Ao Nang or Ao Phra Nang is a famous beach town in Krabi. Ao Nang is part of Hat Noppharat Thara-Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park and the center of Krabi's tourism. Ao Nang is located 17 kilometers from Krabi Town and about 28 kilometers from Krabi Airport.
Ao Nang is spread out along the beach road for 6 kilometers. The scenery here is really beautiful with mountains between the beaches. On one side of the beach there’s a limestone mountain separating Ao Nang Beach and Railay Beach. A small hilly cape on another side of the beach separates Ao Nang Beach and Noppharat Thara Beach.
Many tourists come to sunbath and exercise on the beach. However, depending on the season, the water here might be not so clear. The right end of Ao Nang Beach is a sunset viewpoint where amazing sunsets can be enjoyed. The sea near Ao Nang has more than 80 small islands with interesting rock formations. Some of the islands have strange shapes like boots, junk boats, bird heads and others.
Ao Nang is the location where many resorts, restaurants and tour companies, offering various tours to the islands of the Andaman Sea, can be found.
One of the main reasons making Ao Nang such a popular area for tourists is its convenient location and the fact that Ao Nang is one of the best island-hopping departure points in all Southern Thailand. From here you can go to Railay Beach and many islands such as Thale Waek (Separated Sea), Koh Phi Phi, Koh Poda, James Bond Island, Koh Hong, etc.
There are many restaurants along Ao Nang Beach offering various cuisines to choose from such as Seafood, Western food, Thai food, Isan food and others.
Attractions in Ao Nang
Ao Nang itself has little attractions but the town is a perfect starting point for visiting all the attractions in Krabi Province.
Phra Nang Cave
The famous “Phallus Shrine” in a cave is famous for the beauty of stalactites and stalagmites. It is worshiped by the locals since ancient times.
Koh Tan Ming & Koh Si
Koh Tan Ming, the rock island in front of Koh Poda, is an island where you can swim and snorkel. The sea around Koh Si has many underwater reefs and caves, and is likely to be a better spot for snorkeling than other islands in the area because of its many beautiful coral species.
Koh Gai or Chicken Island
The name of the island comes from the unusual shape of the island as its many small rock formations make the shape of the island to look like a chicken. The sea around Koh Gai has many beautiful corals and is an ideal place for snorkeling and capturing beautiful photos.
Koh Tup & Koh Mor
Koh Tup along with Koh Mor are two small islands that get connected by white sandbar at the low tide.
Koh Phi Phi
Koh Phi Phi is a small archipelago of six islands in Southern Thailand. Koh Phi Phi islands are widely considered to be amongst the most beautiful islands in the world.
Koh Phi Phi Ley is the second largest island of the archipelago formed by a ring of steep limestone hills surrounding two shallow bays, Maya Bay and Loh Samah. Maya Bay is the location which was used for filming Leonardo DiCaprio's movie 'The Beach'. The bay features an amazing blue lagoon and white sandy beach
Koh Poda is a small island with beautiful white sand beach and clear water. It is an ideal place for sunbathing, swimming and snorkeling.
James Bond Island
The small island named after the famous movie "The man with the golden gun" which was filmed in this area. This is a great place to take some beautiful photos.
Koh Panyee (the floating village)
Koh Panyee or Koh Panyi is an island with an extraordinary Muslim fishing village which is a small community on the sea with a unique culture and way of life.
Koh Hong is a natural paradise with a hidden treasure. This island is considered to be among the most beautiful in Krabi famous for its gorgeous view, clear white sand, beautiful corals and varieties of colorful tropical fish.
Koh Daeng is a small red limestone rock island with perfectly clear water and coral reefs. You can see many colorful fish here even from the boat.
Koh Pak Bai
Koh Pak Bai is the best place for snorkeling, swimming and taking some photos. This island is famous for spectacular views of the nearby islands.
Koh Nok is a small peaceful island situated northeast of Koh Yao Yai. Koh Nok is a tranquil tropical hideaway situated away from tourist crowds which is an ideal place to enjoy swimming, sunbathing and relaxing in privacy.
Tiger Cave Temple or Wat Tham Suea
Tiger Cave Temple or Wat Tham Suea is a Buddhist temple located northeast of Krabi Town. The temple is well known for the tiger paw prints in the cave and a tall Buddha statue which sits on the summit offering spectacular views. There is a stairway with 1237 steps to the top of the hill.
Emerald Pool or Sa Morakot
Emerald Pool or Sa Morakot is an astonishingly hued and large natural pool that is filled with pure spring water.
Tours from Ao Nang
There are many speed boats and long-tailed boats available for charter at Ao Nang. For visiting the most famous attractions in Krabi, you can join one of the tours that can also be booked online or hire a boat and arrange one-day trip by yourself. The most popular tours from Ao Nang are listed below.
