Photo: Late light on a popular beach.


Where you stay goes a long way towards determining whether you end up loving or hating the Ao Nang area. In busy Ao Nang proper, the beach road mostly features resorts with creature comforts but not much character, although you will find one funky hostel here. The main drag running inland through Ao Nang boasts the area's widest selection of budget to midrange accommodation, but keep in mind that it gets very busy around here in high season.

If you don't mind being further from the beach, several quieter places to stay are located a few kilometres inland from Ao Nang in scenic spots near the cliffs. Keep going inland and then take a right to reach Ao Nammao and its smattering of small resorts that provide easy access to the pier for Railay.

Follow the beach road west from Ao Nang and, just before you enter Haad Noppharat Thara, Soi 8 cuts inland to contain a bunch of newish hotels and resorts. Less-developed East Haad Noppharat Thara is a good choice for families, with some notable budget accommodation found within walking distance of the beach. Over on West Haad Noppharat Thara you'll find remote island-style bungalows that fit into the isolated atmosphere.

Follow the coast further north and you'll hit Ao Siew, an unsung favourite of the Krabi mainland offering one terrific budget resort. Beyond that stretches low-key Khlong Muang, which has limited budget accommodation to go with several large beach resorts.

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.

Phra Nang Inn
Midrange - 1,500B to 4,000B
119 Moo 2 (at the corner of the beach road and main drag), Ao Nang
T: (075) 637 130

The Phra Nang's rounded mustard-yellow and brown building might look like a Swiss Family Robinson fortress from the street, but wander inside and you’ll find a nicely done small resort in as central a location as you could hope for. There are two wings, both with rooms spanning two-floor attached buildings. The first is in the older round structure while the bigger and better one is closer to... Read our full review of Phra Nang Inn.

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Slumber Party at the Beach
Backpacker - Under 600B
Side lane off Moo 3 (next to Zabava Guesthouse), Ao Nang
T: (080) 649 8324

We feel a strong urge to add several exclamation points every time we write this funky hostel’s name. It’s pretty much what it sounds like: a slumber party at the beach!!! Or, a hostel (no private rooms) centred around a happening bar with ping-pong and foosball tables where young and party-minded travellers meet and mix. The ground floor common area with beanbag chairs isn’t huge, which... Read our full review of Slumber Party at the Beach.

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Ao Nang Beach Home
Flashpacker - 600B to 1,500B
132 Moo 2 (down the lane between Ao Nang and Noppharat Thara beaches), Ao Nang
T: (075) 695 260

Nudging up to the far southwestern corner of Ao Nang beach, the small Beach Home is a good option for a decent room near the sand that doesn’t cost a fortune. Accommodation comes in an attached single-floor building behind a seafront restaurant, with a few more rooms in a two-floor structure further back. Spacious, clean and well appointed, all rooms have soft beds with quality linens on tile... Read our full review of Ao Nang Beach Home.

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Aonang Princeville Resort
Midrange - 1,500B to 4,000B
164 Moo 2 Ao Nang
T: (075) 637 971-3

The Princeville has been around for some time and remains a good upscale resort within steps of the beach and the main drag. The 50 guestrooms are stacked in a couple of three-storey buildings around a small saltwater swimming pool and shady wooden deck where complimentary breakfasts are served. Some rooms are shadowy due to lack of windows apart from the glass doors, but they make up for this... Read our full review of Aonang Princeville Resort.

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Golden Beach Resort
Midrange - 1,500B to 4,000B
254 Moo 2 Ao Nang
T: (075) 637 870-4

With an enviable location just across the pedestrian walkway from the beach, Golden Beach offers reasonable rates for cushy rooms set on spacious grounds decorated with frangipani trees, blossoms and the odd caged bird. The cheapest rooms are in a large two-storey building away from the beach, and while lacking the character of the Princeville or Somkiet Buri, they’re bright, comfortable and... Read our full review of Golden Beach Resort.

