From rock climbing to spa treatments, kayaking to relaxing in hammocks, the list is almost never-ending for the best things to do in Ao Nang.
Ao Nang is a beautiful spot in Southern Thailand. It is located on the Thai mainland, but is right on the Andaman Sea and is surrounded by stunning islands.
Ao Nang is the perfect place to base yourself for island hopping. It is well connected to other places in Thailand by airplane, bus, or ferry. And there are lots of tours and excursions that leave from Ao Nang.
You can take a long tail boat over to the famous Railay Beach or the nearby Phra Nang Cave Beach. Or take a day trip to Koh Hong or the Emerald Pool or Tiger Cave Temple.
Or just hang out in Krabi Town, soak up the sun on Ao Nang Beach, or browse the Ao Nang night market.
There is so much to do when you visit Ao Nang, so you’re in for a real treat here.
We kayaked to Chicken Island and found our own private beach – one of the best things to do in Ao Nang.
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The Best Things To Do In Ao Nang
The first time we came to Krabi we decided to stay in Tonsai. This secluded beach on the Thai mainland is a rustic destination, great if you want to climb and sit around drinking happy shakes.
For our return to the area, we decided to base ourselves in a more easily accessible place. And with the huge variety of things to do in Ao Nang, it was an easy choice to settle here for a week.
While the town itself is quite busy and without character, the real beauty lies in the cliffs and jungles around.
Here is our list of the absolute best things to do in Ao Nang!
1) Rent A Kayak
Krabi is filled with hundreds of beautiful beaches, tropical islands, and secret coves, and the most fun and affordable way to visit them is by kayak.
You can rent 1 and 2 person kayaks in Ao Nang Beach for between 500 and 1000 THB a day. Use them to either paddle out to Tonsai and Railay, or if you are feeling really active you can go all the way to Chicken Island.
The islands off in the marine park are absolutely stunning, and because most people visit on a tour they are very quiet outside of mealtimes.
You can kayak over to Railay Beach or Phra Nang Cave Beach as well. These popular spots near Ao Nang Krabi can also be reached by Long Tail boat from Ao Nang Beach, but it can be more fun to kayak out there on your own.
We kayaked out and found our own private beach, surrounded by jagged cliffs and jungle. One of the most amazing things to do in Ao Nang!
Everybody loves kayaking!
2) Go Trekking
If you are like us and love to go trekking, then Ao Nang has tonnes of great options.
While there aren’t too many options for multi-day hikes like in Chiang Mai or Tiger Leaping Gorge, it still has lots of beautiful jungles and viewpoints to wander through.
You can find tour agencies offering hiking tours and other things to do in Ao Nang, or you can choose to do it yourself.
The most popular option for hiking in Ao Nang is to climb Hang Mak Mountain. It’s quite strenuous, but you will be rewarded with insanely epic views. The view is an Ao Nang must-see!
If you’re willing to venture a bit further out, Emerald Pool is a popular day trip from Ao Nang. Emerald Pool is a natural turquoise hot spring is located in a lush forest about 1 hour from Ao Nang.
A great way to spend your day is hiking up the steep mountain to Tiger Cave Temple and ending with a refreshing dip in Emerald Pool.
You can book a day tour to Emerald Pool and the temple for a day of trekking and exploring nature. Or rent a car and go on your own!
READ MORE: Check out our updated ultimate Guide to Visiting Thailand!
3) Snorkelling And Scuba Diving
It would be a shame to come all the way to Southern Thailand and not spend a bit of time admiring the world underneath the surface.
Scuba diving in Ao Nang is a popular pastime, and there are plenty of dive companies that can either get you certified (we recommend PADI), or take you out for some fun dives if you are already qualified.
If you are a bit unsure about scuba diving, then grab a snorkel and mask and go for a swim (or join a tour). A very relaxing option of things to do in Ao Nang.
Get a close up look at the underwater world with some scuba diving in Ao Nang!
4) Rock Climbing
The limestone cliffs of Krabi are famous for having some of the best rock climbing in Southeast Asia.
