Ao Nang Beach (or Princess Bay as it is known) which is located in the Krabi province of southern Thailand is one of the most popular beach destinations in this part of the country as is Railay Beach.
While Krabi is the gateway to around 17 islands including Phi Phi Island, Koh Lanta, Koh Hong and the unique beach destination known as Talay
Waek, Ao Nang definitely offers visitors a more relaxed beach environment and provides a good selection of accommodation and other services and amenities that foreign tourists come to expect.
Although the main beach may not seem as pristine as those found on the islands, and the nightlife may be more subdued than Patong Beach on Phuket, the views which look out over the Andaman Sea; combined with the convenience of the location makes this destination well worth considering.
While this once small fishing village was frequented by backpackers in days gone by (who came to take advantage of the excellent limestone based rock climbing locations) this area has grown in popularity to become the focal point of Krabi, attracting families and other tourists from all walks of life. There are now a number of resorts which have been built to attract these new high end visitors.
The reason for this influx of western visitors is likely due to the convenient location (i.e. being situated 40 minutes from Krabi International Airport-a 1 hour flight from Bangkok). The other reason is that Krabi and Ao Nang provides a platform for people wishing to venture away from the mainland by taking day trips to the surrounding islands.
Whatever, the reason, this beach destination has become quite westernized in recent times which is evident by the construction of the Ao Nang Walking Street back in 2007 which includes shops that cater to western tourists (see image above).
These shops include tailors, souvenirs, an art gallery, pubs,
restaurants, clothing and beachwear outlets, tour operators, massage and
pharmacies, a bank and an ice-cream shop to name but several.
There is also a Mcdonalds, a plaza (i.e. the Nopparat Thara Plaza which opened in 2014) and a couple of supermarkets located in the general area so everything you need is pretty much at your finger tips.
There are also a large number of tuk tuk taxis which operate here which makes getting around quite easy.
AO NANG BEACH
The main beach at Ao Nang while flanked by trees and other vegetation is not the prettiest beach (see image below) that you will find in this southern region of Thailand. However, it does attract a good number of tourists who primarily come here to swim, sunbathe and just generally relax along its long narrow stretch of sand.
There are also a large number of longtail boats that are usually beached along this area and these are used by the tour operators to transport visitors to the nearby surrounding islands so there's always something to see as the boats come and go throughout the day.
However, besides swimming, scuba diving and rock climbing are also popular activities that are conducted here, and there are operators in the town that provide both courses and equipment for those that are interested. Southern Thailand is renowned for its spectacular coral reefs which support over 80 different species of coral and 200 different species of fish within the turquoise colored waters of the Andaman Sea.
However, for those who are more interested in the beach environment, there are plenty of shops located nearby, so its very easy to walk and grab a bite to eat or a drink at lunch time.
Other beaches in the general area include Railay Beach (noted above), Noppharat Thara Beach (which is located just 3 kilometers from Ao Nang Beach), Tubkaek Beach and Klong Muang Beach.
best way to travel to Krabi is by plane or bus. A number of airlines
including Bangkok Air, Thai Airways, and Air Asia have daily flights
between Bangkok and Krabi International Airport with flight time being
about 1.2 hours.
Daily bus services to Krabi depart from Bangkok's Southern Bus Terminal on a regular basis and the journey takes approximately 13 hours.
Ao Nang Beach is situated within the Muang Krabi district of Krabi province, or approximately 20 kilometres fom Krabi Town, and 40 minutes from Krabi International Airport. The easiest way to travel to your hotel is by taxi or mini bus.