Formally Ao Phra Nang ("Princess Bay") although everybody uses the short form, Ao Nang is the most 'Westernized' beach in Krabi, originally a backpacker hotspot but now moving slowly upmarket as the airport brings in higher flyers. While not quite as scenic as Rai Leh, there is a good range of cheap accommodation, many good restaurants, easy transport and travel/tour agencies ready to cater to your every whim, making it a good base for exploring Krabi.
Orienting yourself in Ao Nang is easy: almost everything is located either along the beach, which runs west-east, or along the Airport Road (Highway 4203) which goes up north from the east end of the beach. Long-tails arrive on the beach near the junction of the two roads; these Long-tails, though, account for a problem: the level of noise-pollution, provided by an endless chain of undampened boat-motors during high season is substantial. As long as visitors are ever increasing this problem will continue to worsen and detract from the beauty of this beach. Another problem getting more acute with the rising number of tourists in high season is the unrecycled sewage carried directly into the sea thus responsible for occasional bad smell which can be stronger depending on the daily currents.
Krabi International Airport is about 40 minutes away by car. As of 2005, the local airport limo monopoly charges a fairly steep 600 baht for a transfer (up to 4 people). Many hotels will arrange a pickup at similar prices on request. Travel time is about half an hour.
Local shuttle buses — really just converted pickup trucks (songthaew) — run from Ao Nang to Krabi (40 baht) and from Krabi to the airport (50 baht). The total trip between Ao Nang and the airport takes little less than 2 hours. To get to Ao Nang from Krabi town you should look for a white songthaew outside the 7-Eleven store.
There is a big bus service from the airport to Ao Nang beach and Noppharat Thara beach (just after Ao Nang). There are about 4 services a day. It travels from the airport to Krabi Town, the ferry terminal, then onwards to Ao Nang and Noppharat Thara. Good for some sight-seeing. Rates are 150 bhat per person and traveling time to Ao Nang is 1 hour.
The buses are not new and are quite noisy. But, the best part is, the bus can drop you off at the door step of most hotels in Krabi Town, Ao Nang and Noppharat Thara. Just let the driver know the name of your hotel in advance. Language is not an issue, as most of them speak some English.
For the return trip, you can call the hotline 1 day before to arrange pick-up at your hotel. Or you can wait at any of the 4 bus stops in Ao Nang (one is in front of Mc Donald's) and Noppharat Thara. You need to be there at least 10 minutes before the bus is due to arrive. You can buy ticket on the bus or in any of the "tourist information" points.
Rai Leh West and Ton Sai are only 10 minutes away while the less developed Had Yao (Long Beach) is 25 minutes away by long-tail. Boats leave constantly from the east end of the beach and charge a flat 80 baht/person during the day, 100 baht/person at night (after 18:00 hrs). There is no pier so expect to get at least your feet wet, probably more. Long-tail boat from Aonang is available at all seasons but subject to the weather permits. In case of the monsoon season (May - Oct), getting to Railay from Ao Nammao is recommended.
There are also public ferry services to Ko Phi Phi and Ko Lanta (usually twice daily), for which any travel agent will be happy to sell you tickets at around 200 baht/person. During the monsoon season, the ferry runs once day.
Boats from Ko Lanta now arrive at the new jetty, from there take a taxi (350 baht), or local bus to Krabi (50 baht) and then on to Ao Nang (40 baht).
There is a Songthaew(shared pick-up truck / taxi) service to Ao Nang from Krabi town, which runs throughout daylight hours in low season and up to 10PM in high season. The fare is 50 baht and they can be expected every 15-20 minutes. Songthaews are colour coded according to destination so make sure if you are coming to Ao Nang from Krabi you get on a white one.
To find one of these white ones in Krabi, go to the Vogue shopping Centre in Maharaj Rd (the main road). They go from here and cost B50. They apparently go also from the bus station, although the Writer went in the reverse direction and it went into Krabi town first, then to the bus station, for B80.
