Thailand is one of the most visited countries in the world, and received nearly 30M visitors in 2015, according to UNWTO (United Nation World Tourism Organization). Brazil, a much larger country, received only 6.3M in the same year.
The combination of gorgeous tropical islands, stunning beaches, breathtaking landscapes, rich flora, exquisite temples and monasteries, great cuisine, thriving nightlife and security, makes Thailand a perfect “dream destination.” Everybody wants to visit the country at least once, and spend time on its spectacular islands and get soaked in its crystal-clear pristine waters.
When I visited Aonang, a small town in Krabi, in southern Thailand’s west coast province, all I wanted was to visit its otherworldly beaches. Mainly because some of the beaches in Krabi have been nominated as the most beautiful beaches in the world, such as the famous Maya Bay (featured in the movie The Beach with Leonard DiCaprio) in Koh Phi Phi.

Phi Phi Islands Aonang
Maya Bay, “The Beach”, early in the morning. Thailand.

Maya bay is splendid, but there are many other breathtaking beaches in Krabi.
While I was in Aonang I found out about a 4-island tour, a day trip that takes you to Chicken Island, Poda Island, Tup Island and Phra Nang Cave. The pictures of the islands look unbelievably beautiful, so I did not miss the opportunity to take this tour.

The Tour

The day after my arrival, I woke up early in the morning, had breakfast and was picked up at Aonang Cliff Beach Hotel. The weather couldn’t be better, and I was so excited to see those islands.
I joined other visitors and we took our long-tail boat, a traditional Thai boat, and headed to our first stop.

Poda Island

Our first stop was sensational!
Koh Poda, or Poda Island, is one of those places that didn’t look real. The island has crystal-clear turquoise water, powdery sand and a big rock shooting majestically from the water. I was completely in awe and exhilarated because after all, the tour was just starting!
The island is perfect for swimming, sunbathing and photography, and the view of Aonang and the rugged limestone rocks surrounding it is amazing.
I have visited several islands in Thailand, but Poda is so far one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen.

Chicken Island

This island has a funny name, because there is a long and narrow rock formation protruding from the island that from certain angles makes it look exactly like a chicken.
Chicken Island has limestone rocks partially covered with low vegetation, excellent coral reefs, and incredible crystal-clear emerald water that is perfect for snorkeling where you can see many tropical colorful fishes and clams.

Tup Island

After Chicken Island, we headed to a third island and the one that I wanted to see most.
Tup Island in fact consists of three islands that at low tide you can walk on a sandbank that connects them.
The contrast of the white sand, the turquoise clear-water, the green-yellowish vegetation on the top of the limestone rocks, and the blue sky, is beyond imagination.
While I was walking on the sandbank, I could not believe that a place like this could exist, OMG.
The only downside was that the island was packed because all the other tours stopped there at the same time, and it was hard to find a place in the shade to have lunch. Even though, I felt truly grateful for being there.

Phra Nang Cave

The final stop of the tour was a terrific surprise!
We got off the boat at Phra Nang Beach, an exquisite beach dotted by jagged limestone cliffs and beautiful trees, and walked on the golden sand towards Phra Nang Cave.
Curiously the cave is a sacred place and it’s full of phallic symbols in different sizes and colors. Of course no one understood why the cave was full of those objects, and some people were laughing and making jokes.
But the shrine located in the cave according to a legend, is dedicated to the spirit of a drowned princess who gave the beach her name. And the phallic symbols are associated with fertility and virility, and many fishermen and boatmen still make donations to ensure a safe journey.


After visiting the cave and taking some pictures, we took the boat back to Aonang.
The tour finished around 2:00PM and I still had time to enjoy the extraordinary pool at Aonang Cliff Beach Hotel, and watch the sunset from the rooftop.
I felt really glad I took the four-island tour, which I considered the best one in Thailand, for its interesting combination of impressive beaches, otherworldly landscapes, great snorkeling, and also religious and cultural sites.
Have you ever taken this tour? What did you think? If you find another tour better than this one, please let me know on the comments below.
Safe travels!

Visiting Aonang

  • Where is it located?

Aonang is a small town located in Krabi Province, 20min from Krabi town, and 40min from Krabi International Airport.
The city is surrounded by colossal limestone cliffs, and has a great blend of jungle and beaches that attracts visitors from all over the world.
Aonang’s main avenue is full of backpackers, young people, hotels, restaurants, bars, stores and travel agencies.
The beaches in Aonang town aren’t wonderful, however the nightlife is very busy with live music in many bars, and also Muay Thai fights in the stadium.
It’s so interesting to see most of the local women wearing a head scarf (a Muslin tradition), and a big mosque on the main avenue, contrasting with the requirement to take your shoes off before entering some places (a Buddhist tradition), and a big Buddhist temple on the top of a mountain, in the middle of the jungle.

