Ao Luek is a lesser-known district in the northern part of Krabi province which has gained popularity the last year thanks to a newly built pagoda standing 109 meters tall. But visiting Ao Luek only for a temple would be a shame because this area including Than Bok Khorani National Park is offering so much more. Below I’m giving you six reasons to visit Ao Luek, including the stunning Pagoda.
1. This golden pagoda at Wat Bang Thong
Wat Bang Thong is a temple complex located in the very northern part of Ao Luek a few kilometers from Phang Nga province with a new stunning pagoda called Wat Maha That Wachiramongkol. This Putthakaya-style temple, standing 109 meters tall, is said to be one of the highest golden pagodas in Thailand and has become very popular with both locals and tourists.
2. Ao Luek Ocean View
Ao Luek Ocean View is a café 40 minutes southwest of Wat Bang Thong with a fantastic view over Phang Nga Bay’s majestic limestone mountains and mangrove forests. Situated in the middle of nowhere, this is one of those places where no tourists go. But it has become very popular among locals, and if you want to avoid selfie-taking groups of Thai people, don’t come here during the weekends.
3. The caves of Bor Thor
Baan Bor Thor is a small coastal village featuring mangrove forest, rivers, and spectacular caves. Belonging to Than Bok Khoranee National Park, this area is one of the earliest sites of human civilizations in Thailand, and you can witness this by seeing cave paintings thousands of years old. Many of these caves are only accessible by kayaks which you can rent on site next to a seafood restaurant.
4. Laem Sak
Laem Sak is one of Krabi’s best-hidden gem with a fishing village nestled among beautiful karst islands east of Phang Nga Bay welcoming you to experience the local way of living. You can visit a temple with a spectacular 360° panorama view from the top of its chedi, and you can enjoy excellent seafood and other local foods.
5. Khao Ko Rot
Located east of Laem Sak, Khao Ko Rot is another place where you can experience fantastic limestone cliffs eroded by the sea and wind. One particular cliff is known for its appearing giant ghostlike face, and just like Baan Bor Thor, Khao Ko Rot lets you witness ancient cave paintings.
6. Ao Luek Town
Ao Luek Town is a small genuine southern Thai village dotted with dramatic limestone mountains. While there is not too much to see in terms of attractions, it’s a good place to stop by for some street food when driving through Ao Luek. If you’re a fan of Isaan food, I can recommend Som Som Tam Restaurant serving excellent som tam (papaya salad).
While Ao Luek is a great place to visit, there are better places to stay during a vacation. Read my post about the best places to stay in Krabi.