Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Trip To Krabi, Thailand: Exploring Ao Nang Walking Streets

Photo By: Elin Chow

A central point of the coastal province of Krabi, Thailand, Ao Nang is a small resort town consisting of a main street, which is dominated by a wide range of restaurants, shops, massage centres, pubs, and other amenities that are specifically targeted at tourists. The town main beach, Ao Nang Beach, serves as a departure point for long-tailed boats to several of its surrounding beaches and nearby islands. Ao Nang, a simple and small town with everything at your fingertips.

Ao Nang has no shopping malls or supermarkets, but there are plenty of lively convenience stores, roadside stalls and other small shops selling mostly similar things from beach wear, bags, clothing and even shoes. Do not be surprised to find differences in prices for same items in different shops. So be prepared to bargain for the lowest price if you are intending to do some shopping at the Ao Nang walking streets.

For us, we did not managed to bring back anything home from these shops. We bought some souvenirs like keychains and fridge magnets from a roadside stall near our resort. The roadside stalls are undoubtedly the best place where you can get some really cheap souvenirs.

A vast majority of the shops are lined neatly along the beachfront road, with minority of them tucked away down the side alley, off the main beach road.

We were really surprised to find that most of the restaurants in Ao Nang not only employed a large number of Indian employees, but also included several Indian cuisines in their menu. While strolling down the streets, we were constantly harassed by some of these Indian staffs standing on the pavement, as they tried hard to lure us into the restaurants which they are working for. It was such an annoying and unpleasant experience!

Seriously, why would we want to eat Indian food in Thailand? We should be trying out a mountain of Thai cuisines in Thailand instead! Unfortunately, we could not find many restaurants that serve only Thai food on the streets. Most of the restaurants in Ao Nang  generally serve a mix of Thai/Indian, Thai/Italian or Thai/Western cuisines. That also explained why we decided to dine in at our resort most of the time. 

Daytime in Ao Nang tends to be quiet and relaxed. As most people go off on tours and island-hopping trips in the day, thus the streets are not overly crowded. Night-time in Ao Nang is busier, especially on the main beach road, with its concentration of shops, bars and restaurants. This is when most people return to rest and relax after a tiring day trip. As such, the streets will be more bustling after the sky falls dark.

Tuk Tuk are the fastest and easiest way to navigate around Krabi, hence I would really recommend taking one of these rather than a taxi. Furthermore, they are plentifully available everywhere, especially along the main beach road, at a flat rate of 30 baht per passenger and 60 baht for single passenger for trips around the town. 

Alternatively, you might want to hop on a Songthaew (shared pick-up truck/taxi) to get around and explore Krabi. Songthaew are color coded according to destination, so make sure you double check with the driver before boarding one. 

Songthaew services generally runs to and from Ao Nang beach and krabi town everyday, with designated stops along Ao Nang beach main road. Even so, you are free to hop on and off  almost anywhere you like. 

Located right across the road is Ao Nang beach, which offers an amazing sunset view. So do not forget to catch a sunset at the beach while you are in Ao Nang, Krabi.

While strolling back to our resort, we happened to chance upon a group of ladyboys parading along and handing out flyers along the main beach road every night, trying to attract and bring in more customers to their cabaret show. If you are keen, you may find any 'lady' who you think is pretty and snap a keepsake photograph with her for free. 

We got most of our essentials like sunblock lotion, snacks and bottled mineral water from the 7-Eleven underneath our resort. This is the ultimate convenience of staying with Aonang Cliff Beach Resort.

Final Thoughts

We love the fact that Ao Nang is a small beach town that is not so packed with tourists. It was very easy to navigate around the town by foot. 

Although food and accommodation are slightly more expensive, everything is still reasonably priced in Ao Nang. The absence of raucous nightlife makes Ao Nang an ideal place for relaxation, especially for people who prefer peace and tranquility.

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