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Sea Star House
Flashpacker - 600B to 1,500B
379 Moo 2, Ao Nang
T: (075) 695 637

Located on the inland side of the beach road as it turns towards Haad Noppharat Thara, the Sea Star is a small guesthouse blending into a Black Canyon coffee shop and tattoo parlour. Either beach is about a five-minute walk away. Rooms are very spacious, clean apart from a bit of mould in the showers, and very bright thanks to large windows. This struck as a good alternative to the nearby Beach... Read our full review of Sea Star House.

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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.

Anawin Bungalow
Backpacker - Under 600B
263/1 Moo 2 (at the end of Ao Nang Soi 6), Ao Nang
T: (075) 637 664

At the end of a quiet side street off the busiest part of the main drag, Anawin’s garden setting is a welcome respite from the crowds. Detached concrete bungalows are sprinkled down a gradual hillside shaded by an array of trees, palms and flowers. While there's nothing super exciting about the air-con rooms, they are clean, comfortable and have thoughtful touches like silk bed covers and... Read our full review of Anawin Bungalow.

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Mini House Ao Nang
Flashpacker - 600B to 1,500B
675 Moo 2, Ao Nang
T: (075) 810 678

We were expecting a tiny guesthouse given the name, but in fact the Mini House is a mid-size collection of sleek rooms spread over a few newish two-floor buildings. The style is minimalist modern Thai, done tastefully. Think polished concrete, dark grey walls to contrast glossy white floors, dark-wood furniture, recessed lighting and light blue or hot pink cushions for a splash of colour. The... Read our full review of Mini House Ao Nang.

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Somkiet Buri Resort and Spa
Midrange - 1,500B to 4,000B
236 Moo 2, Ao Nang
T: (075) 637 321

If the Somkiet Buri’s designers had only been allowed to design the whole of Ao Nang, it would be a far more beautiful place. The small resort’s grounds are so packed with foliage that it can feel like walking through a jungle village dotted with Thai-style houses connected by paths and catwalks leading over small streams and waterfalls. The lush greenery completely transports you from the... Read our full review of Somkiet Buri Resort and Spa .

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The Dream Garden
Flashpacker - 600B to 1,500B
86/2 Moo 2, Ao Nang
T: (075) 637 338

Slap bang on the main drag and a five-minute walk from the beach, the Dream Garden offers more style and comfort than most of the cookie-cutter guesthouses around here. The soft-spoken young man in charge has apparently stopped calling it a hostel, which is a good thing as all rooms are private and very well kitted out. Fluffy beds have lots of pillows for leaning against headboards decorated... Read our full review of The Dream Garden.

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The Verandah Hotel
Midrange - 1,500B to 4,000B
191 Moo 2, Ao Nang
T: (075) 637 454-5

Formerly a drab beige structure, The Verandah has reemerged after major renovations as one of the more interesting midrange hotels in Ao Nang. The four-storey building sports a Moroccan theme that goes heavy on teal and white. Black lights attached to ceilings are a bit much, but the carved eaves, hanging glass lanterns, white round tables and faux marble desks are all agreeable to the eye. All... Read our full review of The Verandah Hotel.

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Adam Bungalows
Backpacker - Under 600B
25 Moo 2, Ao Nang
T: (075) 637 667

The staff at Adam isn’t as personable as at Anawin or Full Moon, but the setup is similar and the location is easy to find just off the main drag and directly behind a cluster of street food stalls. The cheapest bamboo bungalows are reminiscent of the islands and will be just what a lot of backpackers are looking for. Facing a tree-lined lawn with a few hanging orchids, the bungalows are... Read our full review of Adam Bungalows.

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Ao Nang Hostel for Backpackers
Backpacker - Under 600B
247/8 Moo 2 (Above Irish Rover Bar), Ao Nang
T: (091) 717 3317

Not to be confused with the slightly cheaper Ao Nang Backpacker Hostel, which is a lot further from the beach, this place’s not-so-original name reflects its aim to be a good, straightforward hostel without all of the trendy boutique-y-ness. Offering no private rooms, dorms are available in women-only and a larger mixed room that we estimated to have around 20 bunks. The air-con setup with... Read our full review of Ao Nang Hostel for Backpackers.

