This year my family and I were lucky enough to take a trip to Southern Thailand. We decided to have a look around the Krabi region. There are several places to stay in Krabi but we chose to stay in the small town of Ao Nang, not far from the main Krabi city of Krabi Town.
The Krabi Region
Krabi is in Southern Thailand, on the coast of the Andaman Sea. Like other areas of Thailand, Krabi has some great natural scenery, complete with stunning limestone karsks (the cliffs and hills that jut up from the landscape). Not to mention the great beaches. Krabi is not far from Phuket, but tends to be not as busy.
The main city in the region is Krabi Town. You can stay in Krabi Town and there are plenty of places to stay there, but Krabi Town (most of it anyway) is not on the beach and so most tourists choose to stay somewhere else. There are lots and lots of resorts in the area, and many hotels and smaller resorts in the towns that are on the coast.
I found lots of good Krabi information, for the entire region, at yourkrabi.com.
Getting to Ao Nang
Ao Nang is easy to get to from either Krabi Town or from the nearest international airport, Krabi Airport. A taxi or hire car from there to Ao Nang takes around 40 minutes. A taxi from Krabi Town to Ao Nang or vice versa will take 15 minutes. Getting back to the airport is easy as there are lots of travel agencies who will help you arrange a car from 600 baht or a scheduled minibus service.
However a popular way to get into Krabi Town from Ao Nang is on local buses, known as songthaew. These run frequently from many different parts of town, and usually have their route marked on them so you know where it is going. They take much longer than a taxi because of their stops and indirect route but for 30 baht it is a cheap way to get around and a great local experience.
Some people like to try and get to and from the airport using nothing but songthaew, which apparently is possible.
Where To Stay
There are a lot of places to stay in Ao Nang, for all types of budgets. Unsurprisingly, the closer it is to the beach the more expensive it tends to be. Many international chains have recently started building places in Ao Nang, like Holiday Inn or Ibis, but as they are newer they are also back from the beach.
We stayed at the Chaya Resort, which was opposite the beach towards the north-west edge of town. It was a great place to stay.
Eating (and Drinking)
There are so many places to eat that it is hard to get into specifics. Lots of different types of food, in fact I’d almost say there was not enough places serving Thai food. A lot of places were expensive, or maybe its just been too long since I’ve been to Thailand and inflation has hit…hard. There was not many places with dishes under 150 baht, but generally the quality matched the price and you got what you paid for.
Like any tourist place in Thailand there are plenty of places to drink from cheap beer shacks to fancy bars.
And finally, the beaches of Ao Nang. While I loved Ao Nang, I have to say I felt a bit let down by the beaches there. The beach opposite our resort was a bit pebbly, not the best sort of sand. The other beach, the main one, to the south of where we stayed had better sand and nice water. But the beaches were marred by lots of noise coming from, the long boats that take people to nearby attractions. They go and arrive constantly and tended to take up the prime beach bits, so the beachers were a bit of a let down. Had a better beach experience in Krabi? Then let me know!