Ao Nang Beach is the most popular tourist beach in mainland Krabi. Ao Nang Beach is not as beautiful as Railay Beach or Loh Dalum Beach on the island of Koh Phi Phi but it’s more accessible, with better local amenities and better value for money which is the reason for its massive popularity.
Ao Nang Beach has something for everyone and appeals to a diverse range of holiday makers from families to groups of younger people on holiday. Ao Nang Beach is less popular, however, with backpackers on longer trips less interested in convenient travel links and nice hotels and more interested in visiting remoter locations and having ‘cultural experiences’. In many ways Ao Nang is similar is a traditional beach resort town in Europe which will be perfect for some holiday makers but not what other types of visitor want out of their trip to Thailand.
About Ao Nang Beach
Ao Nang Beach is a 1.4 km long thin stretch of white sand beach with a majestic steep headland separating it from Railay Beach. Ao Nang is a swimming beach, although at low tide when the beach widens the sea becomes very shallow and you have walk out quite a long way from the beach front before the water is deep enough to swim easily.
One of the good things about Ao Nang Beach is the long walkway which runs along the beach front. There are no shops, bars and restaurants on the beach front itself except at the very southern end of the beach and almost none of the annoying beach vendors of the kind you will find on Ochheuteal Beach in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, who will harass you constantly during your day on the beach. In the place of beachfront shops and restaurants in a sculpture of a Sailfish which is reference to Ao Nang’s past as a small fishing village.
It’s easy to take day trips from Ao Nang Beach. A popular excursion is to a take a local wooden fishing boat, known as a ‘long tail boat’ on account of its long wooden prow, to Railay Beach which is inaccessible by oad. A cheaper option is to take a shared taxi to Krabi Town which has a great night market and lively weekend walking street. You can also hire a private taxi to take you to Wat Tham Suea which is a popular temple with a hill top viewpoint and series of caves. By car it takes around 35 minutes to travel from Ao Nang Beach to Wat Tham Suea.
There is a busy street on the other side of the road from Ao Nang Beach with a continuous line of shops and restaurants running the entire length of the beach. The range of outlets is enormous from independent and relatively inexpensive Thai food restaurants, to internationally recognised brands such as McDonalds, to Western style Italian restaurants and sports bars. There is a lots to eat, drink and buy on this street and it becomes very lively in the evening.
Ao Nang Beach is a magnet for foreign and domestic tourists which tends to be busy all year round. It is, however, worth being aware that you don’t need to travel very far from Ao Nang Beach before the crowds really thin out. The next beach to the north of Ao Nang, Noppharat Thara Beach, which is easily walking distance from Ao Nang has gets relatively few visitors and is just as nice just a lot quieter.
Location of Ao Nang Beach
Ao Nang Beach is located 19.6 km from Klong Jilad Pier.