and a daytrip to pristine Railay beach
For our roadtrip to the south of Thailand last December we decided to try Centara groups new concept Cosi in Ao Nang. It is very different from the usual resort concept that Centara has. Cosi is a kind of; lifestyle, contemporary, do it yourself(but still not, because this is Thailand with great service) hotel with common space, vending machines and laundromats. It was all super fresh, new and clean and we loved it. Extremely comfortable bed and showers with good water pressure.
On the roof, there was also a fish tank swimming pool with a panorama view over Ao Nang. In the common area, you could work, play some games or watch movies on a widescreen. So you were supposed to do most things by yourself but still, there was a manned reception with at least three very helpful staffs. The location was ok.
Walking down to Ao Nang beach for speedboats took us only 10-15 minutes and outside the hotel plenty of coffee shops, minimarts and restaurants. And at night a roti vendor showed up making some of the most delicious roti pancakes I have ever had in Thailand.
Due to Covid – 19, the price for one night here was less than 500 baht per night. Included in that was still credit for 150 baht that could be used in the coffee shop for breakfast or to buy some snacks if you rather preferred that. We fell in love with the Kosi concept as a change to the usual hotels and resorts you normally end up in. We could see that this caters more to a younger crowd that seemed to enjoy the rooftop pool very much. But it is probably ok for all ages. We had a rental car, and there was plenty of parking space.
Over the years I have stayed in a few different resorts in Ao Nang. In a normal, not pandemic year, the town with its stunning location surrounded by karst hills is a vibrant tourist centre where the streets are filled with Scandinavian sun-seekers and nowadays a fair amount of Chinese tourists among others.
Ao Nang is pretty much a base or starting point for visiting the famous islands in the Krabi archipelago. There are 154 islands in total, of course, the legendary Phi Phi Islands, Koh Lanna, but also islands that are popular for a day trip.
Islands like Koh Tup, Koh Mor, Koh Kai, Koh Poda, Koh Hong. Yes, Koh means island in the Thai language. Day trips to these islands can be arranged by local tour agents or from the ticket booth on Ao Nang beach.
I won’t go into details about these islands in this article. But we did revisit Railay beach, where we haven’t been for many years. We figured that it must be very beautiful since it got a rest from the crowds for a while. Railay or Rai Let is a small peninsula cut of by limestone from Ao Nang so a short boat transfer is required. Renowned among backpackers and rock climbers, the four beaches there is also a nicer location to go swimming in the sea than Ao Nang. And yes it didn’t disappoint at all. I wished that we had more time, but we were on our way to the Hideaway on Koh Klang so a day trip had to do.
We also took some time for a cave visit.
What to eat in Ao Nang? When in Ao Nang I would recommend having dinner in Carnivore restaurant, that is if you are a meat-eater. Carnivore is a great steakhouse in town.
For seafood, I am very fond of Wang Sai Seafood. The food in combination with the sunsets you get there makes it worth going at least once. So a great place for dinner in the area.
Just today the news broke that in January 2022 no quarantine will be needed if you are vaccinated. A town like Ao Nang is ready to welcome everyone back. If you fancy a more quiet place you can also stay in Krabi Town. There is a nice local nightmarket there. But HOWEVER touristic, Ao Nang is pretty and there are many things to do.