15 BEST AO NANG THINGS TO DO – The Complete Guide
Ao Nang is the most central place in Krabi to stay and base yourself. From here you can easily do lots of diverse day trips. The beautiful surroundings with towering limestone cliffs, lush rain forest and emerald green sea, invites you to experience some of the most beautiful areas in Thailand. There are many things to do in Ao Nang Thailand, but also in the near area. From hiking the Dragon Crest Mountain for the epic view, to island hopping and relaxing in a luxury spa, there is a great diversity in things in Ao Nang to do. In this complete guide you will find the all the best Ao Nang things to do.
Awesome tours to do in Ao Nang
With plenty of things to do in Ao Nang you can either explore some of the spots on the mainland by yourself if you have own transport. But the most easy and carefree way of exploring Krabi is by booking tours. In this way your transport, program, a guide and sometimes lunch is taking care off so you can just enjoy without having to do the effort and research. Here some of the best tours from Ao Nang which I recommend:
- Krabi city tour including climbing the Tiger Cave temple
- Emerald pool, Blue Lagoon and ATV tour full day tour
- Krabi hotsprings Spa package
- Private sunset boat trip to Khao Khanap Nam Cave & Night Market Tour
- Krabi islands exclusive sunset Catamaran sightseeing tour
- Visit the mangrove jungle and village Koh Klang and Khao Khanap Nam mountains
- Krabi street food market tour
- Private Four islands boat tour
- Dragon Crest hike, ATV and kayak tour
- Elephant Care House visit and Tiger Cave temple tour
- Railay beach rock climbing with lunch from Krabi or Ao Nang
- Thai cooking class
How to get to Ao Nang
Ao Nang is located in the Krabi province in Southern Thailand and is easy to reach with several different transport options. The nearest airport is Krabi Airport which is a 30 minute drive from Ao Nang. But also from Phuket or the islands in between Krabi and Phuket, Ao Nang is easy to reach by boat.
The best way to get around and explore all the top things to do in Ao Nang is with a rental motorbike. For around 200 – 250 Baht per day you can rent a motorbike. Make sure you have an motorbike drivers license otherwise you’re not insured driving a motorbike in Thailand.
Have you already secured your accommodation in Krabi?
Best time to visit Ao Nang
The best time to visit Ao Nang is from November to March, April which is also high season. During this period the weather is often great, with average temperatures from around 28 degrees and a cool sea breeze. The sea is also calm during this period which makes it the perfect time for island hopping tours and sightseeing in Ao Nang.
A few rainy days may occur in November and April, but the real rainy season is from June until October. These months experience heavy rainfall and is therefore not often visited by tourists. If you want to avoid the crowds but still have a chance of good weather, you can visit Ao Nang in shoulder season. The months around peak season can still offer nice weather, but with less crowds and lower prices. Ideal circumstances to visit all the Ao Nang attractions!
Where to stay in Ao Nang
There are many different kinds of accommodations to be found in Ao Nang. There is something for every budget traveler. The closer you get to the beach, usually the more you pay. But also self serviced apartments, hostels or decent Ao Nang hotels can be easily found. Some of the more luxury places to stay in Ao Nang is the Alisea boutique hotel and the Avani Ao Nang cliff beach resort.
15 AO NANG THINGS TO DO
Experience the Ao Nang night market
You can’t miss this food market when staying in Ao Nang as it’s one of the best things to do in Ao Nang at night. The market is located at the Landmark with beautiful views on the sea and surrounding islands. The Ao Nang market is actually the cleanest and best organised Thai food market we’ve been to!
There’s plenty of various choice in what to eat, drink and snack. And tables with chairs are set up in front of a stage where every night a band plays live music, mostly covers. The vibrant vibes and delicious food in combination with the comfortable amenities are what makes this market so perfect.
Visit Railey beach
Some of the most famous beaches in Thailand can’t be missed! Railay beach is a perfect day tour from Ao Nang. The rocky headland Railey is a peninsula just south of Ao Nang beach and is only accessible by boat. Surrounded by beautiful limestone cliffs and steep jungle valleys, Railay is a serene, unique and extraordinary world without roads, only footpaths. It is an absolute must visit, as it’s some of the most beautiful places to visit in Ao Nang Krabi.
There are two Railay beaches, easily to tell apart with their names Railay west and east. Both beaches have their pro’s and cons. West Railay beach shares a bay with Ton Sai beach around the corner and is a great spot to admire the stunning backdrop of the limestone cliffs. You can also rent a kayak here to explore the bay, or just relax for the day on the beach and around the beach bars. There are a bunch of small cafes and beach bars so there’s enough choice for lunch, dinner or drinks. From Railay beach there are lots of little adventures to do such as exploring Railay viewpoint and the Diamond Cave.
How to get to Railay beach
The only way to get to Railay is with a taxi long tail boat or when you kayak from Ao Nang to Railay. From Ao Nang beach you can easily arrange boat taxi’s to Railay beach and any other beach on the Railay peninsula for 100 Baht per person one way. Most of the time these boats leave when they have enough passengers.
