A November 2004 trip
to Ao Nang by Cauldar
Quote: After 2 weeks in Thailand without seeing a tropical beach, my girlfriend insisted that we find one. So, we bought a pair of tickets from Chiang Mai to Krabi and found this peaceful (if a bit touristy) corner of bliss - a welcome shift in scenery and rhythm, with some of the most beautiful beaches I've ever enjoyed.
Kayaking and snorkelling are popular with all resorts offering day-packages. More eco-friendly tours are offered by Sea Canoe and have an office on the main street at the far east end.
Hundreds of rock climbing opportunities at Rai Lay. Just go to any guesthouse on the northern end of East Rai Lay. They have introductory, multi-day, and advanced courses available.
Warm water and beautiful beaches at Rai Lay and Ao Pra Nang
Heavenly Thai pancakes, pad thai, and fruit smoothies from street vendors. A couple of authentic German restaurants as well.
Try the street vendors - trust me. The food is fresh, less expensive, and better-tasting than most of the restaurants in town, and you will never eat fresher fruit.
There are songthaew buses that will get you to/from Ao Nang and many of the local towns.
Walking is the best way about town. Long-tail boats that can take you to any of the local beaches and towns. You can usually negotiate a good all-day rental price and find your own private beach for the day.
There are a few tuk-tuk-like vehicles that'll take you up and down the main road if you're injured, lazy or you're hotel is really far away from the beach.
Rooms were pretty basic relative to the touristy, bungalow-style resorts that are cutting into the 'protected' forest. It was clean and mildew-free and looked like they might have been built only a couple weeks before we'd arrived. Judging by the speed with which buildings are being slapped together in Ao Nang, we might not be far from the truth.
There was a swimming pool but wasn't being taken care of at all. During the rainy part of the day 2-5pm, it was nice to hang out and watch a little cable TV or sit out on the small balcony and watch the sky fall.
I don't understand why, but the owner was an angry Islamic man who behaved as if he were irritated with us. I don't know whether it had anything to do with us being Americans but he was the only person to behave in this manner towards us the entire time we were in Thailand. His son and wife ran the front desk most of the time, however, and they were very nice. Had they not been so friendly, we probably wouldn't have stayed.
Member Rating 2 out of 5 on June 22, 2005
126 Moo 2
Ao Nang, Thailand
There are paths leading through the bungalows and onto the more-secluded, southern tip of the peninsula and West Rai Lay, a marshy coastline of mangrove trees. The peninsula also offers a small but beautiful cave to explore, stunning views, and innumerable rock climbing opportunities.
There were a number of Thais walking the beach and offering pineapple and bananas, but I don't know how legal it was. I suggest that you bring your own snacks.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 21, 2005
West Rai Lay
West Rai Lay
Ao Nang, Thailand
New York, New York