Photo: Late light on a popular beach.

Where to stay in Ao Nang

The majority of lodgings are found in Ao Nang along the busy beach road and main drag leading away from the beach, but the vicinity of Ao Nang Soi 8 just west of Ao Nang beach now has loads of rooms as well. A lower-key scene pervades Haad Noppharat Thara, Long Beach and Khlong Muang. Room rates in all of these areas are on par with Phuket—quite pricey in high season but offering terrific value in the rainy months.


Ao Nang Beach

Most of Ao Nang’s beach road is stuffed with restaurants, bars and shops, leaving little room for resorts, but you will find some solid midrange to high-end options fronting the pedestrian-only walkway towards the beach’s quieter southern end. These were among the very first resorts to open in Ao Nang, and the pair we’ve listed have done a good job of keeping up with the times.


113 Ao Nang Rd
4,000B to 8,000B

Ao Nang Villa is arguably the most grandiose of all the resorts in the area, with two huge swimming pools joining multiple dining options, a spa, playground, games room, fitness centre, wide lawns and entrances leading to both the main drag and seaside walkway.

The pool goes and goes and goes.

The pool goes and goes and goes. Photo: David Luekens

This was one of the first resorts to open in Ao Nang, explaining why it occupies such a large and centrally located tract of real estate. While the sea-view pool is great, the larger zero-entry pool with swim-up bar, lagoon-style contours and frangipani-draped island is seriously impressive.

Rooms come in three-floor blocks, some with views of the pool or sea and others overlooking lawns draped in coconut trees. They’re available in eight different types, all well appointed with modern appliances, whirlpool tubs in spacious bathrooms and a classy, minimalist design punctuated by watercolour paintings of the sea. Each also sports a furnished terrace, some within steps of the pools. We’ve found the lower-end rooms luxurious and suitable for families, while a range of suites attract the honeymooners.

Smart and clean rooms.

Smart and clean rooms. Photo: David Luekens

Prices are steep in high season but the low-season deals can be excellent. If this is too pricey but you’re set on a full-service resort, check out nearby Golden Beach and Peace Laguna.

More information

Walk–in rates: 2,600 baht—11,000 baht
Book online: Agoda | Booking
Maps: Apple | Google
GPS: 98º49'22.32" E, 8º1'49.88" N

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119 Ao Nang Rd, Ao Nang
1,500B to 4,000B

The two wings of the mustard-yellow Phra Nang Inn stand in the heart of Ao Nang, right where the beach road meets the main drag and steps from where longtail boats depart for Railay and Ko Poda.

Cool off in the shade.

Cool off in the shade. Photo: David Luekens

The original “spa wing” comes in a circular structure with a lift accessing rooms on three floors. With tasteful patterned tile floors, batik fabrics on daybeds and walls painted turquoise or olive green, each of these have Jacuzzi tubs positioned right in the middle of the room, with shower and toilet occupying separate nooks and sink set out near the safe and minibar. The design is odd but we like these rooms for couples. They all have private terraces but you have to pay more for a sea view.

The newer wing has a pair of two-floor blocks on either side of a long, slender pool draped in greenery. These are newer and pricier than the spa wing rooms with more typical modern design and no tubs. Though we like the older rooms better, these “beach wing” rooms have larger terraces with thick cushions on daybeds overlooking the pool.

Tub meet bedroom.

Tub meet bedroom. Photo: David Luekens

The resort also features a spa and bar/restaurant with a laidback vibe leading out to the very beginning of Ao Nang’s pedestrian walkway. Family rooms and honeymooning suites are also on offer, and staffers were notably patient and helpful when we last stopped by. Set back off the main beach road nearby, Princeville Resort is a similar alternative.

More information

Walk–in rates: 1,800 baht—4,800 baht
Book online: Agoda | Booking
Maps: Apple | Google
GPS: 98º49'20.67" E, 8º1'51.18" N

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Ao Nang, off the beach

This section covers our picks out of the many lodgings found on the main drag leading away from Ao Nang beach and the sois branching away from it. Some are within a five- to 10-minute stroll of the beach while others come further out in quiet, beautiful spots at the foot of cliffs. Most of the further-flung resorts offer their own free shuttle services for guests.


End of Ao Nang Soi 6, Ao Nang
600B to 1,500B

Anawin Bungalow

End of Ao Nang Soi 6, Ao Nang T: (075) 637 664 anawinbungalows@gmail.com http://anawinbungalows.blogspot.com/

Run by an exceptionally friendly, helpful, knowledgeable and multilingual Moroccan man by the name of Ishmael, Anawin Bungalow’s seven concrete rooms offer terrific value in a quiet spot that’s not far from the beach.

Leafy setting.

Leafy setting. Photo: David Luekens

The place sits tucked away at the end of a side lane off the main drag (look for the sign painted like a French flag) and they all have chairs on private balconies facing broad palm leaves and other well-kept flora. This is a family-run spot with the owners dwelling in a house at the centre of the property.

