One of the most interesting facts about Thailand is that it has some most astonishing treasures for travelers. In the coastal province of Krabi, Ao Nang in Thailand is one such treasure trove for travelers. Sitting next to a pristine beach and engirdled by sheer cliffs, Ao Nang is a small town and a popular tourist destination in Thailand. It has everything to lure tourists from far and wide. From adventure to nature to nightlife to attractions, there is so much to explore and experience in Ao Nang, Krabi. Such is the size of this very famous small town that a 30-minute stroll is enough to travel from one end to another. This is a travel guide to Ao Nang, Thailand and it will help you gather all the important information needed to plan an indelible tour to Ao Nang on your Thailand trip.
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Planning a trip to Ao Nang Thailand
Krabi is one of the most laid back parts in the southern province of Thailand. It has one of the most stunning limestone scenery imaginable, beautiful beaches, and over 200 islands just off the coast. Krabi has quickly become our favorite place in Thailand. It holds tons of beauty but stays relatively quiet most of the year. Yes, it can get busy but its nothing like the rest of the islands. If it’s your first time traveling here make sure you don’t forget these essential items.
Best Time to Visit Ao Nang
Tourists visit this popular destination all throughout the year. But the best time to explore Ao Nang Thailand is the months from November to April. The time of Christmas, New Year, and Chinese New Year attracts a large gathering of tourists from all around the world. The month from May to October witnesses heavy rainfall. As a result of that, the accommodation remains cheap during this time.
How to Reach Ao Nang Thailand
In Krabi province in Thailand, Ao Nang is probably the most sought-after destination. Hence, a tourist flock to this place all throughout the year. From the Krabi town, Ao Nang at a distance of around 20 km that can be easily covered via a bus or taxi. Whereas, the distance from Krabi airport to Ao Nang is some odd 25 km. If you are looking for flights to Krabi we highly suggest SkyScanner.com you can search below.
Krabi Airport Car Rental
No matter what terminal of the airport you are in they have multiple car rental serviced for you to choose from. Many international and local providers including Hertz. You can pre-book these online through their booking portal or you can book when you arrive. Generally, you know you are safe and getting a fair price when you book online so we highly suggest that. When arriving if you have a USA driver’s license generally they don’t ask for much of anything else but an international license would be very helpful in the time of need ( accident or police checkpoint ).
Krabi to Ao Nang by Bus
From the airport, buses operate on a regular interval that will take you to Ao Nang. The bus generally leaves once an hour but the schedule is not fixed as sometimes it leaves early as soon as it is full. The journey takes around one hour and it costs somewhere 150 Baht per person.
Airport Taxi from Krabi to Ao Nang
One thing to know when traveling Thailand is to avoid airport taxis. This is the option I will gladly tell you not to take. Although it is an option I don’t suggest it. They do offer airport taxis here but they tend to be the most costly option for you. The cost can peak at around 1500 THB or $48 USD. They have a “fixed-rate” depending on your location and tickets can be purchased in the airport from the booth before you exit. I say “fixed-rate” because most the time some situation happens where they expect you to pay more even if you have a ticket so just be careful.
If you do decide to go with the Taxi option you will cover the distance in the shortest time. It is the fastest and convenient way to reach Ao Nang from Krabi International Airport. The journey takes around 30 minutes and the taxi fare should be around 600 Baht.
Hotel Pick Up Krabi Airport
Now the last option and the option we went with is having your accommodations arrange to pick up for you. This should cost around $30 USD and is the easiest way for you to find the accommodations and get settled in. This is the option we went with and highly suggest it.
Where to Stay in Ao Nang?
When it comes to where to stay in Ao Nang, the town has plenty of accommodation options to choose from. There are a large number of resorts and hotels in Ao Nang for tourists of all budget ranges. Sea Seeker Krabi Resort, Panan Krabi Resort, Ban Sainai Resort, Deevana Krabi Resort, Anana Ecological Resort Krabi, and Aonang Villa Resort are some popular Ao Nang beach resorts to book a pleasing and comfortable stay.
How to Get Around in Ao Nang?
