Introducing Hat Noppharat Thara
North of Ao Nang, the golden beach goes a bit more au naturel as it curves around a headland for 4km with limited development, until the sea eventually spills into a natural lagoon at the Ko Phi-Phi Marine National Park headquarters. Here scores of long-tails mingle with fishing boats and speedboats against a stunning limestone backdrop. The small visitors centre has displays on coral reefs and mangrove ecology, labelled in Thai and English.
Several resorts advertise a ‘central Ao Nang’ location – so if you don’t like reading fine print, you might end up sleeping out here (though you might prefer it anyway).