Explore Diamond Cave
The Diamond Cave on Railay is something you can’t miss! The stalactites in this cave are something else. It it so impressive to see the large limestone sculptures appearing from the wall and roof of this cave. A true wonder of nature!
There is a solid path leading through the cave which is well lit. It’s an activity of about 10 – 20 minutes in total, depending on your interest in the cave. But the cave also offers a cool shelter from the outside heat, and the spectacular rock formations inside the cave are great photo opportunities. So you might stick around here a little longer, just as we did. The entrance fee for the Diamond Cave Krabi is 40 Baht per person.
Hike to the top of Tiger Cave Temple
Visiting the Tiger cave temple is one of the best things to do near Ao Nang! The mountain and cave are about 20 kilometres outside of Ao Nang located. The Tiger cave temple, also known as Wat Tham Suea in Thai, is one of the most sacred Buddhist temples in Thailand. It is known for the tiger paw prints in the cave, tall Buddha statues and the strenuous hike up the Tiger cave temple mountain. But it’s absolutely worth climbing the 1237 steps until you reach the summit with a beautiful view on on Krabi. The beautiful lush landscape is amazing with all the towering limestone cliffs and kilometres of rain forest!
There is no entrance fee for the Tiger Cave Temple, so this is definitely some of the best things to do in Ao Nang for free. It’s a great combination between Thai culture, beautiful nature and a work out!
Read everything in detail about the Tiger Cave temple here
How to get to Tiger cave temple Krabi
The best way to get from Ao Nang town to Tiger cave temple is with a rental motorbike if you’re comfortable enough driving one yourself. For around 200 Baht per day you can rent a motorbike in Ao Nang. Otherwise you can take the songthaew to the entrance of the Tiger Cave Temple which gives you a fun experience of the local public transport. But the songthaew doesn’t go through the gate of the Tiger Cave complex, so you’ll need to walk a short distance to reach the ticket booth and stairs. The prices for a songthaew can vary, but it should be about 150 baht from Ao Nang one way.
Go island hopping such as the four islands tour
Besides exploring the beautiful and diverse mainland of Krabi, going on a island hopping tour to some of the Krabi islands is also absolutely one of the must things to do in Krabi! There are many different island tours, but one you have to to do in Krabi, is the four islands tour. During this tour you will visit the group of islands closest to the coast of Ao Nang, the ones that can be seen on the horizon from the beach. The four islands are Koh Poda, Koh Gai, also known as Chicken Island, Koh Tub and Koh Mor. During the island hopping tour you will also stop at the beautiful Phra Nang Cave Beach on the Railay peninsula. But there are more variations in tours possible. Have a look at the ticket booth & information centre for taxi boats at Ao Nang beach. There you will find a pricelist with all the different options for island hopping tours.
Dip in the crystal clear Emerald Pool
The Emerald Pool is a crystal lagoon located in a beautiful rain forest. It is a welcome get away from the busier Ao Nang. Although the Emerald Pool is not the closest by from Ao Nang attraction, it really is worth the day trip of about 65 kilometre one way. And you can combine a visit to the Crystal Lagoon Krabi with a visit to the Krabi hot springs!
Read in this complete guide everything about the Emerald pool and Krabi Hot Springs
Relax in the Krabi hotsprings
The Krabi Hot Springs are located in a beautiful small rainforest. The hot springs are basically a few streams flowing down to create a waterfall of several natural spring water pools. It’s a super relaxing feeling with the warm water which is at a pleasant 35-42C. The Emerald Pool on the other hand has a normal but warm temperature with beautiful nature views.
Read in this complete guide everything about the Emerald Pool Krabi
Explore Phra Nang Cave & beach
Phra Nang beach and its caves are located on the Railay peninsula between Krabi town and Ao Nang. It is the most southern stretch of sand in Railay Bay with 450 meters in length and surrounded by deep emerald green turquoise water. Phra Nang beach is set against the impressive backdrop of towering limestone cliffs and offers some of the most beautiful views of Krabi. In combination with the interesting caves to explore such as the Princess Cave or Tham Phra Nang Nok in Thai, this beach is absolutely worth a visit!
Read in this complete guide everything about Phra Nang beach & cave
How to get to Phra Nang beach
The Railay peninsula where Phra Nang beach is located, can only be reached by boat. The beautiful towering limestone cliffs cut the access off from the mainland. Most people therefore visit Phra Nang beach during a day trip to Railey. From Ao Nang you can arrange a taxi longtail boat to get to Phra Nang beach which will cost you 100 baht and takes about 15 minutes. You can also choose to get dropped off at Railey beach and walk for about 10 minutes to Phra Nang beach.
Watch a beautiful Ao Nang beach sunset
Around Ao Nang beach is where it all happens. The vibrant tourist centre is where most hotels and resorts are located. Impressive limestone cliffs where Krabi is famous for, surround Ao Nang beach, giving it still a bit of a secluded feeling despite the many facilities. The small town takes a 30 minute stroll from one end to the other. Ao Nang beach is located right next to the road and is facing west. So watching the sunset on Ao Nang beach is definitely something you should do. After watching the sunset, you can go out for dinner in one of the restaurants in Ao Nang.
