"A hotspot for tourists,
a stop-over for backpackers"
Last updated on Nov 17, 2013
Ao Nang Beach is surrounded by breath taking, luscious limestone cliffs and tall palm trees. And not to mention, the incredible sea food served at the restaurants!
But let's face it, this beach is touristy, especially during the peak season.
The place has now targeted tourists. This isn't a bad thing, but it essentially means that prices here are higher than other less touristy places in Thailand.
While staying in Ao Nang, I found it hard to believe that this place was a laid-back backpacker place many years ago.
The town looks like these charter destinations I've been to in South Europe, but with Thai style of course. It's the consequences of economic development and commercial interests, so it's kind of inevitable.
But this doesn't mean you can't have fun here ;-)
So, why do backpackers come here?
It's the gateway to the Krabi islands. Backpackers usually stop by this small town to get to the popular Railey Beaches, and the beautiful Phra Nang Beach.
During the high and peak season, it can be crowded in Railay but at least it offers backpacker budget rooms.
Krabi International airport is the closest airport, located 16 km from Krabi downtown.
From Krabi airport hop on a taxi (600 B, 30 minutes). Airport shuttle buses to and from Ao Nang leave throughout the day and cost 150 B per person (about 45 minutes). The shuttle bus will wait for passengers and normally it won't leave until it's full. In the high season, this isn't a problem.
But the cheapest way is to board a songthaew in Krabi town (50B per person). After 18.00 hours it cost 70B. So, this means you should arrange transportation from the airport to Krabi town first, and then take a songthaew from there. Taking a songthaew is way faster and cheaper than taking a long-tail boat from Krabi (100 per person).
Boats from Phuket and Koh Lanta operate to Ao Nang only in the high season (duration is 2 hours). From Ko Phi Phi it takes 1,5 hours and cost 400B.
Most of the time you have to stop by Krabi to get there, especially on long-distance travels. From Bangkok there are government buses to Krabi and the journey takes 12 hours.
If you're in Koh Pha Ngan or Koh Samui, travel (back) to Surat Thani. From Surat Thani there are frequent minivans to Krabi town (less han 3 hours).
I took one of those minivans from Surat Thani in December 2007. The trip was effortless, and the driver even dropped us off at the hotels and guesthouses we were going to stay at in Krabi.
If you're feeling overwhelmed or have no idea on where to start, then you really need "Map Your Adventure" - it's a step-by-step guide on how to set up an itinerary for Southeast Asia and India - the right itinerary for you.
You'll be surprised to learn that itinerary-making can be fun and easy.
This book is made for you, with 70 pages of itinerary tips and maps, time tables and must-see destinations in the region :-)
"Asia Planners FAQ" is a supplement to "Map Your Adventure" and a compilation of real questions from visitors and answers from travel experts on itineraries found on Backpacking Tips Asia.com. You'll find your answers in this ebook.
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