Set in freestanding bungalows, superiors each come with desk, WiFi, table, LCD TV, fan (in addition to air-con), fridge, several tinted windows, coffee/tea facilities, basic wet bathroom with hot water and silk throw on comfortable bed. A couple of standard rooms set in an attached building are similarly clean and have the same amenities, but less space.

Functional but quite spacious interiors.

Functional but quite spacious interiors. Photo: David Luekens

Though Anawin places function over form, you do get large photos of Andaman scenes and tile floors with unusual designs in emerald green. The place has an excellent reputation and gets quite a few repeat guests, so it’s a good idea to reserve ahead of time in high season. If you walk in and find it full, neighbouring Green Park has similar rooms, or you could head for guesthouses like Sea World on the next soi down.

More information

Walk–in rates: 500 baht—1,400 baht
Book online: Agoda | Booking
Maps: Apple | Google
GPS: 98º49'27.53" E, 8º1'58.48" N

521 Ao Nang Soi 11, Ao Nang
1,500B to 4,000B

We think the enormous rooms at the well-tested midranger Aonang Phu Petra Resort are still the best you’ll find among the roughly two-dozen resorts set on the scenic lanes that branch south off Ao Nang’s main drag. This one is a little further out than most competitors and we think it’s worth going the extra distance.

A lovely poolside setting.

A lovely poolside setting. Photo: David Luekens

The standard “gloriyo” rooms have impressed us on every one of our inspections over the years. Sporting a longtail boat theme, they come in stretched-out concrete duplexes, each room with a furnished terrace out the front. Inside you get a load of space (57 square metres at minimum) plus hardwood floors, dreamy beds, vaulted ceilings, whirlpool tubs in huge bathrooms and a full list of amenities, including the biggest safes we’ve seen in a while.

While the cheapest rooms are set off in the corners of the property, several identical rooms stand closer to a good medium-size pool and fetch a little more cash. The resort also has two-bedroom family editions that bag you a total of 122 square metres and also have poolside settings. All rooms sport high ceilings and roofs shaped like longtail boats, complete with the wooden bows.

Rooms are oversized within.

Rooms are oversized within. Photo: David Luekens

The pool and plenty of loungers conspires with a cliff view and on-site massage to make many guests stay put. Breakfast is included in the rates and there’s a bar and restaurant serving international and Thai fare. The resort is set in a scenic but quiet spot with little else around it, so look elsewhere if you want to be closer to the action.

It’s a half-kilometre walk out to the main drag and more than two kilometres to Ao Nang beach. Thankfully the resort offers a free shuttle service for guests. A seasoned yet polite and knowledgeable reception crew has always greeted us in a lobby that feels more like a theatre thanks to the super-high ceilings. The staffer who most recently showed us around did an exceptional job of engaging and answering questions in clear English with a good attitude.

Having a real tub is always a bonus.

Having a real tub is always a bonus. Photo: David Luekens

Similar choices that are a bit closer to the centre of Ao Nang include Ban Sainai Resort, and Phu Pha Resort.

More information

Walk–in rates: 1,800 baht—8,500 baht
Book online: Agoda | Booking
Maps: Apple | Google
GPS: 98º50'13.37" E, 8º2'2.46" N

550 Ao Nang Soi 11/1, Ao Nang
1,500B to 4,000B

Ban Sainai Resort

550 Ao Nang Soi 11/1, Ao Nang T: (075) 819 333 info@bansainairesort.com https://www.bansainairesort.com/

Ban Sainai opened down one of the scenic side lanes with cliff views since our last visit to Ao Nang and though we think nearby Phu Phetra beats it by a hair, we had a great experience here as well.

Big decks, leafy setting.

Big decks, leafy setting. Photo: David Luekens

Set in a lovely spot with a free shuttle making up for the location two kilometres from the beach, the resort offers nine types of concrete villas overlooking a pond, garden or large saltwater swimming pool. We like how these freestanding structures were designed to fit different preferences, from two-bedroom family editions to romantic rooms featuring Jacuzzis and porches hidden from the sight of others.

While the rooms we checked out lack the “wow factor” of Phu Phetra’s rooms, they were spotless, spacious (minimum of 49 square metres) and equipped with all of the extras you’d expect for the prices. Bamboo features, batik fabrics and paintings of traditional life in Thailand’s Andaman region help to offset the coldness of white tile floors.

The rooms are solid value for money.

The rooms are solid value for money. Photo: David Luekens

Bathrooms sport terracotta tiles in spacious walk-in showers, and pricier rooms bag you whirlpool tubs. You also get a terrace with table and chairs. But the best part might just be the staff—everyone from the receptionists to the guy who showed us around had a great attitude.

More information

Walk–in rates: 2,200 baht—6,200 baht
Book online: Agoda | Booking
Maps: Apple | Google
GPS: 98º50'0.42" E, 8º1'54.8" N

22/2 Ao Nang Soi 11/1, Ao Nang
600B to 1,500B

Glur Hostel

22/2 Ao Nang Soi 11/1, Ao Nang T: (075) 695 297 booking@krabiglurhostel.com http://www.krabiglurhostel.com/

Look no further than Glur Hostel if you’re after a comfy bunk or private room in a quiet setting with lots of shared spaces—and you don’t mind staying 1.5 kilometres from the beach.

