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.
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.
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.
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.