Having a limited geographical location, it is easy to travel within the town on foot. However, there are also a number of transportation options for its visitors to travel within Ao Nang.
Tuk Tuks in Ao Nang Thailand
– Whenever it is about how to get around in Ao Nang, tuk-tuk is considered to be the top choice of tourists. It is a fun way to travel within the town and also it is the cheapest means. It would cost you as much as 30 Baht and you will be at your destination in Ao Nang. Also, they are available in every nook and corner of the city. It is easy to ride tuk-tuks in Ao Nang.
Motorbike/Scooter Rental in Ao Nang Thailand
If you are not considering tuk-tuk to travel within Ao Nang, then the next option is motorbike/scooter renting. However, for that, you need to have an international license. When we went there this time last year we rented scooters from Krabiscooter. They were $75 USD ( 2,306 THB) for a month. If you would like to see other scooter rental options I would suggest heading down to Ao Nang beach. They have tons of rental places to choose from. The going daily rate is 200 THB per day. The longer you rent the better rate you will get.
In my eyes, this is the best place in Thailand to ride a scooter. With the calm country roads and fresh countryside smells there really is nothing like it. We have ridden scooters in over 13 countries and loved the mountainous countryside of Krabi the most.
Things to Do in Ao Nang
Night Market in Ao Nang
Krabi Town has a night market with tons of street food many of the same foods you will find in Bangkok. This market is open only 3 days a week. Every Friday to Sunday in the evening. There are over seventy food stalls here as well as lots of local sellers selling souvenirs. Sometimes local school children put on a show as they collect money for their school or another charity.
When ordering food make sure to grab the checklist below to help you with all the must needed Thai phrases.
Railay Beach is one of the best tourist destinations in Ao Nang. Railay Beaches consist of four pristine beaches – Railay West, Tonsai, Phra Nang, and Railay East. All these beaches offer impressive ambiance and surreal natural beauty to treat tourists with some amazing downtime. The best thing about these beaches is that it is very much easy to walk between all four beaches to compare the compelling charm with each other. Just to let you know, Phra Nang is not as compelling as other Railay beaches because it is still underdeveloped. However, Railay East is one of the most sought-after of all because of its stunning nightlife scene.
Not many know but Ao Nang is one of the best places to try your hands at the adventure of rock climbing. It is still one of the must things to do in Ao Nang. If you are an adventure buff and looking to seek the thrill of this adventure, then you can visit Tonsai, Railay Beaches, and Phra Nang as these are the popular spots to indulge in rock climbing experience in Ao Nang.
Scuba Diving From Ao Nang
Are you sure you want to skip the ultimate experience of Scuba Diving in Ao Nang, Thailand? I guess, your answer is a big “NO”? The town of Ao Nang has PADI dive centers that come under the administration of professional divers. They offer a choice of amazing diving day trips along with scuba diving courses and live-aboard. Koh Poda, Koh Tap, and Koh Talu are some great dive sites from Ao Nang. The diving tours in Ao Nang operate from 8 in the morning to 6 in the evening. The price of two scuba dives is about 2600 Baht in the local islands whereas, it is 3500 Baht for two dives in Phi Phi Islands.
Trekking at Hang Nak Mountain
Your adventure soul will be excited to know that the town of Ao Nang also has some great and scenic trekking routes; one of them is Hang Nak Mountain. It is one of the most popular trekking places with a fairly difficult trek for all the trekkers. As you ascend on this route, you will be served with some picturesque views. However, make sure you have your trekking before embarking the journey. You can also hire a guide to make the most of this activity.
The Phallus Shrine
Located in Phra Nang Cave, the Phallus Shrine is a sacred place where oodles of tourists come to explore this tourist attraction in Ao Nang. There are two caves that include imposing wooden phallic symbols. This place boasts a huge historical significance which says that Phra Nang Cave has been an important place since ancient times where fishermen pay their homage to the symbolic Phallus of Shiva before going out for sailing.
