The last part of my trip was in Ao Nang, Krabi, which is not an island, but a very touristic place on the Thai coast. The beach is not fantastic but it’s a good place to take a long tail boat and “fly” to one of the islands around.
What is around? Poda Island, Hong Island, Chicken Island, Railway and the list can go on with some more distant destinations such as Phi Phi and Bamboo Islands. Prices are starting with 200 baht per trip and gets to 3800 baht for Bamboo.
I would recommend a trip to Hong Islands – check the lagoon also, a day to Poda Island and one to Railway. If you are not coming or going to Phi Phi Island, for sure the must is to take a one day trip there. Hong and Railway are very crowded, specially Railway where you cannot stay 5 minutes without the sound of a boat passing, but otherwise the landscapes are very beautiful. For Poda Island I didn’t take an organized trip, but a boat from the pier. The nice surprise was the island is having a looong beach so it’s not so crowded. There are no restaurants there but at lunch some boat restaurants are coming with food. Simple, wild and nice! 10 plus for it.
Compared with these islands, the famous James Bond Island doesn’t have the wonderful white sand beaches like the rest. Don;t imagine you go there to jump in the water. You go there to see this island (which didn’t impress me but I guess it’s my personal opinion), the mangrove forest, the floating village (restaurants village actually) and maybe to do some kayak (not you, the guy with the kayak, you just lay down and watch the view). What I liked most was the trip from Ao Nang until the pier (almost 2 hours by car). The landscapes were wonderful!
Coming back to Ao Nang, this place is like a long street with restaurants, hotels and boutique shops on both sides. If you prefer more quiet hotels, don’t go for this area, you can pick something a bit more distant and choose to have a free shuttle (tuk tuk) to the Ao Nang beach if possible (otherwise the tuk tuk is 50 baht)
Where I stayed? Baan Habeebee Resort with ~ 70 eurs/night. It’s a resort of 5 or 6 bungalows, everything made of wood, positioned in a lovely garden, quiet and perfect for relax. A nice pool is covering the middle of the garden. A local restaurant is close to the resort if you want to try some very cheap and good food (cheap means: 60 baht for stir fried anything plus some 15 baht rice, maybe some tom yum soup added also – 50 baht). By the way: don’t forget to try the Tom Yum soup, the stir fried vegetables, fried rice and the indian restaurants (fish/ chicken masala)! Yummy!
What else you can do? Massage centers are everywhere, scuba diving, snorkeling, climbing, visiting some temples, trip to the James Bond Island, bathing in the emerald pool or checking the hot springs. Couple of days for sure you have what to do.