The 7 best things to do in Ao Nang & Krabi

In the province of Krabi, nestled among large rock formations, lies Ao Nang. This is a delightful spot if you love sun, sea, and sand. From Ao Nang, you can explore the most beautiful beaches and stunning islands by longtail boat. Behind the beach, there are dozens of restaurants where the owners do everything to lure you into their establishments. Ao Nang has become a tourist hotspot in recent years, making it bustling and an ideal place if you're seeking a blend of Thai and Western culture. You can enjoy cozy bars, live music, and there are plenty of organized tours. Once you leave the town, you'll notice none of this tourism, and you'll be completely immersed in Thai culture again.

What is the difference between Ao Nang and Krabi?

Ao Nang is a location in the Krabi province, where the town of Krabi is also situated. Both places attract tourists. Ao Nang provides proximity to beautiful beaches and is quite touristy. Krabi, on the other hand, is quieter but located farther away from the beach. It ultimately depends on your preference.

How do you get to Krabi & Ao Nang?

From Bangkok

There are various ways to get from Bangkok to Ao Nang. The quickest way is by plane. Flights from Bangkok to Krabi Airport are around 65 dollars. This is a short flight, approximately 1,5 hours. From the airport, it's about a 35-minute drive to Ao Nang. You can take a Grab from the airport to Ao Nang. Alternatively, you can book a minivan to travel from the airport to Ao Nang, which costs around 7 dollars. Another option from Bangkok is to take a (night) bus to Krabi, which costs around 20 dollars.

From Krabi

From the center of Krabi, you can catch white songthaews—pickup trucks with benches in the back—to Ao Nang. You can flag these down along the roadside, and the fare is a little over 1 dollar for a ride. Alternatively, you can easily book a Grab for a reasonable price.

From Phuket

From Phuket Airport, you can easily book a Grab to Ao Nang. The app often indicates a longer travel time than Google Maps; typically, it takes around 2,5 hours. Alternatively, you can book a minivan from the airport to Ao Nang. This costs around 35 dollars and takes approximately 3 hours. Additionally, there's the option of a speedboat ferry ride, adding an extra adventurous twist to your journey!

From Khao Sok

From Khao Sok, you can book a minivan to Ao Nang. The journey takes between 3 to 4 hours, with the cheapest option costing 11 dollars and the more expensive one priced at 45-50 dollars.


What to do in Ao Nang & Krabi?

In Ao Nang and the surrounding area, there are plenty of fun things to do to keep you entertained for a few days. We've written down the best tips for you!

1. Relaxing at Ao Phra Nang & Railay Beach

Railay is an isolated peninsula, reachable by longtail boat from Ao Nang. Here, you'll discover Ao Phra Nang Beach and Railay Beach, both absolutely worth visiting. These beautiful white sandy beaches offer views of crystal-clear blue-green waters surrounded by towering rock formations. Due to their beauty, these beaches attract many tourists, so it can get crowded. To enjoy a quieter experience, it's best to arrive early or walk a bit further along the beach to find more serene spots.

How to get there?
From Ao Nang, there are regular boat departures to Railay Beach. This is one of the spots where you can take a longtail boat to reach Railay Beach.

2. Climb to Railay Viewpoint & the Blue Lagoon

Are you up for some adventure after lounging on the beach? This climb is definitely worth considering! On the Railay peninsula, nestled among the rocks and jungle, you'll find a trail leading to Railay Viewpoint and the Blue Lagoon. It's a challenging climb, as it involves steep ascents and descents, but there are ropes to assist you. During the climb, you'll often come in contact with the rocks using your body and hands. Wear sturdy shoes with good grip and clothes that can get dirty.

Once you reach the top, you'll reach a split path. If you go left, you'll arrive at the viewpoint, offering a stunning panoramic view of Railay Beach. After a well-deserved break, you can start the climb toward the Blue Lagoon. From the viewpoint, return to the split path and head right, starting the descent. Hold onto the ropes tightly as it's quite steep! At the Blue Lagoon, take a moment to relax and enjoy the crystal-clear green water. Take your time on this climb; if you plan to visit both the viewpoint and the Blue Lagoon, it will take about 2 hours.

During the rainy season, this climb becomes more challenging due to the muddy trails. The mud makes it very slippery, increasing the risk of slips and falls. We did this climb toward the end of the rainy season. While it had rained at night, the day was sunny. Nonetheless, it was still slippery, and we had to be cautious. We reached the viewpoint but found the last section leading to the lagoon too muddy, so we admired it from a distance.