Railay Beach in particular has some of the best climbing in the area.
While most of the crags and routes are around Railay Beach and Tonsai, you can find a few good ones near Ao Nang Beach and close to Krabi Town as well.
If you are a complete beginner there are plenty of excellent rock climbing schools to help you learn the ropes. Select from a half-day excursion right through to week-long courses.
One of the other amazing rock climbing opportunities on the islands around Ao Nang is “Deep Water Soloing”.
This activity has you climbing cliffs that hang over the water, without ropes. You basically climb as high as you want and then jump back into the sea. A huge adrenaline activity for things to do in Ao Nang!
5) Island Tours
If boating around to lush tropical islands is your idea of a good day out, sign up for one of these excellent tours.
Leaving in the morning from Ao Nang Beach, you’ll jump in a speedboat or longtail and visit a bunch of different islands. You will check out some secluded beaches, do some snorkelling and may even get a chance to see some monkeys and other wildlife.
You can choose to island-hop on speedboats or slower longtails (depending on your budget), and visit a variety of places. Lunch on a beach is usually included.
Expect to pay between 400 and 1500 THB, depending on the type of island tour you want to do.
There are many places to visit in Ao Nang, so rent a speedboat and go island-hopping!
Turquoise waters in paradise during an island tour in the Andaman Sea.
6) Watch A Muay Thai Fight
You can hear the trucks driving up and down the street all day, loudspeakers announcing “Muay Thai, Friday night!”
A Thai boxing match is one of the most action-packed events you can see in all of Southeast Asia. Muay Thai is fast, hard-hitting, and an amazing spectacle.
You can pick up tickets to watch Muay Thai in Ao Nang from most hotels and any of the tour agencies. Or even better, take a 90-minute Muay Thai lesson with a professional fighter.
Even for non-sports lovers, a Muay Thai fight is one of the things to see in Ao Nang!
READ MORE: Be sure to check out all of the fun things to do in Tonsai Beach!
7) Get A Thai Massage
If you have never had a Thai massage before, you are in for a real treat.
Rather than being the typical form of relaxation massage that many people are used to, a Thai massage twists and pulls your body in ways that make you feel born again.
If you have sore or tense muscles then a Thai massage is one of the best ways to loosen them up.
And at an average price of US$8 for an hour, it is ultra-cheap as well! If you have an hour to spare and are looking for things to do in Ao Nang, this is the option you should go for!
Imagine soaring above the jungle canopy, reaching speeds of up to 45km/h.
Monkeys are swinging beneath you and limestone cliffs come within feet of your flying body.
Adrenaline is pumping through your veins and for a very brief moment, you have never felt more alive.
You probably weren’t thinking of zip lining when you were dreaming of what to do in Ao Nang.
Ziplining is an incredibly fun, and safe action activity. Ao Nang has a number of zip lining companies, such as Hollow Mountain.
If you’re like us and can never get enough fun, then don’t miss ziplining when you are thinking of the best things to do in Ao Nang.
9) Ra Beung Lay Seafood Restaurant Aqua Beach
Just 15 minutes from town is the funky and chilled Ra Beung Lay Seafood restaurant in Aqua Beach- an absolute must if you are looking for things to do in Ao Nang Beach. (The venue used to be called Aqua Beach Club, so if you see reviews for that it’s the same thing!)
Located on the edge of a bay with jungle and cliffs all around, the restaurant is like a rustic playground plucked from the set of a Robinson Crusoe movie.
Twisted and bent trees stretch out over the sea with hammocks strung between the branches. The sandy beach almost disappears at low tide, but all that does is add to the isolated feel of the place.
Basically you just spend your days sipping on cocktails and laying around. Absolutely perfect in our opinion
We actually came here twice we enjoyed the vibe so much. And to make things even better the wifi is fast and the food is some of the best we have ever had!
Try the massaman curry, but be warned – you will never find another one as delicious again. You can’t go without trying it, it will complete your Ao Nang sightseeing experience!