What more do you need?

What more do you need? Photo: David Luekens

Unlike Slumber Party and several other hostels in Ao Nang that come with a party scene, Glur is a place to kick back and chill. Sporting a palette of light blue, white and the grey of brushed concrete, the property expanded since our last visit and the spacious common areas are a benefit of staying off the main drag. Doubling as a breakfast room, the main open-sided chill space comes with a widescreen TV, DVD player with a bunch of movies, free WiFi, book exchange and some guitars to strum on.

This room extends to a shared kitchen and coffee station near the ping-pong table (note: it’s not a beer pong table), where spectators can plop into a hammock to root on the competitors. There’s also an organic garden, several tables set outside and a plunge pool for cooling off. Soft-spoken staffers have been consistently helpful to us on several visits since the property opened around 2010.

Rooms are simple but very clean.

Rooms are simple but very clean. Photo: David Luekens

Dorms come in a mixed gender room with eight beds and a four-bed women-only room, both with bunks positioned lengthwise on one or both sides of the rooms. They bag you a quality mattress, electrical outlet, reading lamp and lots of storage space, and some even have little windows overlooking the pool. With extra open space at the foot of each bed, these are some of the cushier bunks we’ve come across this side of Singapore.

Some private rooms have two bunks and rely on the same large and clean shared bathrooms with hot water as the dorms, which are divided by gender, while others sport queen beds on raised platforms to go with fridges, small ensuite bathrooms and roofed patios out the front—a bit dark but clean and worth the rates. Semi-private patios with rattan hammocks and greenery front the pricier private rooms, which were added since our last visit. There’s also a family room that sleeps four and has a separate living room.

Cool off here.

Cool off here. Photo: David Luekens

Note that, while it’s all one property, the newer private rooms are sometimes advertised under the name Blae Guesthouse while dorms come under the property’s original name of Glur Hostel. It’s all one connected property overseen by the same staff, so we’re not sure why they use two different names. The same group also runs a hostel in Bangkok.

Glur pops up rather unexpectedly on Ao Nang Soi 11/1, a sleepy side street that continues east before bumping into towering cliffs—hop over them with your jetpack and you’d be in Railay. The main drag with its beach-bound songthaews is only a few hundred metres away, so it’s not as though Glur’s location is completely isolated. If you think it’s too far but you don’t want to stay in a party hostel and you don’t mind a cramped space in the heart of town, Mini Boxtel is a decent alternative on Ao Nang Soi 6.

More information

Walk–in rates: 320 baht—2,200 baht
Book online: Agoda | Booking
Maps: Apple | Google
GPS: 98º49'58.57" E, 8º2'0.49" N

376/41 Ao Nang Rd (original property), Ao Nang
Under 600B

Slumber Party at the Beach

376/41 Ao Nang Rd (original property), Ao Nang T: (075) 637 089 info@slumberpartyhostel.com https://slumberpartyhostels.com/

The Slumber Party group runs two hostels in Ao Nang plus one each in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Ko Pha Ngan and Phuket, and they’re all more about the party than the slumber.

Goes hand in hand.

Goes hand in hand. Photo: David Luekens

The group’s original property sits on the main drag in Ao Nang, nearly two kilometres from the beach, though most guests don’t mind this distance given the social scene revolving around a large bar, beer-pong table and beanbag lounge. The other property in Ao Nang is smaller and quieter with a location just off the beach road, and there’s a free shuttle connecting the two. At both you’ll find dorms only; no private rooms.

Both were closed for renovations when we last passed through in mid 2018, but we know that the tightly packed, mixed-gender dorms come with four to 10 bunks that each have electrical outlets and reading lamps within. Bunks at the “beach” location are a little pricier.

Easy to spot.

Easy to spot. Photo: David Luekens

It’s easy to meet others at both—and whatever shyness you may possess will likely evaporate during one of their popular pub crawls and daytime activities like “Island Awesomeness” and “Secret Kayaking Adventure”. If the original property is full you could head across the road to the simpler Ao Nang Backpacker Hostel. Another party option is Balcony Party Hostel, which is set off the beach road and run by the same group that oversees the popular Pak-Up Hostel in Krabi town.

More information

Walk–in rates: 190 baht—315 baht
Book online: Agoda | Booking
Maps: Apple | Google
GPS: 98º49'59.77" E, 8º2'19.13" N

Ao Nang Soi 6, Ao Nang.
600B to 1,500B

A walk through this small flashpacker resort was all it took for us to let go of any apprehension we initially had about the goofy “Whalecome Ao Nang Resort” name.

A cute little pool.