When coming from Krabi, the songteow taken by the Writer came along the beach before climbing the hill at the end. Going back to Krabi it was the opposite direction to get to town and the bus station.
Tuk-tuks in Ao Nang charge a flat 20 baht/person for trips around town. Songthaews also run all across Ao Nang onto the Shell Beach (See) and some all the way to Krabi town, fares from 10 baht up depending on distance.
Renting a motorbike is a great way to explore some of the sites outside of Ao Nang. There are shops up and down the major strips and you can get a reliable bike for 24 hours for 150-200 baht.
Fossilized seashell concrete?
Fossil Shell Beach (Thai Su-san Hoi, literally "Seashell Graveyard"). Some 7 km west of Ao Nang, this mildly traplike tourist attraction has slates of compressed 40 million year old shellfish, which bear not a small resemblance to concrete. There's also a small grubby museum and a huge slew of gift shops. Entry is a steep 200 baht for foreigners - but only 20 baht for Thais. This Tourist Trap is simply not worth the 200 Baht you have to pay as tourists unless maybe if you are a geology student. As the official Krabi tourism website (rather honestly) states "most are either engrossed to [sic] this or totally indifferent".
Nopparat Thara Beach. Picturesque beach at the western tip of Ao Nang, zoned as a national park. During low tide you can walk up to some of the nearby craggy limestone islands. However ask the locals if it is 'jellyfish season' before plunging in if you are the only one getting ready to take a dip.
Rai Lay Beach. A nice beach near Ao Nang, which can only be reached via a longtail boat. It is actually part of the mainland, but is cut-off by the limestone hills. The beach is cleaner than the one at Ao Nang and Nopparat Thara, and there are some caves worth exploring. There are also hotels and resorts on the beach.
In the off season, it can be a drama to get here!
The longtails want B800, so they wait for the required number of passengers.
There are two companies who do this, one at the left end of the beach (facing the water) and the other some several hundred metres to the right. If you do not get a return day ticket you will have to return with the other company (the Writer could not quite work this one out, but sat a couple of hours with the other company until enough fares arrived).
In the off season, from May, there are few tourists and you may have to wait a long time to get the required number of passengers, or pay the B800 yourself! The Writer waited some two hours in each direction as at the end of May.
Rai Leh and Ko Phi Phi are just around the corner and there are many tour operators offering activities such as sea kayaking and elephant treks.
Andaman Camp and Cruise, tel: +66 87 885 1125, . Private, customised day trips and camping trips to many islands. They can also help plan individual itineraries, accommodation and transfers. Fast, helpful,English speaking service with emails answered within 24 hours. Highly recommended.
Rock Climbing - Climbing can be arranged through Ao Nang agencies who will arrange transfers, lunch, and as much climbing as your limbs can handle - alternatively, simply wander over to Rai Leh or Ton Sai and organize an introductory course yourself.
Ao Nang Climbers, . Will give you all the information and courses from beginner to expirienced climber; children are very welcome.
Most of the dive shops offer a very similar price for the dive courses and dive trips. However, take a good look around as there some good seasonal bargains to be found. Sites visited daily include the local islands in Ao Nang bay, Phi Phi Marine National Park, the King Cruiser Wreck site and Shark Point Marine sanctuary. It's now also possible to do a one day safari by speedboat to Hin Daeng and Hin Muang for the chance to see whale sharks and manta rays, or to do some spectacular cavern diving at the 5 islands of Ko Ha Yai. Some of the more popular dive sites can become crowded in the peak of high season Late December to early January.
Absolute Diving, 290 Moo 2, ☎ (+66) 075-637 716, . Located on the main road, just a few minutes from Ao Nang Beach (opp. SSS-Recompression Chamber). Daily trips to the areas best dive sites on our own Speedboat. Small, safe groups for the better diving experience. PADI Courses from Beginner to PRO.
