"MTCowgirl's Ao Nang Vacation" Ban Ao Nang by mtcowgirl
Ban Ao Nang Travel Guide: 40 reviews and 75 photos
I have to say that I love how laid-back Ao Nang is compared to more touristy places like Phuket. The atmosphere is just so much more relaxed and calmer with still plenty to do.
If you are looking to dive in Phi Phi, Phuket, or the south Andaman Sea, Ao Nang is a great place to base your dive vacation. The hotels are significantly cheaper and you still get the same great diving!
Even though I visited at the tail-end of the rainy season, the rain didn't stop my fun and it really wasn't that big of a deal. The weather was warm enough to make running around in the drizzle quite fun. Just make sure to leave your shoes where it is dry!!!
The easiest and fastest way to get to Ao Nang is to take a flight from Bangkok to Krabi on Thai Airways. The flight is only around 130 Euros round-trip and takes one hour.
Most hotels will arrange an airport pickup from Krabi as it does take about 30-45 minutes to get to Ao Nang beach.
When you leave Krabi, you don't really need that much time at the airport because once you check in, the gate is only a minute away and there is nothing to do at the airport! I'd recommend arriving an hour before the flight.
Sa Morakot (Emerald Pool) is fed by hot springs and is between 30-40°C depending on the time of year. The pool is naturally the same color as a hotel swimming pool and probably where it gets its name. It is the algae and bacteria that gives the water its color and calcium carbonate in the water has coated the stone edges making getting in and out of the pool an interesting and slippery feat (I believe "beached whale" entered the conversation). It is about an 800 meter walk from the entrance of the the park to Sa Morakot and we used an extremely muddy road to get there.
We decided to take the 1km nature walk (or jungle trek as I called it) through the swamp land on the way back as part of it was wooden walkways over the swamp. I would venture to guess that it is about half walkways and half dirt paths on the walk but far more interesting than the muddy road way! There were signs in various places along the nature walk that told of some of the special habitat and animals that could be found. Sadly the swampland has started to dry up in some areas due to deforestation in other areas that have affected the water flow.
The Thai government is now more aware of nature conservation and working hard to make sure that their areas of natural beauty do not disappear forever. It would be a shame to lose such delightful places due to the greed of mankind!
After our trek back to the entrance of the park, we headed to Klom Thom Hot Springs which is under a different administration than the Emerald Pool area although still part of the same park to my understanding as it is located just 10kms away. The hot springs are generated by deep volcanic chambers underground that rainwater seeps into the porous rocks and is heated up to 250°C! Luckily it is a temperate 35-40°C by the time it reaches the surface at the hot springs. The minerals in the water are rumored to have deep beneficial properties for people suffering from joint ailments or skin conditions. A popular place with both tourists and locals, it is best to be conservative in your dress as the guidebooks caution and to wear a t-shirt over bikini tops or else wear a normal one piece swimsuit.
- Pros:More Relaxed & Affordable than Phuket
- Cons:Ummm, NONE?!
- In a nutshell:Kick-back and Relax!
Diving in Ao Nang is just as good as those staying in Phuket or Phi Phi because you get to visit the same sites.... more travel advice
Make a stop at Sa Morakot (Emerald Pool) which is fed by hot springs and is between 30-40°C depending on the time of... more travel advice
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