A cute little pool. Photo: David Luekens

Newly opened since our last visit to Ao Nang, Whalecome’s rooms come in a pair of single-floor white concrete buildings set on either side of a tree-draped hill and a small but attractive swimming pool. It’s on the same lane as Anawin Bungalow and, as with the cheaper digs found over there, you get a sense of being removed from the clutter of Ao Nang despite being situated a stone’s throw from a bustling stretch of the main drag and a mere half-kilometre from the beach.

Step through the sliding glass doors to find a fair amount of space in rooms sporting a minimalist look with brick walls painted white, cushy beds and lightwood accents. You also get a desk, flatscreen TV, fridge, coffee/tea facilities and good-size bathroom with hot-water shower set behind a partition. The resort has a small cafe where included breakfasts are served, and staff was polite to us.

Rooms stick to the whale theme.

Rooms stick to the whale theme. Photo: David Luekens

Another solid flashpacker option is Ao Nang Mini House, which has a similar design in slightly larger rooms fetching similar rates. We fretted over which of these to list, going with Whalecome due to the pool and better location.

More information

Walk–in rates: 1,100 baht—3,900 baht
Book online: Agoda | Booking
Maps: Apple | Google
GPS: 98º49'27.2" E, 8º1'58.54" N

10/5 Ao Nang Soi 11, Ao Nang
600B to 1,500B

On our last visit to Ao Nang Cliff View Resort we met an Indian family at the small swimming pool draped in flame trees at the foot an astounding vertical cliff, and asked how their stay was going.

No shortage of shade.

No shortage of shade. Photo: David Luekens

“Room is, eh, okay,” agreed the parents, “but look at this place, it is so lovely and quiet and we are happy here,” said the mother as she nodded towards her boys happily splashing away. We couldn’t agree more: the rooms are dated and a tad overpriced, but adequate when you consider a setting that we think is the most beautiful out of all the places to stay found amid Ao Nang’s scenic inland lanes away from the main drag.

The cheapest wooden bungalows stand high on stilts, shrouded in greenery, and come with white-and-green walls reaching to high ceilings. Interiors are small but you get several screened windows, firm beds raised off hardwood floors, a front porch and even a small safe. The cheapest air-con cottages are similarly small and rustic, also a bit darker and mustier, and come with TVs and fridges. Superiors are larger with tile floors and desks, and the one we inspected smelled a tad musty.

Comfy little huts.

Comfy little huts. Photo: David Luekens

Sprinkled amid tall trees and flowers, several hammocks will help you soak in the tranquility. On all of our visits we’ve received a warm greeting from the staffers who offer a restaurant, motorbike rental, a little fitness centre and free shuttle to the beach, which lies a little over two kilometres away.

More information

Walk–in rates: 600 baht—3,200 baht
Book online: Agoda | Booking
Maps: Apple | Google
GPS: 98º50'14.73" E, 8º1'57.42" N

63 Ao Nang Soi 13
Under 600B

Ao Nang Friendly Bungalow

63 Ao Nang Soi 13 T: (083) 640 1340 aonangfriendlybungalow@yahoo.com

One of very few places offering cheap bungalows in Ao Nang, family-run Ao Nang Friendly Bungalow has been around for a long time and the woman who runs it has been truly friendly to us every time we’ve stopped by over the years.

Classic Thai beach bungalows.

Classic Thai beach bungalows. Photo: David Luekens

There always seems to be little kids running around as a few backpackers lounge on the porches of their old but sturdy woven-bamboo bungalows and concrete rooms with air-con. The dozen or so digs sit in a half-circle around a garden in a quiet spot that’s a 200-metre walk off the main drag, and just over a kilometre from the beach.

The huts are spacious with some character provided by hardwood floors, orange mozzie nets and posters of tropical fish hung above springy beds with sheets that felt soft and clean. You also get fridges and hot water in the cramped, tiled wet bathrooms—extras that we wouldn’t expect for the prices. Screened windows and wall-mounted fans keep the air flowing.

The interiors are a good deal better than you might expect.

The interiors are a good deal better than you might expect. Photo: David Luekens

While some grime and a cobweb or two should be expected, we’ve found that Friendly’s huts have held their integrity better than the huts at nearby Adam Bungalows, which is a similar choice set right on the main drag. The air-con rooms we last saw at Friendly were musty, but again, could be a lot worse for the price. WiFi is free and the owner offers tour bookings out of a small common pavilion.

More information

Walk–in rates: 300 baht—1,000 baht
Book online: Agoda | Booking
Maps: Apple | Google
GPS: 98º49'52.54" E, 8º1'58.82" N

247/10-11 Ao Nang Rd
Under 600B

One of several guesthouses stuffed into a stumpy side lane off the main drag near the beach, Sea World has clean, well-equipped rooms with plenty of space and even a sea view from the upper-floor editions.

Street frontage on a laneway busy with guesthouses.

Street frontage on a laneway busy with guesthouses. Photo: David Luekens

You do pay a bit more for the creature comforts and the rates get a little out of hand at peak times, but the value is solid if you catch it in the shoulder- or low-season months. The Thai owner is a pleasure to chat with, offering a little cafe on the ground floor and free WiFi throughout.