Aqua Vision Dive Centre (scuba diving krabi), ☎ (+66)075 637 415 ([email@example.com]), . On the main beach road 2 minutes up from McDonalds and at the Sheraton Krabi Beach Resort - Experienced PADI and SSI dive center, English, German, Swedish, French, Spanish, Russian and Thai language dive guides. Dive trips by choice of speedboat including Hin Daeng, Ko Ha Yai, Racha Islands, or Day Boat to Phi Phi, Shark Point and local islands.Usual Ao Nang Prices. (8.03427,98.82854)
Kon-Tiki Diving and Snorkeling Center, 161/1 Moo 2, ☎ +66 75 637 826, . Ao Nang's only PADI 5-star IDC & National Geographic Dive Center and Go Eco operator. The fleet of 4 boats runs daily diving & snorkeling tours to Phi Phi Islands, Shark Point, King Cruiser Wreck, Hin Daeng/Hin Muang. The dive center is recognized as one of Thailand's leading eco-dive centers with several awards for educating environmental awareness. Any organisation and nationalty are welcome to join us. Find Kon-Tiki Krabi in front of Krabi Resort.
KrabiDivers.com, Sea of Love Plaza (opposite McDonalds), Aonang, Krabi, 8100, ☎ +66 075-695-480 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . 24hr. Located in the heart of Aonang, the beachside town of Krabi, in the Sea of Love PLaza. KrabiDivers.com provides dive courses, trips, liveaboards, dive equipment sales and also helps customers with hotel bookings and other arrangements.
Phran Nang Divers, 32/10 Moo 2, . 100% English-run PADI dive center with over 15 years experience diving in Ao Nang. Courses run in English and German, most European languages also available.
Poseidon Dive Center, 23/27 Moo 2 (on the main road, 70 metres from Ao Nang Beach, opposite Ao Nang Villa & Ao Nang Orchid Resort), ☎ (+66)075 637 7263, . 09:00-21:00 daily. Poseidon is a friendly and individual dive centre in Thailand that offers trips to Ko Phi Phi as well as to famous local dive sites, such as Koh Sii, Koh Haa, Koh Talu and others. They offer a big range of courses from beginners up to professionals, fun dives, free-diving and specialties in different languages.
Raya Divers, 1/2 Moo 5 Tambol Rawai (about 2km up Airport Road), ☎ +66-76280074, . 100% Finnish-run 5-star PADI shop; instruction also available in English. Good gear and an emphasis on safety.
Scuba Addicts, The only dive centre on the main beach road (Opposite the main beach steps and Tsunami warning tower), ☎ +66 756637394 E-Mail email@example.com, . 07:00-21:00. The premier PADI and SSI training facility in Ao Nang, Krabi. Scuba Addicts offers diving and snorkeling adventures for all ages and abilities, that are tailored to suit your individual or group needs. Our aim is to make your scuba diving holiday in Ao Nang, Krabi fun and memorable, for all the right reasons, and keep you coming back for more. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a friendly chat best in Ao nang.
The beach front shopping district
Ao Nang has no shopping malls or supermarkets, but there are plenty of convenience stores and souvenir shops. The vast majority of shops are lined nicely along the beachfront road. There are also a few side roads (Soi's) that branch off into the cluster of crowded shops found elsewhere in Asia. The regular tourist fare (e.g. postcards, magnets, trinkets, etc.) are plentiful as are clothes, shoes, and pretty much anything else you'll find elsewhere in Thailand.
Do consider a 3-piece tailor-made suit which cost roughly THB1,000- THB2,000 depending on quality of wool. Most of the tailors can get the suit done within a day. As of October 2011, tailored mens tailored made suits are 4500-6000 ($150-$200 USD) baht and tailored made shirts are 850-1000 baht (roughly $25-$35 USD).
In Ao Nang there are some restaurants that have a "Clean food, Good taste" sign. This signifies that the meals are cleaned with boiled water and the food is always well done (for a REASONABLE price). All restaurants with this certificate will be more than satisfactory in every way.
