Introducing Ao Nang
Granted, you’re not breaking ground, but there’s still plenty to like about Ao Nang, a beach town that’s unabashedly devoted to tourism. It all starts with the beaches, framed by limestone headlands tied together by narrow strips of golden sand. In the dry season the sea glows a lovely turquoise hue, in the wet season rip-tides stir up the mocha shallows. If you’re hankering for a swim in crystalline climes at any time of year, you can easily book a trip to the local islands that dot the horizon.
Ao Nang is compact and easy to navigate, and with the onrush of attractive, midrange development, accommodation standards are especially high, with substantial discounts possible. It’s not nearly as cheap (or as authentic) as Krabi town, but it’s cleaner and sunnier; it’s also much better value than what you’ll find in Phuket. There’s plenty to do (mangrove tours? snorkelling trips?), it’s only 40 minutes away from the Krabi airport, and a smooth 20-minute long-tail boat ride from stunning Railay. It’s no wonder this beach is increasingly popular with travellers of every ilk.