I personally can’t seem to stay in the UK for more than 10 minutes, and if you’re like me you’re always planning and researching your next trip. 🙂
(A fortnight ago I headed over to Puglia for the weekend (67 Photos To Inspire Your Trip To Puglia), last week I was in the gorgeous Botswana, and next week I’ll be over in Marrakesh.)
BUT out of all my travels, I just can’t seem away from the beautiful islands of Thailand. Last month was my third trip and…you guessed it! It was spent island hopping…again. 🙂 BUT it was my first time to Ao Nang Krabi.
If you’re currently planning a trip over and need a little help with deciding which islands to head to…STOP RIGHT THERE – I’ve done all the work for you (10 islands worth), you can find it here —-> Thailand Island Hopping – The Ultimate Guide —->
SO…what’s so great about Ao Nang Krabi?
Chances are, you have heard (or read) that Ao Nang is a town in Thailand that you visit only in passing. And this is possibly true IF you’re in a rush to get out to the islands. But if you don’t want to be moving around a lot, if you don’t have much time in Thailand or if you’re not keen on jumping on ferry after ferry, Ao Nang is an epic place to base yourself.
Ao Nang is home to loads of things to do, loads of cool restaurants to eat at and some of the most beautiful islands I have ever visited are just a short long-tail boat ride away.
Basically…if you want an island hopping experience MINUS all the ferries, packing and unpacking, Ao Nang is THE ONE.
SO…WHAT TO DO?
- Take a longtail boat out to a different island each day (RATHER THAN the 4 islands day trip)
There are hundreds of beautiful islands scattered around Ao Nang Krabi, most being your typical white sand, clear water, palm tree covered islands. Try Poda Island, Chicken Island & Tub Island to begin with.
The ticket office to buy boat tickets is right in the centre of Ao Nang by the beach, so you can’t miss it. Tickets can be booked on the day and cost between 100 – 300 THB depending on which island you choose, it’s so easy. You buy the ticket, hop into the boat and off you go. 🙂
Why not the 4 islands trip?
I definitely recommend doing this over taking the 4 islands day trip as this means you are in charge of your own day and have a lot more control. It also means you aren’t bunched together with a load of tourists and you can take your time and relax, rather than being herded in and out of boats all day like cattle (this is not relaxing!)
- Rent A Kayak
As Ao Nang is surrounded by paradisiacal islands, tropical beaches and hidden coves, you should explore by kayak. Kayaks can be rented for between 600 – 100 THB per day and you can rent either 1 or 2 person kayaks.
The closest beaches to kayak to are Tonsai and Railey beach, however if you’re feeling energetic and you’re not pathetic in a kayak (like me) then a few other islands may be in reach – try Chicken Island.
- Go Trekking
Ao Nang has some awesome hiking trails, the most popular being Hang Mak Mountain. This hike isn’t for the faint hearted but has the most amazing views from the top.
You can either go it alone, or check out some of the tour agencies in the town offering hiking excursions with a guide.
- Take An Inland Tour
As Ao Nang is a town on the mainland, you are open to locations and activities that don’t just involve the beach and ocean, but include natural sites like national parks, lakes, hot springs and temples.
It is possible to hire a driver / guide and take a day trip out to four main attractions: Emerald Pool, Tiger Cave Temple, White Temple and Hot Springs. This can be arranged either from your hotel, or from one of the tour agencies in Ao Nang Krabi.
WHERE TO EAT IN AO NANG KRABI?
This is a fun, casual beachfront restaurant lit with fairy lights and lanterns in trees, and is atmospheric with chilled out music playing. This is by no means a posh place to eat – the chairs are plastic and there are lots of people walking by, but the sunset views and wide range of food (from Thai to BBQ) make it worth it.
To find it, head into the town centre and take a left when you reach the beach. Walk down the road with the beach to your right and it is one of the last restaurants you come to.
This quirky restaurant is up on the hill side, offering epic sunset views and is a little more upmarket than The Last Fisherman. You will probably need a tuk tuk to get there depending on where you’re staying.
WHERE TO STAY?
There are many different accommodation options in Ao Nang Krabi, ranging from backpacker hostels to luxury hotels.
We stayed at Pimann Buri Luxury Pool Villas, a unique hotel in a secluded spot away from the craziness of the town (not tooooo far though…around a 10 min tuk tuk ride). The hotel features a number of private villas, each with traditional Thai décor and private pool.
For us, the best part of our stay was the size of our villa. We stayed in a 2 bedroom villa and had a hugggee open plan living / dining area complete with a TV and comfy sofas, a kitchen (that admittedly we didn’t use once), two large bedrooms with a four poster bed and two bathrooms.
BUT don’t associate the word ‘luxury’ with ‘expensive’ here…the villas each have 2 or 3 bedrooms and sleep between 4 – 6 people. This means that if you’re travelling with a group of friends (or family!) then Pimann Buri is definitely one to consider (if not for the beautiful private pool then for the DELICIOUS pool-side BBQ that is freshly prepared right in front of your eyes by the in-house chefs).
We liked the little extras that Pimann Buri provided (like breakfast being brought to our villa) and we made full use of the complimentary transfers into Ao Nang town centre and to the nearby market. A great base!
To book your stay, visit: http://www.pimannburi.com
Our stay at Pimann Buri was provided complimentary as part of press stay for The Wanderlust Bug.