All rooms come with some English channels on large flatscreens plus larger-than-average fridges, safes and firm beds raised off blue-tile floors. Hot-water bathrooms have small tiled partitions between showers and sinks. The best part is the shared balcony—do huff it up the extra flight of stairs, if possible, to get that sea view. Sea World’s rooms also have wall-mounted fans and the owner seemed open to charging less if taking away the air-con remote.

If you’re looking for cheaper, neighbouring Jinda Guesthouse and J Mansion remain decent choices for 600 to 1,200 baht in high season. You’ll find dozens of other budget guesthouses, many of them quite decent, all up and down the main drag through Ao Nang—Popeye, Goodwill and The Nine are all worth a mention.

More information

Walk–in rates: 400 baht—1,500 baht
Book online: Agoda
Maps: Apple | Google
GPS: 98º49'22.56" E, 8º1'56.58" N






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Ao Nang Soi 8 (between Ao Nang and Haad Hoppharat Thara)

A half-kilometre-long street once lined by nothing but shrubbery and now packed with modern hotels, Ao Nang Soi 8 cuts inland off the beach road just before it becomes Noppharat Thara Road. The location puts both beaches within easy walking distance, although you’ll have to head 1.5 kilometres in either direction to find the best stretches of each respective beach.


168 Ao Nang Soi 8, Ao Nang
1,500B to 4,000B

We’ve always been weary of places with “chic” in their names but Red Ginger delivers as a fairly luxurious option with a tasteful Chinese theme and cushy rooms, including several that open directly to a fantastic swimming pool.

Snazzy.

Snazzy. Photo: David Luekens

One of the first places you see after turning onto Soi 8, the four-floor hotel greets you with Chinese lanterns, Chinese-themed wall murals and a billiards table set between the bar and reception—all of it decked out in red. From there you can see the pool with its swim-up bar and a kids’ section.

Rooms come in a few styles and they’re all quite plush and equipped with ceiling fans in addition to air-con, soft king beds raised off tiles floors, the usual midrange creature comforts (safe, TV, fridge, desk) and more of the red lanterns and red floral patterns. We found the cheapest rooms solid for the price, but those with more cash to splash could opt for a deluxe to get cushioned seats on a semi-private terrace accessing the pool, or a suite sporting a loft design and Jacuzzi tub.

Plenty of space with a subdued red theme.

Plenty of space with a subdued red theme. Photo: David Luekens

If Red Ginger is too pricey, the Moroccan-themed Alisea Boutique Hotel on nearby Khlong Haeng Road is a fine alternative with a smaller pool.

More information

Walk–in rates: 1,800 baht—7,300 baht
Book online: Agoda | Booking
Maps: Apple | Google
GPS: 98º49'2.81" E, 8º2'21.49" N

Beginning of Ao Nang Soi 8, Ao Nang
600B to 1,500B

Set along either side of a gravel lane that diverges from Soi 8 where it meets the beach road, the large motel-style Krabi Forest Homestay offers solid value, especially in low season.

The long and narrow property runs alongside a canal that officially marks the border between Ao Nang and Haad Noppharat Thara, fronted by a bustling cluster of related businesses that include a spa, minimart, Indian/Thai restaurant, street food stalls and a tour/transport booking office that shares space with reception. Altogether there are more than 60 rooms and you’ll be shuttled to your door on a tuk tuk if staying at the quieter rear of the grounds.

Solid low season value.

Solid low season value. Photo: David Luekens

While The Forest has a few oddly shaped wooden bungalows, most rooms come in long, single-floor buildings and each is fronted by a couple of wooden chairs. They’re all equipped with air-con, fridge, flatscreen TV, WiFi, coffee/tea facilities, desk, soft bed and partitioned hot-water shower in notably large bathrooms. The furniture is cheap and the fake flowers a bit tacky, but hey, at least there are decorations.

Rooms can be hit or miss—a guest staying near us had problems with their toilet and TV—but they told us that staff responded quickly to rectify. The rooms are a little better than at nearby Blue Bayou, but there you get a much better on-site restaurant and more of a homely feel.

More information

Walk–in rates: 500 baht—1,500 baht
Book online: Agoda | Booking
Maps: Apple | Google
GPS: 98º49'1.07" E, 8º2'18.28" N






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Haad Noppharat Thara

This two-kilometre beach stretches just northwest of Ao Nang and while some large hotels have been built around the eastern end, most of the area retains a laidback vibe. The national park’s rooms overlook the scenic western end of the beach, and a handful of small family-run lodgings draw backpackers up Noppharat Soi 13. You’ll also find good restaurants, street food and bars, and Ao Nang is never too far away should you want more action.


79/3 Noppharat Thara Soi 13, Haad Noppharat Thara
600B to 1,500B

Sabai Resort

79/3 Noppharat Thara Soi 13, Haad Noppharat Thara T: (075) 637 791 sabairesort@hotmail.com http://www.sabairesort.com/

There’s no one aspect that makes the small, Italian-owned, Sabai Resort stand out from the pack, but it does all of the little things right.

