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This post is part of a larger trip report from my 17 day trip to Thailand (Krabi, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Bangkok) and Hong Kong!
- Using Miles to Book Flights on American Airlines Home from Hong Kong
- Using Miles to Book Flights on Continental to Thailand
- Sheraton Krabi Beach Resort Review
- Thailand Beaches Day 1: Phi Phi Excursion
- Thailand Beaches Day 2 & 4: Railey Beach
- Thailand Beaches Day 3: Hong Island
- Massages and Dining in Ao Nang, Krabi
- Northern Thailand – First Stop Chiang Mai
- Three Day Trek and the Golden Triangle
- Spending New Years Eve in Chiang Mai
- Wandering Around Chiang Mai
- Le Meridien Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai Hotel Review
- Aloft Bangkok Hotel Review
- Temples, Activities, and Dinning in Bangkok
- Renaissance Hong Kong Harbour View Hotel Review
- Things to do in Hong Kong
- A Day in Macau
We spent a total of 5 days in Krabi and absolutely loved it! It was a great shooting off point to visit the various islands. While I would have preferred to spend a night or two at Phi Phi or Railey Beach, I have no complaints. We stayed at the Sheraton which was about 25 minutes from the main town of Ao Nang. As I mentioned in previous posts, I was not a huge fan of the proximity of the hotel to the main town area, but the hotel was probably nicer than any hotel you’d get in Ao Nang (there were a few, however, that seemed pretty decent).
Sunset at Ao Nang. You can see all the long tail boats coming back from Railey Beach or other private island tours.
While I would not spend a day walking around in Ao Nang, it really was not that special, it was a great place to go for dinner and some cheap massages. At the Sheraton and some of the other resorts nearby (Ritz Phulay Bay, Sofitel), there were very limited dinning options outside of the hotel. I am not a huge fan of hotel dinning and would prefer a more local authentic place.
The town of Ao Nang
The motorbike taxis to take you around. You can walk the entire town, so aren’t really necessary. These are also the same type of motorbikes that the street food vendors use to set up shop!
We ate dinner three times in Ao Nang – twice at the Seafood Market and one from an off the street food vendor. Since Ao Nang is the launching off point to get to Railey Beach, after both days in Railey we ended up staying in town for dinner. Although we were sandy from the beach, this was much easier (and cheaper) then going back to the hotel, showering up, and then turning back around to Ao Nang. One of the days we got a massage in between the beach and dinner and some of the nicer places will allow you a quick shower.
Seafood Market – In Ao Nang there is a strip off the main street which looks over the water. There are probably 5 or so restaurants with very similar menus. These were probably some of the more “high end” restaurants in town, with two entrees, appetizers and drinks costing us a grand total of $35! While this is by no means expensive for our NYC dinning standards, this was probably the most expensive meal we had in all of Thailand.
You can pick out the exact fish you want and they’ll price it by weight
Street Vendor – Our third night dinning in town we decided to go real authentic and eat from one of the street vendors. You will see MANY of these and they set up shop for the day/night and the food is amazing! They are essentially motorbikes with a table like area attached with a wok and some other supplies. We actually ate here twice for breakfast – the Thai pancakes are AMAZING. I’d highly suggest the banana pancake with Nutella or chocolate. For dinner I had pad thai (I made it a point to have pad thai at least once a day) and Mr. Deals got chicken with cashew nuts. They have a wok right there making you your food. There are little picnic benches for you to eat at as well. You also must get the smoothies!
All the Thai pancake options!
The street vendors. At the end of the day, they just drive away with their supplies and wok!
Ao Nang is also a cheap place to get massages. There is an outside area with mattresses one right after the other with people getting a Thai massage. We opted for a nicer spa. The cost of a Thai massage at a spa was a whopping 100 baht ($3) more than the outside massages, for a grand total of 300 baht ($10)! I am actually not a huge massage person – I do not personally love them and think they hurt. Prior to getting my massage, no one warned me what a Thai massage actually is. My idea of a massage is a relaxing hour with someone pitter pattering on my back – and maybe the chance of falling asleep. Typically, I am more a fan of the aroma and the tea I get afterwards (like in Bali).
Well the next hour was spent with essentially a Thai women beating the sh*t out of me! Thai massages use no oil and is not a gentle back rub! At one point I even think the women had her back against the wall and her feet pressing into my back as hard as she could as I was sitting up. This was by no means relaxing and I was put in every yoga position possible with a sharp elbow into muscles I did not even know I had! To say the least, that was my last Thai massage ever! An experience though, to say the least.
So overall, Ao Nang was nothing special, but a good place for cheap massages and some good/authentic dinning options! It is also a very convenient place to stay to access the many other islands (especially my beloved Railey Beach).