You will pay some double the price of Krabi town to eat here - main courses are about B150, and seafood very much more (starts at B250). If you are a backpacker, look for the street stalls or restaurants at the top of the hill well beyond McDonalds! (as noted below)
For cheap eats, there are a few street carts scattered about, although most serve backpacker fare like banana pancakes (15 baht a pop). The fried chicken lady in front of the Tipa Resort does a pretty mean som tam (papaya salad) at 40 baht though, and also look out for the yellow-signed noodle stalls with a "4" in a bowl as their logo, which dish out a garlicky but tasty bamii muu daeng (roast pork noodles) for 25 baht.
The Pad Thai served in in a stall named "Kai Tieun Restaurant" is good and cheap. The noodle itself is not spicy and you need to add the condiments available on the table to make it spicy.
The stall in front of Adidas Store serves rice-type lunches at 20-30 baht a box. The "Kao Nam" (Similar to Nasi Briyani in Malaysia) is superb. Be careful before ordering "Keng Mu" (Minced spicy chicken meat with rice) though, be prepared to gulp in lots of water to counter the spiciness.
Generally the places along the beach are more expensive and the ones up the hill tend to be cheaper and better value. Even up past McDonald's on the right some do squid and fish at amazingly low prices.
But: Be polite to the locals and don’t take your own drinks into a restaurant. That’s realy not done!
Tonsai Restaurant, Ao Nang Soi 15 (15 minutes from the beach up Airport Road). Popular low-key restaurant offering Thai food in a local scenery.
The Boat Cafe on Airport Road (opposite the 7-11) has no sign in English but is easily recognizable from the old long tail boat outside which they use to serve up thom yum and other Thai soups at lunchtime. Dishes cost 20-35 baht, and the best recommendation is the large number of locals coming in for an evening meal.
One More Restaurant on Airport Road (15 minutes from the beach up Airport Road on the right side). Low-key restaurant serving a variety of Thai dishes and seafood at affordable prices. The staff here are incredibly friendly.
Pang's Kitchen on Airport Road (just before OneStop dive centre and next to Hertz car rental). Small traditional Thai restaurant with really good food and prices. The 'Jim Jum' ( very traditional Thai dish that few restaurants sell due to the need for charcoal cookers) was awesome and really good fun to eat with friends. The spring rolls were the best i've tasted in Ao Nang.
Blue Bayou Small guesthouse with great kitche, "Clean food, Great taste"-sign, 20 meters from the beach. Owner is very helpful and friendly, speaks very good English. 79 Moo 3, Haad Nopphara Thara. T: (075) 637 558, (075) 637 083
Wanna's Restaurant, facing the beach in central Ao Nang, offers rather good Thai and Swiss dishes for approx. 100 baht. The home made swiss museli with yoghurt and fresh fruit is highly recommended. the pad thai here is quite good! Although go to burger king if you need a toilet as it is out the back!
Bernies Place,Offers a daily all you can eat BBQ for 250 baht or 150 baht for vegetarians. The food is great and well prepared, and there is a 2-for-1 happy hour from 4-6PM and again at 10-11PM. Located on the southern end of the beach road between the Irish Rover and the Ocean Mart.
Blue Mango, It is opposite the Krabi Resort. Offers nice local food, as well as western food. Has good selections of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, which also makes it a great place for after-dinner drinking sessions.
Absolut, opposite McDonalds (5 minutes up Airport Road). Swedish fare like meatballs and mashed potatoes from 200 baht and up, and not just Absolut Vodka but Aalborgs Akvavit as well. They also do a very good authentic Christmas spread (790 baht), reservation one day before required. Absolut have now moved to other side of Ao Nang (opposite Krabi Resort) and have a new name: Blue Mango Restaurant & Bar.
There is no shortage of places for a drink, and very many Patong-style girlie beer bars. On the Ao Nang beach front there is now only one bar - Planet Ao Nang, paz (frizzy hair) and the gang down there are awesome, great fun! although a little further down towards the Railay end of the beach is Last Fishermans Bar. Both are good for watching the sun go down over the ocean. Center Point, on the main beach road near Burger King, has a bunch of bars catering for most tastes. If you're into live music, Rocky Bar and KR bar are best. There are some bars along the dirt road opposite Vogue Resort and Spaghetti House, including Magic Rock Bar, Football Bar and and Chilli Bar . These bars offer great views of the cliff in a relaxed, open-air setting.
