When I traveled to Thailand last year with friends, we decided to visit Krabi (specifically Ao Nang) for five days to finish off our trip. After a lot of sight-seeing, walking, and exploring in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Siem Reap (Cambodia), we figured we’d let ourselves totally relax in one of Thailand’s beach paradises. Now, I’ve seen pictures of said paradises before–as screen savers, stock beach photos, etc, but I’d never until that point actually seen one in person. My idea of a beach in real life was more Jersey Shore and, slightly fancier, the Outer Banks. It hadn’t even occurred to me what to expect upon arrival, so you can imagine how brilliant everything seemed as soon as we stepped into town. The colors, the blue of the sky, the clearness of the ocean, the massiveness of the cliffs… It was like every screen saver come to life right in front of me.
If you’re thinking of going, I highly recommend you visit Krabi. It’s a little less touristy than places like Phuket, and you can still do a lot there. The downtown area of Ao Nang is about a 20 minute stretch, and every building, bench, and van is bursting with colors. Not to mention, you can fill up on $1 smoothies the whole way down. At night check out the street food– I still have dreams about how good it was. Krabi is roughly 40% Islamic, so there are tons of choices for Halal food, and it’s all insanely cheap. There are also a variety of activities no matter where you stay, including cooking classes, massages, island hopping, yoga classes, and way more than what we could fit into a five days.
Definitely go island hopping. During our day trip we went snorkeling, visited gorgeous beaches, and even ended it by going kayaking. One of the girls took a cooking class, and a few of us got up one morning to experience a yoga class at Marina Yoga. Also if you do stay in Ao Nang, climb a bit around the one cliffside and you’ll come to a more private beach. It’s for a resort, but you’re allowed to hang out as long as you sign in. You can’t use the water sports equipment or the special seating area, but it’s still even more private and peaceful than the main beach.
Over all, if you want to live in your screen saver for a while, definitely check out Ao Nang and Krabi. Less touristy, incredibly relaxed, and stunning all around.
- We flew via Nok Air from Bangkok and got a van to take us into Ao Nang.
- We stayed at Glur Hostel, which was a 20 minute walk through downtown to the beach.
- Typically we walked everywhere or our activities had vans come to pick us up.
Have you been to Thailand’s beaches? What’d you think?
Words and Photos by Samantha