To everyone back home: this is not for you! I figured I need to make a few less personal posts that include information that can help other backpackers/travelers. These are things I wish someone would have told me, because it would have saved a lot of time, money and effort.
1. Sit on the beach and watch the sunset. The sunset in Ao Nang is truly spectacular, and with some long tail boats anchored on the shore, it makes for a stunning photograph. If you don’t mind spending 80 baht, buy a tub of the Wall’s Oreo ice cream at the nearby 7 Eleven, and share it with your significant other on the beach. If you’re alone then just eat it all yourself!
2. Visit the local fruit market. There are bound to be exotic fruits that you won’t find back home, and you get can them for a steal with a little bargaining.
3. Walk the length of the beach, and then over the mountain on the South end. At the end of the beach there are lots of tame monkeys being fed by tourists who can’t read signs (don’t be one of them), and just past there, there are wooden steps that lead over the mountain to the next beach. It is very secluded and a lovely place to have a quick dip.
4. Go Deep Water Solo rock climbing. Ao Nang bay has some of the best climbing in the world, so don’t pass up the opportunity to experience it. It can be enjoyed by beginners as well as more advanced climbers, and is even a nice thing to spectate. Go to Basecamp Tonsai to book, or ask one of the many travel agencies about it.
5. Rent a scooter and explore. It costs 200 baht, and about 60 baht for gas, for the whole day. There are many paid tours that take you to sights around Ao Nang, but if you rent a bike you can cover almost all of them in a day, for a fraction of the cost. Grab a map of the area, circle places you want to go, and set off. It is quite an adventure, but don’t stress about getting lost. The road signs can be quite bad but just ask anyone on a scooter near you at a robot. Thai people love to help, and they will send you in the right direction.
Please comment if you found any of these tips useful, or if you know of any activities that I didn’t include that deserve to be added!