Railay Bay Resort & Spa pool view
Staying in Ao Nang beach in Krabi is definitely something I would recommend to anyone visiting Thailand. I was fortunate enough to spend a few nights here and in this post I’m going to list everything you need to know about staying in Ao Nang, Krabi. Here is the ultimate guide to Krabi, Thailand.
Where to stay in Krabi?
I would recommend staying in Ao Nang beach so you’re close to the beach and the strip with all the shops and restaurants. Also, by staying in Ao Nang beach you can easily walk up and rent a long tail boat to day trips to other islands. There is also great hotels to stay at in Ao Nang. I wrote a review post about 3 different hotels I stayed at in Ao Nang that you can read by clicking here.
Why Ao Nang beach in Krabi?
I found Aonang beach to be a great spot to start your journey and to spend a few nights at because:
- It offers great options of hotel/hostel to stay at. I found hotels in Ao nang to be of superior quality without the superior price tag that you’ll find in other Thailand destinations like Phi Phi and Phuket. If you need help deciding where to stay at, checkout my post on my hotel recommendations in Aonang.
- It was lively without being too overwhelming. Still lots of restaurants, bars, and shops around to keep you busy. The ‘strip’ which is basically the road that leads straight to the beach is filled with restaurants and souvenir shops, 7/11 convenience stores (It’s a big thing there), ladies approaching you to get your hair braded or for a massage session. I also found it very safe to wonder around in this street at night by myself.
- You can do day trips from here by a long tail boat, to nearby smaller islands or you can take the high-speed ferry from Krabi’s ferry port to further islands like Phi Phi or Koh Lanta. From Aonang beach to Krabi port is around 30-45 minutes.
How to get to Krabi?
To get here, you can fly into Krabi International Airport. You can find cheap domestic flights (around $40 CAD one way if you book in advance) between Bangkok to Krabi, (if Bangkok is where you’re flying into first). Once you arrive in Krabi’s airport, you can get a private taxi outside of the arrival hall for 400 baht to take you to your hotel in Aonang beach. The distance from the airport to the beach is around 30-45 minutes. I loved Aonang because of the green limestone mountains that surrounded it…and if you know me, you’ll know that I’m OBSESSED with mountains! Also, Aonang is pretty developed these days so you won’t have to deal with hole in the ground bathrooms! They all have western style toilets AND toilet paper.
What to do while in Krabi?
Tiger cave temple
This temple is situated on top of a mountain and the only way to get to it is by climbing 1237 steps. At times, it feels like you’re climbing a ladder than stairs. But it’s nothing I wouldn’t do again. Just take your time going up and make sure you carry at least 2 water bottles with you.
Once you get to the top you’ll have an amazing view of the surrounding mountains and the city of Krabi. There is a big Buddha up there too, of course. We hired a cab to take us to the starting point of this hike, wait for us till we finish the hike, and return us back to our hotel in Aonang for 600 baht. It took us around an hour and half to go up and down and take some pictures up there.
*Make sure you take a little throw on with you for visiting the actual temple. You don’t need to wear it during the hike.
If you’re looking to do a legit hike while in Krabi then you’d want to do Hang Nak Mountain hike. Although I did not do this myself, I would have loved to, given different circumstances. At the top, it gives you incredible views of the town. If you have been on this trail or if you decide to check it out, let me know how it was!
Take day trips to other islands like Railay beach and Tonsai Beach
What I liked about staying in Ao Nang is that you had the option to do day trips. I’ll be honest, the actual Ao Nang Beach isn’t really anything to write home about. The sand isn’t as soft as you would imagine it to be. It’s still beautiful, but you will have to get away from Ao Nang to see even better beaches. The gorgeous Railay beach is only a 25 minute long-tail boat ride away from Ao Nang Beach and it only costs 200 baht round-trip. Tonsai beach is even closer, only a 15 boat ride away. The long tail boats stop here on the way to Railay Beach.
While in Riley beach you can hang out on the beach or at one of the beach bars along the shore. If you like to stay active like me, you can do the Railay Beach view point hike. Keep in mind, it’s more like rock climbing than a hike. There are actual ropes that you’ll have to pull yourself up with. There is also some ladder climbing down and up. There is 2 view points that this hike provides: one is a view point of Railay beach surrounded by water on both side, the 2nd view point is a secluded lagoon that is created by the water coming through the hole in the mountain.
Although it was tough, I did this hike by myself in flip flips. So, if I can do it, you can do it too! Don’t miss it. After all, one of the top things to do in Railay beach is to rock climb.
I also tried Sticky mango rice for the first time in Railay beach and it was soooo guud!
I put up this snap of the menu to give you an idea of how much things cost there. Everything is in Baht currency.
PhraNang cave– If you’re already in Railay beach, you might as well checkout Phra Nang Cave as well. It’s only a 25-30 minute walk from where the boats drop you off in Railay beach. I did not get the chance to check this out myself due to time constraints but heard many amazing things about it.
Rent Scooters – You can rent scooters while in Ao Nang for only 250 baht per 24 hours. If you have good negotiation skills, you can even get it for 200 baht. Make sure you take your passport with you because they will need to hold on to it as a security deposit.
Heading back to Krabi Airport?
If you need to head back to the Krabi’s airport from Aonang, you can either hire a private taxi again or you can take a minivan shuttle for 150 baht per person and it picks you up from your hotel in Ao Nang. (If you’re 1-2 persons it will be more cost efficient to take the shuttle) You can schedule this at any of the tour providing stores you see in town. You pay them in advance and they will give you a receipt. You’ll just have to wait in your hotel’s lobby on the day of your departure and you’ll see them coming for you.
Another major tip that will help you in all of Thailand is… NEGOTIATE and NEGOTIATE. You’ll have to understand that Thailand is a major touristy spot so it’s natural that they’ll jack up their prices once they see you’re a tourist and you aren’t familiar with the norm of prices. Keep it fun and friendly, but always negotiate. I even negotiated our ferry ride tickets from Krabi to Phi Phi even tho there was a clear sign posted stating the fixed prices for each route! And guess what, we did get a better deal!
Another tip if you’re visiting Thailand… Forget purchasing a roaming package from your phone provider. It won’t work as great as the local providers. You’ll find it difficult to get signal on your phone and your internet will be very slow. Instead, buy a Thailand sim card! It will save you money and give you a better service. You can buy these sim cards at any 7/11 stores, which is literally around every corner. There is also stores in the airport, right in the arrival hall that you can buy this from. I purchased mine for 400 baht and it gave me 15 days of unlimited internet and some minutes. I barely used the minutes since you can do anything by having data). Alternatively, you can get a sim for 200 baht that gives you the same service but for 7 days.
The service provider that I chose and I recommend is called dtac. Just make sure you unlock your phone before going to Thailand. (Although I did unlock my phone while in Thailand by just calling my provider and paying a $50 fee, it was done in seconds!)
Hope you found this post useful! Leave me a comment and let me know of your travel plans in Thailand and your tips 🙂