Belgian beers starts to slowly invade some nice bar and restaurants. Indeed, Golden Paradise Co. Ltd., under European management, in Ao Nang - Krabi has been importing German beers for 10 years and offer now the best beverage from Belgium (18 brands & 30 different kinds of beer) and their by-products (glassware and advertising media) for professionals thanks to direct partnerships with producers.
Also if you fancy a chilled out drink and few games of pool in a friendly location why not go for a drink in the bars adjacent Noparat thara beach. Next to Luna bar is four chilled out seperate bars of which you can listen to the sea whist enjoying a drink. There is Seemore bar, Sweat bar, Italy bar and Hunter bar, all of which have very friendly staff and good travel advice. Speak to Nui in Seemore bar for excellent drink deals and offers. Also excellent fireworks can be seen here at new year !!!!.
Some budget places can be found on the street where is Irish pub, 5 minutes up the road from beach. Outside season the prices were 300-500 Bht/night.
Seaworld price: 300-600 baht low season fan/ac ask for Jenny: phone 081-111-3913, by the Irish pub. Very sassy but incredibly helpful owner. Speaks English, French, and Dutch.
Blue Bayou price: 300-600 baht low season bungalow with private bathroom fan/ac, 20 meters from the beach. Owner is very helpful and friendly, speaks very good English. 79 Moo 3, Haad Nopphara Thara. T: (075) 637 558, (075) 637 083
The Krabi Forest Homestay, 68 Moo3 Tambon Ao Nang, Amphur Mueang, +66-75-661-500, +66-86-570-6524, +66-87-488-7199, 600-1000 THB/night in low season and 800-1500 THB/night in high season depending on room type, 1 minute normal walking distance to Noppharatthara Beach and 5 minutes normal walking distance to Ao Nang beach. Owner and the staff are very helpful and friendly. They can speak fluent English and can provide you with excellent tourist information. The bungalows come with private room and private bathroom. You can pick between the bungalows that have one king size bed, 2 twin size beds or 3 twin size beds. All of the bungalows/rooms come with private terrace, standard toilet/bathroom, and standard shower with hot/cold water heater, shampoo/conditioning, air conditioning, multi-channel cable TV, blow-dryer, coffee/tea pot and small refrigerator. All bungalows/rooms come with 2 bottles of water daily. Facilities and services are massage, spa, beauty salon, tour office service, bar, transportation services, tailor service, Thai restaurant, Indian Restaurant, laundry/dry cleaning service, High-speed WiFi Internet access, motorcycle rental, car rental, bicycle rental and private parking.
Aonang Paradise Home price: 650 baht fan/ac, private bathroom, pool. Ask for Phoo phone 862801223, speaks English and Thai or Helmar 862783441 speaks English and German.
The Emerald Bungalow, Nopparat-Thara Beach 80 Moo 4 Tambol Ao-Nang, ☎ +66 (0) 81-9562566, . Standard and Family Room, all equipped with Fan, Private toilet and bath. Facilities and services are Garden, gym, Restaurant and bar.From THB 1,500.00.
Ananta Burin Resort, 166 Moo 3 Ao Nang Soi 8, ☎ 66 (0) 75 661551, . All rooms equipped with king-size or twin bed, air-conditioner, 32-inch LCD TV, Wi-Fi Internet access, and coffee/tea maker. Some of its facilities and services are swimming pool, jacuzzi and massage service, car rental, and laundry/dry cleaning service.From THB 1,350.00.
Aonang All Seasons Beach Resort, 162 Moo 3, Tambol Ao Nan, Amphur Muang 81000, ☎ 075-661598, . all equipped with Air-conditioning, Cable TV and Wi-Fi Internet access. Facilities and services are Swimming pool, High-speed Internet access and Car rental and parking.From THB 1,188.00.
