The favoured first port of call in Krabi is Ao Nang Beach as it offers the ideal vantage point for Krabi’s inland attractions and gives access to the coral reefs and 200 islands which line Krabi’s coastline. If you plan on sea kayaking or venturing inland to Krabi’s famous national parks Ao Nang is a good place to be. If you are looking for an authentic Thai experience then I suggest to keep moving. Ao Nang is best used as a transit point and if you have made it this far you should take the extra step to nearby islands. Ao Nang in low season is no better than the rest of the year.
Ao Nang has become just another beach resort, albeit with a beautiful backdrop. While the area won’t reach the same notoriety of Pattaya or Hua Hin the area does harbour the same traits. The beach road is lined with international food joints, bars and hard sell. Thai food restaurants sell Thai food ‘not for Thai tastes’. Culture is watered down for tourists. Pushy taxi touts cuss in Thai when their hard-sell services are ignored.
Unfortunately, this ugly tourism is encouraged with a ban on Thais using tour buses to reach Ao Nang. The lack of locals allows greed to run riot as Thai hospitality has been replaced with opportunism. This is not a trait of locals but a trait of tourism in the area. The area was best summed up by Fanfan who tweeted “I’m Thai… why don’t I feel I’m in Thailand.”
Getting to Ao Nang in Low Season: 30-minute drive from Krabi town or airport
Accommodation During Low Season
The best accommodation comes on the North side of Ao Nang beach (soi 8) and 1000 baht is the magic number where budget travel brings luxury accommodation. To escape the main drag however, there is always Centara Grand Resort. It more or less has its own cove and beach and is cut off from the main tourist beaches.