach life lovers. Ao Nang is considered to be one of Krabi’s most lively tourist spots.
It oozes a very chilled out atmosphere reminiscent of a small town, has the exuberance of a resort town, gives off a feel at the home vibe, and has the kind of affability towards its guests, which is what makes Thailand so famous.
Since Ao Nang is not an island in itself; however, it being so comfortably centrally located along with being a part of the mainland is much more affordable than you might think.
Ao Nang is the kind of place where if you had earlier planned to spend just a week will have you extending your stay by a few more weeks. Such is the charm of this place; it just takes your breath away from the first moment you set foot here and continues to dazzle you with its natural beauty throughout your entire stay.
While you are here, it is guaranteed that you will never experience even a single moment of ennui. There are so many activities to do here that also if you run out of energy to engage in any more of them, the list of to-do activities won’t see an end any time soon. If you want to know more about what makes Ao Nang so special, keep reading!
Top 11 BEST Things to do in Ao Nang
Enjoy a Krabi Mangrove Kayak Trip
Kayaking is a very affordable and peaceful way to really see Ao Nang, not to mention it is also very environmentally friendly. The coastline of Ao Nang consists of thick mangrove forests, caves, limestone karst topography, and countless hidden coves.
There are so many tours available that take you on a breathtaking trip to see some of Krabi’s many coves, groves, and canyons. Out of its many coves, the most popular one is Ao Thalane, the kayaking trip here takes you on a journey filled with wonder and excitement.
You get to paddle through Ao Thalane’s varied ecosystem minus the annoying crowd. Being extremely rich in both plant and animal life, you can spot a lot of rare wildlife animals here, for instance, some very rare bird species, primates, and much more. It is a full day activity and perhaps one of the best things to do in Ao Nang.
Take a Trip to Krabi Town and Night Market
Visiting Thailand, without experiencing its bustling night market life, literally takes all the fun out of it. The laid back and charming market town is a hub of activity and a transit point to other tourist areas and beaches.
The Krabi town is still pretty much not that influenced by modernity as it is still possible to witness the locals go about their day doing the usual things like fishing etc. at their own pace without any sort of rush. You can stroll along the riverside, see the contemporary art museum, and some other local attractions.
Explore the walking trails in the Thara Park and read by the pond or just take a walk. Tourists can take full-day excursions to see the Khao Khanab Nam and Krabi Tiger Cave. The Khao Khanab Nam are mountains and popular natural wonders.
There is a river running between two cliffs made of limestone, and the view is spectacular. One can get there by long-tail boats. The Krabi Tiger Cave is a warren of natural caves within a jungle. The “footprint of the Buddha” is the main attraction here, and you need to hike to get there.
The Krabi town night market is one of its most attractive highlights. It operates Fridays to Sundays. These night markets are buzzing with over 50 stalls that entice you with its eye-catching collection of knick-knacks and trinkets. If you are confused about what souvenir to take home, consider coming to its night market.
Additionally, there are also over 70 food stalls that are decked with every delicious Thai food that you can ever imagine. From Spicy Shrimp Soup, Thai red curries to Pad Thais, a plate of each of these and more will surely leave you wanting even more. And not to mention the seafood menu here, which is to die for.
WHERE TO STAY? Best hotels in Krabi
Get a Thai massage
After a long day of kayaking and rock climbing, it is imperative to give your muscles a break, and that is when you should head to a Thai massage parlor. Unlike the traditional massages that we are so familiar with the Thai massage is something that might come as a surprise to many.
Thai massaging technique is all about twisting and pulling at your muscles, but do not be alarmed as when you are done with it, you will feel very light and rejuvenated. A full Thai massage can last for two hours and includes pulling ears, toes, fingers, crackling of knuckles, and walking on the receiving person’s back.
Getting a Thai massage is also very affordable, as it only costs about 8 US dollars for an entire hour. If you are in the Ao Nang vicinity and want to calm your sore muscles down, you now know where to head to.
4. Dip in the Emerald Pool at Thung Teao Forest Park
Visitors who want to stay away from crowded beaches can head over to the Thung Teao Forest Natural Park. The Thung Teao Forest National Park and the Emerald Pool are the two most famous attractions in Krabi Town.
The Emerald pool originates from a hot spring, and it is named so because of its color. The color, however, changes through the day, and if you truly want to see the blues and greens, then visiting in the morning is the best.
The Thung Teao Forest National Park consists of a wide range of flora and fauna, and it is also a great place to get your adrenaline pumping by going on a hike or going exploring if you have had enough of the beach life.
On the other hand, the Emerald Pool or Sa Morako is a freshwater pond where you can laze around and do some swimming in its crystal clear water.
Visit Railay Beaches
Almost everyone that comes here to visit Ao Nang immediately falls in love with the Railay beaches. The Railay beaches are part of the Railay peninsula.
The Railay beach since it is cut off from the mainland because of its extremely tall and rocky limestone formations that exist on both of its sides can only be accessed via a boat.
There are so many things that you can enjoy here like rock climbing on the limestone formations or soaking your feet in the crystal clear waters, to name a few.
