Ao Nang, Thailand – Impressions

Ao Nang, pronounced ‘ow nang’, is also known as Krabi Ao Nang, as Ao Nang Beach is near Krabi City in the Krabi province of Thailand.

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Ao Nang falls within Thailand’s ‘party zone’ which stretches from Phuket across to Koh Tao in the Gulf of Thailand.

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With its closeness to party island Koh Phi Phi, Ao Nang is commonly used as a transit point for 20-somethings crossing the peninsula to the islands of Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao. But Ao Nang is more than just a transit town, it’s a beach resort town with a beauty of its own and access to many interesting beaches.

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The main street of Ao Nang runs along the beachfront and along its length are hundreds of vendors and restaurants During high season, December to March, it’s common to see large numbers of people at all times of the day and night, shopping or looking for something to eat.

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The vibe of Ao Nang is different to the nearby Koh Phi Phi or Koh Samui. There are less roving packs of 20-somethings and more family groups. While there are bars and a clubbing area, Ao Nang is not about rampant partying and drunk people doing stupid things. Ao Nang is all about the beaches and is a far more family friendly location.

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Like other parts of the Malay Peninsula, there are plentiful limestone mountains protruding from both land and sea. At the end of Ao Nang Beach is a peninsula entirely cut off by a limestone ridgeline leaving the beaches of Railay Peninsula only accessible by long tail boats.

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There are three main beaches on the Railay Peninsula, and all a connected by walkways, along which there are many resorts and restaurants. While the beaches are beautiful and worth the effort to get to, they aren’t quiet, tranquil places. They can be more popular than the main beaches along Ao Nang.

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There are numerous things to do near Ao Nang, although not a lot of them could be considered cultural. Tours from here predominantly head out around the islands in the bay to snorkel, kayak, scuba dive or just take in the sights.

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The most popular thing to do in the area is hang out on a beach. And for the period of a few days between Christmas and New Years, the peak of the tourist time, we did just that. A great place to hang out, eat good food and just relax.

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Next, we fly back to Kuala Lumpur for a Thai Visa run and to wish farewell to my brother. Then I’m back to Thailand and on my way north to Bangkok.

The Trail Wanderers

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