Yet Aonang is a hub and from there ferries depart to many islands in the South of Thailand. So, I believe it is worthy to stop there before heading to the islands and take some tours.

  • Where Did I Stay?

I stayed in two different places, for two different reasons.
The first place was Aonang Cliff Beach, which is nestled into a forest hillside, and is conveniently located on the main avenue; a 5min walk from the beach, with easy access to Aonang bay and nightlife.
The hotel has 97 rooms and suites with private balconies, a spa, three bars and restaurants, a fitness center, two pools, a rooftop, a meeting room with capacity for 120 people, and even a private beach.
My ocean view room had a sophisticated décor, a king size bed, refrigerator, minibar, kettle, beach bag with facilities, and also an outdoor bathtub. The bathroom had a rain shower and is perfect for a couple because of its two sinks, and a seat in the shower area.
The service was excellent and attentive, the massage at the SPA was great, and the food was good especially at the Aonang Buffet Restaurant. But nothing compares to the remarkable infinity pool: a huge pool that provides a breathtaking view, and it is a good spot for pictures. The pool is great even when the weather is not good.

After spending few days at Aonang Cliff Beach, I also stayed at Alisea Pool Villas, and I will still write the review.

  • Travel Costs?

• Five months travel insurance: US$ 256 with World Nomads
• The tour costs an average of 1200 baht (US$ 34).
• You can rent a private boat with a group of people: 6000 baht (3 – 5 people), 7500 (5 – 8 people), and 11,000 baht (10 – 20 people).
• Always bargain, and also ask with the 300 baht entrance fee to Poda Island will be included not he price you pay.

  • Other things to do in Aonang

• Hong Islands Tour
• One Day Tour Phi Phi
• ATV Tours
• Rafting
• Elephant Trek
• Canoeing
• BBQ Sunset Cruise

Aonang
Best Tour in Thailand

• I was invited by Aonang Cliff Beach and all the opinions here are mine and unbiased. 

4 Comments

  1. Beautiful posts of Thailand! Thanks for the well done videos as well. I’m mostly interested in good snorkeling, preferably from the beach. I know Kohl Lipe is called the Maldives of Thailand, but I’ve also read from more experienced snorkelers that the coral has been badly damaged. I’m still a novice snorkeler, so my expectations are probably not as high. Your videos look beautiful for snorkeling, which of those gorgeous places would you say are closest to a beach where you can stay at nearby accommodations? What would be your favorite snorkeling spot from one of the Koh lipe beaches? Thank you so much!

    Kimberly

    • Hey Kimberly.
      How are you?
      Thanks you so much!!
      So, do you you when the coral reef was damaged and due to what? I’m asking that because people saying a lot of things… Probably the coral reef was much better 20, 30, 50 years ago… and they are saying it… who knows..
      Snorkeling in Koh Lipe is really really good. Did you get a chance to read my Koh Lipe post?
      Snorkeling on Sunrise Beach is nice, but if you do the tours (A or B), they will take you to places even better. Jabang is the best one, with beautiful coral reef, but the current is strong and everyone has to hold the ropes they set up there.
      If are really into snorkeling, you should consider staying in Aonang, Krabi or Phi Phi because Chicken Island and Bamboo Island are amazing, and there are other islands close to Phi Phi (Mosquito for example) that are good for snorkeling too.
      However, the best one in my opinion so far is Koh Nang Yuan (close to Koh Tao). I snorkeled there in the end of January and saw 31 species of fishes… there were also people diving on the same spot that I was snorkeling… I also saw a turtle on the Japanese Garden over there. And btw, this island was elected the most beautiful one in the world int he past 😉
      Pretty much there are no mistakes when you think about good places for snorkel in Thailand, but those are the ones that I like most.
      Have travels Kimberly!!

  2. Thank you sooo much! That’s incredibly helpful! I have not looked into Aonang on Nang Yung at all and I will start reaching ASAP.
    One final question, if you had the pick, since you were there in January which is when I plan to go next year, which of these spots that we’ve been talking about were the least crowded?

    Thank you again for so much first-hand information from someone who was just there! Really appreciate it.

    Kimberly

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