In the South of Thailand in the province of Krabi is one of the nicest places I stayed in while traveling Thailand. Ao Nang. Ao Nang in itself isn’t much to write home about but in comparison to neighbouring Phuket it is an oasis of calm, yet with enough action to keep oneself occupied.
Coral teeming with tropical fish, powder white sand, fruit bursting with sun kissed flavour and sunsets on the beach that never got old. I swam by moonlight in bioluminescent plankton, climbed the mast of a Chinese junk boat, and l had a monkey steal my belongings,
The only downside to travelling is that you have to leave things behind. That favorite food stall where they make the noodles just right, that romantic beach where you swam at midnight or hardest of all the people you meet along the way.
So here is what I would advise you to do if you ever visit this part of Thailand and I hope you do!
How to get there
By Land –There is no train station in Ao Nang but you can reach it very easily by bus from any of the other major cities, hostels and hotels will book the trip for you and usually it includes a hotel pickup as well. Allot of the bus companies are privately owned and you cannot book them online.
By Air – Air Asia flies to Krabi International Airport which is about 40 minutes away by car. You can book cheap flights to Krabi from almost any other airport in Thailand. Many hotels will arrange a pickup on request. Travel time is about half an hour. If you want to take a bus from the airport Rates are 150 baht per person and travel time is one hour.
What to do
Image by Guillian
Railay Beach – is a peninsula surrounded by ocean and mountains, final access can only be by boat. Long-tail boats depart from Ao Nang (10 minutes, 100 baht/person, minimum 8 people) be aware that you’re expected to walk out several metres into the surf before getting on a boat (depending on the tide). On the beach there are monkeys, a forest hike to a viewpoint and great rock climbing possibilities on the limestone cliffs.
Midnight swims, are sensational on dark nights, when the brilliant-blue bio-luminescence in the water lights up disturbed water. To best appreciate this amazing phenomenon, bring a pair of swimming goggles along and swim underwater for a while. The bioluminescence will wreath your body in a beautiful glow.
Image by Lutz
Phi Phi Islands – Ao Nang is one of the main gateways for travel to the Phi Phi islands, about 2 hours away by long tail boat, 40-50 mins by speed boat. Many tour operators in Ao Nang offer day trips to Phi Phi. Included in the price (900-1500 baht) is most often lunch, hotel transfer and insurance. I did a self organised island hopping tour that included snorkeling with sea turtles and visiting the famous “beach” from the movie with leonardo dicaprio “the Beach”. If you have a group consider hiring your own boat and driver for the day and get a bespoke tour.
Image by Tengo
Sunset Cruise – I booked with Sunset Cruises and spent an amazing day cliff jumping, kayaking, eating and drinking. It is a full day trip and although it’s pricey at 70 dollars it includes a amazing thai buffet and soft drinks and you end the day swimming in the bioluminescent waters . So bring your own rum and you are set to go! Highly recommended.
Where to Stay
Airbnb – Fancy a beautiful apartment to yourself at a reasonable price where you can cut out the agency? Check out these amazing rentals Ao Nang don’t forget to you this link to get 35 euros off your first stay Airbnb Voucher
Hostels – There are hundreds of cheap hostels available on Hostelworld but if you arrive in person you will find many more that won’t be online. You can get much cheaper rooms by going a little outside the touristic area for as little as 5 dollars a bed.
Hotels – If you feel like comfort is more your thing the check out Booking to find yourself a hotel at very reasonable prices. Personally I stayed at the Viva Resort for 1200 bhat (35 dollars) per night
Images by Guillian