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Green Park Bungalow
Backpacker - Under 600B
Moo 2, Ao Nang
T: (089) 292 9892

The Green Park is located next to Anawin and has a very similar set-up, with a handful of concrete bungalows facing a leafy footpath that stretches down a hill away from the road. We thought about listing only one or the other, but both are such great budget options that we had to include both. A smiley Thai family runs Green Park and can help with advice on the area. When we asked to see a room,... Read our full review of Green Park Bungalow.

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J Mansion
Backpacker - Under 600B
302 Moo 2 Ao Nang
T: (075) 695 128

After receiving a warm welcome on a previous visit, the “I’m too-busy-to-answer-questions” receptionist who we encountered this last time was a bit of a letdown. J Mansion was the first of what has grown into a group of at least four properties in the area; perhaps the friendly manager who we met before has been predisposed by the newer offerings. Occupying a slightly larger building than... Read our full review of J Mansion.

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Jinda Guest House
Backpacker - Under 600B
247/6 Moo 2 Ao Nang
T: (075) 637 524

Amid a side-street cluster of budget accommodation that also includes J Mansion, Sea World and Mini Boxtel, Jinda is one of the cheapest private room options in Ao Nang. The straightforward guesthouse has seen its share of backpackers over the years; evidenced by scuffmarks on the walls, well-worn furnishings and a somewhat jaded staff. Despite all of this, it remains solid value, with rates that... Read our full review of Jinda Guest House.

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K.L. House
Flashpacker - 600B to 1,500B
249/2-4 Moo 2, Ao Nang
T: (075) 637 580

Scattered along the main drag as you get further from the beach, you’ll find a host of small guesthouses set in attached two- to four-storey shophouse-style buildings. These can be good options if you’re hanging around long-term or simply want a comfy room without the bells and whistles of a resort. K.L. House struck us as one of the best thanks to better-than-average-value rooms, a... Read our full review of K.L. House.

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Mini Boxtel Hostel
Backpacker - Under 600B
Moo 2, Ao Nang
T: (075) 811 698

The Mini Boxtel has brought the trendy hostel scene to central Ao Nang. Located in the same dead-end side street that’s hosted budget guesthouses like Jinda and J Mansion for years, the minimalist hostel aims for artsy backpackers with a bit of cash. The “box” or “pod” dorm beds will cost you up to twice as a regular bunk at some of Ao Nang’s other hostels, but they get you a lot more... Read our full review of Mini Boxtel Hostel.

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Popeye Guest House
Backpacker - Under 600B
28/1 Moo 2, Ao Nang
T: (094) 591 5411

Sharing space with Dream Bar down a side lane off the main drag, Popeye is worth keeping in mind for a budget room that puts you within a three-minute walk of the beach and close to Ao Nang’s nightlife. Simple rooms are clustered around a roofed open-air hallway, meaning that windows face a wall in most. While basic fan editions in a second building across the lane are suitable for those who... Read our full review of Popeye Guest House.

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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 Cliff View Resort
Flashpacker - 600B to 1,500B
10/5 Soi Ao Nang 11, Ao Nang
T: (075) 695 240-1

Not to be confused with the lacklustre The Cliff Resort, the Cliff View offers simple bungalows surrounded by greenery nudged right up against a towering limestone cliff. At these rates and in a truly gorgeous location, Cliff View boasts surprising extras like a fitness room and small two-tiered swimming pool that emerges from the trees to meet the cliff. The simplest wooden fan bungalows stand... Read our full review of Ao Nang Cliff View Resort.

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Ao Nang Friendly Bungalow
Backpacker - Under 600B
Soi Ao Nang 13, Ao Nang
T: (086) 740 2106

Friendly Bungalow has been around for a long time and has always left us smiling in the past. Our most recent visit was no different -- the older woman who showed us around was as friendly as ever -- but her ageing wood-and-bamboo fan bungalows are really starting to frown. The mattress and linens looked worn down, the fan was rusty and the bathroom grimy. Some visible cracks could be seen in the... Read our full review of Ao Nang Friendly Bungalow.