Cute cottages.

Cute cottages. Photo: David Luekens

“It’s a little pricey and just off the beach road but quiet and super clean with great service, a decent swimming pool, a good restaurant, foosball and ping pong in the games room and, well, we just love the feel of it.” This was how we described Sabai to a young German family while on the songthaew to Haad Noppharat Thara.

Kept up notably well ever since Sabai opened in 2000, the blue-roofed concrete bungalows sit in a few rows and each has chairs on a private porch overlooking the bougainvillea. Interiors are refreshingly simple, sporting light-blue tile floors, soft linens on soft beds, fridges, tables, ceiling fans, air-con and tiled wet bathrooms with hot water showers. The rooms stay reasonably cool and you can save cash by having the air-con switched off. Sabai is a good choice for families, with a number of larger bungalows sporting multiple beds.

Splish splash.

Splish splash. Photo: David Luekens

The restaurant does a good range of European and Thai food, and the atmosphere is social when repeat guests flock here in high season. From Sabai it’s a 300-metre walk to the centre of the beach.

More information

Walk–in rates: 950 baht—3,500 baht
Book online: Agoda | Booking
Maps: Apple | Google
GPS: 98º48'35.82" E, 8º2'40.22" N

79 Noppharat Thara Rd, Haad Noppharat Thara
600B to 1,500B

Blue Bayou

79 Noppharat Thara Rd, Haad Noppharat Thara T: (075) 637 558 bluebayou.aonang@gmail.com

The small, long-running Blue Bayou Bungalows and restaurant continues to attract budget travellers even as large-scale hotels have been built nearby along this eastern stretch of Haad Noppharat Thara’s beach road.

Easy to spot.

Easy to spot. Photo: David Luekens

Maybe it was the warm greetings offered by the family owners each morning, or the namesake Linda Ronstadt song that kept looping through our heads as we dozed off, but we didn’t want to leave after spending several nights waiting out a weather system here during our last visit to the area.

Clustered around a small garden behind the restaurant, the concrete bungalows come with chairs on the porches, blue-tile floors and choice of fan or air-con. Some scuffmarks on the walls are inevitable and the boxy TVs, cheap makeup desks and pleather loveseats have all seen better days, but we slept great on the soft bed and the free WiFi, hot-water shower and fridge all worked well. Cleaners also do a thorough job each day. We found that walk-in rates were lower than if booking online.

Note the rooms are not blue.

Note the rooms are not blue. Photo: David Luekens

Cashew Nut Bungalows is a similar choice just off the beach road on Noppharat Thara Soi 13, next to Laughing Gecko. We like Blue Bayou a little better because of the restaurant—the food is outstanding. That’s one reason why, “I’m going back someday, come what may…”

More information

Walk–in rates: 500 baht—1,200 baht
Book online: Agoda | Booking
Maps: Apple | Google
GPS: 98º48'46.14" E, 8º2'29.24" N

Near the west end of Haad Noppharat Thara
600B to 1,500B

Hat Noppharat Thara - Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park offers a handful of spacious concrete rooms across the road from the western end of Haad Noppharat Thara, which is by far the best part of the beach.

Mainly drawing Thai guests, they come four to each single-floor building, all facing a narrow car park with the road, casuarina trees and beach beyond that. All rooms have air-con and large attached porches catch a sea breeze. Beds are hard but overall these rooms are more inviting than most Thai national park accommodation, with windows covering much of the front walls and hot water in the bathrooms.

Quite solid affairs.

Quite solid affairs. Photo: David Luekens

It’s not bad value in a lovely setting, especially if you’re the self-sufficient type who doesn’t mind a lack of resort staff. There’s also a campground set further back and you can set up your own tent for just 30 baht, or rent one and use shared cold-water bathrooms. Some good street food and restaurants, including the excellent Krua Thara, are within easy walking distance, as is the pier servicing ferries to Ko Phi Phi along with all sorts of tour boats.

Note that accommodation must be arranged at the visitor centre, which is a five-minute walk from the actual rooms, next to the pier. Even if booking ahead through the DNP’s clunky website, you’ll need to check in there.

More information

Walk–in rates: 250 baht—1,000 baht

Maps: Apple | Google
GPS: 98º48'17.21" E, 8º2'44.33" N

Noppharat Thara Soi 13, Haad Noppharat Thara
Under 600B

The Laughing Gecko

Noppharat Thara Soi 13, Haad Noppharat Thara T: (081) 270 5028

For the right sort of traveller, The Laughing Gecko is exactly where you want to be.

At first glance it looks like an old-style bungalow joint past its prime, but take a seat with owner Nui to see why open-minded, creative, spiritually inclined backpackers return year after year. With long hair and a calming voice, he’s an almost Yoda-type figure—a master of profound Buddhist philosophy disguised as an old Thai hippie. His stories and similes have taken our breath away. He spent years in Germany, Canada and the jungle of Ko Yao Noi before opening the Gecko in the early 2000s.

Simple living.

