What to do in Thailand:
Activities and Attractions
in Ao Nang

Last updated on Nov 16, 2013
All information below is subject to change

So, you're visiting Ao Nang? :-)

Ao Nang is a typical beach town where there are dozens of things to do.

The most interesting part for backpackers is a trip or overnight in Railey, or visiting Poda or Chicken island. And you have of course the possibility to try elephant riding or do some slow activity, like shopping.

Here's a couple of things to do!

Visiting islands
near Ao Nang Beach

Beach in Thailand, ©iStockphoto.com/simon gurney

You can get package tours everywhere in Ao Nang. Anything from elephant trekking to diving.

But I personally don't like arranged tours because of the tight schedule, too much people etc. So I'm not going to persuade you to this.

Most backpackers coming to town, do it this way:

If you want to do activities cheap, you should rent a long-tail boat for the day to visit the neighbouring islands.

You'll find touts along the beach who will take you to West Railey Beach, Poda Island, Phra Nang Beach, Chicken Island or Tup Island.

Poda island

Poda is a small island 25 minutes by boat from Railey peninsula, and a 30 minutes ride from Ao Nang. The touts on Ao Nang will promise you white sand beaches on Poda Island, but I'm afraid that I have to disappoint you - yes, there are white sand beaches but the island is pretty dirty.

You'll probably enjoy the clear water more and the snorkeling :-)

Chicken island (Koh Gai)

The large rock formation on the island resembles a chicken - hence the name Chicken Island. But there are no chickens there ;-)

The island can be divided into two: you have steep cliffs on one side of the island and beaches on the other side. The place is good for snorkeling, but I met backpackers in Krabi who told me that the snorkeling was much better near Railay Beach.

If you're still interested in Chicken Island, take a boat from Railey or Ao Nang which is a 30-minute boat ride.

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Diving in Ao Nang

Ready for diving?

Diving is often the main reason backpackers come to the Andaman coast. Diving sites outside Ao Nang suits for both newbies and "veterans." Most of the dive shops are located on the Beach Road in Ao Nang, and make sure you ask around for prices.

Here are some prices for you! (average prices)

  • Two Dives: 2000 B
  • Open-water PADI course: 10,000-11,500 B
Read reviews of The Dive right here at Tripadvisor (opens in a new window)

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Elephant Trekking
in Ao Nang

Elephant trekking is also a popular activity in Ao Nang, and it's an activity you have to do at least once if you're in Thailand.

This is why:

  • There are only 3000-4000 elephants left in Thailand. They are prone to poaching - their tusks are worth millions of dollars on the black market.
  • Many elephant tours are run by organizations fighting for animals like the elephants - these organizations are dependent on income. Your money will be used to feed and take care of these vulnerable elephants.

I met some travelers who recommended Nosey Parkers. For more information, click on the link! (opens in a new window)

It cost 800 B for a one hour ride and you get to ride these majestic animals in the wild jungle of Thailand. You'll have a blast!

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Shopping in Ao Nang

During daytime and the evening, you'll find stalls along the main road and the beachfront road.

You can get: Clothing, beach wear, sarongs, transfer tattoos, snorkel masks, ping pongs, souvenirs, books, jewelry, handicrafts etc. And some stands sell newly released DVDs (pirate copies though).

Like, buy 5 DVDs for 100 B.

And if you want to buy a cheap book, you might like the bookshops located in the main street. Here you can buy or exchange used books (I'm afraid I don't remember any names). I remember that there was one book store on the opposite side of McDonalds. I bought a used version of "The Last Juror" by John Grisham for 90B! Not bad for touristy-priced-Ao-Nang!

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