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Aonang Phu Petra Resort
Midrange - 1,500B to 4,000B
521 Moo 2 (Soi Ao Nang 11), Ao Nang
T: (075) 626 666

With bungalows of a design inspired by the Andaman region’s famous longtail arranged to take full advantage of the mountain view, the Aonang Phu Petra Resort in Ao Nang is a scenic and relaxing spot for those looking for some added comforts at a reasonable price. The best of Krabi in full view from the pool. Travellers to Krabi with a few extra baht to spend on accommodation have plenty of... Read our full review of Aonang Phu Petra Resort.

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Fullmoon House & Resort
Backpacker - Under 600B
248 Moo 2, Ao Nang
T: (075) 637 735

A stone's throw from Ao Nang Backpacker and a good 20-minute walk from the beach, the Fullmoon House has a small selection of Spartan wooden fan bungalows and concrete air-con villas with creature comforts. Both options represent solid value, especially given the European owner’s laidback yet helpful personality. Air-con editions have black and grey tile floors, thankfully offset by big windows... Read our full review of Fullmoon House & Resort.

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Goodwill Guesthouse
Flashpacker - 600B to 1,500B
420/22 Moo 2, Ao Nang
T: (075) 695 601

If you want to be assured of a good night’s sleep and a positive service experience, pay a little more to stay at Goodwill. From the main drag it looks no different than all of the other small guesthouses around here, but we noticed a difference as soon as we were welcomed by smiling receptionists who were more professional and respectful than at many of the expensive resorts. Prices seemed a... Read our full review of Goodwill Guesthouse.

Green View Village Resort
Flashpacker - 600B to 1,500B
279 Moo 2 (Soi Ao Nang 11/1), Ao Nang
T: (075) 637 481

Tucked down a side lane around a flower-lined pond that could be out of a Matisse painting, Green View Village is good choice for flashpacker couples and families seeking a quiet getaway. They raised the price on fan bungalows by a couple of hundred baht since our last visit, and while this is getting towards questionable value, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better fan room in Ao Nang.... Read our full review of Green View Village Resort.

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Phu Pha Aonang Resort
Midrange - 1,500B to 4,000B
395 Moo 2 (Soi Ao Nang 13), Ao Nang
T: (075) 637 191

A solid walk from the main drag at the foot of the cliffs, Phu Pha translates as “Mountain Forest.” It’s a fitting name, both for the scenic setting and luxury-rustic theme. The small resort is packed fairly tightly together, though a generous supply of hanging palms, tropical flowers and trees lend it a tranquil quality that’s similar to Somkiet Buri Resort. The rooms are arguably better... Read our full review of Phu Pha Aonang Resort.

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Ao Nang Backpacker
Backpacker - Under 600B
376/5 Moo 2, Ao Nang
T: (089) 134 7664

Set along the main road a good 20-minute walk from the beach, Ao Nang Backpacker was among the first places to offer dorm beds in the area. Though it’s since been joined by a host of other hostels, it remains a great choice for travellers on a tight budget. The air-con mixed dorm on the second floor is clean and cavernous, with no less than 30 thick mattresses on bunks lined up close together... Read our full review of Ao Nang Backpacker.

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Ao Nang Garden Home Resort
Flashpacker - 600B to 1,500B
87/1 Moo 2 (Soi Ao Nang 13), Ao Nang
T: (075) 637 586

Despite its location within a hundred metres of the main drag, the long-running Garden Home is easy to miss thanks to an entrance that’s tucked away behind some trees. You’ll also barely notice it online; the resort has no website and appears to be perpetually unavailable on the booking sites. Large air-con concrete bungalows with green tin roofs stand on either side of a garden area draped... Read our full review of Ao Nang Garden Home Resort.