How to get there?
From Ao Nang, take the longtail boat to Railay Beach. The trailhead is about a 5-minute walk from Railay Beach.

3. Climb the Tiger Cave Temple

The Tiger Cave Temple, also known as Wat Tham Sua, is one of the most renowned temples in Krabi province. This temple sits atop a unique location, perched high on a rock surrounded by jungle. Getting here is no easy feat, as the ascent comprises 1,260 steps that steeply lead upwards. The temple derives its name from a legend that once claimed tigers used to reside in the cave within the temple, hence the name Tiger Cave Temple. Nowadays, you'll find many monkeys, especially at the base of the rock, always in search of treats. Therefore, it's crucial to securely store your belongings and avoid holding bottles or food at the beginning of the climb.

Once you reach the top of the temple, the view is truly enchanting! As Krabi's surroundings are relatively flat, you can see far and wide. Additionally, an impressive golden Buddha at the summit overlooks the area.

The climb to the temple takes a while. Depending on your pace, it will take about 1 hour to ascend. The descent is a bit quicker, taking approximately 30 minutes.

How to get there?
In Ao Nang, you can rent a scooter from various companies. It's about a 30-minute ride to the temple. From the bus stop in Ao Nang, you can take a bus for about 4 dollars to the temple. You can also book a Grab or join an organized tour.

4. Discover the Krabi Night Market

Krabi is a quiet town during the day, but it comes alive in the evenings! Streets are closed off and filled with stalls selling food, clothing, and souvenirs. Enjoy delicious mango sticky rice or try the freshly caught fish. You can then sit in a square and relish performances from the region. It's a lively place to spend an evening!

How to get there?
From this spot, you can easily take a bus from Ao Nang to Krabi. The ride takes about 40 minutes and costs just around 1,50 dollars. Refer to the image in the tip for the Tiger Cave Temple. Note that the bus only runs until 6:30 PM. For the return trip, using Grab is the most economical option.

5. Exploring hidden spots by scooter

In Ao Nang, you'll encounter many tourists, making it pleasantly bustling. We love seeking out hidden gems that are lesser-known or undiscovered. It's often where you find the most extraordinary places. We've discovered a delightful route in Ao Nang. Check out our article Scooter Along the 6 Hidden Gems around Ao Nang for the route!

6. Hiking to the Khao Ngon Nak Viewpoint

From this viewpoint, you have a stunning 360-degree view of the surroundings, but it does require some effort. The trail to this viewpoint is quite challenging. It spans 3.7 kilometers (2.3 miles), and the initial stretch is particularly demanding. You'll need approximately 2 hours to reach the viewpoint. As you approach the viewpoint, you'll encounter a sign indicating the viewpoint and waterfall. It's best to visit the waterfall during the rainy season when there's abundant water flow. If you follow the sign for the viewpoint, you'll arrive at a large rock. Previously, climbing this rock offered an incredible photo opportunity. However, it's now cordoned off with barbed wire due to safety concerns. Nonetheless, the area still offers a magnificent panoramic view of the surroundings! After relishing the view and a well-deserved break, it takes about 1.5 hours to walk back to the starting point.

How to get there?
The hike begins approximately a 30-minute drive from Ao Nang. At the trailhead, there's an entrance fee before you start your ascent.

7. Exploring the Islands

Off the coast of Ao Nang, you'll find unique rock formations and numerous tropical islands. From Ao Nang's boat service point, you can take a longtail boat to various islands. There's a minimum number of passengers required before a boat departs. Most people head to Railay Beach from here, so you might have to wait a bit to travel to another island.

Another option is to join an organized day trip to the Hong Islands or the Phi Phi Islands. These islands boast white sandy beaches, rock formations, and emerald-green waters. It's a delight to explore these places! If you wish to visit multiple islands in a day, there's the 4 Islands tour. You'll sail with a longtail boat past 4 paradisiacal islands off the coast of Ao Nang. If you find 4 islands insufficient, there's also the 7 Islands tour, allowing you to discover even more gems. This tour often includes dinner and the opportunity to enjoy the sunset. On the way back, you'll dive into the dark waters to witness the glowing plankton. During an island tour, there's often time for snorkeling, which is highly recommended. You'll see many fish and occasionally some coral.

How to get there?
From this spot at Ao Nang beach, you can take a longtail boat to one of the islands off the coast of Ao Nang.

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About the authors

How nice that you are on our website and that you have read this article! We are Mirte and Matthew, two Dutch adventurers with a passion for traveling, discovering cultures, and gaining new experiences. We've translated our love for the world into this website. We hope our articles inspire you to go on adventures! You can learn more about us through the button below.
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