Located on Thailand’s Western coast, Ao Nang is the country’s most popular destination in the Krabi Province. Originally a backpacker’s haven, this coastal gem is quickly becoming more “Westernized” now attracting the package tourist crowd. But this doesn’t necessarily have to be bad news: the resort’s quick development has made it more accessible (with more frequent flights and paved roads) and more affordable as well. And there’s good reason for tourists to flock here year-round: delicious food, a multitude of exciting activities and plenty to explore are just some of the best excuses to head to Ao Nang on your next escapade.
Going elephant trekking is on everyone’s bucket lists and Thailand is the best place to experience it. Elephants are one of Thailand’s most prominent symbols and opportunities for elephant trekking abound in Ao Nang. There’s a lot of controversy surrounding elephant treks nowadays but book your ride at the Huay Tho Waterfall Safari in Krabi (a short drive from Ao Nang) and you can rest assured your money will contribute to a good cause.
Take a cooking class
The Ao Nang Cookery School offers some excellent hands-on teaching perfect for anyone wanting to bring some Thai flavors back home. Mrs. Ya, food nutritionist and former cook at the Intercontinental Hotel in Bangkok, will teach you all of the tricks of the trade when it comes to preparing authentic Thai cuisine. Learn how to make curry pastes, spicy prawn soup or stir fried chicken with basil in just a few hours. Plus, you can eat what you cook and take home a free recipe book!
Ao Nang’s waters aren’t always the most pristine and the beach can get a little crowded, so going island hopping is a great way to find the perfect beach for you. Hop on a longtail boat (or a speedboat if you’re in a rush) and discover the beautiful nearby islands of Koh Phi Phi, Hong Island, Poda, Daeng Island and more.
Some of these nearby islands (especially Tup Island, Chicken Island and Poda Island) offer excellent opportunities for snorkeling. Hire a tail boat for the day and you won’t even have to worry about hiring a guide – the boatmen know all the best spots for you to discover the little creatures that live under the sea.
If you’re feeling adventurous, take it one step further and go full-on scuba diving! There are more than 32 dive sites around Krabi so you’ll be spoilt for choice when deciding where to go. The rich marine environment in the area creates an incredible world underwater waiting for you to discover it: turtles, leopard sharks, coral reefs, and dolphins are just some of the amazing sights that await you.
Photo by darango
The traditional Thai boxing match is loved by locals and tourists alike. At the Aonang Krabi Muay Thai Stadium, you can catch a rowdy match twice a week and get involved in one of the few authentic experiences you can still enjoy in the tourist hub that is Ao Nang.
Related: Thailand what to Visit