Near to Ao Nang, you’ll find a number of beautiful beaches, bays and islands easily accessible by boat. To do as much as possible in our limited time near Krabi, we opted for a speedboat tour of the islands for B1200. The tour lasted 7 hours, stopped at the major highlights and included lunch. It was good value, but if I could do it again, I’d hire a private boat to tour around and make my own schedule! Not in the budget this trip (about B15,000=$500).
The boat tour picked us up at our hotel at 830am and dropped us off at the nearby “dock”, i.e. walking through the surf to climb aboard the speedboat. I’m lucky I didn’t drop my entire bag into the water at this point, since getting off and on the longboat in Bangkok and in Ao Nang the day before were the same. It was crazy to see folks taking a longboat, where you literally swing your leg over the side and hoist yourself on board, with huge roller suitcases. No thank you!
The boat was jammed packed of tourists and Thai’s alike. We sped through the Andaman Sea, stopping at a few bays and beaches for photos, swimming and snorkeling.
The first stop was Bamboo Beach which had pretty good fish and coral, large schools of fish and big colorful ones too. There were a few jellyfish near to the beach that I really didn’t like. I straight up sprinted out of the sea when we were done!
We stopped by Viking Cave, Monkey Beach and then made a stop at Maya Beach where the movie “The Beach” was filmed. The water was so clear here and we found a small patch without too many people or boats to enjoy the water and scenery.
The last big island stop was Phi Phi Don, for lunch, shopping and seeing some sights. The tour and all of the island stops were very tourist, but we could find small pockets of calm.
The boat also stopped at two locations for open sea snorkeling – one wasn’t so good, but the other was more clear and had lots of large fish There were little Nemo’s and big Dory’s’ along with sea cucumbers and sea urchins!
After our day on the boat, we headed back to the Beach Bar for 3-for-2 beers…Singha this time!
We strolled down the beachfront to catch the sunset before heading to dinner at White Elephant.
This was the best meal we had in Ao Nang (close second for the prawns at Thailandia!). I had a chicken soup in coconut milk and then a beef curry dish with roti, which was nice as well.
The highlight of my meal was the scoop of Thai tea ice cream for dessert. It was so refreshing and just the right amount of sweet.
Ao Nang is certainly a tourist center, but had a lot to offer – beautiful scenery, good food, cheap beer, access to amazing islands, yoga and close proximity to the Krabi airport. I’d love to spend a whole month just island-hopping around Thailand…maybe try rock climbing, sea kayaking, diving, more yoga, more beach time! 🙂