Deciding where to stay in Ao Nang is essential to have a great time in Krabi. We’ve met a lot of fellow travelers who made the wrong choice and were not that happy. The truth is that the area satisfies every kick and fancy.
All you have to do is base your decision on your own personal taste. We know the area by heart. We’ve been coming for years and staying for months. That’s why we are sure you will find the right place for you.
What can we say? We love it here! Krabi Province in Southern Thailand is one of our favorite places in South East Asia. The area has the most spectacular nature in Thailand. Ao Nang and Railay are both picture-perfect beaches.
The Best Places to Stay in Ao Nang
On the Ao Nang Beach
The best places to stay in Ao Nang are directly on the beach. The super tall and monumental karsts you see in the pictures are here. Ao Nang Beach is a wide 5000 feet (1.5 km) long sandy beach with crystal blue waters.
There’s a massive wall of karst to the south and a peninsula with a hill to the north. This is where to stay in Ao Nang if you like swimming. Since there are no rocks, you can do so at all tides and times.
Ao Nang beach is safe and perfect for families. The vibe is relaxed. No massive towers or shady business here. Bars, restaurants, and shops line the avenue in the center of the beach. The north and south are car-free.
We Recommend These Hotels on the Ao Nang Beach:
Our favorite hotel in Ao Nang Beach is the Krabi Resort. The hotel is set in a massive garden and on the slope of a hill. The sandy beach is in front, next to the peninsula. Book a luxury room on the slope for killer views.
Centara Ao Nang Beach Resort
The local chain has a fantastic hotel directly on the beach. The Centara Ao Nang Beach is a luxurious property with a big pool, restaurant, and lively bar. The rooms are huge, plush, and come with a balcony. Book a Deluxe Ocean Room to enjoy splendid views.
Though it looks like an island, Railay is a peninsula. However, a humongous wall of karts cuts the way. Therefore, you have to take a 10-minute boat ride from Ao Nang Beach to get there. Railay is our favorite beach in Thailand.
No other one has such incredible scenery and views. We believe that the beach on the west is where to stay in Railay. Railay West is a long and wide stretch of sand with crystal blue water and epic views.
The tallest karsts ever stand at both ends. The boats dock in the middle. The breathtaking Princess Beach is at the back. Railay east has mangroves, bars, and gorgeous views. Bars and restaurants line a lively pedestrian street in the middle.
We Recommend These Hotels in Railay:
If you have the money to splurge, do so at the Rayavadee. It’s one of our favorite hotels in the world. This is the place to experience Thai luxury. It’s set in a jungle on a dreamy beach and has everything you ever dreamed of.
Considering its class and location, the Sand Sea Resort is great value for money. The sprawling beachfront property has impeccable bungalows, rooms, and three pools. Tall trees, monkeys, and birds live in the gardens. It’s the best place to stay in Railay with friends and families.
Pai Plong Beach
Pai Plong Beach is one of the best places to stay in Krabi and in all of Thailand. The beach is like no other in the country. Huge karsts and green hills surround the wide and long stretch of sand.
Take note that Pai Plong is next to Ao Nang Beach. However, a hill blocks the way. Thus, you have to go up the Monkey Trail to go from one to the other. We are not complaining. The beach is isolated and quiet.
Stay here if you are not into crowds. Most people walk here, visit shortly, and leave. Besides, very few long tail boats dock. Since it’s so quiet, you can see monkeys and all sorts of birds in the jungle. The nights are especially beautiful.
We Recommend These Hotels on the Pai Plong Beach:
Centara Grand Beach Resort and Villas
Ao Nang has a couple of fantastic beach resorts, but only one Centara Grand Beach Resort. The chain is known for its lavish properties, and this one is one of the best. The property is set in the jungle directly on Pai Plong Beach.
In fact, it’s the only hotel. There’s no one else around. That’s why we love it. It’s got two pools and a spa. The gardens are endless. All the tastefully decorated rooms are huge and come with a balcony. Book a Premium Ocean View Room, and you will never forget your time in Ao Nang.
By the 4203 Road
Road 4203 is a two-way avenue that connects Ao Nang with Krabi Town. A section is parallel to Ao Nang Beach. Here we are talking about the section that’s perpendicular. The views of the green hills and karts are pretty cool.
Most bars, restaurants, and shops are here. It’s got a lively vibe. It can be noisy at night. We believe you should stay close to the beach. However, try to avoid hotels directly on the avenue. The side streets are super quiet.
The touristy area is fun. You’ve got western style restaurants, bars, spas, and supermarkets. Further up the road things become a bit more local. We always walk along the night market close to the mosque. We like the bars in this area better.
We Recommend These Hotels by the 4203 Road:
You can’t beat the location of Tipa Resort. The beautiful property is 2 minutes from the beach and all the action. However, it’s super quiet. Tipa is on a slope of a hill. The gardens are beautiful. It’s got two pools. The suites are stunning.
The Sea Seeker is great value for money. The contemporary hotel is two blocks from the road. However, you can reach the beach in 5 minutes walking along a street behind the Centara. The sleek rooms are comfortable. The ones on the top floors have sea views.