Simple living. Photo: David Luekens

The spartan bamboo huts have mosquito nets draped over double mattresses, cooled by fans with cold-water bathrooms attached. They put you close to nature, including the namesake geckos. Just remember, they eat the bugs! That’s why they’re laughing, maybe. There’s also a pro-size billiards table and, according to Nui, playing with awareness helps to shed light on subconscious craving and selfishness. He’s now in his late 60s and the place is not as busy as it once was, but as of mid 2018 he plans to stay put.

The Gecko is open in high season only; neighbouring Cashew Nut Bungalows and Lazy Bar and Guesthouse are both worth a look should you visit in the rainy months.

More information

Walk–in rates: 0 baht—500 baht

Maps: Apple | Google
GPS: 98º48'38.15" E, 8º2'41.6" N






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Long Beach

Haad Yao, to use the Thai name, is a 1.5-kilometre-long beach that’s just northwest of Haad Noppharat Thara but can only be reached by boat or a six-kilometre overland route due to the river in between. Apart from one narrow access lane (Khlong Sai Khao Soi 3), nothing backs the beach except forest and five small resorts, some of which sat derelict and overgrown when we last visited. It’s an isolated, tranquil setting with electricity coming from generators from around 18:00 to 06:00. Stay here if you need a break from the world.


Long Beach, Western Noppharat Thara
Under 600B

P.A.N. Beach Bungalows

Long Beach, Western Noppharat Thara T: (089) 866 4373 panbeach@hotmail.com http://www.panbeachkrabi.com/

In all of our visits to Long Beach, P.A.N. is the one place that we’ve always found completely open with the restaurant serving food, free WiFi available and family staffers ready to help.

Bungalows all in a row.

Bungalows all in a row. Photo: David Luekens

That alone gives it an advantage, but we also like the setting towards the western end of the beach affording views across the bay to the cliffs of Ao Nang and beyond. Lounge chairs, swings and kayaks set beneath the shade of casuarina trees help you to make the most of the vista. Staff rent out motorbikes and can arrange taxis for when you need a break from the seclusion.

The wood-and-concrete bungalows stand in two rows facing a central lawn, though every one of the roofed porches bag you a partial sea view from benches, chairs and hammocks (yes, all three on every porch). Decorated with Northern Thai art, bungalows come in two sizes—the cheapest are cramped—with hardwood floors, comfy beds, wall-mounted fans and small cold-water bathrooms that show some grime. Some bathrooms have strings of seashells hung from the ceiling in place of proper doors.

It is a very chilled out beach scene.

It is a very chilled out beach scene. Photo: David Luekens

If these are too rustic, check out nearby Long Beach Villas, which also has simple fan huts to go with better-equipped air-con rooms that fetch considerably more cash than P.A.N.

More information

Walk–in rates: 500 baht—1,200 baht
Book online: Agoda | Booking
Maps: Apple | Google
GPS: 98º46'59.62" E, 8º2'39.38" N

Long Beach, Western Haad Noppharat Thara
600B to 1,500B

Sand Beach Bungalow

Long Beach, Western Haad Noppharat Thara T: (091) 007 7285 sandbeachbangalow@hotmail.com https://www.sandbeachbangalow.com/

Sand Beach Bungalows arguably has the best fan rooms on Long Beach—we’d almost dub them cottages rather than bungalows.

Cottages by the sea.

Cottages by the sea. Photo: David Luekens

All nine of the freestanding brick-and-concrete rooms come with lots of space on the ocher tile floors to go with firm beds, wall-mounted fans, lots of windows (some of them screened), large bathrooms with cold-water showers and benches on the porches. The fully enclosed design means that few critters can sneak inside. The bungalows stand in a single row draped in trees and face a lawn, so no sea views from the porches. The location puts you at the centre of the beach.

A restaurant sporting some funky wall paintings joins a thatch-roofed bar, hammocks and sun chairs along the beachfront. There’s also free WiFi. The soft-spoken owner has been welcoming to us, but he does close up for the rainy months. We’d stay here if looking for a super laidback atmosphere at a place that’s smaller than P.A.N. and Long Beach Villas, but with considerably more space and natural light inside the bungalows.

Plenty of space within.

Plenty of space within. Photo: David Luekens

As with other options on Long Beach, electricity is switched on at night only. Note that the word bungalow is misspelt “bangalow” in the property’s email address and website—it isn’t a typo by us.

More information

Walk–in rates: 0 baht—1,000 baht
Book online: Agoda | Booking
Maps: Apple | Google
GPS: 98º47'18.18" E, 8º2'44.13" N



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Khlong Muang

Haad Khlong Muang and its sister beaches, Ao Siew and Ao Ko Kwang, are located 10 kilometres west of Ao Nang and offer a low-key setting that comes with its share of traveller-oriented restaurants, tour-booking offices and other conveniences. It’s quiet but with 24-hour electricity and without the full-on isolation of Long Beach. Expensive, large-scale resorts dominate this area, but you’ll also find decent options in the budget and flashpacker brackets.


