Ao Nang

Ao Nang - Krabi - Thailand

Ao Nang - Krabi - Thailand

Ao Nang is a shortened form of the official and previous name for the area of 'Ao Phra Nang' translated as "Princess Bay" and now is more commonly known as just Ao Nang.

Located about 800 km south of Bangkok in the province of Krabi bordering the Andaman Sea, Ao Nang has evolved from a small fishing village visited by a few backpackers in the eighties and nineties to Krabi's major tourist destination in southern Thailand.

Ao Nang is 40 minutes from the airport located near Krabi town and although the town is busy especially in the high season it has not lost that laid back, friendly small-town feel.

Map of villas in Ao Nang

Ao Nang town is approached by a road running north to south towards the beach and lined with the usual tour operators, tailor shops, fast food eateries and tourist shopping on either side with the backdrop of a limestone karst to the east.

Ao Nang beach at the foot of the town is also the main long tail boat hub transporting visitors who wish to island hop to the paradise beaches of the neighbouring islands including Railay, Ko Hong, Ko Poda and Ko Gai.

The best part of this beach is towards the east end away from the longtail boats should you still wish to be close to the town and not be disturbed by the noisy boats.

The road coninues east west with a promenade on the beachside and another row of restaurants and shops on the opposite side.

The better beaches of Ao Nang are a 2km walk or a tuk tuk ride and continue from Ao Nang beach further and are much quieter having whiter softer sand and are ideal for families with children or those who just want to chill out and relax and enjoy the scenery in relative peace. The beaches of Haad Noppharat Thara and Khlong Muang are perfect for this and are popular with the locals for weekend picnicing


Apart from the beaches, watersports and stunning scenerythere are a host of other things to do and see in and around Ao Nang as listed in the 'Activities' section below.

Spa and Wellness

As with many of the tourist areas of Thailand, Krabi has it's fair share of spa and well being centres and in Ao Nang you are spoiled for choice from high end spa centres in the luxury hotels to beauty shops and massage parlours to offer you that little bit of pampering to recharge the batteries. The majority of our krabi villas also offer in-house spa and beauty services.

Ao Nang Beaches

Ao Nang Beach

This beach forms part of Ao Nang town the most popular tourist area in Krabi. The scenery however of the limestone cliffs either side of the bay are stunning and you also have usual tourist amenities on your doorstep which many prefer. In the high season ( November - March) you will see the clear turquoise blue waters. The southern part of the beach is the better part of the beach to enjoy where it is less busy away from the long tail boats touting for business.

Nopphara Thara Beach

Nopphara Thara beach is a short tuk tuk ride for Ao nang located 2km north and this beach offers a more attractive and relaxed beach and good for children. The picturesque beach has been zoned as a National Park and during low tide you can walk across to the craggy limestone islands. The north end is the best area of the beach and has is a growing number of restaurants, shops and resorts along the road parallel to the beach. Tour boats to the islands also leave from this beach.

Railey Beach

These beaches are considered some of the best in the world and as they are backed by limestone cliffs, can only be reached by boat. This takes 15 minutes from Ao Nang beach where many other tours depart from. There are bungalow resorts, hotels and restaurants on these beaches but again they can only be accessed by boat.

Phra Nang Beach

This beautiful beach is usually visited at the same time as Railey beach as you can actually walk from Railey beach and takes 10-15 minutes. A boat trip direct to PHra Nang Beach is less than 15 minutes by long tail boat from Ao Nang and Krabi. There are caves just to one end of the beach that are fun to explore.

Koh Hong

The main beach on Koh Hong Island (Pelay Beach) is stunningly beautiful flanked by limestone cliffs and creating a curved bay. The beach is bordered with trees under which you will find picnic tables and the odd fallen tree which children love to play on. There many tour operators who organise this trip which takes 1 hour each way from Ao Nang or Krabi and some can bring kayaks so you can explore the lagoon and rest of the islands around Koh Hong

Phi Phi Islands

The Phi Phi islands are made up of 6 islands with beautiful beaches two of which particularly attract the visiting tourists are Koh Phi Phi Don and Koh Phi Phi Ley. Apart from their beauty the Phi Phi Islands are popular with diving enthusiasts, kayaking and snorkelling in the crystal clear waters. A visit to these beaches takes up to 2 hours from the Krabii mainland. The islands are also protected with National Park status for their natural beauty as they get very busy in the high season.

The location on the eastern coast of Phang Nga bay puts Ao Nang within easy reach of all the fishing, diving and kayaking sites in the bay. There are many operators in and around Ao Nang that offer tours. Aside from this there are also many family friendly activities including a visit to the natural springs and on weekend nights visiting the 'walking street' market in Krabi town.

Suggestions of activities and attractions local to Ao Nang are as follows

Island Hopping, snorkelling and kayaking trips
There are many tour operators in and around Ao Nang offering these trips departing nearby.

Private Sailing trips
Sailing boat charters are available at some of the local tour operators.

Climbing ATV riding and white water rafting
For the more adventurous, these more extreme sports are also offered.

Krabi Town Market
Although Ao Nang also has markets it is well worth a visit to the weekend "walking street" market in Krabi Town. It is only on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights and for fun and variety it is well worth a visit, with a stage show of local talent provided.

