With so many luxury resorts, pampering garden pools, and high end facilities, Ao Nang beach on the Andaman Sea attracts hordes of tourists throughout the year. Ao Nang is also an ideal base for sea kayaking, island hopping trips and day tours to major attractions like hot springs, pineapple plantations and snake farms.
Here are some of the best things you can see and do in Ao Nang, Thailand:
• Fossil Shell Beach
The fossil shell beach is some 7 km west of Ao Nang. This tourist attraction has slates of shellfish that are 40 million years old. These slates have a high resemblance to concrete. One small museum and a range of gift shops add to the reasons why tourists are attracted to this place in large numbers. As a foreigner, you will have to shell out 200 baht as the entry fee to this place. Some people believe that Fossil shell beach is not worth spending 200 baht unless you have an interest in geology.
• Nopparat Thara Beach
This is a spectacular beach at the western end of Ao Nang, which is also zoned as a national park. When the tides are low, you can even walk to some of the closely located limestone islands. However, if you are the only one taking the dip, make sure there are no jellyfish.
• Rai Leh Beach
This is a pretty good beach close to Ao Nang which can only be reached through a tail boat. Despite the fact that this beach is cut off from the mainland by limestone hills, it is still considered part of it. The beach is cleaner compared to others and there are few caves that are worth exploring. During the off season, getting to this beach is somewhat difficult as the boat companies tend to wait for hours before they have their boats full.
Be ready to wait for a long time or pay for the whole boat in order to reach your destination timely.
There are two companies ferrying people to this beach. One has its office at the left hand corner of the beach and other is located several hundred meters on the right. If you fail to get the return ticket, you might need to arrange your return with the other company.
• Rock Climbing
There are agencies in Ao Nang that can arrange rock climbing trips for you. Along with that, they might also help you with transfers and provide you with lunch. These agencies also run courses on climbing where they happily accept children as students. These courses are useful for both beginner and experienced climbers. If you are among those who doesn’t want to have his climbing trip arranged, you can just roam around Ton Sai or Rai Leh and try doing this activity yourself.
You can easily engage one of the tour operators active in Ao Nang and indulge in activities like elephant treks and sea kayaking. These tour operators can also plan customized day trips for you that take you to islands of your choice. They can also help you with your accommodation and transfers.
Due to its sporting opportunities and fabulous topography, Ao Nang is arguably the best beach destination in Thailand. While there are lesser opportunities for a vibrant nightlife, there are bars and nightclubs where you can relax with your family.
How to Get There
The easiest way to get to Ao Nang from Phuket and many beautiful island on Krabi Province is by Phuket Ferry.
John Chen is a travel writer currently located in Bangkok, Thailand. He likes writing about Thailand and he writes not only about traveling in Thailand, but also about business, culture, economy, education and food.