The popular destination of Ao Nang is a short drive from Krabi Airport and offers the convenience of beaches right by the town. Read our Ao Nang guide to know where to go.
Ao Nang © Aleksandr Zykov
Ao Nang is Krabi’s most popular destination — a beach town that’s home to a wide range of resorts and hotels, restaurants and bars. While Ao Nang’s beaches aren’t the best in Krabi, its big selection of tours and attractions make it a convenient and exciting place to stay.
Longtail boats ferry visitors between Ao Nang and nearby Railay Beach frequently, making this somewhat crowded beach town a great base for exploring the area. Ao Nang’s selection of hotels is the most diverse in Krabi Province, with five-star resorts and budget hostels.
Since it’s a short distance from Krabi Airport compared to the region’s other destinations, you will probably pass through Ao Nang even if you’re staying elsewhere in Krabi.
Ao Nang © Luca Conti
Main Areas of Interest in Ao Nang
- Ao Nang Beach
Ao Nang is a small town, with most attractions clustered around the beach. Ao Nang Beach is the area’s most popular beach, home to soft sand and relatively clear water. You’ll find the majority of Ao Nang’s restaurants and nightlife along the beachfront area.
Longtail boat operators can be found at both ends of Ao Nang Beach, offering trips to Railay Beach, Phra Nang Beach and other destinations in the area. Most longtail boats won’t leave the beach until they’re at least 80% full, meaning you could wait quite a while in low season.
- Nopparat Thara Beach
Located north of Ao Nang, Nopparat Thara Beach is a quiet and peaceful beach that’s home to several of Ao Nang’s hotels and resorts. Nopparat Thara Beach is a good choice for day trips and dinners, although the beach’s strong tide makes it far from ideal for swimming.
- Tubkaek Beach
Located about 30 minutes from Ao Nang by car, Tubkaek Beach offers a quieter and more peaceful experience than the two beaches in Ao Nang itself. Used as a filming location for The Hangover 2, Tubkaek Beach is a great day trip destination close to Ao Nang.
- Railay Beach
Surrounded by limestone cliffs, Railay Beach is one of Thailand’s most beautiful beaches. A short distance from Ao Nang by longtail boat, Railay is one of Ao Nang’s most popular day trip destinations. See our separate Railay Beach Quick Guide for more info.
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Ao Nang – Nopparat Thara Pier ©carey*w
Things to Do in Ao Nang
- Beaches and Sunbathing
Although Ao Nang’s beaches aren’t quite as impressive as those on Phuket or Koh Lanta, the two beaches close to the town are good enough for sunbathing and swimming. Ao Nang has a selection of beachside massage stalls, while Nopparat Thara Beach is significantly quieter.
- Railay Beach and Phra Nang Beach
Ao Nang is a great base for exploring Krabi’s best beaches. Railay Beach is a short trip away on a longtail boat, while Phra Nang Beach, which offers clear water and an amusing Phallus Shrine, is the next step after Railay on most longtail boats.
The numerous islands off the coast of Krabi offer great coral reefs and rock formations for snorkellers. Several tour operators in Ao Nang offer day trips to nearby islands such as Koh Hong and Poda Island.
Ao Nang is conveniently located close to several of Thailand’s best diving sites. Trips leave from Ao Nang daily to dive sites including Koh Phi Phi, Koh Haa Yai and the King Cruiser wreck. Many of Krabi’s dive shops offer PADI and SSI instructional courses.
Ao Nang if where you’ll find Krabi’s busiest nightlife, although the town’s numerous bars don’t quite compare to what’s on offer in Phuket or Koh Phi Phi. Most of Ao Nang’s nightlife is near the beach, making it a fun destination for a night out with friends.
Best Luxury Hotels in Ao Nang
- Phulay Bay, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve
Phulay Bay offers a selection of palatial villas on Tubkaek Beach, around 30 minutes from Ao Nang itself. This incredibly luxurious resort lives up to the Ritz Carlton name, with an amazing spa and selection of private villas and pavilions for guests.
- Aonang Phu Petra Resort
Aonang Phu Petra Resort is a comfortable four-star resort with excellent views of the large limestone cliffs that surround Ao Nang. Spacious rooms and a large outdoor swimming pool make this a great place to rest and relax while exploring Krabi.
