Our first visit to Ao Nang was a pretty special one. We’d been travelling for a little while and desperately needed a break from moving around so often. It was really important for us to find somewhere easy and affordable to visit, but still have the destination offer the relaxation and fun we needed. A good friend and fellow travel blogger, Sarah of Fit Travels, suggested Ao Nang to me. I didn’t need to do too much internet stalking to realise it was exactly what we had been looking for. We spent 5 nights in Ao Nang and, by the end of it, were already planning our next trip back. Here’s a look at why Ao Nang is an amazing budget and visitor friendly destination in Thailand and where to stay for the best luxe for less accommodation.
How to get to Ao Nang
Getting to Ao Nang is super easy! Before you start madly google searching ‘Ao Nang Airport,’ here’s a bit of info for you. We fly direct from Singapore to Krabi on budget airline, AirAsia. Our flights were dirt cheap and we just shared one piece of checked luggage to keep costs down. I live in Queensland and often nab flights direct from the Gold Coast to Singapore, on Scoot, for $120p.p one way. It only takes 35 minutes to drive from Krabi Airport to Ao Nang, making it a nice short drive after a big day of travel.
Why Ao Nang though?
There are so many places to visit in Thailand, why would Ao Nang top the list as a great spot? Well, my travel-loving friend, I fell in love with Ao Nang for a few good reasons. Firstly, it’s a nice small town. It’s very easy to walk everywhere so you don’t need to waste time or money on hiring a scooter or catching transport everywhere. The size of Ao Nang gives it a more welcoming, low-key vibe, as opposed to the crazy busy streets of Phuket and Chiang Mai (both still gorgeous places, just very busy). Wanting to get away from it all, I just loved that relaxed, easy-going atmosphere of Ao Nang. It had all the charm, warmth and hospitality Thailand is famous for, just in a small little town packed with cheery locals and happy visitors.
Talk me through the luxe for less situation
We were on a tight budget on our stay in Ao Nang and still had an amazing time without breaking the bank. There are some fantastic street food vendors, offering delicious local meals at around 50THB (Thai Baht), around $2 Australian. You’ll also find yourself able to get a full-body massage for around $11AU. There are some great little local shops, where you can barter your heart out with stall-owners to nab a few bargains. The size of Ao Nang means you save money on transport and, instead, can spend your hard-earned money sitting at a beachfront bar drinking tallies of Chang at $3.50AU a pop. So good!
Where’s the best, budget-friendly place to stay?
We spent two glorious nights at Ao Nang Cliff Beach Resort and absolutely loved it! The resort is perfectly situated in the heart of Ao Nang, offering the ideal base for your stay. It’s really easy to walk everywhere from the resort, without breaking much of a sweat at all. There are some fantastic restaurants nearby and the friendly staff are more than happy to give you their top tips on the best places to eat, depending on what you’re craving.
Our room, one of the gorgeous Panorama Suites, was fantastic! When we first walked in, both Matt and I were blown away by the size of the room and the million dollar views it offered. The outlook from our room took in panoramic views of the stunning cliffs Ao Nang is famous for, as well as sweeping views of the Andaman Sea and the little town laid out below. Seriously, the views were like something out of a travel brochure or Lonely Planet guidebook, they were amazing.
It was impressive to see a room that was so open, clean and modern but also very comfortable and liveable. We both found the room to be the perfect size, with plenty of room to unpack our suitcases and get properly comfortable. The balcony offered two deck chairs to recline in, cold drink in hand, just soaking in those gorgeous views. It also offered our very own spa on the balcony, perfect for getting cosy in the evening and soaking away all our worries.
Probably my favourite thing about the resort though, was the pool; a gorgeous infinity pool built high up so, while you’re swimming, you can still those incredible views of the Andaman Sea. I love this aspect of the resort because you don’t feel like you’re missing out on anything while you’re making the most of the hotel, you still see everything and feel like you’re part of it all.
We had a fantastic stay at Ao Nang Cliff Beach Resort and will definitely be staying there again. If you’re looking for a great place to base yourself in Ao Nang and have all that luxury without busting your budget wide open, then Ao Nang Cliff Beach Resort is a great pick. I’d recommend it as being great for couples, friends on holiday together and families too. It’d even be great for a romantic getaway with your sweetie! We visited during the low season, so it rained from time-to-time and there were fewer tourists around, which I really liked! It was so nice sitting on our balcony watching the storms roll in and feeling like we had nowhere else in the world to be (I love a good spot of storm watching!) Visit the Ao Nang Cliff Beach Resort website here.