When I first decided to spend my holidays in Thailand, the information that I had gathered were quite confusing, as it usually is with such exotic destinations. People always refer to Thailand as the hub of sex tourism and although those rumours did affect me, I made up my mind and opted for Thailand. I did not want to spend time in busy and overcrowded Bangkok. Needing a peaceful area with picturesque beaches, I gave my vote to Ao Nang and set off for my holidays.
When I arrived in Ao Nang, I was really surprised in many ways. The first thing that struck me was the colour of the sea. Although the Indian Ocean touches the mainland in this part of Asia, the area around Ao Nang is perfect for swimming and sunbathing, since this part is situated in the Krabi Province and this province and the Phra Nang Peninsula are surrounded with the Andaman Sea, which is definitely a more tranquil part of the Indian Ocean.
After I fed my eyes with the wonderful sea colour, I left my luggage in the hotel I stayed in and hit the road to the town beach, to feel the texture of the turquoise sea. The eponymous main beach in Ao Nang is many levels above usual beaches that those who visit European or Caribbean destinations experience. This beach does not offer too many additional amenities, but the beauty of the sea and the softness of the sand that sedate your body and mind. Also, there is a dozen oh massage parlours in line with the beach, so when you feel you have had enough of the sun and the sea, you can look for additional massage relaxation. There is no traffic on this beach so you can really relax and put your brain on stand-by.
Apart from the central town beach in Ao Nang, there are many beautiful beaches in the vicinity of Ao Nang, both on the land and on the nearby islands. A must-lie-on beach is the Nopparat Thara Beach, which is the second largest beach in the very town of Ao Nang. It offers even more peace than the Ao Nang beach, but there are no massage parlours here, so you can enjoy the sun and the sea even more here.
Thailand and this part of Asia in general are famous for the long-tail boats. They are like some sort of an ancient tourist remnant that tells us how people used to live here and how some of them still do. One day, I went on a day trip to Phra Nang Beach, which is some 20 minutes away from Ao Nang by a long-tail boat. If you are a swimming enthusiast, you should definitely visit this beach. If you are more of a sun-ray soaker, you must try lying on the gold-like sand of Phra Nang. On this beach, swimming and sunbathing can be perfectly combined with rock climbing, since many steep cliffs dominate and enclose this lovely beach.
After a strenuous day spent going from beach to beach, swimming, kayaking, snorkelling and rock climbing, the night time in Ao Nang offers a variety of choices. There are many traditional Thai restaurants along the main road, which is some sort of a promenade. If you have never eaten Thai food, you can tell the waiter, so that the cook can adapt the meal for your taste. It is spicier than Western food and you will probably need some time to get used to it. If you do not like the Thai food, there are still several restaurants that prepare traditional Western food, such as Italian or English food, or food that people from the West have got used to, such as Indian food. Also, if you do not like their local taverns and bars, there are Irish pubs and other cafes that can make you feel literally at home.
Thailand and Ao Nang are a must-see. My memories of Thailand are wonderful and I cannot wait for the next holiday (after my travel to Sydney) to visit Thailand again and maybe even make a trip around Thailand.
About: Lily is a mother of two who has to plan her trips very carefully since her daughters were born. They all love travel and do it together as much as possible.