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Ao Nang Homestay
Flashpacker - 600B to 1,500B
Soi Ao Nang 11, Ao Nang
T: (081) 732 1273

This quaint little house is located in a quiet residential neighbourhood that shoots north from the main road, near Green View Village and around a 20-minute walk from the beach. It’s a good choice for those who want a comfortable room away from the sprawling resorts, block hotels and tired guesthouses. The lovingly decorated two-floor modern Thai-style wood house has only six rooms with... Read our full review of Ao Nang Homestay.

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Glur Hostel
Flashpacker - 600B to 1,500B
22/2 Moo 2 (Soi Ao Nang 11/1), Ao Nang
T: (075) 695 297

With its urban-chic design and snazzy light-blue, grey and orange colour scheme, Glur Hostel wouldn't be out of place in the heart of Singapore. Eight and four person dorm rooms both come with comfy mattresses in bunk nooks, each with privacy curtain, reading lamp, electrical outlet, storage space, locker and towel. Spacious and modern polished concrete shared bathrooms have more than enough... Read our full review of Glur Hostel.

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Haleeva Sunshine Hotel
Flashpacker - 600B to 1,500B
445 Moo 2, Ao Nang
T: (075) 638 431-2

Located a 15 minute walk up the main drag, this fairly large concrete structure looks garish from the front but offers bright, well-kept rooms with an inviting swimming pool out back. The cheapest rooms are located upstairs -- be sure to ask for one facing the back of the building as these have cliff views rather than street views for no extra charge. The rooms have loads of space and come with... Read our full review of Haleeva Sunshine Hotel.

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Ao Nang: Soi 8

Branching north off the coastal road between Ao Nang and Haad Noppharat 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.

Aree Tara Resort
Midrange - 1,500B to 4,000B
177 Mo 3 (Ao Nang Soi 8), Ao Nang
T: (075) 637 377

Aree Tara is one of several tightly packed midrange resorts on Soi 8 that all have solid reputations. What made it stand out for us was the staff: three cheerful receptionists greeted us simultaneously, another dropped a welcome drink even though we never committed to a room, and the personable young man who showed us around started dropping good advice on the area before we’d even made it down... Read our full review of Aree Tara Resort.

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Red Ginger Chic Resort
Toprange - 4,000B to 8,000B
168 Moo 3 (Soi Ao Nang 8), Ao Nang
T: (075) 637 999

Red Ginger struck us as the most interesting of the luxury resorts that have moved into Soi 8 and Khlong Hang Road in recent years. Initially we thought the spicy red theme would be over-the-top but it’s actually done tastefully. The standard room we checked out was huge and decorated with dark red floral patterns mixed into white walls, red Chinese-style lanterns, red basin sinks in plush... Read our full review of Red Ginger Chic Resort.

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The Capuchin Hotel
Midrange - 1,500B to 4,000B
204 Soi Ao Nang 8, Ao Nang
T: (075) 638 200-1

The four-storey Capuchin projects a sleek minimalist style that’s all the rage among many youthful Thais, like the welcoming ones who run the place. Rooms are ultra modern, almost futuristic, thanks to light grey walls with spaceship-esque line patterns and light-grain wood that extends from bed frames to shelf space. Lamps, chairs, daybeds and private balcony furnishings all reveal the same... Read our full review of The Capuchin Hotel.

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88 Hostel
Backpacker - Under 600B
199/19 Moo 3 (Ao Nang Soi 8), Ao Nang
T: (075) 811 003

The newish 88 Hostel occupies a four-storey modern building that’s very similar to the neighbouring hotels, but a bright red facade makes it stand out. It’s a fine option if you’re after a spotless air-con dorm and don’t like the buzz of the main drag. Sterile dorm rooms are long and narrow, with thin mattresses and fluffy pillows on steel bunks lined up lengthwise on either side, shiny... Read our full review of 88 Hostel.

