Krabi is one of the most popular regions in all of Thailand, and the two most visited places in this region are Krabi Town and Ao Nang.
If you travel from Bangkok to Krabi you are likely arriving at the airport, which is 13.5km northeast of Krabi Town.
Now you have 2 options: You can either go to Krabi Town and spend a few days there, or get in a bus that takes you directly to the beach at Ao Nang.
If you are like me and a trip to anywhere in Thailand means also to spend some quality time with young and lovely local Thai girls, then I have to say that the nightlife in Krabi Town is better than the nightlife in Ao Nang. There are so many more venues (and girls) to choose from, especially all the hostess bars, night clubs and soapy massage parlors, whereas in Ao Nang it’s just one small girly bar area and a few “normal” bars for the backpackers, hippies and couples.
And it’s not just the nightlife and girls scene that’s more fun in the city – Krabi Town also has more fun activities to do during the daytime than you might think. Sure, the beaches of Ao Nang, Railay and the island hopping day trips are quite awesome, but how does the “Emerald Lagoon” sound like, which is in the middle of a rain forest and has crystal clear water? Or how about the Tiger Cave Temple up on a hill with fantastic views of the massive limestone cliffs all around?
If you have the time I would recommend you to stay 3 nights each in Krabi Town and Ao Nang. Just don’t make the mistake and book a hotel in Ao Nang for a week – you will be bored from day 4 or so, because the beach in Ao Nang is not nice to hang out at – it’s nice to look at, but it’s not nice for relaxing (many boats) or swimming (dark water). You go to Ao Nang for a trip to Railay Beach and a trip to Koh Phi Phi. 3 days are enough for that, so better spend the rest of your time in Krabi Town.
Enough for all my travel recommendations – I guess you looked up this guide mainly for tips on how to actually get from Krabi to Ao Nang, so here we go:
Krabi Airport to Ao Nang
If you decide to skip Krabi Town (or make it the second stop of your trip), then you can just take a bus directly from Krabi Airport to Ao Nang.
It’s called the “Official Krabi Airport Bus” and you can buy your ticket at one of the booths in the arrival hall. The price for a one way ticket to Ao Nang is 150 Baht (and to Krabi Town 100 Baht). The busses leave at least once an hour from about 8am to 8pm – or whenever the bus is full.
Alternatively you can also take a taxi from Krabi Airport to Ao Nang, which will cost you 500-600 Baht.
No matter if you travel by public bus or taxi, the trip to Ao Nang takes about 35-45 minutes.
- If you travel from Ao Nang back to Krabi Airport it’s obviously the same price and travel time. Just inquire and book at one of the many, many travel agents on Ao Nang’s Beach Promenade.
Krabi Town to Ao Nang
If you have taken the airport bus to Krabi Town (100 Baht) or a taxi right to your hotel (200-300 Baht), and stayed in town for a few days, then you probably want to know how to get to your next destination: Ao Nang, which is located 18km southwest of Krabi Town.
Easy and straight forward: You just hop on a songthaew (shared pick-up taxi) in Krabi Town that takes you directly to Ao Nang. You will probably stay in riverside (that’s the tourist area with most of the hotels, restaurants and bars) and from there you can walk from your hotel to the songthaew stop – see the map below.
It’s just 60 Baht one way with the songthaew from Krabi Town to Ao Nang, which is perfect if you don’t care about the “basic” seating and the fact that they will stop several times along the way to let passengers get on and off. The trip takes about 45 minutes.
- If you want to travel from Ao Nang back to Krabi Town, you can simply hail a songthaew on the main road. It’s really easy there as they all go to Krabi Town – just make sure you are not drunk and take it to the opposite direction towards Ao Nang Beach and Nopparat Thara Beach.
I would not recommend you to try taking the bus from Krabi Town to Ao Nang. Firstly, the services are very irregular and they might even completely stop the services during the low season. The distance is quite short and that’s why most of the public transport between the two places is handled by the songthaews (see above).
And secondly, it doesn’t really make sense to take a songthaew to the bus terminal in Krabi Town (which is in the northern end of town) and then wait and take another bus to Ao Nang – just take a songthaew directly from downtown Krabi to Ao Nang, it will take you only about 45 minutes.
The quickest and most convenient, but obviously most expensive travel option from Krabi Town to Ao Nang is by taxi. The drivers usually quote you 500 Baht, but it should not be difficult to bargain that price down to 400 Baht. They should bring you there in just about 30 minutes.
This is how I like to travel: I just rent myself a motorbike at one of the shops in Krabi Town. Yes, I rented my bike at the shop you can see on my picture above (see the map below for the location of this place – easy, it’s right in the riverside tourist area).
They usually charge 250 Baht per 24 hours, and if you want to rent for several days, they will surely give you a discount. Like on my last trip there I rented one for 5 days (3 nights in Ao Nang & 2 nights in Krabi Town, just perfect) and I could bargain it down to 200 Baht per day – 1,000 Baht for 5 days. On top of that obviously comes the cost for gasoline, but that’s not really much. I spent less than 200 Baht on gasoline and drove a lot – even as far as to the Emerald Lagoon which is 60km out of Krabi Town.
It will take you about 30-40 minutes to ride the bike from Krabi Town to Ao Nang, and like you can see in my first picture of the guide, the landscape is really beautiful along the way with all these iconic limestone cliffs rising dramatically out of the ground.
Map of Transport in Krabi Town
- See also: Top 7 Best Beaches in Krabi