Noppharat Thara Beach
Noppharat Thara Beach is to the northwest of Ao Nang Beach. You can walk to the center of Ao Nang in 7 minutes. Take note that Noppharat Thara Beach is the section further north. Klong Thara Pier is here.
You have to stay at the beach after the peninsula where Ao Nang Beach ends. Locals visit this sandy beach. A couple of restaurants line the coast. You have to cross the road to reach the hotels and bars.
Noppharat Thara offers the best budget accommodation on the beach in Ao Nang. Since it’s just off the center, it’s very quiet. You can walk all the way to the northern section. There are tall trees and several islands. You can swim on high tide and walk to the islands on low tide.
We Recommend These Hotels on the Noppharat Thara Beach:
Holiday Ao Nang Beach Resort
If you are looking for a 5 star hotel at an unbeatable rate, stay at the Holiday Ao Nang Beach Resort. The polished property features an adult and a kid pool, gardens, and a fantastic rooftop restaurant. Without a doubt, one of the most affordable luxury hotels in all Krabi including Ao Nang.
Maneetel Krabi Beachfront
The Maneetel Krabi Beachfront offers sleek rooms across the sea. Some of the rooms have direct pool access. All have a balcony and big bathrooms. The hotel pool overlooks the sea. Book a room here if you are traveling with friends.
In the Middle of Nature
The best area to stay in Ao Nang for nature and isolation is next to the Son River. The small river begins in the jungle and ends at Noppharat Beach. Therefore, you are pretty much in the middle of nowhere.
You won’t hear any cars or boats here. Though you can walk 45 minutes to the coast, it’s best to take a tuk-tuk or taxi. That’s the whole point of spending some nights here. You get to experience the rural side of Ao Nang.
The area is known for its fantastic views. Since there aren’t many buildings, all you see is nature. The hotels we recommend are set on private lakes. Thus, you feel like being in the middle of the jungle. Both offer complimentary transport to Ao Nang Beach several times a day.
We Recommend These Hotels in the Middle of Nature:
Poonsiri Resort Ao Nang
The Poonsiri Resort is an oasis of peace with unforgettable views. The fancy property next to the river offers views over the hills and karsts. The rooms are on a lagoon with lotus flowers! It’s got a massive pool.
Baannai Lake View Resort
You won’t get a better deal than at the Baannai Lake View Resort. It’s a small property with impeccable deluxe rooms with balconies over a lagoon full of fish! It’s got a huge backyard with endless views. There’s a pool and an onsite restaurant.
Ao Nam Mao Beach
Ao Nam Mao is the beach east of Ao Nang Beach. Krabi Town is further north, on the mouth of the river. Boats to Railay and other beaches depart from here. Hence, this is where to stay if you arrive in Ao Nang to connect to other places.
In all honesty, if you have more time, stay in any of the places we mentioned above. That said, Ao Nam Mao Beach is a short sandy beach with memorable views. Since it’s a bay, there are mangroves and the sea is calm.
However, due to the tide, it’s not that great for swimming. There aren’t many hotels, so you won’t see many tourists. Local people live in the town around the beach. It’s a quiet little town with a mosque, night markets, and local restaurants.
We Recommend These Hotels on the Ao Nam Mao Beach:
Arawan Krabi Beach Resort
The best hotel in Ao Nam Mao is the Arawan Krabi Beach Resort. The property is on the coast, with a huge garden on the back that ends beneath tall karsts. It’s got two pools, a gym, kids’ activities, and lots of space.
Diamond Beach Resort Nammao
The Diamond Beach Resort is a budget hotel with a sliver of a beach and mangroves. It’s next to the pier. It has comfy rooms, simple cabins, a big pool, and a restaurant. The family that runs the hotel is totally charming!
How Long to Stay in Ao Nang (and in Krabi)
You can stay as long as you want in Ao Nang and Krabi and never have a dull moment. As mentioned, every time we come we stay for weeks. The entire area is gorgeous. Even the Thai acknowledge its iconic beauty.
Unfortunately, since there’s never enough time, it’s reasonable to wonder how many days are needed to cover the basics. We believe you should stay at least 4 days. We strongly recommend spending 2 in Ao Nang Beach and 2 in Railay.
Ao Nang is a great place to set base and discover other incredible destinations. Our two favorite islands are an hour’s boat ride away. We are in love with Koh Yao Noi and Koh Yao Yai! Obviously, you can go to Koh Lanta and Phuket from here too.
Moving Around Ao Nang
The best way of moving around Ao Nang is walking. That’s why we advise you to stay in Ao Nang Beach. You can walk up the road to bars, restaurants, and clubs in the town and beaches further north. It’s safe.
Biking is another option. You can bike around the center, to temples, and nearby villages. Be cautious and avoid biking at night and in the middle of the day. You can also rent scooters in any of the shops that line the road.
To go to Railay, take a long tail boat from the pier in Ao Nang beach. It’s fast and inexpensive. The journey is an attraction in itself! There are public buses to the airport that depart every couple of hours. Better take a shared van or a taxi.