Ao Nang Beach
If you do not want to travel far and wide from the town to spend the beach time, consider a visit to Ao Nang Beach. Though it is not as impressive as other beaches located far and wide, yet it has everything to make your time a memorable one here. You can spend some downtime laying on the beach relishing the beautiful view and soaking up the sun. By choosing to visit Ao Nang Beach, you also avoid those long hours boat rides to reach a beach destination. You can even spot the stunning sunset from Ao Nang Beach. It is an experience in itself.
I always say and firmly believe that no vacation is ever completed without a shopping tour. And when the town Ao Nang has an ultimate shopping experience, you don’t want to miss that, right? Well, there are plenty of amazing places where you can visit for a shopping time in Ao Nang. Though the shopping thing in Ao Nang is not as big and popular as in Krabi and Phuket, yet it is an experience that is worth every effort and expense. Ao Nang’s Catalunya Walking Street and Nopparat Thara Plaza are two popular shopping spots where you can expect to see a huge gathering of shopping lovers both locals and foreign tourists.
Wat Kaew Korawaram ( White Temple ) is a very large Buddhist Temple that sits at the top of a hill overlooking Krabi Town. You climb up a gold-lined staircase that leads you right to the very top. It sits on a 2,500 sqm. terrace upon which the temple itself stands.
This is not the biggest of temples but Instead of the usual red and gold that you see in many Thai temples, this one has been decorated with white walls and a roof made of dark blue tiles. The majority of the temple in Thailand will give the vibe of golden and red but it is different here.
Klong Thom Hot Springs
This hot spring set inside rainforest surroundings. The Jacuzzi style baths are perfect for sharing and can be filled right to the top with warm running water. The water is supplied fresh from the thermal springs that are located inside volcanic chambers. The hot springs are unusual in that they cascade forming a waterfall that pours into a stream below. They have been cut into the smooth rocks and the water gets up to temperatures of forty degrees Celsius containing natural mineral salts that have many healing properties.
The best part of this hot spring is that when it gets too hot and you fancy a cooling swim after there is a stream that you can do this in. The springs are quite close to the Emerald Pool so it is worth combining the two. And that’s why we come up with the next things you should do in Krabi – Emerald Pool
This Emerald Pool (Sra Morakot) in Krabi province is one of our top suggestions for things you should do in Krabi, Thailand. The number one recommendation for enjoying the underground natural springs that flourish in Krabi province. Emerald Pool or pond is not a hot spring, but it is cool water that is just heavenly to swim in. The water is replenished by natural streams running into the pool from freshwater sources on the limestone hill above.
Tucked into one of Krabi’s national parks is an unbelievable natural pool. True to its name, the emerald pool entices travelers with the color of its waters. As the sun hovers over the pool, the shades of the water change – a phenomenon that should not be missed.
Khao Phanom Benja National park
This national park is named after Khao Phanom Bencha Mountain. The highest one in Krabi standing 1,350 meters tall. The park’s popular attractions are its waterfalls with alluring natural pools. The main attraction is Nam Tok Huay To, a spectacular 11-tier waterfall. On the largest tier, water cascades for some 70 meters down a jagged rock face. The waterfall is an easy 500-meter walk from the visitor center. The smaller one Nam Tok Huay Sa Khe is even closer.
Tiger cave temple
If you don’t mind slogging it off to enjoy some terrific views, consider climbing 1237 steps to reach the top of the tiger temple. It is literally the stairway to heaven (or hell) depending on how to fit you are. It is a climb up 1,237 steps which is no small task. When you get to the top you are rewarded with 360-degree views on the Andaman Sea.
PRO of Tiger Cave Temple
The fantastic views aside, it’s also a great place to just get away from it all.
CON of Tiger Cave Temple
Unless you are in peak physical condition, do not attempt it.
Nightlife in Ao Nang Thailand
Along with nature, adventure, and attractions, the town of Ao Nang also attracts tourists from around the globe for its ultimate nightlife experience. From bars to restaurants to cafes, there are plenty of places to enjoy amazing night time in Ao Nang. Boogie Bar, Ao Nang Center Point, Soi RCA, The Deck – Cocktail Bar & Beyond, The Last Fisherman, and Rick’s Bar are some popular spots where you can head to explore the nightlife scene of the town.