Beach Terrace Hotel, 154 Moo 2, T.Aonang, ☎ +66 (0) 7563 7181-3, . Located in front of Ao-nang beach Krabi. All rooms have air-condition, minibar, cable TV, safe deposit box, hair dryer,DVD Player,Wi-Fi Internet access. Some of the hotel facilities are Swimming pool with water power stream jets and child pool, pool bar service, tour desk service, car and motobike rentalFrom THB 1,200.00.
Duang Jai Resort, 152 Moo 3 Aonang, ☎ +66(0)-7563-8211-4, . 21 room accommodation, air-conditioning, cable TV and internet access. Facilities and services are swimming pool, room service and restaurant/ cafe/ bar.From THB 1,450.00.
Palm Paradise Resort, 165 Moo 3, Aonang Sub-district, Muang District, ☎ ++66 (0) 75 661 667, . Resort is located between Ao-Nang and Nopparattara Beaches in Krabi. Resort is 500 Meters from the beach.From THB 1,000.00.
Aonang Terrace Hotel, 131 - 131 / 3 Moo.3 T.Aonang A.Muang, ☎ +66(0) 7563 7091-2, . It offers 42 rooms, all of which have an air-conditioner, cable TV, hair dryer and a refrigerator. Some of its amenities are transportation services, games room, and high speed internet access.Best rates on official website start at THB 1,700.00.
P.K.Mansion''''..is a clean value for money, centrally located accomodation, in a quiet street close to the beach. The very large rooms are en-suite,with T.V. fridge, and balcony. Low season price 150 to 500 Thai bahts, High season 500 to 1,500 Thai bahts. Tel.(66 75) 637431-2, e-mail email@example.com. Probably the best value in Ao Nang*
Top view Some rooms have a sea view. Located next to P.K. Mansion. Low season price 600 to 1000 Thai bahts, High season 1,500 to 2,000 Thai bahts. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or click on www.andamanseatours.com
Ao Nang Palace Hotel, a couple of hundred metres from the beach on the road up the hill. Can be expensive in high season as they all are, but normal off-season price is THB940. Breakfast is included, and there is a reasonable buffet choice. Hotel has a swimming pool, a travel agent is co-located, as are the Internet computers. No lift. There may be Internet discounts. Breakfast was included all three days. Rooms are OK: two single beds pushed together with hard mattresses (usual for Thailand).
Naga Pura Resort & Spa, . 4-star resort offering luxurious and comfortable accommodation as well as professional hospitality and friendly services in Krabi.3,100+ baht.
Resort in ao nang price : 2,000-5,000 Bht/night, beautiful 4 Stars Hotel & Resort on Krabi beach, comfortable accommodation makes this the perfect holiday location.
Aonang Phu Petra price range: 3,000-8,000 Bht/night, just open in December 2009 on 5.5rais with 25 villas.
Phu Pha Aonang, price: 2,500-5,000 Bht/night, near the Cliff and Mc Donald, just open in November 2009.
Andamanee Boutique, price: 1,750-5,800 Bht/night, opened in December 06.
Ao Nang Orchid, price: 2,150-8,400 Bht/night, the modern comforts of home and the friendliness that sets Thailand apart.
Areetara Resort, price: 1,550-4,700 Bht/night, it is a modern resort setting, luxurious room, delicious dinning choices and only a few steps to the beach.
Ayodhaya Suite, price: 8,800-11,800 Bht/night, With it's exclusive beachside location in the heart of Nopparatara Beach, yet only 5 minutes to the city centre of Ao-Nang.
Krabi Success, price: 2,900-5,000 Bht/night, beautiful 4 Stars hotel on Krabi beach
Centara Krabi, price: 6,700-70,700 Bht/night, direct beach front location of 500 meters in length, with stunning views of verdant limestone formations and an extensive expanse of beautiful pristine white sands lapped by crystal clear waters.
Krabi Laplaya, price: 2,400-7,100 Bht/night, located only 150 meters from the beautiful sandy Ao Nang and Nopparat Thara beaches and in walking distance to the shopping areas.
