Ao Nang has one of the most popular beaches in Krabi, Thailand apart from the islands.

Ao Nang Beach Krabi Thailand

Ao Nang Beach in Krabi, Thailand

This popularity has lead the small fisher village of Ao Nang to turn into a busy tourist town full of expensive hotels and resorts, restaurants and overpriced tourist shops. In our opinion not much authentic Thai lifestyle can be found in Ao Nang anymore.

Therefore, just as with Railay Beach, we recommend basing yourself out of Krabi Town and enjoying the beach in Ao Nang during the day and a Thai town at night.

You can easily get to Ao Nang from Krabi Town either by renting a motorbike and driving yourselves or by hopping on one of the local buses (songthaews).

By motorbike:

Ao Nang beach is about 20 km from Krabi Town and the drive takes about 20 -30 minutes by motorbike. First you need to rent a bike.

There are a number of places to rent bikes from in Krabi Town. The price is usually around 180-200 Baht (~ $6) per day plus a fill up for about 100 Baht (~ $3) per tank. The rental shop owners will point you into the direction of the closest gas station.

As usual in Thailand the owner will most likely keep your passport for the rental period and it is always a good idea to snap a few pictures of the condition of the bike before you leave. We’ve never run into issues, but just in case {CYA}.

It is a good idea to get a map of the Krabi area and familiarize yourself with the way you have to go. Or better yet, pull up directions on your smart phone. All throughout Asia it has worked quite well for us to load a map and directions while we had internet connection. Later, on the road, we still could follow along quite well even without an active connection.

Getting from Krabi Town to Ao Nang

Direction to Ao Nang Beach from Krabi Town

Basically, you want to leave Krabi Town on the western-most of the three parallel main streets, also called Krabi Road. Turn left just before the Shell station, then left after a PTT gas station. After a while you get to a roundabout – leave at the second exit (right direction). The road will end at a T-intersection. Turn left here and you will be heading straight towards the beach.

Find a parking spot and enjoy a wonderful day at the beach.

By Songthaew:

Songthaew literally means “two benches” and refers to the converted pick-up trucks with two benches installed in the back. All over Thailand local transport is operated by this type of songthaew. Around Krabi Town you mainly see red and white songthaews. Red ones cover the area around town, while the white ones go to and from Ao Nang.

In the mornings you will see the white songthaews quite frequently. Around the area of Chao Fa pier you will also hear them – as they drive around slowly, while honking madly in hopes of getting the attention of possible passengers.

Later in the day it might be easier to catch a white songthaew close by the mall (Vogue Department Store). There will usually be one waiting at the side of the road.

During daytime the fare is 50 Baht ($1.70) for one way and 60 Baht ($2) after dark. The ride takes about 30 minutes as the route goes by Nopparathara Beach first. This beach is a little further down the road from Ao Nang beach. It is not as developed and preferred by Thai locals who have picnics underneath the trees on the promenade.

Try it out for a change, but keep in mind that it is very shallow at low tide. Imagine walking straight into the water for 5 minutes and your knees are barely getting wet.

After Nopparathara Beach Ao Nang comes into view. The songthaew will stop at a central corner right by the beach.

After a good, long relaxing day at the beach walking on the promenade along Ao Nang Beach while the sun sets is a very romantic way to end the day.

When you are ready to go back to Krabi Town you can either catch a white songthaew while it’s driving by. Or walk a little up the street that leads away from the beach. There will be one or several waiting at the side of the road.

Where to settle:

Ao Nang Beach is basically split into two parts – left and right of the long-tail boats. Make sure to keep away from the center where the boats are. As the name says, these local boats have a long tail submerged in the water and you do NOT want to come in contact with that.

In our experience the section on the right (when facing the water) is a little quieter but there are also occasional rocks in the water, especially noticeable at low tide. On the left hand side there are usually more people on the beach, but not many rocks.

If you walk to the far left there is a whole row of massage parlors right by the beach in the shadow of an impressive karst mountain formation. Usually Krabi’s beaches are fairly undeveloped without chairs or umbrellas. Only by these massage shops you will find chairs (for sitting – not lying down) and sun umbrellas, which you can use if you go for a massage with them. The same is true with some of the bars and restaurants

Crab-eating Macaque in Krabi Thailand

This fella was highly interested in the camera

At the foot of the limestone mountain you will often see monkeys (crab-eating macaques) in the trees and on the beach. They are usually not very shy and will climb on your back, especially if you have food.

There is a trail going through the trees and around the mountain called “Monkey Trail”. You can guess why…

If you walk the trail for about 10 minutes, you get to a secluded little bay, which – just like the mountain – is part of a nature reserve. This bay, called Phai Plong Bay, actually has our favorite beach in Krabi. But more on that another time.

View-of-Phai-Plong-Bay-from

Peekaboo View at Phai Plong Bay from the Monkey Trail

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