Charming views in Aqua Beach, Ao Nang
10) Enjoy The Nightlife
Southern Thailand is famous for its nightlife, and Ao Nang is no exception. While it might not pack the heavy-hitting bars and clubs that Koh Phi Phi and Phuket have, Ao Nang still has quite a few happening places to check out.
Boogie Bar is packed out on a weekend and Marquee Club is good for dancing. Jojo’s Reggae Bar is a bit more mellow but has great live music.
Some hostels also have a big party scene that you can join in on even if you’re not a guest, like Balcony Party Hostel and Slumber Party Hostel.
Or head to Ao Nang Night Market. It’s not a super crazy place for partying, but it’s good for shopping, eating, and people-watching.
But if you want to find the centre of it all, you need to go to Ao Nang Centre Point.
Lady Boy shows, pole dancing, buckets of alcohol and cranking music, you always know it’s going to be a good night out in Ao Nang Beach!
Ao Nang Travel Guide
Thailand is a beautiful country and we’re sure you can’t wait to start your adventure!
Traveling to another country always includes lots of research on tourist attractions and finding the perfect accommodation. We’ve created this list to help you get started!
Where To Stay In Ao Nang
Ao Nang isn’t exactly the cheapest place in Thailand, and it can be pretty hit-or-miss depending on your budget and where you choose.
Still there are some great accommodations options on HostelWorld for young backpackers, or if you are a couple of are after something a bit nicer check out the options on Agoda, where you can get something for less than $30 a night quite comfortably.
Readers of NOMADasaurus get an exclusive 10% off your accommodation on agoda! Just use this code at checkout: AGODANMD10
For us we spent three nights in the Alisea Boutique Hotel (now Ao Nang Colors Hotel) and couldn’t have been happier!
The infinity pool at Alisea Boutique Hotel in Ao Nang.
Alisea Boutique Hotel (Now renamed to Ao Nang Colors Hotel)
The Alisea Boutique Hotel is one of our favorite hotels in Thailand, though it has recently been renamed to Ao Nang Colors Hotel.
This hostel boasts a trendy design that merges Moroccan influence with a traditional Thai style. White-washed stone walls are featured throughout, and it really distances itself from the typical hotels you get in the area.
With only 34 rooms it is far removed from the larger resorts in Ao Nang, but that’s the way we like it. Ao Nang Colors Hotel has a much more personal feel and it’s easier to get to know the other guests who are staying there.
When you first walk in you notice just how spacious the design of the hotel is. The lobby is spread out with couches and tables to relax at, and the backroom has a computer for the use of the guests, and more enjoyably a pool table.
Our favorite hotel in Ao Nang!
A buffet breakfast is served every morning in the adjoining restaurant, which turns into a tasty Italian joint known as Umberto’s in the afternoons and evenings.
A gorgeous infinity pool makes up a huge portion of the second floor, and it has a bar with friendly staff that are only too happy to keep the cocktails flowing.
Trust us, when you are here in summer and the humidity is stifling, you will spend a lot of hours at the pool!
If you are the kind of person who likes to get massage or spa treatment then head to their top floor for a taste of relaxation and luxury.
We tried out their Thai massage and head, shoulder, back option, and absolutely loved it. The masseuses are highly-trained and experienced.
A funky rickshaw in the lobby of the Alisea (Now Ao Nang Colors Hotel).
But for us the real winner was our epic bedroom. Stretched over two floors, the room had just the right amount of character to make you feel at home, without being stale like many high-end hotels.
With a fridge, safe, large bathroom and sitting area, the bedroom was spacious and comfortable. Of course, there was a TV as well, not that we turned it on, but it’s there if you want it.
Head upstairs (that’s right, our room had an upstairs section) and you are taken out to a huge balcony with your own private outdoor bathtub.
Pure heaven while staring out at the mountains in the distance. And if you get caught up in a storm, definitely jump into the bath to enjoy the show!
If you are looking for a touch of character, luxury and class, without breaking the bank in Ao Nang, then definitely check out Ao Nang Colors Hotel.
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