compressed blog post header: Monkey trail in Ao Nang, Krabi

One of the funniest things to do in Thailand is to watch wild monkeys play! So it was only natural that I had to hike the famous Monkey Trail during my visit in Ao Nang, Krabi.

Truth be told, I’m actually not the biggest fan of Ao Nang in Krabi. I find the area too overrun by tourism, expensive, and unexciting in comparison to other amazing places in Thailand. Yet, I’m still a firm believer that every place has something great to offer – and Ao Nang definitely delivered with its incredible Monkey Trail.

Therefore, I’ve taken my time to put together this little blog post about the Monkey Trail.

I’ll share information about how to find the Monkey Trail in Ao Nang, how long it takes to walk it, what to bring, how to stay safe, and how to behave around the monkeys. Plus, you’ll see some cool pictures of macaques, which is the species of monkeys that are living on the trail.

*DISCLOSURE: Dear Reader, this blog post contains affiliate links. If you click on them, I may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. I only recommend tours, hotels, and products which I use myself or find worthy to recommend.*


About the Monkey Trail in Krabi

Before I share my own experience on the trail, I would like to give you some information to prepare you for this little monkey hike through the jungle.

How to find the Monkey Trail in Ao Nang?

You can find the Monkey Trail in the Southern end of Ao Nang Beach. At the very end of the beach, you’ll see a small temple and a wooden bridge. This marks the beginning of the trail.

How long is the Ao Nang Monkey Trail?

The Monkey Trail in Ao Nang is less than 1 kilometer long. More likely around 600 – 800 meters.

Going from the beginning of the trail at Ao Nang Beach to the end of the trail at Pai Plong Beach will not take you longer than 20 minutes.

Therefore, it’s an easy, small trail that most people can do. Just beware that you are walking over a small hill, which naturally entails a lot of stairs.

What to bring for the small hike?

You will be walking through the jungle, which means that you’ll need to wear mosquito repellent. Plus it’s generally a good idea to cover up if you want to keep the mosquitoes off your body.

You should also bring water, some good shoes or sandals, and a bathing suit if you intend to take a dip at Pai Plong Beach.

The beginning of the monkey trail in Ao Nang, Krabi
This is where the Monkey Trail in Krabi begins. Sorry for the bad quality of the picture! (It’s a screenshot from our video)

Hiking Ao Nang Monkey Trail

This is my personal experience of hiking the Monkey Trail in Krabi. It’s told in a first person perspective from when me and and my boyfriend Glenn hiked this little trail back in 2019.

Upon reading reviews online from 2022, it seems that the trail is still active and pretty much remains in the same condition.

Now let’s get started!

Beginning the trail

When we reached the wooden bridge at the end of Ao Nang Beach, we knew that we had arrived at the trailhead.

I was a bit nervous about the hike because it meant that I would get close to monkeys… And it’s no news that the monkeys in Thailand can be very aggressive towards tourists.

But we embarked on the hike and immediately saw our first monkey!

It wasn’t aggressive towards us. I actually felt like it didn’t really care about us being there at all. So, I became a bit more confident and started to relax and enjoy the trail.

A few minutes in, and we’d only met a handful of other people along the trail. How lucky were we?! We basically had the monkeys and the trail all to ourselves.

We saw so many monkeys sitting in the trees, playing, sleeping, and grooming each others fur. It was such an incredible experience to just watch the wildlife in its best natural form.

It didn’t take long until we reached the top of the hill. And it looked like there was no monkeys up here. So, the rest of the trail seemed somewhat less magical… That is, until we started walking down the stairs to Pai Plong Beach.

First monkey we saw on the trail.
The first monkey of the day! Sitting in a tree right at the beginning of the trail.

Reaching Pai Plong Beach

Arriving at Pai Plong Beach was just lovely! It was a classic exotic Thai beach, and compared to Ao Nang Beach, there was only a handful of other people here.

However… Because Centara Grand (a luxury 5-star hotel) is located in this little bay, there were some limits for the common tourists like me and Glenn. We were met by security at the beginning of the beach, who demanded us to write our names and information in their visitor book, and then told us that we were only allowed to use the beach.

So, if you’re expecting to go grab a drink in a bar or eat lunch here then dream on… But, you’re welcome to use the beautiful beach as a visitor.

Even though Pai Plong Beach was lovely, Glenn and I were more intrigued by the Monkey Trail back in Ao Nang, so we quickly decided to head back to watch some more monkey fun.

Checking in at Pai Plong Beach in Krabi
This is where you check in at Pai Plong Beach. Unfortunately, we forgot to take any pictures on the beach itself – so you will just have to go and see it for yourself!

From playful monkeys to aggressive monkeys

We spent some time sitting on the trail just watching the monkeys.

It was incredible to see the small younger monkeys play with each other and jump from tree to tree – whereas the older monkeys slept or groomed each other.

We were even “lucky” to have the experience of watching two monkeys mating right in front of us on the trail. And there was also a monkey that completely blocked the trail when it decided to take a nap right in the middle of it. Monkeys are so funny!

Watching the macaques go about their day on the Ao Nang Monkey Trail is honestly my favorite memory from all of Krabi.

After half an hour of monkey-watching (far superior, yet pretty close to people-watching), we decided it was time to leave the monkeys behind and head back to Ao Nang for some lunch.

It was on the way back that we had our first experience with aggressive monkeys on the trail.

