When people picture Thailand’s tropical paradises, they are probably thinking of the exotic southern Krabi province. Home to striking karst formations jutting straight out of the azure Andaman Sea, long stretches of white beaches, remote hidden islands, mountaintop temples and lush jungle greenery, the region truly lives up to its postcard-perfect reputation.
There are many popular tourist destinations throughout the region, both on the mainland and islands in the sea, but one of the most-visited spots is the beachfront resort town of Ao Nang on mainland Krabi. Though certainly placed on the international tourist map, Ao Nang has managed to retain the charm of a sleepy seaside village while still offering numerous dining, drinking, attraction and accommodation options.
One of its draws is its unique location close to other well-known points in Krabi, including Krabi Town and the picturesque Railay Beach, yet still in its own little world with plenty of surprising hideaways to explore.
Finding the Monkey Trail in Krabi
Along with countless beaches, Krabi also boasts a number of hiking opportunities taking trekkers across high hills and through the tropical canopy. To get a taste of hiking in paradise without too much exertion or a big-time commitment, those staying in Ao Nang make plans to walk the “Monkey Trail.”
Named for the lively communities of monkeys that live along the path, the Monkey Trail connects the south end of Ao Nang Beach with the sprawling Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Krabi, nestled in a brilliant bay with its own private beach and framed by a verdant national park. The trail is the only overland connection between the resort and centre of Ao Nang and is open to both hotel guests and the public.
Hiking the Monkey Trail in Krabi
Consisting of a dirt, wood and sandbag path, the trail is by no means a difficult hike – taking only 10-15 minutes – but still requires a certain level of caution and careful treading. Some parts are relatively steep and have uneven terrain, so good walking shoes are a plus and the trail is not recommended for those who have knee problems or might be at risk for tripping.
A bamboo handrail follows the majority of the trail and simple lights illuminate the path at night. Though you can walk the path anytime, it’s most enjoyable in the morning or early evening to escape the heat of the day.
Those trying out the trail will enjoy a healthy dose of soft adventure as well as spectacular picture-perfect views from the trail’s highest points, particularly during sunset – make sure to have your camera ready!
Of course, the entertaining and (relatively) friendly monkeys are also a fun draw. You’re likely to see numbers of monkeys with their babies swinging from tree to tree as you continue on the path. Just be careful to have your belongings carefully packed away during your walk. The cheeky primates are certainly used to people passing through their home and are completely comfortable trying to snag any snacks off of tourists.