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The Best Places to Eat in Ao Nang + Your Ultimate Ao Nang Itinerary

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Last Updated on July 24, 2023 by Madison Krigbaum

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!

Find more Thailand travel tips, including simple Thai phrases and SIM cards, in my Phuket Itinerary. For more Thailand travel guides, visit my Asia Travel Guides.

Protect Yourself with Trip Insurance

**I receive a fee when you get a quote from World Nomads using this link. I do not represent World Nomads. This is not a recommendation to buy travel insurance.

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Where to Stay in Ao Nang Krabi

Avani Ao Nang Cliff Krabi 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. 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!

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 four Thai food restaurants listed below are among the best places to eat in Ao Nang Thailand…at least for those on a budget!

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) that 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!

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.

best places to eat in Ao Nang

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 best places to eat in Ao Nang.

I was caught between ordering the soft shell crab or the classic 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.

Pad Thai with squid.

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. Although Tom Ma Yom did wake me up to the delicousness of spicy papaya salads.

No matter your timeline, Tom Ma Yum has to make it on your list of best places to eat in Ao Nang!

best places to eat in Ao Nang

KoDam Kitchen

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.

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.

best places to eat in Ao Nang

Honorable Mentions on the Best Places to Eat 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 early March 2023). 

Bussaba Thai Restaurant – Permanently Closed

Jungle Kitchen – Temporarily Closed. We were super bummed that we didn’t get try Jungle Kitchen during our trip since we had heard it was one of the best restaurants in Krabi. 

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. 

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. 

The Emerald Pool & The Blue Pool

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

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

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 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 beach resorts to choose from if you’re feeling a little fancier.

Phra Nang Cave Beach

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

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.

Ao Nang Beach Krabi

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.

ao nang itinerary

Hong Island

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.

The Krabi Town Night Market

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

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!

Click here for my 3-day itinerary for Koh Phi Phi! Hint: it’s a lot of margarita buckets mixed with a little bit of scuba diving.

ao nang itinerary

James Bond Island (Phang Nga)

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.

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.

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