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Ao Nang

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Ao Nang: the beach road

The only accommodation options in Ao Nang that have direct beach access (and only at low tide) are Krabi Resort, a pricey place in the far northwestern corner of the beach that’s been around for ages, and the more affordable Beach Home and Beach Terrace in the same vicinity. All others mentioned here place you on the other side of the road, a quick hop from the sand, with some located in the alleyways that extend off the beach road. Because Ao Nang’s beach really isn’t that great, we wouldn’t spend much extra to stay along the beach road when better deals are available a short walk inland.

Ao Nang: the main drag

Some solid budget guesthouses and hostels are found in the side sois off the main drag, within a five- to 10-minute walk from the beach. A few quality midrange to upscale resorts and hotels are also located in this very lively part of town.

Ao Nang: Inland

All of these places are a solid 10- to 20-minute walk from the beach, including a few on the main drag as it bends further inland and the side sois that shoot south towards the cliffs. Venture into the side streets to find some of the quietest and most scenic spots around.

Ao Nang: Soi 8

Branching north off the coastal road between Ao Nang and Haad Nopphara Thara, Soi 8 has in recent years sprouted a tightly packed cluster of resorts, hotels and hostels with a lower key atmosphere than in Ao Nang proper, but with all of the same conveniences. Many of these are very similar, all built within the last decade and all about a 10-minute walk to either beach. Nearby Khlong Hang Road also has some accommodation options, though we weren’t impressed by all of the roadside garbage and strangely desolate atmosphere there.

Ao Siew

Stretching along the north coast of Hang Nak Cape with a view to Khlong Muang, Ao Siew is a narrow but pretty beach with clear water and a peaceful atmosphere. One of our favourite bungalow joints in the whole Ao Nang area is located here, and that’s about all the development you’ll see apart from a farm where you can go to pet a sheep. The road ends at the gates to a Thai princess’ summer palace, which explains why the area has remained so untouched. Only consider staying here if you like isolation.

Khlong Muang

Graced with a fairly wide and attractive beach, the fishing town of Khlong Muang has developed into a luxury resort destination that includes a Sheraton along with the Nakamanda, Beyond and The Elements resorts, all starting at over 5,000 baht a night in high season. A handful of smaller and more affordable spots have popped up more recently and are worth considering for a quiet holiday that puts you close to some good food and drink. North of Khlong Muang, past a large gypsum mine, Tup Kaek beach has five more upscale resorts, including a Ritz Carlton with rates starting at around 20,000 baht a night. If staying along the main road in Khlong Muang, expect a fair amount of large truck traffic headed to and from the mine.

Ao Nammao

Also known as “Fossil Shell Beach” thanks to the ancient mollusks found here, Ao Nammao is a reddish-tan beach that stretches a few km to the southwest of Ao Nang, on the other side of the Railay peninsula. One of the main boat piers to Railay is located here, and not much else. With only half a dozen places to stay and few restaurants, the atmosphere is quiet -- some would say boring. White songthaews loop through here and can cheaply take you to Ao Nang, Haad Nopphara Thara and Krabi town.

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