Where to Eat in Ao Nang Thailand
Now that to explore all these attractions and indulge in experiences, you will need a few days in Ao Nang. Thus, comes the question of where to eat in Ao Nang. Well, don’t worry, I have also covered that for you. In fact, there are plenty of amazing places to enjoy a meal in Ao Nang. Here are some:
Ao Nang Buffer Restaurant
Whenever it is about the best places to eat in the town, Ao Nang Buffer Restaurant always gets its mention. The restaurant offers a wide flavor of foods to enjoy and that too at a reasonable cost. You can say at just 499 Baht, you can enjoy Thai BBQ, international dishes, seafood, Japanese sushi, and much more. They also offer a complimentary drink with their delicacies.
Ao Nang, Mueang Krabi District, Krabi 81000, Thailand
All days from 6:00 AM to 9:00 PM
Do not fall for their name. It is a unique name indeed but the cafe is simple and well-designed. They offer a wide selection of vegetarian including delectable breakfast bowls and tempting smoothies. They also offer traditional foods like Beer Battered Fish ‘n’ Chips, Gourmet Hamburgers, Chilli Beef Nachos, and more. If you are looking for a healthy breakfast, then this is the perfect place to be.
143/7-8, Ao Nang, Muang, Krabi 81180, Thailand
All Days from 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM
Carnivore Steak & Grill
If you are looking for a place to enjoy an ultimate steak experience, then consider visiting Carnivore Steak & Grill. This is one of the most popular restaurants offering delectable dishes to enjoy. The ambiance of this place is on-point and the food is irresistible. From shrimp, squid, curry to chicken, this restaurant offers a wide range of delectable Thai dishes.
127 Khlong Hang Rd, Ao Nang, Krabi 81000, Thailand
All Days from 12:30 PM to 10:00 PM
If you are a big fan of seafood, especially lobster, then you know the place where you should go on your Ao Nang tour. Yes, the Lobster Restaurant. This is the perfect place in Ao Nang to enjoy Thai food in the budget. Besides, they offer amazing taste in their delicacies. If you are on a budget trip, then Lobster Restaurant is the place that can satiate your hunger for at least continuous three days with their range of food offerings on the menu.
Andaman Beach Club
Another budget option for you to enjoy food in Ao Nang is Andaman Beach Club. This is the perfect place to serve an amazing lunch at a reasonable price. This place has a unique setup to welcome their guests which includes both hammocks on the beach.
Next, let’s hop to the other islands of Krabi
Day trips from Krabi
It is said that there are more than 200 islands around the coastline of Krabi. Certainly, you cannot all Krabi Islands, but exploring a few islands would be an experience in itself. Most of these islands are small rocky outcrops that have arisen out of the sea and don’t have any land access. Whereas, some islands are quite big and inhabited. These islands have white sand beaches with intricate caves and gorgeous coral reefs. Hire a boat and go island hopping to discover Ao Nang beaches in Krabi.
You can rent a boat from Krabi town or Ao Nang and explore the islands. The best time of year to go is between November and April to avoid any unpredictable weather.
Phi Phi Island
After being used in the film location for the movie ‘The Beach’. This is the Phi Phi islands shot to fame and the tourists have never stopped coming. You can get there by speedboat which takes about forty-five minutes from Krabi mainland. There are two islands, Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Leh, Phi Phi Don is inhabited and is the one where all the tourists flock. Known for its turquoise water and stunning beaches the island really is a tropical paradise.
With that, we come to the end of this Ao Nang travel guide. To conclude, I would say that Ao Nang is one of the gems of Thailand tourism. People often ask, is Ao Nang safe? Well, the town is pretty safe for travelers now. However, I would still advise you to take certain precautions like avoiding traveling on the streets at night, remain vigilant about your surroundings, and take care of your stuff. Rest the trip would be an amazing one here in Ao Nang.
We hope these insights help you make the most of your trip. If you want to check out FULL VIDEO GUIDE we have that on our YOUTUBE CHANNEL. This shows you a depth guide to all the best and even some of the most unknown local spots!
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