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During my glorious 5-day trip to Krabi in 2022, I researched, mapped out, and tried all the best places to eat in Ao Nang. Whether you’re looking for green curry, pineapple fried rice, or just really amazing pad Thai – these Ao Nang restaurants are not to be missed.
If you’re heading to Ao Nang on a Krabi trip anytime soon, chances are you’re gearing up for some seriously delicious Thai food. However, like in any city, you need to know where to look to find the best places to eat in Ao Nang. Thankfully for you, you’re in the right place.
My one regret after my 2019 Thailand trip was never having made it to Krabi. If you haven’t been to Thailand, expect almost every traveler you meet to rave about how amazing Krabi is and complain about how much they hated Patong. (Side note: we LOVE Patong). We decided to stay in Ao Nang during our three days in Krabi since it was a short walk to both the beach and the longtail boat tour departure point. If delicious Thai food, crystal clear water and towering limestone cliffs are your vibe, keep reading for the best places to eat in Ao Nang and your ultimate Ao Nang Itinerary!
The Best Places to Eat in Ao Nang
One of the best things to do in Krabi is to fill up on plenty of delicious Thai food! So…you’re probably wondering where to eat in Ao Nang Krabi? Thankfully – you’ve come to the right spot with my list of the best Ao Nang restaurants.
I did all my research and talked to the locals, and I’m confident that the Thai food restaurants listed below are among the best places to eat in Ao Nang (or maybe Southeast Asia as a whole)…at least for those on a budget!
The Longtail Boat Restaurant
The Longtail Boat Restaurant was the site of the absolute best service I’ve ever had in Thailand and has definitely earned its place on the list of best places to eat in Ao Nang. The staff knew when I needed something before I did and the Thai dishes were just as exceptional as the service. I ordered some vegetable spring rolls for an appetizer, followed by duck with red curry and savory lychee. It was among the best meals I’ve had in Thailand and my friend was equally impressed by her tom ka gha soup and panang curry.
The Last Fisherman
Located on a sandy beach road, The Last Fisherman Bar is a family-friendly spot that combines tasty Thai food with spectacular sunset views. If you love live music in a beachy, relaxed setting – The Last Fisherman needs to be on your bucket list of the best places to eat in Ao Nang.
I was caught between ordering the soft shell crab or the classic Thai dish, spicy Pad Thai…but in the end, Pad Thai was the winner! Although the service left much to be desired, our meal was very tasty and the views were unbeatable.
Tom Ma Yom Thai Food
If you combine both of my trips, I’ve lived in Thailand for over two months. Tom Ma Yom in Ao Nang was the site of the best Thai food I’ve ever had…and I don’t say that lightly.
Instead of looking at the menu and ordering as usual, we asked the waitstaff what they recommended. We took all of their advice and feasted on green curry with chicken, spicy green papaya salad, curry with seafood in a coconut and fried minced pork with basil. Everything was absolutely delicious, but my favorite had to be the seafood curry in a fresh coconut. Tom Ma Yom also woke me up to the delicousness of spicy papaya salads. I ate them all over Thailand, especially at home at restaurants in Patong Beach.
No matter your timeline, Tom Ma Yum has to make it on your list of best places to eat in Ao Nang!
On our last night in Krabi, we grabbed a tuk tuk to Nopparat Thara Beach based off a recommendation from the hotel front desk. KoDam Kitchen ended up being one of our favorite Thai restaurants in Ao Nang! Combined with delicious Thai food and unbeatable prices, KoDam Kitchen had something that you don’t often see with authentic Thai food – atmosphere. (In fact, the only restaurant that beat Kodam Kitchen’s atmosphere was Cabbages and Condoms on our trip to Bangkok.)
I ordered the seafood jarn ron and my friend decided on moo kua kluae. Everything was delicious and insanely affordable! KoDam’s delicious cuisine and lively atmosphere has definitely earned this restaurant a spot on the list of best places to eat in Ao Nang.
The Ao Nang Night Market
[Recommended by Kylie from Between England and Everywhere]
Another great place to eat in Ao Nang is the famous Ao Nang Night Market. Located across from Hat Noppharat Thara Beach (next to the Landmark Stadium), this market is only a 10-minute walk from Ao Nang Beach and is open every evening from 4:00 PM until 11:00 PM.
At the Ao Nang Night Market, you’ll find a wide variety of different street food vendors serving mostly Thai dishes alongside international cuisines like Korean and Japanese. They also offer some delicious Halal options.