Another beach in Ao Nang is Noppharat Thara beach which is part of the Mu Ko Phi Phi national park. This is the more raw and untouched beach in Ao Nang for people who enjoy places away from the busy main hubs.
Hike the Dragon Crest Mountain
Some of the most adventurous and intense things to do near Ao Nang is climbing the Dragon Crest mountain. This is some of the best Ao Nang places to visit and Dragon Crest offers one of the most epic viewpoints in all of Thailand. The National Park Khao Ngon Nak, aka Dragon Crest Mountain is a stunning 3.7 km hike located in northern Krabi.! Be prepared for the strenuous 1 – 1,5 hour hike to get to the summit of Dragon Crest Mountain. Along the way you will pass some of the most breathtaking views you’ve seen. There’s no entrance fee involved for the park, so this is definitely some of the best things to do in Ao Nang for free.
Read in this complete guide everything about the Dragon Crest hike Krabi
How to get to Dragon Crest Hike Krabi
It’s a 40-minute drive from Ao Nang beach to the starting point of the hike. It could be a bit misleading and confusing when you want to use Google Maps to navigate you to “Dragon Crest viewpoint” or “Ngon Nak”. These are false starting points. You need to navigate to “Checkpoint Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park” which is pinned on the map below.
Once you reach the park entrance, proceed straight past the gate to park your motorbike. You can see where the trail starts with clear signs. You don’t need to worry about a park entrance fee because it’s free. However, once you complete the hike you can to tip the park rangers if you want to.
Go on a day trip to Hong Island
Hong Island, also known as Koh Hong, is located in between the Krabi Province and Phuket and is technically a group of four islands. It is part of the Than Bok Khorani National Park and known for the impressive limestone formations. But not only the limestone cliffs and blue turquoise water are impressive, also the soft white sand beach of Hong Island beach is really beautiful. Another must visit spot on the island is Hong Lagoon, for which you have to go through a narrow rock-opening. Here you can go snorkeling or just admire the beautiful limestone cliffs and crystal clear waters. Hong Island is definitely some of the best day trips from Ao Nang.
Read in our complete guide everything about Hong Island
How to get to Hong Island
The trips to Hong Island can be booked from several operators in Ao Nang or online. During a day trip, you will visit the Hong Islands with a speed boat or longtail boat, depending on the distance you have to travel. You can also choose to combine a visit to Hong Island with a full day of exploring the other Krabi islands.
Go rock climbing at Tonsai beach
Rock climbing in Krabi is for sure an activity for the more adventurous traveler. The impressive and beautiful limestone cliffs in Krabi are the perfect setup for this thrilling activity, and thanks to the permanent hooks placed into the rock with ropes through them, the climbing options in Krabi are a safe way for beginners to start. When you lose your grip you will only fall a maximum of fifty centimeters down, so it’s a fun thing to experience and makes you push your boundaries!
The best beach to go rock climbing in Krabi is Tonsai beach which runs on from Railay West and only hosts a few hotels. The 600 meter long beach is stuck between two high limestone cliffs, making it the perfect playground for rock climbers and people who want to get away from all the busy tourist spots in Krabi.
Other activities on Tonsai beach are obviously relaxing, but you can also rent kayaks. Off shore of Tonsai beach you can explore the reef and limestone cliffs from closer up, maybe you’ll even find a hidden cave!
How to get to Tonsai beach
The only way to get to Tonsai beach is with a taxi long tail boat. From Ao Nang beach you can easily arrange transport to Tonsai and any other beach on the Railay peninsula for 100 Baht per person one way. Most of the time these boats leave when they have enough passengers.
Explore the other Thai Islands
If you’ve finished this whole list with best things to do in Krabi and still have time left, why not exploring the other, bigger islands close to Krabi? Koh Lanta and Koh Phi Phi are both amazing options to continue your Thailand island hopping adventure. The Phang Nga Bay is great place to go island hopping from Phuket to Krabi, or the other way around! Anyway, if you have time left, you can’t miss the Phi Phi islands. Or explore the less traveled islands such as Koh Yao Noi and Koh Yao Yai. Both the more rural and laid back islands with little tourism. So for the parties and hip beach life, head to Koh Phi Phi, and for the real, authentic, off the beaten path experience, head to Koh Yao Noi and Yai.
More Thailand travel guides
We hope you enjoyed this blog post about the best things to do in Ao Nang.
For more Thailand travel tips, read these guides:
8 best Krabi beaches – The Ultimate Guide
Krabi Night Food Market – The Complete Guide
Dragon Crest Hike Krabi – The Complete Hiking Guide
Emerald Pool and Krabi Hotsprings – The Complete Guide
Phra Nang beach and cave Krabi – The Complete Guide
Tiger Cave temple Krabi – The Complete Guide
Tubkaek beach & Klong Muang – The Complete Guide
Yes, great blog for the Krabi region!!!
Thanks so much John! Happy to hear
Hello Ilse, your blog about Ao Nang in Krabi is very informative. The Tiger Cave looks impressive and also your other tips are inviting.