Klong Muang beach is only 10 miles from Ao Nang but in reality they are a million miles apart. Walking around Ao Nang feels akin to a touristy European town. It is brimming with Western-style restaurants and the amount of souvenir and tailor shops all touting for business is disappointing. The overall vibe of Ao Nang is not one of an authentic Thai town.
Klong Muang is the polar opposite, especially as we prefer to stay in areas that aren’t too touristy. Klong Muang Beach is the perfect fit. It has to be one of the most gorgeous beaches in Krabi Provence. While the area isn’t the most booming in comparison to Ao Nang, it is quaint and inviting and has a vibe that many travellers, not interested in pumping house music and cheap buckets of spirits, are seeking.
Klong Muang is certainly becoming more popular with tourists, but it hasn’t lost its charm or authenticity. It is expanding, but it seems that the investment is all high end, with the Dusit Thani, Sofitel, Beyond Krabi Resort, The Pelican, Sofitel and Nakamanda, as well as the Ritz-Carlton on nearby Tupkaek Beach. All share the same characteristics: private, luxurious and self-contained. However, if you look there is some budget accommodation available away from the beach. Then there is our secret hotel “The Bliss Resort”, a small boutique hotel right on the beach. The rooms are excellent, with friendly staff, a great choice of breakfast and massage on-site. There’s also a tourist office that can arrange pick up from the airport, excursions as well as motorbike rental. With rooms starting at £45 and a deluxe double room with sea view and balcony for £100 it’s no wonder you have to book early now. Looks like our secret might have been discovered!
Klong Muang Beach is idyllic with many small bars and restaurants where you can watch terrific sunsets while enjoying a drink and listening to live music. We have dined at Little Jamaica Bar, Jamin Rasta Café, Bamboo Bar, Sunset Bar, and Reua Thong Bar, all serve fresh local dishes and most have great choice of fresh seafood. The Saing Bar has great Pizzas, Burgers and English breakfast as well as Thai food. If you are looking for more of a dining experience on the beach then we recommend the Krating Tree Restaurant.
For Western food and live premier league football the Irish Embassy on the main road is the bar to visit and is also open late. If you are looking for a late drink on the beach then the Freedom Bar is the place.
The views of the offshore islands are spectacular, Hong Island isn’t that far from the mainland and can be easily reached by a longtail boat in 25 minutes. An island trip is easily booked via any of the tourist shops or by just asking any of the longtail boat drivers. We booked a private tour of the islands with lunch which was a great day out. Hong Island is very popular and you can only get on for 1 hour at a cost of 300 baht per person, it is the only island with a restaurant, however most boat trips supply lunch and stop at far quieter, isolated islands.
Tupkaek beach is just along the coast from Klong Muang, and easily reachable either on a scooter or Tuk Tuk, and it is even quieter. It is famous as it was the beach used in the movie “Hangover 2”. There is also a great seafood restaurant on the beach, which is great for a cold beer and lunch.
So our overall assessment of Klong Muang is that if you are looking for authentic Thai food, a slower paced nightlife, but still want to be close to all the attractions of Krabi then it is certainly worth considering. We have been twice and will certainly be returning.