Ao Nang beach and promenade, Krabi, Thailand. Photo by Maksym Kozlenko.
Why use Krabi beaches?
The Krabi province is coated with superb soft white sand in the right places and really stunning limestone scenery that tourists love to see and climbers love to ascend.
West Railay beach (also known as West Rai Leh) and Phra Nang beach are the two most famous strands but some even more isolated powder sand beaches around Chicken Island can be accessed by longtail or kayak on day trips.
• there is some water pollution in some places.
• in season it can get very busy and crowded on the scenic but often small beaches.
• getting around will require substantial longtail rides unless you stay in one of the few very expensive hotels or hire a pricey speedboat.
Phra Nang beach
Phra Nang beach
Not to be confused with Phang Nga or Ko Pha Ngan, Phra Nang is a spectacularly beautiful stretch with powder sand and striking, melting rock formations around it. It sports one very, very expensive hotel (the Rayavadee) but also hosts throngs of day-trippers coming and going in roaring longtails all day long. Phra Nang, also known as Pranang Cave Beach due to its modest pay-to-enter ‘Diamond Cave’ system, is mostly free of pushy hawkers but does have reasonably priced food and drink shipped in via the damned longtails.
Climbers occasionally tackle these molten cliffs but most prefer those the better selection around West Rai Lay.
A Krabi road on the way to Ao Nang.
The best boat terminal for Krabi beach seekers and a new resort in its own right is Ao Nang. This pleasant little town has a large, gritty, seashore and has been recently spruced up, but unfortunately still labours under the curse of the longtails.
Use it as a stop over by all means as it has plenty of facilities and budget hotels but it’s not exactly a tranquil holiday destination.
Just a little note to let you know I found your comments about Krabi and AO Nang very negative. It is one of the most beautiful places in Thailand and you get quickly used to sound of longtailboat. It is certainly a place for a longer and romantic holiday. so mucht to see and do in the surrounding area.
West Railay beach
A West Railay beach resort hotel.