Ao Nang is a beach town and port to neighboring small islands. At first glance the main drag of the town seemed old and run down. Along the waterfront is nice. The tree lined sidewalks are manicured and the beach is clean. There are many long tail boats along the shore waiting to take passengers to other neighboring beaches and islands including Railay, Ko Hong, Ko Poda and Ko Gai. The best swimming is beside a beautiful karst at the end of the main beach.
All of the stores sold the same things. T-shirts, key chains, magnets, rayon dresses, straw hats and waterproof backpacks. After seeing these things over and over I started to notice the horrible quality of the materials.
Touts are here too. Every restaurant has a tout outside asking you to come in. Telling the tout “I’ve already eaten” doesn’t work. The tout will come back with “come back later” or “have a beer”. Not making eye contact after hearing the pitch several times doesn’t work either. They still go into their pitch. This only made me NOT want to eat there. Why do they have to literally pull people off the street into the restaurant? I had lunch at Burger King instead. I don’t normally eat this at home but for some strange reason it was calling my name in Thailand.
We chose to stay at Ban Sainai Resort. This is inland from the beach. The grounds were like paradise. Staying here for only two days because of a 6am flight from Krabi Airport (20 minutes way) I didn’t get the chance to explore the entire city. Staying on the property most of the late afternoon and evening was just what was needed to regroup from two months of traveling.
The thing I loved most about this resort is the begging fish at the restaurant. The restaurant was built over a beautiful pond. It was nighttime and the only light on the pond was from the restaurant. It’s only natural to look over the edge at the water and there they were! Fish! Awake and begging for food. It was so fun feeding them too. I wasn’t the only one either. They ate everything! Bread, rice, cucumbers and tomatoes. Rice wasn’t a big favorite but they fought over the cucumbers surprisingly.
Ao Nang is the last stop on our trip to Thailand. Americans only get thirty-day visas as opposed to Europeans getting sixty days. Thailand is a beautiful place and it was nice to end it in peaceful surroundings. I can’t say I’ll miss the food but I will miss the beaches most of all.