Khlong Muang beach, Ao Nang.
1,500B to 4,000B

Bann Chom Le

Khlong Muang beach, Ao Nang. T: (075) 810 303 bannchomle@gmail.com http://www.bannchomle.com/

Bann Chon Le opened in 2016 and we were pleased to see the natural-style cabanas set at the centre of a beach that previously hosted only a couple of boring upscale resorts.

Smart and natural.

Smart and natural. Photo: David Luekens

Apart from a few coconut trees, salas and the reception/cafe area sporting ocean-themed murals, the property consists of a spacious lawn stretching to a picket fence with a door accessing the beach. There’s plenty of breathing room, the outlook is terrific and guests can dip into a narrow pool rimmed by cushioned loungers.

Aside from the thatch roofs, glass windows and a bit of tile in the large hot-water bathrooms, the cabanas were entirely built of bamboo. Inside you get a ceiling vaulted high enough to juggle cats plus air-con, fan, flatscreen TV, fridge, WiFi, coffee/tea facilities, bathrobes and large safe. Mosquito nets drape over soft mattresses set on raised platforms, and you’ll want to use them since critters can get in through open sections at the top of bathroom walls. You also get chairs and benches on roofed porches. The rooms were built close together so we’d expect sound to carry between them. There’s no discount for second-row rooms, so do request a front-row edition for the sea view.

This will do nicely.

This will do nicely. Photo: David Luekens

A little further up the same road, Khlong Muang Beach Apartment has cushy tile-and-concrete rooms that are also solid and a bit cheaper than Bann Chom Le’s digs.

More information

Walk–in rates: 1,350 baht—3,500 baht
Book online: Agoda | Booking
Maps: Apple | Google
GPS: 98º45'29.83" E, 8º2'56.68" N

Ao Ko Kwang, Khlong Muang
600B to 1,500B

Set just north of Khlong Muang beach along the tan-sand shore of Ao Ko Kwang, seafront Koh Kwang Seaview is a good choice for couples.

It’s a small two-floor place with the cheapest rooms set off hallways closer to the road—we’d shell out the extra cash for one of the sea-view rooms that come with more space, cushioned daybeds, good-size bathrooms with hot water and chairs on balconies facing the salt breeze and sunset. All rooms come with air-con, fridge, WiFi, coffee/tea facilities and comfy beds. Sliding glass doors in the sea-view editions mean that you can take in the view while still under the blankets.

Comfy!

Comfy! Photo: David Luekens

The back of the ground floor opens to a small breakfast area and terrace with lounge chairs set atop a seawall. At low tide you can walk down to the sand before turning south to access Khlong Muang beach beyond some rocks. It’s too shallow to swim in front of the resort except when the tide is all the way up, but we like the outlook to the Ko Yao Yai and Ko Hong—the latter is easy to reach by private longtail boat from here. The woman who showed us around had a great, welcoming attitude.

A short walk further south sits Bliss Resort, a similar choice for a little more cash, or you could opt for one of the large and slick rooms at Elephant’s End Guesthouse on the inland side of the road.

More information

Walk–in rates: 690 baht—2,500 baht
Book online: Booking
Maps: Apple | Google
GPS: 98º44'58.24" E, 8º3'26.41" N

Ao Siew
Under 600B

Pine Bungalow

Ao Siew T: (075) 644 332 pinebungalows@yahoo.com

Pine Bungalow is an easily overlooked budget spot which pops up amid fields of cows and coconut trees as you head away from Khlong Muang on a dead-end road with no traffic save the occasional royal motorcade.

A low key spot.

A low key spot. Photo: David Luekens

It fronts its own private section of Ao Siew, the pretty beach that stretches just beyond Khlong Muang beach’s southern headland, a little more than a kilometre from Khlong Muang village. There’s little else right around here apart from Rastafari Bar and a holiday home of Thai princess Sirindhorn set atop a hill at the end of the cape.

Pieced together from coconut wood, cement, brick and metal, the small bungalows are set close together down a leafy hill that ends at the beachfront with several hammocks and tables. Small but bright interiors sport white-tile floors, butterfly stencils on white walls, small tables, portable fans or air-con, hot-water bathrooms and heavy glass doors. Beds are soft, if a little lopsided, and attached terraces large enough for a few friends to hang out on.

Cute on a budget.

Cute on a budget. Photo: David Luekens

Some bungalows were built for families while others stand a few steps from the sand and afford sea views from bed. The laidback staff offer free WiFi, a restaurant, kayak/motorbike rental, rides to Ao Nang for 100 baht and even a basketball hoop set up next to a banyan tree.

More information

Walk–in rates: 400 baht—1,500 baht
Book online: Agoda | Booking
Maps: Apple | Google
GPS: 98º45'50.93" E, 8º2'29.75" N



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What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Ao Nang.
 Check prices, availability & reviews on Agoda or Booking
 Read up on where to eat on Ao Nang.
 Check out our listings of things to do in and around Ao Nang.
 Read up on how to get to Ao Nang, or book your transport online with 12Go Asia.
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