After spending the first week of our month-long travelling trip around Thailand in Koh Samui and Koh Phangan, where we experienced an unfortunate bout of bad luck (read about it here), we were ready to embrace Ao Nang with open arms.
Ao Nang is the touristic hub of Krabi, one of the southern provinces of Thailand. My sister and I had both heard good things about this beach town prior to booking our trip and, as I hadn't quite managed to venture there during my first backpacking stint in Thailand due to lack of time, we thought we'd take the golden opportunity to check it out! Put it this way: it did NOT disappoint.
I have to say though, in a strange way, it reminded me a lot of Miami Beach which we visited last July, but a second-world-country version of Miami Beach.
It was the layout of Ao Nang that reminded me of Miami Beach more than anything. It has a busy road running parallel to the main beach, not too dissimilar to Ocean Drive which is also packed with shops, bars and restaurants. Although, with the Thailand version, there's stalls rather than shops. BUT I did spot a McDonald's AND a Burger King. (Go, Ao Nang!)
Admittedly, Ao Nang's actual beach isn't a patch on Miami Beach's South beach. It's not a bad beach at all, don't get me wrong, it's just less maintained and a bit rougher around the edges. (For instance, be prepared to sunbathe next to a wad of seaweed and maybe even a few Coca-Cola cans!) However, that being said, I could not help but be enticed by Ao Nang's undeniable character and charisma.
In terms of nightlife, there's a cluster of bars known as Ao Nang Center Point down a back street off of the main road opposite the beach. It is here where you will find fellow backpackers and holiday-makers aplenty. It's true that it takes a little while for the atmosphere to get going at night but, once it does, it makes for a really fun time! Our favourite bar was called Cairo Nights where they had drink offers every night, as well as unlimited Shisha for a couple of hundred baht! (That's about a fiver for all the Thailand virgins out there! *geek emoji*)
Furthermore, the people you come across in Ao Nang are really nice. You find a lot of like-minded, down-to-earth travellers! Nic and I had a run-in with the sweetest wee girl from Shanghai and two lads from Quebec on the first night and clicked so much with them that we all just kept meeting up! In my opinion, that's one of the best things about travelling: you just cannot top the people you meet. Everyone has such unique and interesting stories and, because we're all in the same boat so-to-speak, it's very easy to bond with people almost instantaneously.
All in all, Ao Nang was a hoot! We only spent three nights there, but could easily have stayed five. We heard of a few people doing the Four Island Tour which we missed out on (this is exactly what it says on the tin, by the way - you visit four nearby islands in one day - and they're supposed to be beautiful). However, other than that, we did manage to cover all bases. After our battle with sickness, flooding and poor accommodation in Koh Samui and Koh Phangan, it really did make us appreciate our time in Ao Nang so much more! We LOVED it!
After Ao Nang, it was time to head to, arguably, the most famous Thailand island - Koh Phi Phi... And I don't think we were ready for the carnage that was in store for us!
Until next time...
(Editor's note: As you're reading this post, I'm packing my suitcase in preparation to jet off AGAIN in the morrow. Green Bay calls, to see my Nathaniel! I can't believe I have to get on YET ANOTHER PLANE - I worked out the other day that I've done around thirty flights in eight months - can you believe it?! Anywho, as I'm far from being finished with the Thailand Travelling Series, I just wanted to let you know that I will be posting regularly when I'm in the U.S., so WATCH THIS SPACE you lovely lot!)
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