Tipa Resort, price: 1,450-6,250 Bht/night, Tipa Resort (Ocean Garden View Resort) nestles in a lush tropical setting in Ao Nang, Krabi. Friendly staff and beautifully appointed, comfortable accommodation makes this the perfect holiday location.
Sala Talay Resort, price 2,500-6,000 Bht/night, Nestled away from the crowds, located directly accross from the beach this resort offers the traveller well designed and affordable luxury. Rooms range from pool access to deluxe suites. The expansive pool and excellent breakfasts are definately a highlight. A resort that won't disappoint.
Krabi Villa, price 5,885-21,186 Bht/night per villa, all villas are conveniently located close to Ao Nang beach and benefit from beautiful, secluded grounds and private pool. These luxury villas for the discerning traveler, come in a choice of traditional or contemporary Thai design and sleep from 4 to 10 adults. All villas are fully equipped with modern conveniences and boast sumptuous bedrooms, open-plan living space, state-of-the-art kitchens and lavish bathrooms. With a select range of additional services including private catering, excursion booking and in-house Thai massage and beauty treatments, Krabi Villa offer serious pampering and a luxury holiday to remember.
The L Resort Krabi (formerly Wannas Place), . The beach is just in front of the hotel, so there are beautiful views of the Krabi Mountains and the islands of Ko Talu and Ko Poda. This property is built with the nature in mind, but also has modern amenities. All rooms are included with Wi-Fi, 40-inch LED TVs, air-conditioning, mini-bar, safe, and breakfast.2,800- 11,000 baht.
In 2011-2012 season there were multiple reports of robberies in Ao Nang. Some group of local teenagers robbed the number of houses rented by foreigners stealing stuff like laptops, cameras, smartphones, clothes with keys and money in the pockets. Police is not going to do the serious investigation of crimes against foreigners and the thieves are smart enough not to invade houses of wealthy locals. So if your laptop with precious work (or worse, the ID document) would be stolen nobody will help you to get it back. Here are some simple hints that will help to prevent robbery:
Close doors and windows in the night time. (Some people say they were robbed at night while watching TV)
Never leave clothes or bags with documents and money on the floor. Hide all valuable things so it can't be found without making noise.
Turn on the outside lights after sunset.
Buy movement detector. (It will cost only 400 THB)
Phra Nang Beach at Rai Leh and Poda Island in the distance
The cliffs and beaches of Rai Leh, just 15 minutes away by boat, make a great day trip. Phra Nang is the next beach past Rai Leh and has dramatic limestone 'karst' rock formations. Names get confusing, as Ao Nang (the developed resort) is sometimes called Ao Phra Nang. From Phra Nang you can walk across to Rai Leh East, with its mangroves, and hire kayaks to paddle round the rugged peninsula. There's also a path from Rai Leh East to Rai Leh West where the most longtails call.
Poda Island is another good day trip - you come back with the same boat and only pay on return. There's even an area to the right of where the longtails come in to Poda that's just worth snorkeling (unspectacular coral but a fair few fish).
Ao Nang is one of the main gateways for travel to the Phi Phi islands, about 2 hours away by long tail boat, 40-50 mins by speed boat. Many tour operators in Ao Nang offer day trips to Phi Phi. Included in the price (900-1500 baht) is most often lunch, hotel transfer and insurance.
Nowadays, you may depart from Aonang to Koh Lanta easily. Ferry runs daily at 10:30 hrs by Aonang Princess. Book it at your hotel, price should be about B400 (as at Nov 2009), and you will be picked up from your hotel and taken to the departure point, as well as met on the other side and taken to your hotel there.
The Tab Kak Hang Nak Hill Nature Trail is found North-West of Ao Nang close to beaches/resorts, a couple of kilometers north of Klong Muang Beach. It will take you through the jungle and up to a peak with a fantastic view over Ao Nang and more. A sign claims the hike to be 3.7 km but it sure felt like more. However, when the writer was there in January, there were no mosquitos. There is a small ladder that needs to be climbed, but the trail is an easy one if you have decent shoes.
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!