- Centara Anda Dhevi Resort and Spa
Centara Anda Dhevi Resort and Spa is a modern resort conveniently located a short walk away from Nopparat Thara Beach. Large rooms, a great swimming pool and water slides make this a good choice for families.
- Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas
Located on a hill overlooking Pai Plong Bay, Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas offers fantastic views of the ocean. A great selection of rooms, suites and villas are available for guests, although the hotel’s isolated location means dining and nightlife options are limited.
Best Mid Range Hotels in Ao Nang
- Aonang Paradise Resort
Aonang Paradise Resort is a stylish and modern 3½ star resort located less than five minutes from Ao Nang Beach on foot. The hotel’s excellent swimming pool and fitness centre make it a great self-contained resort for visitors that want to relax and enjoy the sunshine.
- Baan Dinlamun Resort
Located on the hill separating Ao Nang Beach and Nopparat Thara Beach, Baan Dinlamun Resort is a quiet and relaxing three star hotel. The hotel’s unique and comfortable cottages include outdoor showers for cooling off in Krabi’s summer heat.
- Mini House Aonang
Mini House Aonang is a small boutique hotel located a short walk from Ao Nang Beach with 15 comfortable rooms and suites. Double rooms and family suites are available with tasteful modern furniture and decorations.
Best Budget Hotels in Ao Nang
- Aonang Smile Hotel
Aonang Smile Hotel is a clean and simple two-star hotel located less than five minutes away from Ao Nang Beach. Many of the rooms feature large balconies that offer excellent views of Ao Nang and the Andaman Sea.
- I Krabi Hostel Aonang
Inexpensive mixed dormitories and private guest rooms make I Krabi Hostel Aonang one of the best value hostels in Ao Nang. This clean and comfortable hostel features a large shared balcony with partial views of the ocean.
- Mini Boxtel Aonang Hostel
If you’re searching for cheap and simple accommodation in Ao Nang, I Krabi Hostel Aonang is an excellent choice. This modern backpacker hostel offers mixed and women-only dorm beds, with a rooftop common area for relaxing.
Food © carey*w
Places to Eat and Drink in Ao Nang
Lae Lay Grill
One of Ao Nang’s more upscale restaurants, Lae Lay Grill offers excellent views of Ao Nang Beach and a selection of Thai and international dishes.
- Bussaba Thai Restaurant
Bussaba Thai Restaurant serves a selection of inexpensive and tasty Thai dishes in a local, unpretentious setting.
- Carnivore Steak and Grill
If you’re in need of a break from Thai food, Carnivore Steak and Grill offers a great selection of steaks and Western grilled dishes.
- Wanna’s Place
Wanna’s Place is a stylish French, Thai and Western restaurant that serves everything from Thai curries to steak, spaghetti and more.
The Hilltop is an upmarket Thai and international seafood restaurant and wine bar that offers great views over Ao Nang from its hillside location.
- Ton Ma Yom Thai Food Restaurant
Ton Ma Yom Thai Food Restaurant serves authentic Thai food in a cosy, no frills location up the hill from Ao Nang Beach.
- Khow Soy Restaurant
Feel like Northern Thai food? Khow Soy Restaurant serves a selection of dishes from Chiang Mai and Northern Thailand in a large Thai-style house.
- Smiling Dog Café
Located close to Ao Nang Beach, Smiling Dog Café serves strong coffee and a selection of tasty breakfast dishes. A great place to stop for crepes and other comfort food.
Longtail © narujen
How to Get to Ao Nang
- By Air
The nearest airport to Ao Nang is Krabi International Airport. Direct flights are available from Bangkok and Chiang Mai, as well as a variety of international destinations including Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Shanghai.
Taxis are available from Krabi Airport to Ao Nang for 600 baht. The trip from the airport to Ao Nang takes 30-40 minutes. A bus service from Krabi International Airport to Ao Nang is also available at 150 baht per person. The bus takes around one hour to reach Ao Nang.
- By Bus
Although there is no direct bus service from Bangkok to Krabi, buses are available to Krabi Town from the capital. Buses depart from Bangkok’s Southern Bus Terminal and take 10-12 hours, on average, to reach Krabi Town.
From Krabi Town, you’ll need to arrange transport to Ao Nang via taxi or minivan. Buses are also available from destinations such as Phuket and Surat Thani to Krabi Town, with a select few private bus services delivering passengers directly to Ao Nang.