Hot Springs and Emerald Pool
These attractions are 2km apart but always treated as a pair of attractions to be seen at the same time. They are a great attraction for children, for whom unusual swimming experiences are a sure hit, and also with older people, who will particularly enjoy the hot springs. The nearby crystal pool is a lovely place to swim and it has a natural water-slide that is lots of fun for the young.

Elephant Trekking
Huay To in Phanom Bencha NP is the best place to go elephant trekking in Krabi province where the elephants are better treated than anywhere else and you can bathe and swim with the elephant as well. The trek will take you into the rain forest at the foot of the beautiful "karst" mountains, with the sheer cliffs special to this area.

The Tiger Cave Temple
Aptly named because of the rock outgrowth nearby, which resembles a tiger's claw. It is considered by the Krabi Buddhists to be one of the most sacred sites in the province and well worth a visit. Some 250 monks and nuns live in the temple compounds at the moment. The staircases up to the temple are rather challenging, however the view from the top, combined with the lovely Buddha statuary, makes the summit of the hill an unforgettably beautiful place.

There are no shopping malls or supermarkets here, but there are plenty of convenience stores and souvenir shops as well as clothes shops selling anything and everything. These are lined together along the main beachfront road and some smaller roads off the main road.

Watersports and Sea Tours

Jet Skis

Most of the popular beaches have jet-ski concessions to explore the local bay on your own and discover small coves or join an organised tour with one of the many boat charter companies.

Deep Sea Fishing Trips

The waters surrounding Krabi are teaming with fish and there are half day and full day fishing trips available by big boat or long tail boat with all equipment provided - some combined with snorkeling. Special program of night fishing also available.

Diving and Snorkeling Trips

Krabi is a wonderful location to enjoy snorkeling and diving, in part thanks to the likes of friendly whale sharks, dolphins and turtles that grace the azure crystal clear waters. There are many reputable dive schools to choose from.

Private Sailing trips

Have the ultimate experience in Srisupai - a Thai style junk boat and take a private sailing tour aound the south Andaman Sea islands of Chicken Island, Koh Poda and Tub Islan via Railey Bay. Sunset trips also available.


A great way to explore Krabi's amazing scenery and spotting several speacies of birds and animals on the way. There are 3 main areas that the tours take in for kayaking - Ao Luk in the north of Krabi, Ao Thalane  on the tip pg Phang Nga Bay and the island of Koh Hong where there is plenty to explore beyond the main popular beach.

Island Hopping

Usually at the top of everyones "to do" list on Koh Samui. There are 4 groups of islands to visit and can be done in a day trip with the Phi Phi Islands and James Island being the furthest away ( and the busiest) and the 4 islands (including Koh Poda and the Hong Islands the closest.

Other Activities

ATV /BuggyTours

Often combined with elephant trekking and a dip in a waterfall there are many programs available for all the family from 30mins fun to 2 hours.


There are no shopping malls or supermarkets here but there are plenty of convenience stores and souvenir shops as well as clothes shops selling anything and everything. These are lined together along the main beachfront road and some smaller roads off the main road.


The towering rock formations here draw climbers from around the globe. There are a number of climbing schools that offer training to suit allabilities. The stunning limestone cliffs of Railey have over 600 bolted roots and is one of the most popular climbing areas of Krabi.

Thai Cookery School

There is a Thai Cooking School in Ao Nang with morning and afternoon courses and many restaurants offer this experience as well

Go Karts

Take a break from relaxing by the beach and visit Krabi's new go kart track. The track is one km long, high quality tarmac and weaves literally around one of krabi's mountains. There are three types of karts available including 2 seaters with dual controls for younger children and 200cc single seaters for adults.

Cycling Tours

A cycle tour will take you to some of the finest and most spectacular un-spoilt places you can imagine. Tracks, fire trails, back country single tracks as well as covering large distances in beautiful Thailand. At the same time, traveling by bicycle gives you a great sense of independence.

Horse Riding

2 or 3 hour tours along the beach and enjoy stunning views. Sunset treks also available and the horses can go into the water.


Eating out in Ao Nang

Thai food is abundant in Ao Nang and Haad Nopphara Thara and is available 24 hours a day. Visit a traditional Thai restaurant, eat at a local market or try one of the many street vendors, who are based on every street corner.

For those people who need a break from Thai food, a whole host of Western options are available. These include traditional English food, Indian Food, Scandinavian food, steaks, pizza and pasta (there are 6 Italian restaurants).

The majority of the restaurants line the beach road opposite the beach, however Ao Nang's Seafood Street is a different matter.

"Seafood Street" comprises of 6 seafood restaurants and is one of the most frequented dining places due to it's location overlooking the northern end of the beach ,which means it is a superb sundowner. All serve similar fare, so walk along and see which 'catch of the day' takes your fancy. The locally owned Ban Lay Thai Kitchen is a favourite or, for a fancier setting, try The Longtail Boat. As the restaurants are located over the water, tables fill up early at around sunset. They remain very busy until around 9.30pm, so you may have to wait for a table.

At the southern end of the beach road is The Last Fisherman, set right on Ao Nang Beach. This thatched roof bar and restaurant made of recovered materials offers its punters a chill-out place at which they can dine mostly in the open air, with their toes in the sand under the shade of a coconut tree.


Ao Nang Nightlife

Whilst it lacks wild nightlife and young party travellers will bore quickly, it does have a few relaxed bars including irish pubs and two nightclubs.

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