A dumb tourist was feeding the monkeys on the trail, which basically meant that the monkeys now began to attack me and Glenn for food. I still remember how one of the monkeys even grabbed Glenn’s backpack and tried to open it. Just crazy.

The magical spell of the Monkey Trail was broken. It wasn’t a wildlife experience anymore, it had now turned into a full-on tourist attraction… It was a sad ending to what had been a perfect day at the Ao Nang Monkey Trail.

Moneys playing in the tree of Krabi monkey trail
How many monkeys do you see play in this tree? I count 5!
A young monkey getting groomed by its parents.

How to stay safe on the Monkey Trail in Krabi

Before ending this blog post, I would like to share some tips on how to stay safe on the Ao Nang Monkey Trail. Because, as you can read from my last section, this great wildlife experience turned into an uncomfortable escape from aggressive monkeys.

So, here are my tips on how to behave around the monkeys and what to do if you get bit.

How to behave around the monkeys

Before you embark on the Monkey Trail in Ao Nang, you should take a moment to consider that monkeys are wild animals. This means that you should respectfully keep your distance, don’t try to touch them, and DON’T feed them.

What happens when you feed them is that they expect every human on the trail to carry food with them, consequently they will begin to randomly attack people for food. We experienced this at first hand.

I’m honestly sick and tired of tourists who try to interfere with wildlife. In what world is it normal to take a selfie with a tiger, ride an elephant, or pet a whale shark? The same goes for feeding or petting monkeys – just leave them alone and enjoy watching their natural play with each other instead.

Also, when a monkey is showing its teeth at you, it doesn’t mean that it’s smiling at you.

The showing of teeth means that the monkey now has the intention to bite you. So remove yourself from the situation when you see this behavior in a monkey! Furthermore, the monkeys might also interpret your teeth as an act of aggression towards them – so try not to show your teeth.

I know it looks really funny when a monkey shows its teeth, but try not to laugh openly. You could potentially create an unsafe situation.

What to do if you get bitten by a monkey

It’s not uncommon for tourists to get bit by monkeys around Southeast Asia. It’s often because the tourist behaves in a way that makes the monkey feel threatened. I’ve seen this so many times! But it can also happen out of bad luck.

If you do get bit by a monkey, you have to take action and seek medical help immediately!

Why? Because some monkeys have rabies.

Even if you’ve already had your rabies shot, then it’s still important that you go seek medical help right away. Call your travel insurance and go to the hospital.

I haven’t heard of anyone who’s been bit at the Ao Nang Monkey Trail. But seeing how aggressive the monkeys were towards us after just one guy started to feed them, I can only imagine that biting has happened before.

An aggressive monkey showing its teeth
I think we can all agree that this monkey looks like it’s smiling and having a good time, but it’s actually telling us that it’s intending to bite us. So if you see a monkey show its teeth like this, you should get away from it.

I hope you enjoyed this short blog post about the Ao Nang Monkey Trail in Krabi. It was honestly one of our best wildlife experiences in Thailand, which I didn’t expect to get from such a touristy place like Ao Nang. But every place can surprise you, and I’m so happy that I had the chance to see so many monkeys enjoy their life in the jungle.

Did you ever visit the monkey trail in Krabi or encounter some funny wildlife experiences with monkeys? Then please share your story in the comments. Thanks for reading!

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8 Comments

  1. I walked this trail in 2017 but didn’t see any monkeys. Nice beach at the end as you said. I did see monkeys at Railay – two different types. One type was messing around on the ground near the tourists, the other stayed in the trees but made quite a noise.

    1. Oh really?! That’s strange. It was crawling with monkeys when we were there, so maybe you were just unlucky. We also encountered some other type of monkey at Railay Beach, they were only staying in the trees and they had black fur compared to the macaque which have brown fur. Thanks for sharing your experience : )

  2. The Grand Central hotel only occupies a small section of the beach front, you can by-pass it by walking on the beach. After the Grand Centnara there is a fantastic beach bar called the Last Fisherman, it is not part of the hotel, where food and drink are great and cheap.

    1. Hi Paul, thanks for the great advice on the bar! We didn’t see it during our visit, but then again we didn’t spend a long time on the Pai Plong Beach. I tried to look it up, and it looks like there is only a bar named Last Fisherman on the Ao Nang Beach, just before the trail begins. Hmmm… but I’ll take your word for it if you visited it, maybe Google just misplaced the location. Thanks for sharing! Best, Cecilie 🙂

  3. I been there many times and the security do not demand anything. They politely ask to put your name down.
    You can also grab a drink or food even if you’re not part of the hotel.

    1. Thanks for the update! We were told that we were only allowed on the beach. But good to know you can also use the restaurant here 🙂 Definitely a beautiful place to have some lunch.
      Best, Cecilie

  4. Stairs and handrails are broken at some points now. It feels little risky on those points but we completed the trek anyhow. Didn’t see any monkey on the trail (I do see enough monkeys on my home terrace back in India :D). Security didn’t make us write our info anywhere but yes, he told us not to go inside Centara’s premises. There is a floating bridge installed at the end of Pai Plong beach. When the wave comes, it feels amazing standing on it.

    1. Hi Deep, thank you so much for sharing this on the blog. It’s been a couple of years since we walked the Monkey Trail, so it’s nice to get an update. Sad you didn’t see any monkeys though. Maybe next time 🙂

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