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Should You Stay in Ao Nang Beach or Krabi Town in 2024?

One of the main questions we get here is from tourists who are trying to decide which place should they stay in Krabi. Krabi Town or Ao Nang Beach area?

This is not an easy question to answer so we will give you a lot of information below, and you can make your own decision for your circumstances.

Krabi Town is a Thai town and though it has some infrastructure for tourists, it’s really just set up as a Thai town that has transportation to Ao Nang Beach so you can stay there or reach the islands around Krabi like Ko Phi Phi, Ko Yao Yai and Noi, Ko Lanta, Ko Jum, and Phuket islands.

Staying in town is going to be much cheaper than it would be staying at the beach or at one of the islands, but there are no beaches in town. There is a small park with some sand, but you really can’t consider that a beach.

The only people who stay in town tend to be backpackers that arrive late or, who want to see some of the attractions that are more easily reached from town like the Emerald Pool, Tiger Cave Temple, Hot Springs, Dragon’s Crest mountain hike, or Huay Toh Waterfall.

It is also easier to go from Town to Ko Lanta, Surat, Ko Samui, Ko Phangan, Ko Tao, Ko Jum, Phang Nga, and Phuket than it is from Ao Nang Beach where you must take a boat if you’re going somewhere.

Below we created a table with many criteria to help tourists decide whether Krabi Town or Ao Nang Beach is the better place to stay while visiting Krabi.

Side-by-Side – Ao Nang Beach vs Krabi Town

CriteriaAo Nang Beach AreaKrabi Town Area
Proximity to the BeachVery close, within walking distance for most areasFarther away, requires transport (17 km/10 mi – 25 mins)
Accommodation OptionsWide range of hotels, resorts, bungalows on islandsHotels, no nice resorts
Dining OptionsLocal seafood, international cuisineFewer options, mainly local eateries “Bistro Monacos!”
NightlifeSome nightlife scene, but weak compared to PhuketVery limited nightlife – bars, Thai dance clubs
Shopping OpportunitiesPlenty of small shops and boutiques. Makro.Limited shopping options – Makro, Lotus’s, Big C
Tourist AttractionsBeautiful beaches, island hoppingCultural sites, temples, hot spring, waterfall, Hiking
Water Sports ActivitiesDiving, snorkeling, kayaking, paddleboardingBoats to islands or Railay Beach
TransportationTuk-tuks, taxis, and songthaewsMotorbikes, tuk-tuks, taxis, and songthaews
Scenic ViewsStunning beach and limestone cliffsLush greenery, river views, some forest
Family-FriendlySuitable for families with childrenLimited family-friendly options but closer to many more things to do
Budget-Friendly OptionsVariety of budget accommodations.All budget hotels.
AccessibilityWell-connected to nearby islandsCentral location, easy to access dozens of attractions
Local CultureTouristy, with a mix of international visitorsMore local and authentic experience
Language SpokenEnglish more widely spokenLimited English proficiency
SafetyGenerally safe, exercise normal precautionsGenerally safer, exercise normal precautions
Health and Medical FacilitiesClinics and pharmacies available, International ClinicClinics and pharmacies available, and international hospital (Nakharin)
ClimateTropical climateTropical climate
Peak Tourist SeasonMay to NovemberMay to November
Local TransportationLongtail boats for island hopping, motorbikesLongtail boats for river tours, motorbikes, songthaew
PricesHigherLower, and affordable
TrafficOne main road never too busyRush hours can back up traffic for 20 mins.

If there are any other criteria you’d like to see listed in this table, let us know and we may add it to help more people come to the right decision about where to stay for vacation in Krabi. Don’t forget, you can stay both places if you have some time!

[Featured image at top ©KrabiNature.com]