Noppharat Thara is a long beach (around 5km), adjacent to Ao Nang and split into two halves by a river. The side closest to Ao Nang is the most developed as it is bordered by the main coastal road; access to the other side is by boat, or by a dirt track from the road to Klong Muang.
The 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 (see below).
The name Noppharat 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.
Development has also spread back from the beach, into Klong Haeng village and beyond, with hotels, guesthouses and apartments all opening recently.
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-piggeldy, there is a stark range of accommodation along the recently widened beach road. There is a huge five-star complex that is a pastiche of a historical Thai palace (Ayodhoya Suites) at one end and a minimalist modern block at the other; in between are 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 on our Krabi news blog.
Many people who stay in the Nopparat Thara area catch a tuk-tuk (40 baht 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.
People who stay in Klong Haeng Village tend to be repeat visitors, familiar with the area who want to be close to the beach and Ao Nang, but not bang in the middle of it. Resorts here usually offer a shuttle service to and from Ao Nang beachfront; guests at cheaper guesthouses tend to hire motorbikes or bicycles to get around. This area also has several markets, including the good Wednesday “walking street”, as well as some local Muslim Thai eateries.
The main beach area along Noppharat Thara is more pleasant and open than Ao Nang, with 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 (full 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.
On the other side of the river the beach continues and it is also possible to stay here, right on the sand, if you are looking for real seclusion – and don’t mind the sandflies which can plague sunbathers. If you don’t want to be isolated, however, check carefully which side of the beach your hotel is located – many do not specify this as a matter of course.
The main beach of Nopparat Thara is located around 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. The other side of the beach is 30km from Krabi Town and about 15 – 20 minutes drive from Ao Nang. It is also possible (before 6pm) to take a longtail boat over to the Ao Nang side of the beach; this takes about 10 minutes.
Last updated: October 24, 2016