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.
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 day trippers and school groups who come to picnic here.