I highly recommend visiting several different stalls to create a full meal. Some of my personal favorite eats from the night market include grilled potatoes with garlic butter, buttered corn on the cob, fresh fruit smoothies, meat and vegetable skewers, and rolled ice cream.
The large covered area in front of the stage has plenty of space to sit and is perfect for visiting on rainy days. You’ll also find a bar, live music, and plenty of shopping stalls selling souvenirs, gifts, and clothing.
Rakhang Thai Bistro
[Recommended by Victoria from Guide Your Travel]
If you’re looking to treat yourself to a nicer meal during your time in Ao Nang, I highly recommend having a meal at the Rakhang Thai Bistro. Not only is the food exceptional, but this high-end restaurant boasts gorgeous views from their outdoor terrace.
They offer a decent selection of western options (if you’re craving something other than Thai food). I highly recommend trying out some of their Italian fare – like pasta and pizza. While Rakhang is slightly more pricey than what you might be used to from Thailand, the quality and ambiance makes this restaurant well-worth it during your trip to Ao Nang.
Ao Nang Food Centre
[Recommended by Victoria from Guide Your Travel]
If you’re looking for an affordable place to eat in Ao Nang, the Ao Nang Food Centre is the perfect choice. It’s located right on the main street and is easy to get to using local transport if you’re staying in the area close to the beach.
Once you arrive, you can choose from a variety of different food stalls selling local Thai cuisine, Western, and Indian options. The pad Thai is, of course, incredible, but I also recommend trying the panang curry, which is some of the best I’ve had in all of Thailand. The best part? Most of these dishes cost around THB 50-120, that’s only USD 1.50-3.50!
Honorable Mentions in Ao Nang
During my initial research on Google, I came across many restaurants in Ao Nang that were widely known for delicious and authentic Thai food. Sadly, since we visited after the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the best restaurants in Ao Nang Krabi were temporarily or permanently closed. If you’ve come across the restaurants below in your research, take note of which are closed for good, closed for now or back open (as of November 2023).
Bussaba Thai Restaurant – Open again!
Jungle Kitchen – Open again! We were super bummed that we didn’t get to try Jungle Kitchen during our trip since we had heard it was one of the best restaurants in Krabi. It was temporarily closed when we visited in March of 2023.
Hagi Restaurant at Centara Grand Beach Resort – Open! Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to try this famous Japanese restaurant in Ao Nang. Hagi is known to be one of the best restaurants on Ao Nang Beach.
Lae Lay Grill – Open! Sadly, we didn’t have time to visit this restaurant either, but it’s widely regarded as one of the best places to eat in Ao Nang.
Take a Cooking Class in Ao Nang
Some of the best food I had in Thailand was during my cooking class in Chiang Mai in 2019. Not only are the meals delicious, but it’s such an immersive cultural experience to see how local dishes are prepped and prepared in Thailand. If you’re interested in learning how to prepare the best Thai dishes yourself on your search for the best places to eat in Ao Nang, you might enjoy one of the top-rated tours below:
- Ya’s Thai Cookery School Class in Krabi (⭐️ 5/5)
- Small-Group Smart Thai Cooking Class in Krabi (⭐️ 5/5)
- Half Day Thai Cooking Class in Ao Nang, Krabi (⭐️ 5/5)
I love booking cooking classes on my travels! I’ve enjoyed classes from local chefs learning how to make pierogi in Kraków, a variety of tasty Balinese dishes during my four days in Ubud, and authentic homemade chicken in coconut milk while I was living in Honduras.
What Food is Krabi Known For?
First and foremost, you might be wondering what food is Krabi known for. In Krabi, you’ll find lots of yellow, red, and orange curries filled with fresh seafood, pork, chicken, or beef. Dry curries (without coconut milk), which are common in Southern Thailand, are also common in Krabi.
Since we were steps from the ocean, we ate plenty of delicious seafood in Ao Nang!
Where to Stay in Ao Nang Krabi
Avani Ao Nang Cliff Resort
Since we were feeling a little bougie (and since hotels in Thailand are hella cheap), we decided to book the Avani Cliff Resort for our accommodation in Krabi. Stunning cliffside views are met with luxurious amenities…for a fraction of the price anywhere else. The hotel has two pools: one on the first floor next to the lobby and the gym, and the other is a rooftop infinity pool with stunning views of the ocean framed by limestone cliffs.
Even the cheapest rooms, where we were obviously staying, have an outdoor jacuzzi tub on the balconies!
