Ao Nang (sometimes known as "Ao Phra Nang", a name the Tourist Authority of Thailand devised some years back, but which never really caught on) is the most "westernized" beach in Krabi. Originally a backpacker hotspot, it is now moving rapidly towards the package tourist crowd as the airport brings in more charter flights with each season. While not quite as scenic as Rai Leh, there is a good range of accommodation, many good restaurants, easy transport and travel/tour agencies ready to cater to your every whim, making it a good base for exploring Krabi.
Longtail boats on Ao Nang Beach
Orienting yourself in Ao Nang is easy: almost everything is located either along the beach, which runs west-east, or along the Airport Road (Hwy 4203) which goes up north from the east end of the beach. Longtail boats arrive on the beach near the junction of the two roads; these longtails, though, create a problem: the level of noise pollution arising from an endless stream of undampened boat motors during high season is substantial. As long as visitors are ever increasing this problem will continue to worsen and detract from the beauty of this beach.