Tour of the 4 islands
Tour of the 4 islands is the most popular tour in Krabi. The 4 iconic islands consist of Koh Poda, Koh Gai (Chicken Island), Koh Tub, Koh Mor and most probably include Tham Phra Nang Beach as well. For more information about this tour check Tour of the 4 islands.
Tour of James Bond Island
James Bond Island is one of the most iconic destinations. The island is located in Phang Nga Bay National Park and can be visited by joining this tour: Tour of James Bond Island.
Tour of Koh Hong
Koh Hong Island is located in the northern part of Krabi Province. The island is only one hour by boat from Ao Nang Beach. It's a hidden lagoon which is famous for its gorgeous view, clear white sand, beautiful coral and varieties of colorful tropical fish. For more information about this tour check Tour of Koh Hong.
Tour of Koh Hong, Koh Lao Lading & Koh Phak Bia
Tour to the islands of Koh Hong, Koh Lao Lading and Koh Phak Bia is another popular tour in Ao Nang as these islands are considered to be the best places for snorkeling in Krabi and are famous for the spectacular views of the neighboring islands. The price of this long-tailed boat tour usually is about 2,800 baht.
Located just south of Ao Nang Beach, Railay (or Rai Leh) Beach is a small peninsula with four beaches. Though the area is on the peninsula, Railay feels like an island because it is accessible only by boat. From Ao Nang you can reach Railay by taking a boat that costs 100 baht per person.
Where to Stay in Ao Nang
Ao Nang is the most popular place to stay in Krabi as here you can find many restaurants and places to stay as well as to book your tours to the islands in Andaman Sea. There are more than 400 hotels in Ao Nang beach area so you will definitely find something for yourself here. Our list of 15 Best Hotels in Ao Nang might help you choose the right one.
How to get to Ao Nang
Flights to Krabi
Krabi International Airport (KBV) is served by a number of domestic (from Bangkok, Koh Samui) and international (from China, Malaysia, Singapore, Qatar, Russia and few other countries seasonally) flights. The airport is about 28 km from Ao Nang.
There is an Airport Bus running from Krabi Airport to Ao Nang. Airport Bus fare is 150 baht per person. The trip from the airport to Ao Nang takes about 45 minutes.
Buses to Krabi
There are regular bus services from Bangkok Southern (Sai Tai Mai) Bus Terminal to Krabi. Schedule can be found here - Buses from Bangkok to Krabi. There are buses running to Krabi from Surat Thani (takes more than 3 hours) and from Phuket Airport. There are also minivans going from these cities and they are usually faster.
From Krabi Bus Terminal you can reach Ao Nang by taking a songtaew that departs every 15 minutes. The fare is about 60 baht per person.
From Krabi Town
Ao Nang can be reached by songtaew from Krabi Town as well. The fare is about 50 baht per person.
Traveling within Ao Nang
From Ao Nang Beach other popular places, such as Noppharat Thara Beach, McDonald’s Ao Nang and hotels in Soi Ao Nang, can be reached by tuk-tuk. Tuk-tuk can take 3 - 4 people and normally it costs about 20-50 baht per person, depending on the distance. From Ao Nang Beach to McDonald’s or Noppharat Thara Beach expect to pay 20 baht per person.
Another way for getting around Ao Nang and visiting nearby locations such as Krabi Town, Noppharat Thara Beach, Emerald Pool (Sa Morakot) is by rented motorbike. The price is about 150-250 baht/day.
Weather in Ao Nang
Ao Nang as the rest of Krabi province has only two seasons - the wet and the dry. Weather conditions are at their best in Krabi province from November to March, when a cooling wind keeps the heat at bay and humidity level is low here. From March to May the temperature rises as the cooling wind departs and the humidity rises.
In April monsoonal weather usually arrives, which is expected to last until October. Peak rainfall levels are usually experienced in September and October. Outside of these months, the rain can often come in a short, heavy shower, usually in the afternoon.
Ao Nang has similar weather conditions with other West coast destinations throughout the year as they all experience the impact of the Andaman sea. Temperatures and weather conditions in these locations might differ a bit in short term but in long term it's not notable so you can easily combine a visit to Ao Nang with other nearby destinations like Phuket or other beaches and islands in Krabi province.
For the best time to visit Ao Nang check our West coast of Southern Thailand weather ratings chart.
You are planning to continue your trip up north or to visit islands on the East Coast after visiting Krabi province? Check when is the best time to visit Thailand's other destinations and choose destination with the best possible weather conditions.
In Thai language, the word “Ao” means “the bay”. The names of the islands usually start with the word "Koh" which actually means “the island”.