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The Krabi Forest Homestay
Flashpacker - 600B to 1,500B
68 Moo 3 (corner of Soi 8 and the beach road), Ao Nang
T: (075) 661 500

Tucked off to the side where Soi 8 meets the beach road, the Forest Homestay is an easily missed but very well located flashpacker spot that places you within an easy walk of both Ao Nang and Noppharat Thara beaches. More of a budget resort than a homestay, rooms come in two single-floor attached concrete buildings designed to make each room feel like a separate bungalow. The drawback to this... Read our full review of The Krabi Forest Homestay.

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East Haad Noppharat Thara

The two-km-long beachside road through Eastern Haad Noppharat Thara is gradually filling in, particularly near the bridge to Ao Nang, where a shopping and dining centre has popped up near a newly built Holiday Inn. Still, most of Haad Noppharat Thara's beach road remains a lot more spread out than in Ao Nang, with a surprisingly small number of accommodation choices and even some patches of sparse forest. From any of these places, you’ll need to hop across the road to reach the sand.

Blue Bayou
Flashpacker - 600B to 1,500B
79 Moo 3, Haad Noppharat Thara
T: (075) 637 558

The quirky little Blue Bayou has been going strong for years at its enviable location about midway up the beach road and directly across from a shady stretch of sand. Coupled with a dedicated contingent of repeat customers, this terrific location has allowed it to thrive with virtually no online presence. Simple concrete cottages with dark-red tin roofs are set up in a semi-circle behind the... Read our full review of Blue Bayou.

Laughing Gecko
Backpacker - Under 600B
154 Moo 3 (Soi Noppharat Thara 13), Haad Noppharat Thara
T: (081) 270 5028

For the right kind of budget traveller, the Laughing Gecko is exactly where you want to be. The Canadian/Thai owners lived on Ko Yao Yai for several years, bringing the ultra-laid-back island atmosphere with them when they moved to Haad Noppharat Thara in the early 2000s. Some of the oldest bamboo and thatch bungalows are starting to droop and crack, though a handful of newer ones are still in... Read our full review of Laughing Gecko.

Cashew Nut Bungalows
Backpacker - Under 600B
96 Moo 3 (Soi Noppharat Thara 13), Haad Noppharat Thara
T: (075) 637 560

When we last stopped by the Cashew Nut, the mother of the family who owns it sat busily cracking open roasted cashews in front of the open-air restaurant. Seeing us, she shouted back to her son who was tending the fragrant cashew trees that give the otherwise scraggly grounds some ambiance. So we’ve established that the place is aptly named, but should you come for the bungalows or just the... Read our full review of Cashew Nut Bungalows.

National Park accommodation
Flashpacker - 600B to 1,500B
Moo 3, Haad Noppharat Thara
T: (075) 637 200

Hat Noppharat Thara - Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park offers a handful of simple and spacious concrete rooms across the road from the best stretch of Eastern Haad Noppharat Thara. They’ve got some older rooms in freestanding cottages and newer editions that come four rooms to each single-floor building, all facing a narrow car park with the road and beach beyond that. All rooms are air-conditioned... Read our full review of National Park accommodation.

Noppharat Resort
Flashpacker - 600B to 1,500B
97 Moo 3 (Soi Noppharat Thara 13), Haad Noppharat Thara
T: (075) 661 301

There's something very pleasant about this small family-run resort located just down the road from the muay Thai stadium and a 10-minute walk from the beach. Two lines of detached concrete bungalows face one another along a footpath with frangipani trees, birdcages, tall hanging lanterns and flower gardens leading back to a small swimming pool with a private feel at the rear of the grounds.... Read our full review of Noppharat Resort.

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Raya Guesthouse
Flashpacker - 600B to 1,500B
153 7/8 Moo 5 (straight northeast of the pier), Haad Noppharat Thara
T: (092) 278 9682

Located in a three-floor concrete building above Raya Divers’ Krabi office, this is one of four inexpensive yet comfortable guesthouses all clustered around a concrete lot up the road from the beach and pier. While the setting and location leaves something to be desired, you’ll pay up to twice the price for similar accommodation in central Ao Nang. Done up in a cheerful ocean theme with blue... Read our full review of Raya Guesthouse.

