“Ao” in Thailand is “bay” and the full name of Ao Nang is Ao Phra Nang which means Princess Bay. This is the popular place to many Western visitors to the south of Thailand and then, after resting, they continue to buy ferry tickets to go to other beautiful islands nearby such as Koh Phi Phi, Koh Lanta or Koh Lipe …
Phi Phi is a very popular island with international tourists located in the south of Thailand, 1.5 hours by boat from Krabi Town. Phi Phi is also one of the most beautiful diving spots in Thailand with all kinds of colorful fishes, coral reefs and green water that allow you to dive all day without getting bored.
If you want to discover the beauty of both Ao Nang and Phi Phi Island, you can buy a two-way boat ticket from Ao Nang to Phi Phi including the shuttle bus to the hotel at a relatively cheap price: 881 baht per adult and 851 baht per child (25.5$ for adults and 26.5$ for children). This article details the latest travel experiences which we want to share with you.
Things to do in Ao Nang
Ao Nang is small but beautiful and gentle. The small bars, restaurants, shops are not as crowded or noisy as Patong in Phuket or Chewang in Samui because the guests coming here are mostly family goers, who prefer peace.
In Ao Nang, there are countless activities to choose in your holidays: canoeing off the island in deep sea waters, snorkeling, relaxing under cool trees on the fine white sand, reading… or going up the mountains to ride elephants, swimming in hot springs or joining the cooking class…
It takes about 30 minutes to take a speed boat from Ao Nang pier to beautiful islands with stretched white sand and wonderful blue water that we guarantee everyone will want to swim immediately. The island is clean with no rubbish; the trees on the island are luxuriant and green; under the sea, the fishes swim freely. All of them give visitors the feeling of being close to nature…
Below are some popular beaches you should visit in Ao Nang:
- Nopparat Thara Beach: A picturesque beach on the west of Ao Nang, which is planned as a national park. At low tide, you can walk to some of the nearby limestone islands. However, if you go into the jellyfish season, you should ask local people before wading to the islands. You can go to Nopparat Thara beach by motorbike.
- Rai Leh Beach is a beautiful beach near Ao Nang, where you can only get there by Longtail boat. In fact, it is a part of the mainland but is divided by limestone hills. The beach is cleaner than Ao Nang and Nopparat Thara Beaches, besides you can also visit some other caves. There are also hotels and resorts on the beach. To go to Rai Leh you will have to pay 800 baht for the whole boat or wait until enough passengers because the boat owner will collect enough 800 baht. If you go in the low season, you will have to wait a long time or pay the full amount of money to go immediately.
- Su-san Hoi Beach is also known as fossil beach, about 17km from Krabi town. In the past, this area was a freshwater marsupial which was home to many species of snails. Over time, the marshes have disappeared, all of the snails and oysters are dead, forming fossils with the thickness up to 40cm. With the geographic shift, the fossilized bedrock breaks out into the huge blocks on Laem Pho’s shores creating exotic shapes. This is an interesting visit point for archaeologists. The visit fee for foreign visitors is 200bath (6$)
At Ao Nang Beach, it will be quiet in the morning, as the tourists often go on island tours. The afternoon is the busy time in Ao Nang.
Hotels in Ao Nang
In Ao Nang area, you should choose the following accommodation:
- Buri Tara resort with 4-star standard: If you go in a big group, you can stay here for about 1800 baht/3 people (54$). The resort has beautiful and spacious rooms at a convenient location with a 7 minute walk from the sea. However, it does not have many choices for breakfast and the swimming pool is quite small.
- Ao Nang Palace Hotel (only a few hundred meters from the beach): in the low season, the room rate is around 940 baht per room (28$), in the peak season, it will be higher. Breakfast is included in the room rate. The hotel has a pool, no lift. Rooms are generally okay.
- Chatchada Guesthouse (address 596/6 Moo 2 Ao Nang road; phone 66 89 6.044.541; email: email@example.com): The air-conditioned rooms are elaborately decorated and appreciated with good service and facilities. The hostel offers both European and Thai dishes. It has free wifi and the room rate is about 900 bath (27$).
You can transfer from Ao Nang to Phi Phi by the ferry boat at 15:30 (only one boat per day) to continue exploring the beauty of Phi Phi.
Phi Phi island
Things to do in Phi Phi
- Tour sunset (watching the plankton glowing in the sea at night)
You will have the opportunity to visit the Pirate Island, Maya which is the best place to see the beautiful sunset (fee: 100 baht/3$), watch the lagoon with blue sea water and dive to see coral, colorful fish, and plankton. The tour departs from 1:30 pm to 7 pm.
Most tours in Koh Phi Phi are transferred by Longtail for up to 20 people. If you go by the party ship, the price is five times higher.
- Snorkeling tour at the spot of many kinds of fish, Bamboo Island, Moquisto Island and Monkey Island…
This tour will be more beautiful in the morning. The tour departs from 9 am to 1:30 pm. If you want to avoid crowds, you can choose in the afternoon.
- See Phi Phi island from above
From the top of viewpoint 2, you can see the two sides of Koh Phi Phi Island with a beautiful shape; this is a great sunset view on the island.
- Scuba Diving
Phi Phi is one of the most beautiful diving spots in Thailand. There are two diving sites called Local site near Phi Phi; located near Viking cave and Peleh Wall. You can see many colorful corals, Nemo fish, Sting ray … The price for 2 people is about 2500 bath (75$) including lunch.
- Kayaking to explore the many unspoiled beaches in Phi Phi
Around Phi Phi Island, there are countless beautiful beaches. Nothing is better than kayaking while exercising and bathing in the beautiful white sandy beaches.
- Fire dancing party at night
This is one of the most favorite activities at night. Come to Phi Phi and experience the perfect party, where people are not shy and enjoy dancing as they are used to, especially the house music in Koh Phi Phi is very nice.
Hotels on Koh Phi Phi Island
Phi Phi Island has been developing tourism for a long time, so the hotel prices are not cheap.
If you go with a low budget or go alone or in a group of friends, you should choose the dorm/hostel.
The best dorm on the island is The Stone. It has a very nice clean room with a magnetic key. Each bed has an electronic lock to store important things, a clean toilet with hot water.
- Cheap Guesthouse (800-1000 bath/24-30$)
KK’s guest house costs only 800bath per room (24$). The king-size bed is very large with free 2 bottles of water, hot and cold water for bathing and a private bathroom.
Above are some experiences we want to share with you. We hope that you will have a great trip in Thailand.