Alright, so first off, where the heck are you, and how do you pronounce it? Ao Nang, or Aonang (pronounced Ow-Nang), is where you are at. It’s in Thailand, and no you are not on an island. Ao Nang is a tourist town, a town built around the beach. It’s got about 280 hotels and guesthouses, but it’s still pretty small. You won’t find high rise hotels here, or large freeways or any of that city nuttiness. Chances are you arrived in Ao Nang via a nearby airport, am I right? So that was Krabi Airport, given that name because you are in the state/province/county of Krabi. Welcome to Ao Nang – it is time to chill out!. So you want to know all about Ao Nang? Here is our little guide.
Where on earth is Krabi?
Ao Nang is in Krabi Province, which is 3 hours from Phuket, (which is an island by the way) pronounced Poo-Ket, not Foo-ket as so many people say. Krabi is in the long thin part of Thailand, so you can drive from the east coast to the west coast in around 5 hours. An 11 hour drive north and you are in Bangkok, a 7 hour drive south and you are in Malaysia, or an 8 hour drive north east and you will reach Burma/Myanmar. It’s South East Asia, baby
I'm in Ao Nang - now what?
Yey! You have arrived in tropical Ao Nang, I sure hope your hotel is nice? So after a day or two of lounging by the pool you could always pack your beach bag with goodies and head to the beach for the day, or hop on a longtail boat to visit some of the other beaches nearby like Railay, Noppharat Thara, or Poda. Krabi has some of the best beaches in the world including Ao Nang beach, so get on a boat and explore!
I know about the beaches in Krabi, what else?
Massages, get lots of massages – start with oil and then progress to Thai massage, and if you are sunburnt try the Aloe Vera massage. It’s the shiz! How about snorkelling or scuba diving? There’s plenty of boat tours which stop of at beaches and snorkelling sites for a fun day out.
What else? Bicycle tours of the neighbourhood (but you’ve got to know that it’s pretty tough in the humidity) trekking to various viewpoints, visiting the provincial little capital, Krabi Town, cooking classes, Muay Thai training, Muay Thai fight nights, a glamorous ‘Ladyboy’ Cabaret, live music evenings, ziplining………
Alright, so we are just going to say this outright. Elephant trekking is not elephant friendly. While we are sure most of the local elephant trekking companies treat their animals well, animal rights groups say that having humans on an elephants can lead to serious injury for the animal, and the best way for elephants to be, is just to be.
I want to do more in Ao Nang!
Surely that is enough? What else could a tourist in Thailand want….. oh yes, temples. So there are two main touristic temples in the area, Tiger Cave Temple and Wat Gaew. And the caves…. in and around Ao Nang there are lots of caves, both along the coastline, which you can reach by kayaking, and also inland where you can visit some cool caves, waterfalls and pools.
And the Food in Ao Nang?
We advise you to eat……… a lot! Eat everything, everywhere. Of course we want you to eat at our place, but we totally recommend street food, barbecues, seafood restaurants – If it’s your first time to Thailand, here are the go to dishes you really should try; massaman curry, tom kha soup, tom yum soup, som tam salad (spicy) and laab. If you don’t like spicy food (you big lightweight) but love noodles try a pad thai or a raad na, they are delicious. If you are craving western food or a perfect all day breakfast try out Café8, we’re pretty awesome!! We recommend you check out TripAdvisor for recommended places to eat in Ao Nang, it’s full of lots of great reviews and menu recommendations.
Where should I go next?
Leave Krabi Province? Why on earth would you ever want to leave? Okay, because we are such big fans of Krabi, first off we recommend the island of Koh Lanta which is still part of the province – hee hee. It’s big but very quiet and has around 10 wonderful beaches. If you have had your fill of beaches, try the city of Chiang Mai which is really far north and has a totally different mountain vibe. I’m not a huge fan of Malaysia, but Laos is lovely if you want to try a whole new country – and the beer Lao is to die for. Of course you could head to the big smoke in Bangkok, or if you want to get real with nature, try Khao Sok National Park – it’s only 2-3 hours away from Ao Nang and you can stay in tree houses in the jungle or floating bungalows on a stunning lake. Alright that’s our little ‘All About Aonang’ taster. Have a wonderful holiday.