The Bodega Party Hostel
If you’re solo traveling or just looking for a shared accommodation that’s a bit more budget-friendly, look no further than the Bodega Party Hostel. Although my friend and I have never actually stayed at a Bodega location in Thailand, we’ve frequented their pub crawl at least eight times between the two of us in Phuket and Bangkok. Now that we’re in our mid-20’s, we prefer our accommodation a little nicer…but our parties just as rowdy!
The Bodega in Krabi has 9/10 stars on Hostelworld and has a great location in Ao Nang. It’s the perfect hostel for the budget traveler in Krabi!
Your Ultimate Ao Nang Itinerary
In Krabi, you can find tons of white-sand beaches, longtail boat tours and delicious restaurants to stuff yourself full of Pad Thai and chicken satay…as well as everything in between. Now that I’ve made you hella hungry with the best Thai restaurants in Ao Nang, below are a few of our favorite (and not-so-favorite) things to add to your ultimate Ao Nang itinerary.
Keep reading to find out what to do in Ao Nang…and what to skip.
The Emerald Pool & The Blue Pool: Possibly Skip it
On our first full day in Krabi, we headed out to explore the Hot Springs, the Emerald Pool and the Blue Pool. Since all these attractions are in close proximity to each other, it made sense to take one trip to see all three.
The Emerald Pool and the Blue Pool were every bit as beautiful as advertised online. However, that taxi was NOT anywhere near as cheap as we expected. Although we did purchase a private taxi, we still paid 2,000 baht (or around 60 USD) round trip. Looking back, we might have found a better price had we booked a tour or group transfer with one of the tour companies on the main stretch.
When you arrive, you’ll need to pay a 200 baht entrance fee to the park which covers admission to both pools. In order to not disrupt the wildlife in the area, the Emerald Pool closes at 2:30PM and the Blue Pool closes at 2:00PM. You can swim in the Emerald Pool – and trust me it’s necessary after that hike – but you’re not allowed to swim in the Blue Pool. There’s no need to wear hiking shoes or even sneakers, we did it in flip flops!
Although the pools were beautiful and the day was a success, if you only have one or two days in Krabi I would not waste time visiting the Emerald and Blue Pools (especially considering the cost). You’re better off exploring the Ao Nang beaches and islands nearby…where all the water is emerald.
Krabi Hot Springs: Skip it
If you’re wondering what to do in Ao Nang, do yourself a favor and skip the hot springs. They’re very far from Ao Nang and the 200 baht entrance fee is not worth it. There are way too many cool things to do in Ao Nang to waste your time here.
My mad editing skills make them look a lot cooler in the photo below than they were in real life. Keep reading for much better things to do at Ao Nang!
Railay Beach: Do it!
A trip to Railay Beach is one of the most famous things to add to your Ao Nang itinerary…and for good reason! This slice of Thai paradise consists of a charming beach town, towering limestone cliffs and emerald green water. Once you arrive, there are plenty of things to do in Railay Beach. You can rent kayaks or stand up paddle boards, go rock climbing up the cliffs (if you’re adventurous) or just relax on the beach with a cocktail or fresh mango shake.
Railay Beach is only accessible by water, so you’ll have to choose a longtail boat over a tuk tuk to visit. From Ao Nang Beach you can get a longtail taxi to Railay for 100 baht per person (one-way). It only takes about 10-15 minutes to arrive, but the boats need a minimum amount of passengers to leave so, depending on the season, you might have to wait a bit.
We only visited Railay Beach for a day trip, but it’s common for travelers to stay a couple of nights! If you’re looking for an affordable accommodation where you might meet a new friend or two, I’ve heard raving reviews about Blanco Hideout Hostel. Railay Beach also has a couple of beach resorts to choose from if you’re feeling a little fancier.
Phra Nang Cave Beach: Do it!
Although we did add a glorious Railay Beach day to our Krabi itinerary, we sadly didn’t have time to visit the famous Phra Nang Cave. The cave is very close to Railay Beach, but to get to Phra Nang Beach from Railay you’ll need to walk back to East Railay and turn right on the path to Phra Nang.
If you have the chance to visit Phra Nang on your Ao Nang itinerary, drop a comment below and let me know how you liked it!
Tiger Cave Temple: Absolutely Do it!
Our visit to the Tiger Cave Temple was my personal favorite activity on our Ao Nang itinerary. We paid 1,000 baht (around 30 USD) for a round-trip taxi to the temple. Since the driver needed to wait around two hours for us to hike and explore, the price seemed reasonable. You might be able to find a slightly cheaper price on the Grab or In Driver apps, but you’ll probably end up waiting a while for your ride on the way back.
