Nopparat Thara Beach
20km from Krabi Town and 25km from the airport. It is about 2 minutes
drive from Ao Nang.
There are direct boat connections from the pier to the islands of Phi
Phi, as well as Lanta and Phuket in high season.
Longtail boats can be chartered to visit the local islands. NOPPARAT
Thara is a long beach (around 5km), split into two halves by a river.
The side closest to Ao Nang is the most developed as it is bordered by
the main road; access to
the other side is by boat only, or by a dirt track from the road to
beach is known locally as Klong Haeng or 'dry river', a reference to
the distance the water retreats at low tide, often so far that you
can walk out to the small islands in front of it! Klong Haeng is
also the name of the village closest to the beach, some 700m away.
The name Nopparat Thara
is that of the local National Park to which most of the beachfront
land supposedly belongs; however in the last 2-3 years most of the
trees have been felled and hotels and shopping plazas put up in
their place. Even the National Park itself is building more
bungalows to accommodate the Ao Nang 'overspill' and has also
created a large car park and camping ground for the Thai daytrippers
and school groups who come to picnic here.
All this activity now means Nopparat justifies a page of its own
(although much of the information we provide about neighbouring Ao
Nang also applies here).
As befits a place that has been developed higgeldy-piggedly, there
is a stark range of accommodation along the recently widened beach
road. There is one huge five-star complex in the style of a Thai
palace (Ayodhoya Suites - still under construction); several 3-star
hotels; a family resort; smart new guesthouses; and a whole host of
locally-run budget bungalows, set further back from the beach, along
the dirt road to the boxing stadium. As development is on-going, it
is possible that you find yourself staying next to a construction
site; please check for up-to-date information in our Krabi forum.
Many people who stay here catch a tuk-tuk (20B per person) to Ao
Nang to eat and drink, although there are a growing number of decent
restaurants and small bars along the centre of the strip near Deang
Plaza, as well as around Luna Bar at the corner nearest to Ao Nang
and at the far end of the beach near the river.
On the other side of the river the beach continues and it is also
possible to stay here, if you are looking for real seclusion - it is
only accessible by (irregular) boat - and don't mind the sandflies
which can plague sunbathers.
The main beach area is more pleasant and open than Ao Nang,
especially now with the new benches, pavilions and off-road walkways
along its length. It also attracts more of a mixed crowd, including
at the weekend many Thai people, who like to splash about in the
shallow water. In general the scene is more 'backpacker' than Ao
Nang but also includes those of all ages who want the convenience of
staying near Ao Nang (access to tours, transport etc.), without the
Ao Nang crowds and prices. Nopparat certainly offers better value
for money if you take proximity to a beach as the measure.