One needs to hike to get to the highest point on the beach for amazing views. The diamond cave has stalactite and stalagmite formations, which are a must-see. There are plenty of resorts in the area, and you can choose to stay for a longer time here, relaxing in peace and quiet.
The Railay beach has two ends named as East Railay and West Railay. The East Railay is perfect for witnessing jaw-dropping sunsets, taking photos of thick mangroves and the tall cliffs, while the West Railay is apt for swimming, kayaking, and a leisurely session of sunbathing.
WHERE TO STAY? Best hotels in Railay
Explore Phra Nang Cave
While you are in Railay, be sure to check out the Phra Nang cave, which is a shrine that has lots of wooden phalluses in it. The Phra Nang cave is located on the Phra Nang Beach.
The cave is dedicated to Phra Nang, which is a female spirit that represents fertility. The locals flock to this shrine, burn incense sticks and leave behind them offerings that resemble- you guessed it right- phalluses.
The locals mostly visit this place when they are leaving for the sea to ensure a safe return or when someone is unable to conceive. To get here, you need to rent a boat that will cost you around 3 US dollars for a 10-minute ride from most beaches in Krabi.
A Boat Trip to Koh Phi Phi
When you are in Ao Nang, visiting the Phi Phi islands seems like a no brainer. Made famous by the Hollywood movie ”The Beach” which was set here are a group of islands that are located in between Thailand’s biggest island of Phuket and Krabi on the mainland.
These two islands are Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Leh, and Phi Phi Don is the larger one of the two, while Phi Phi Leh is the actual setting for the movie. However, due to a huge number of tourists it received that apparently jeopardized its natural beauty, it has now been barred from visiting.
Since most of the crowd is now directed towards Phi Phi Don even then, this island is still in its pristine state. It is accessible only by a boat since there are no airports here.
Getting here early in the morning can prove to be a great idea if you want to avoid the overwhelming crowd. Snorkel a day away among the beautiful and vibrant corals or take a long stroll along the Maya beach where once the young Leo DiCaprio walked in ”The Beach.”
WHERE TO STAY? Best hotels in Koh Phi Phi
Wat Kaew Temple
The Wat Kaew Buddhist temple just might be the second most popular temple in the whole of Krabi Town, preceded by Wat Tham Seua or the Tiger Cave temple. It dates back to as early as the year 1887.
It is also known as the White temple because of its pristine white main building that has cobalt blue roofing, which is quite striking as a majority of all Buddhist temples here in Thailand are painted in either gold or red or a combination of both these colors.
The temple opulently sits on a 2,500 square meters terrace. What makes this temple so special is its resplendent staircase railing that has been adorned with golden sculptures of Naga all the way up till the temple’s entrance at the top.
The inside of the temple has walls that are adorned with colorful frescoes and murals that depict some of the Buddha’s life stories along with a Buddha statue and some priceless relics.
Explore Koh Poda
The islet of Koh Poda or the Poda island, as it is famously referred to, is conveniently located in close proximity to Ao Nang, Klong Muang, and the Railay beach.
It does not take too long to explore this islet because of it being so small. Just like most islands in Thailand, this island is blessed with pristine white powdery beaches with crystal clear turquoise blue waters lapping at its edges. Paradise in the true sense.
Koh Poda is the perfect place to go snorkeling and witness the stunning underwater beauty of the Krabi precinct. The crystal clear water makes it possible for you to see all its aquatic wonders like those colorful fish that you see in travel journals. Apart from snorkeling, you can also engage in some peaceful kayaking.
A kayaking excursion will take you paddling through some beautiful sights along the way, and when you reach the middle of the water, you can see the lively beach from there.
And after all that snorkeling and paddling, you are sure to need some refueling, and for that, there are plenty of kiosks on the beach that sell convenient food along with a wide selection of refreshing drinks.
Enjoy a Thai and Indian meal
In the gastronomy department, you would be surprised that despite being a Muslim area, Ao Nang has no dearth of good Indian restaurants.
If you really go about exploring, you will stumble upon one in every nook and cranny. Indians own most of these restaurants, and not only does that serve to drool-worthy authentic Indian dishes, but they also serve a whole lot of Thai and western foods.
Hence, if you are in Ao Nang and are craving a spicy bowl of Indian curry head to some of its most famous Indian restaurants like the Taj Palace, Bawarchi Delight, Zaika, etc.
Eat a platter of seafood in a local restaurant
Ao Nang, in addition to being world-famous for its beaches and picturesque landscapes, also fares very well in terms of the availability of delectable seafood, that too straight from the sea to on your platter.
There are many restaurants and local eateries in Ao Nang, including the famous night markets that serve out of this world seafood fare. Think tiger prawns, juicy clams, red catfish curry, and so much more. What’s even more amazing about these restaurants is that their price list is very easy on your pockets.
So even if you are traveling to Ao Nang on a very tight budget, you can still get a taste of some amazing seafood dishes here without having to break a bank.
WHERE TO STAY? Best hotels in Ao Nang