Photo: Late light on a popular beach.

How to get to and from Ao Nang

Use the quicklinks below to jump to the desired section regarding transport in and around Ao Nang.

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The closest airport is Krabi International, serviced by Air Asia, Nok Air, Thai Airways and Bangkok Airways from Bangkok, and Tiger Air from Singapore. At the airport, you can catch a shuttle bus direct to Ao Nang for 150 baht. The same buses run back to the airport roughly every hour from 06:00 to 16:00; catch them at one of the many bus stops along the main drag in Ao Nang or the beach road in Haad Noppharat Thara. There’s also an airport minibus that costs 200 baht and departs roughly every 1.5 hours between 06:00 and 19:00; purchase tickets and arrange pick up through a travel office.

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The provincial bus station is in Krabi town, reachable for 50 baht by any of the white songthaews that regularly cruise through Ao Nang and Eastern Haad Noppharat Thara (see the Krabi town transport section for departure details).

Popular tourist destinations can also be reached by minibus direct from Ao Nang, often with an included transfer to a larger bus or ferry if you’re heading to an island. These can be arranged through travel agents and cost a bit more but should include pick up at your hotel. In low season, many of these routes are dependent on demand. Fares we were quoted include:

Bangkok: Departs at 16:00, costs 650 baht, takes around 12 hours and disembarks at Khao San Road.

Phuket: Departs at 08:00, 10:00 and 12:00, costs 300 to 350 baht depending on where you’re going on the island, takes 2.5 hours and includes a stop at Phang Nga town on the way.

Ko Lanta: Departs at 11:00 and 16:00, costs 350 baht, takes around two hours and includes the car ferry.

Khao Lak / Khao Sok National Park: Departs at 11:00, costs 350 baht to either destination.

Surat Thani: Departs at 12:30 and 17:30, costs 300 baht to the town or 350 to the train station, takes around four hours.

Ko Samui / Ko Pha Ngan / Ko Tao: Departs at 07:00, 09:00 and 13:00, costs 450 to Samui, 550 to KPN and around 700 to Tao. There’s also the Lomprayah combined bus and high-speed ferry, which picks up in Ao Nang at 07:00 and 13:00, and costs around 100 baht more to each island.

Ko Lipe: Departs all year at 07:00, costs 950 baht, and takes around five hours including the speedboat ride from Pakbara. In high season, there’s an additional departure at 09:00 for 1,100 baht.

Trang / Hat Yai: Departs at 07:00 and 11:00, costs 300 baht to Trang, 400 to Hat Yai.

Ko Muk / Ko Kradan / Ko Ngai: Departs at 09:00 in high season only, costs 1,050 baht to any of the three islands.

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Especially during the rainy season, use your common sense before you get on a boat. We can't emphasise this enough: boat accidents in the Krabi area occur regularly, with at least a few travellers losing their lives each year. If you see high breaks and black clouds in the direction you're headed, wait it out -- even if it means spending another night in Ao Nang. The decision to embark is usually up to boat "captains" who often put profit ahead of safety.

In Ao Nang, longtail boats to Railay and various small islands can be arranged on the spot or in advance at clearly marked booths staffed by English speakers. The most widely used one is located right where the main drag meets the beach road, with others found further west on Ao Nang beach and at the far eastern corner of Eastern Noppharat Thara beach.

Boats to Railay depart throughout the day, whenever they’ve collected eight passengers. The cost is 100 baht per person for a one-way trip if leaving between 08:00 and 18:00, or 150 baht between 18:00 and 0:00. You can request to be dropped at Ao Tonsai, Phra Nang beach or Railay West, from where boats regularly return to Ao Nang. It’s about a 15-minute trip. On either end, expect to wade through shallow water to get on/off the boat.

If you want to arrive at Railay East, take a white songthaew to Ao Nammao pier for 20 baht and catch one of the public boats that depart regularly for 80 baht per person.

Longer distance boats use the pier at the far western end of Eastern Noppharat Thara beach, just north of the national park Visitor Centre. It's possible to show up at the pier, but most purchase tickets through the travel offices, as these will include pick-up at your hotel for no extra charge. If you book a day or two in advance, be sure to hold on to that voucher!

Ko Phi Phi: A ferry departs all year at 09:30 and costs 450 baht. If you miss it, take a songthaew or taxi to Krabi town to catch a year-round 13:00 departure.

Phuket: In high season, a ferry departs at 15:30 and costs 700 baht. This same ferry runs every other day in low season, dependent on demand. There’s also a high-season speedboat that departs at 11:00 and costs 1,200 baht. Or you can reach Phuket by minibus (see above).

Ko Lanta: In high season, a speedboat departs at 10:30 and costs 550 baht. Lanta can also be reached by minibus (see above), and by high-season speedboats departing at 09:00 and 10:30 from Krabi town.

Ko Yao Noi / Ko Yao Yai: In high season, a speedboat departs at 10:00 and costs 650 baht to either island. In low season you’ll have to take a taxi to Ao Tha Len pier (around 800 baht) and catch a local ferry.

Ko Jum: There are no direct boats from Ao Nang / Haad Noppharat Thara to Jum. Head to Krabi town to catch a high-season speedboat that departs at 10:30, or take a songthaew to Laem Kruat for a transfer to the local ferries.

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Getting around

Ao Nang itself can be easily covered on foot. If you want your own wheels, motorbikes can be rented just about anywhere in Ao Nang, Haad Noppharat Thara and Khlong Muang, starting at 200 baht, with prices rising for more powerful bikes. Cars can be rented at the large motorbike rental outlet in the alley across from Jinda Guesthouse, off the main drag in central Ao Nang, starting at 1,200 baht per day. Several of the big rental car companies also have booths at Krabi Airport.

Unfortunately, rental pushbikes are a lot harder to come by. Several resorts and hotels rent them out or have a few available to guests for free, but we saw no advertised bicycle rental anywhere in the area.

If you want to hop from Eastern Haad Noppharat Thara near the pier over to Western Haad Noppharat Thara, one of the always-waiting longtail boatmen should ferry you across for 50 baht per person, or 100 baht if you’re going alone.

White songthaews regularly cruise up and down the main drag and beach road in Ao Nang, along the beach road through Eastern Haad Noppharat Thara, up Soi Noppharat Thara 13 and over to Ao Nammao, on their ways to/from the main Krabi bus station and central Krabi town. The fare is 50 baht per person from Ao Nang to Krabi town, less for shorter distances. No public songthaews or buses run to Western Haad Noppharat Thara, Ao Siew or Khlong Muang; you’ll have to rely on taxis to reach them.

The Ao Nang area has a few different kinds of taxis. The cheapest are sidecar motorbikes, which cost 30 baht per person around central Ao Nang and 50 baht to Eastern Haad Noppharat Thara, with a minimum of two people (so you’ll have to pay for two if going solo). Longer distances are charged by the ride, not per person, and cost 300 baht to Ao Nammao; 400 to Western Haad Noppharat Thara; 500 to Khlong Muang.

Considerably more expensive are the four-wheeled Phuket-style tuk tuks and unmarked car taxis, which are advertised more for longer distances and day tours to outlying attractions. Expect to pay 500 baht for a transfer to Krabi town.

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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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