The Tiger Cave Temple, also known as Wat Tham Suea, is one of the most sacred Buddhist temples in Thailand. In 1975, a Buddhist monk was meditating in a cave on top of a 309 meter cliff when he witnessed tigers roaming around outside. Although the views from the Tiger Cave Temple are some of the best in Krabi, getting to the summit is no small feat. 1,275 steep steps would be difficult anywhere, but climbing them in the Thailand heat took every ounce of our determination.
Entrance to the temple is free. I would suggest bringing a towel (because you will SWEAT) and a scarf to cover your shoulders. Make sure to wear sneakers, this hike is not for flip-flops.
Pro tip: Try to time this activity so it doesn’t closely coincide with any other hikes on your trip. We climbed the Tiger Cave Temple, then two days later climbed to the best viewpoint on Koh Phi Phi. My legs were screaming.
Ao Nang Beach Krabi: Do it!
First and foremost, Ao Nang is a beach town. If all you want is to relax on the beach, you’re in the right place! Ao Nang Beach is the perfect place for a relaxing beach day followed by an extraordinary Thailand sunset. And chances are, it’s only a short walk away from your accommodation.
The main stretch along Ao Nang Beach is a great spot to shop for clothes and souvenirs as well as find some of the best food places in Ao Nang. If you’re looking for things to do in Ao Nang at night, this stretch is where you’ll find Ao Nang nightlife and some of the best bars in Krabi.
Hong Island: Do it!
Island hopping in general is a very popular pastime in Thailand and island hopping tours are definitely one of the most popular things to add to an Ao Nang itinerary. We calculated the price of doing it ourselves vs. the price of a tour and decided to book this Hong Island tour on Viator for $40/person. The price included round-trip transfer from our hotel, transportation by longtail boat to all the islands, snorkeling equipment and a quick lunch. The only thing that isn’t included is the 300 baht national park fee at Hong Island.
When you arrive on Hong Island, I would definitely suggest hiking to the viewpoint (pictured below). The views of the limestone cliffs and crystal clear waters are stunning and, let’s be honest, you gotta get all the exercise you can in Thailand.
Other Krabi Island Hopping Tours You May Enjoy 🏝️
The Krabi Town Night Market: Maybe Do it
Sadly, we didn’t have time to visit the Krabi Night Market. It’s about a 30 minute drive from Ao Nang and we didn’t plan far enough in advance. If you do get the chance to visit, I hear the shopping is awesome and you’ll get an opportunity to try some famous Ao Nang street food!
We did visit an Ao Nang night market, but it was very small and many of the stands were closed. Considering that it was a long tuk tuk ride away from Ao Nang Beach Thailand, I would not recommend adding it to your Ao Nang itinerary.
Visit Koh Phi Phi: Do it!
Although it is possible to take a day trip from Ao Nang to Koh Phi Phi, I would highly recommend not doing this and staying a night or two on the island instead. We departed for Koh Phi Phi from Ao Nang, but made sure to budget for three nights on this little party island. If you do plan on heading to Koh Phi Phi from Krabi, I would highly suggest booking a speedboat from one of the tourist shops. It’s about two hours quicker than the ferry and not that much more expensive!
James Bond Island (Phang Nga): Do it for the Pic
Although we visited James Bond Island from Patong, it is possible to add Phang Nga to your Ao Nang itinerary as well. The island itself is tiny, so you don’t need much time to visit. In all honesty, most people just visit for the Insta-pic.
If you plan on visiting James Bond Island, your best bet is to pick a tour through Viator – like this Phang Nga Island tour. Otherwise, you’ll likely spend a lot of money for a private boat to spend no more than an hour on a tiny island.
Other Phang Nga Tours You May Enjoy 🛥️
Protect Yourself with Trip Insurance
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Whenever I plan a trip, I always make sure to protect myself and my wallet with trip insurance. In the past, I’ve had very good experiences with World Nomads. On my trip to Thailand in 2019, I had an unfortunate ankle-spraining incident that turned into a hospital visit with X-Rays, crutches and physical therapy. When I submitted my claim to World Nomads, I was reimbursed within weeks.
World Nomads offers simple and flexible travel insurance. Buy at home or while traveling and claim online from anywhere in the world! Click below to get a quote for your next trip.
Hopefully my list of best places to eat in Ao Nang and my kick-ass Ao Nang itinerary have convinced you to put Krabi Thailand on your bucket list! If you are convinced, then you might enjoy my related posts below about other amazing places to visit in Thailand. Thanks for reading and don’t forget to follow along for the adventure on Instagram @madisonsfootsteps.