Ao Nang is a small town in the province of Krabi. Many people will advise you to avoid Krabi describing it as a tourist trap full of everything a person should avoid when travelling. Having done extensive research and planning before hand and reading many other blogs I decided to include Ao Nang in my itinerary. Whilst I can't deny that Ao Nang is very touristy with tons of pushy sellers, bad music playing from bars and a burger king and subway near by I still think its worth a passing visit and here's why:
Ao Nang in terms of location is a great option for people who want to be able to travel to and from other islands with ease. Just a short boat ride from the Ao Nang beach pier we were able to get a boat over to the surrounding islands such as Raleigh, Poda and Hong islands. They are so close that we Kayaked around some of them. Hong Islands was slightly further out but out of this world gorgeous. The great thing about Thailand is that you can get an all inclusive day trip if that is something you would prefer to say, planning an independent boat ride like we did. There were stands upon stands selling day trips to Hong Islands and Phi Phi which was only a 1.5 hour boat ride away. The trips often include a pick up from hotel, lunch and a drop off home. We opted against this because a, we were on a budget and b, we wanted the freedom to take our time with our chosen activities of the day.
As you most likely know Thailand is in particular famous for its beaches, the pictures you see on your Pinterest feeds and on adverts they are the real deal! I mentioned above the Islands such as Raleigh and Hong Islands these are picture perfect places where we visited when there. One day Dan and I got a boat over to Tonsai beach (which I wouldn't really recommend unless you love rock climbing or a dirty brown sandy beach) and hired a Kayak to explore the islands. This was so much fun and worked out quite cheap instead of booking for an island tour. We paid 100 Baht each for the boat to Tonsai then 300 baht for the Kayak tours were starting at 800 plus baht to see the same islands we did and we actually got to spend as much time there as we wanted without the rush of being told when to get back on the boat.
The street food
The restaurants in Ao Nang were bad and full of crap places like subway and burger king, which lets be real are things you should probably try to avoid when you are in an exotic culinary place like Thailand. This is why we personally preferred to eat the street food at the bottom of our hotel which quite frankly was incredible. The stalls which were set up daily from around 11am - 9/10pm sold the most delicious, tasty food. On our first day we tried grilled Cat Fish wrapped in Banana leaf, deep fried battered sweet potato and banana and the most tantalizing grilled butterfly chicken I have ever eaten. At night we would opt for shrimp and basil rice stir fries and fresh cooked spicy green curry all cooked in front of you in a wok where you eat on small tables at the side of the street. Please don't be afraid of eating at these places I only got sick once in Thailand and that was after eating at a restaurant. Yes at times you may think the preparation of items is questionable but use your instinct to decide whether or not you want to eat there.
Ao Nang was worth visiting for the sunsets alone, I may be slightly biased with Dan having proposed to me at the sunset above but, they were honestly incredible. Even when the weather was cloudy they still produced the most beautiful colour filled sky and we enjoyed sitting by the beach eating our street food soaking up the magic that is Thailand.