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Sabai Resort
Flashpacker - 600B to 1,500B
Soi Noppharat Thara 13, Haad Noppharat Thara
T: (075) 637 791

Italian-owned Sabai Resort has been around since 2000 and remains a good family option with lots of different room sizes to choose from. Blue-roofed white concrete cottages are stacked close together around a small swimming pool and well-maintained gardens. Inside they’re rather plain but bright, clean and thoughtfully kept, with good linens and beds, tile floors, colourful Chinese fans on the... Read our full review of Sabai Resort.

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Srisuksant Resort
Midrange - 1,500B to 4,000B
145 Moo 3, Haad Noppharat Thara
T: (075) 638 002-4

Located just over the bridge from Ao Nang and across from the far eastern corner of Eastern Noppharat Thara beach, the Srisuksant had stepped up its game since our last visit. A three-storey block of rooms with private terraces overlooks a long saltwater swimming pool with a swim-up bar across from the beach -- that’s in addition to the smaller chlorine pool behind the older building out back.... Read our full review of Srisuksant Resort.

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West Haad Noppharat Thara (Long Beach)

This wide and lengthy stretch of fine white sand is a 30-second hop from the Haad Noppharat Thara pier area, or a 10-minute drive inland and back south after the bridge. Casuarina and coconut trees rim most of the beach, the only development being the five small resorts and a private home owned by some very lucky people. Electricity is provided by generators and runs only from 18:00 to 06:00 at all but one spot. WiFi is also hard to come by. People come here for the tranquility.

J2B Bungalows
Flashpacker - 600B to 1,500B
Western Noppharat Thara beach
T: (088) 381 2084

After changing hands a couple of times in recent years, J2B finally has a dedicated owner who makes the most of the lovely setting. She’s very personable and laid back but also pays attention to detail, evidenced by the recently renovated wood and tin-roofed bungalows, hammocks strung up near the beach, plenty of wooden loungers out on the sand and even some brochures to hand out to passing... Read our full review of J2B Bungalows.

Long Beach Villas
Flashpacker - 600B to 1,500B
155 Moo 4, Western Haad Noppharat Thara
T: (082) 416 6371

After considerable renovations and some new construction since our last visit, Long Beach Villa claims the title of Western Haad Noppharat Thara’s most luxurious resort. The grounds are awash with lush foliage and fountains under tall dipterocarp trees, pulling off a jungle retreat vibe that’s detracted only by a wide stripe of concrete through the centre of the property. The cheapest bamboo... Read our full review of Long Beach Villas.

P.A.N. Beach Bungalows
Backpacker - Under 600B
Western Noppharat Thara beach
T: (089) 866 4373

As the western-most place to stay on Western Haad Noppharat Thara, P.A.N enjoys a broad view across Phra Nang Bay, all the way to Ao Nang, Ko Poda and the cliffs of Railay. Lounging under the casuarina trees along the beachfront seems to be the main activity here, though a few kayaks are available for rent and the open-sided restaurant is one of the more inviting on the beach. The tin-roofed... Read our full review of P.A.N. Beach Bungalows.

Sand Beach Bungalow
Flashpacker - 600B to 1,500B
Western Haad Noppharat Thara
T: (091) 034 3485

This small and relaxing bungalow joint towards the centre of the beach arguably has the best fan rooms on Western Haad Noppharat Thara, though they’re set up in a line stretching back from the sand and don’t get the constant breeze of those at J2B and The Emerald. If you don’t mind the lack of a direct sea view, all nine of the spacious concrete-and-brick cottages come with tin roofs, clean... Read our full review of Sand Beach Bungalow.

