As I lived in Ao Nang for 2 months, I had enough time to explore some places not so visited and places I haven’t been before. On weekends I would always try to go somewhere new. Besides Railay beach, there are other beaches near Ao Nang that I decided to see by myself.
As Ao Nang is very touristy and where all the tourists are, my beach of choice was always Nopparatara beach which is a walk away from Ao Nang and way more empty and relaxed, mainly visited by locals. In fact, this seems to be the place where Thai families gather on weekends to have beach picnics. The area has much shade next to the beach and therefore offers a great refuge from the sun. If you walk next to the beach on Sundays, you will find a crowded place filled with locals enjoying a relaxing day.
Ao Nang beach
Ao Nang is the place to stay near the beach in Krabi. This is the most crowded area filled with tourist facilities. It is the place where you can access all the islands nearby as there is a longtail boat station. If you are looking forward to meeting fellow backpackers, partying, and having everything you might need near, this is the place to stay. Ao Nang beach is not so small but during high tide, there is barely sand to lay on. You will see mainly tourists sunbathing here. It is a pretty beach with nice blue tones and with a view of nearby islands like Koh Poda which is the biggest one seen from the beach. Here you will be able to enjoy amazing, breathtaking sunsets and sometimes a fire show at the beach for sunset time. Food options are wide and there is a small street food market just 5 min away from the beach. There is another one close to the big Mosk where I was going very frequently. I think the area is very pretty, especially the area around the limestone cliff that separates Ao Nang from Pai Plong beach. I liked it here. It was super quiet because of Covid. I was here in 2018, and I think that this time the place had only 20% of the tourists I saw here before.
Nopparatara beach is next to Ao Nang if you keep following to the west. It can easily be reached from Ao Nang on a walk or even by a local bus (Songthaew) that drives along this street on its way to Krabi town. The bus from Ao Nang to Nopparatara beach is 30 BH.
I walked all the way to Noparatthara Pier which has wonderful views and the biggest number of longtail boats I have ever seen together. That seems to be the place where all the longtail boats in the area dock. What a beautiful view from here! Recommend in case you are nearby.
From here, I walked to the very last piece of land on this side of the river that has some islets nearby that during low tide are all connected by sand. A very pretty spot with few people and loads of seashells. I found seashell paradise here haha. So many different seashells laying on the sand. There is even a huge pile of them with millions of little seashells. Of course, I spent some time there! Actually, this very last piece of land is not crowded at all and I could have all the beach by myself for almost all day long. It has a small forest that seems like a place where people can camp, so shade is not a problem. The only problem I found was the sandflies…
During low tide, the water recedes so much that it cut my distance back to Ao Nang by half! I managed to skip the street and reach Ao Nang through the water. The water level was almost up to my bum, and I was afraid it would be higher ahead, but I was lucky and managed to go all the way through the sea, which was awesome because I was tired of walking! After the water, I find a mirror house with a creepy puppet inside that is a marked spot to watch the sunset. It was very quiet when I visited and there was almost no one else to watch the sunset.
Pai Plong beach and monkey trail
On the other hand, if you keep walking east from Ao Nang beach, you will meet this small beach called Pai Plong which is surrounded by limestone cliffs. The ways to reach it are either by boat or through the monkey trail. The monkey trail consists of a small trail through a little piece of the jungle where monkeys live– that’s why the name. The walk from Ao Nang to Pai Plong beach through the trail is not long, but it is steep! The monkeys are usually doing their thing and don’t bother. Just don’t look at them in the eyes… I noticed that the locals were carrying a stick with them while crossing this path, so I did the same because I’m kinda scared of these monkeys… At the end of the trail, you will find Pai Plong beach which is a place with some resorts and nothing else. I would personally not choose this beach to stay at because you will be kinda isolated from everything. But, if you are looking for a very quiet place, then this must be it.
Koh Kwang beach and Klong Muang Beach
Another beach not so far from Ao Nang is Klong Muang Beach which merges with Koh Kwang beach, a very wide beach mostly frequented by locals. Very empty and very normal. Nothing special about this beach, but if you are looking for a place with fewer people this would be the one, even though during covid all beaches are pretty empty. The main reason I came here was to walk to the Ko Kwang boat landing pier.
I wanted to come here to see if this is where the locals come to hop on longtail boats to Hong island. The island can be seen from this beach and is in fact very near. This took place during Songkran, the Thai New year. During the Thai new year, the number of people in Ao Nang was like 10 times bigger. Tours to Hong island were sold out all week and that was the week I had holidays. That’s why I came to Koh Kwang beach, hoping to find a way to get to Hong island.
Luckily, as there were lots of people due to the New year, I could join more people willing to go to Hong Island in Ao Nang and therefore share a boat. So, I walked to this pier to see if there were some options here, but there was absolutely nothing here!!! Not even 1 boat!! I have no idea how is this even a pier… I think it was under construction or something like that. There was nothing and no one there. What a big disappointment!!!
Of course, there are more beaches nearby Ao Nang, but these are the closest ones. I also visited the beaches near the Shell cemetery that are easy to reach as there is a local bus driving near. You can check it out HERE!