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The Emerald Resort
Flashpacker - 600B to 1,500B
Western Haad Noppharat Thara
T: (083) 644 0734

Spread over a sizable plot of land next to J2B, The Emerald is another family-run spot with kids’ playthings lying around and a few barky but seemingly harmless terriers to greet you. Emerald-green loungers are lined up along the beach, not far from a few outdoor showerheads strung up to the trunks of tall casuarina trees -- a nice touch for washing the sand off in the sea breeze. Further back... Read our full review of The Emerald Resort.

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.

Pine Bungalow
Backpacker - Under 600B
99 Moo 2, Ao Siew
T: (075) 644 332

The sign for Pine Bungalow pops up amid fields of cows and coconut trees as you head away from Khlong Muang on a road with no traffic save the occasional royal motorcade. Pieced together from logs, cement, bricks and tin roofs, the detached bungalows are set close together down a leafy hillside that ends at a beach with hammocks beneath the swaying palms. Refreshingly simple, bright and clean,... Read our full review of Pine Bungalow.

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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.

Elephant’s End Guest House
Midrange - 1,500B to 4,000B
207 Moo 3, Khlong Muang
T: (093) 624 8813

Occupying part of a nondescript white building along the main drag and operated by a lovely Scottish woman, Elephant’s End was one of the most pleasant surprises we came across in the area. We reckon around 60 square metres in size, both the sea-view and “mountain-view” rooms were done up with glossy white floors, nearly wall-size glass doors opening onto large balconies, and fluffy beds... Read our full review of Elephant’s End Guest House .

Bliss Resort
Flashpacker - 600B to 1,500B
33/2 Moo 3, Khlong Muang
T: (086) 984 4065

This small flashpacker resort overlooks the beach with a few umbrella trees for shade. Rooms have a contemporary design with hardwood shelves, hanging lanterns, grey tile floors, comfortable beds and large polished concrete bathrooms with basin sinks and rain showers behind glass partitions. While comfortable, the cheapest rooms are somewhat cramped and dark, with no balconies, fronting a tight... Read our full review of Bliss Resort.

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Koh Kwang Resort
Backpacker - Under 600B
25/1 Moo 3, Khlong Muang
T: (075) 600 087

With a smattering of concrete air-con bungalows and box-like fan rooms in a longhouse setup amid a leafy hillside, we found Koh Kwang Resort to be a perfectly adequate option for budget travellers. The cheapest fan rooms are dark but larger than we’d expect and with a chair to relax on outside. These rely on shared cold-water bathrooms located a few steps away. Detached air-con bungalows are... Read our full review of Koh Kwang Resort.

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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 Noppharat Thara and Krabi town.

Rimlay Villas
Midrange - 1,500B to 4,000B
325 Moo 5, Ao Nammao
T: (075) 662 311

The first things you see when arriving at Rimlay Villas are two cashew trees drooping over a gravel parking lot. Before entering resort grounds, a sign in seven different languages warns: “Private. No public beach access.” Yes, the owners do a good job of keeping the resort quiet and secure -- so much so that they even hesitated when we asked to walk over and glimpse the small beachfront... Read our full review of Rimlay Villas.

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Dawn of Happiness
Backpacker - Under 600B
23 Moo 5, Ao Nammao
T: (081) 081 1168

The venerable Dawn of Happiness appears to have sprung back to life after being taken over by new owners in 2013-14. The quirky backpacker vibe is still in effect, with cheap bungalows, hammocks, swings and thoughtful sayings painted onto slabs of wood. We arrived to find a group of men hammering a new thatch roof onto one of the wooden footbridges that leads over a mini-moat on the way to... Read our full review of Dawn of Happiness.

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Thip Residence
Flashpacker - 600B to 1,500B
222/2 Moo 5, Ao Nammao
T: (075) 662 117-8

When seen from the not-so-charming road through Ao Nammao, Thip Residence looks more like a plain old serviced apartment building than the boutique hotel that it claims to be. Enter the open-fronted ground floor, however, and the Buddhist art, quiet fountains and cloth lanterns tell you that this small hotel has something going for it. Spotless and well-appointed rooms are a bargain compared to... Read our full review of Thip Residence.

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Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Ao Nang? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Thailand.

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