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Phang Nga

Attractions > South > Phang Nga
 

Attractions in Phang Nga province in Thailand

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Situated immediately north of Phuket, from where it is all easy excursion option, Phang Nga covers an area of 4,170 sq. km. and its provincial capital lies 788 km. to the south of Bangkok. The province's main attractions stem primarily from the area's geological formations. This has produced an extraordinary Humber of islands, caves and rocky outcrops, the most notable being those preserved in the national marine parks of Ao Phang Nga, Mu Koh Similan and Muh Ko Surin.

Inland the major sights are caves, waterfalls, temples and the archaeological site of Ban Thung Tuek. With a remarkable geological site, Phang Nga is essentially a province to explore, as well as where to find some of the country's best scuba-diving spots. There are, however, beaches and a choice of resort accommodation, which allow for a tranquil vacation amid the most stunning natural scenery.

James Bond Island

 

Muslim Fishing Village at Koh Panyi

 

Prehistoric Rock Paintings, Khao Khian

 

Mu Koh Similan

 

Koh Similan

 

Mu Koh Surin

 

Tham Phung Chang

 

Khao Lak Lam Ru National Park

 

Tham Lot

 

Scuba diving

 

Mu Koh Similan

 

Snorkeling

 

Phang Nga

 

Climate in Phang Nga

The rainy season is from May through to October, yet most days are sunny. The best time to visit is between December and April.

Ao Phang Nga

Islands in Phang Nga

Ao Phang Nga

Designated a marine national park in 1981, Ao Phang Nga covers a coastal and offshore area.Mangrove forests are found along the shoreline. However, the most striking feature is the bay, which is dotted with more than 100 islands, weirdly shaped limestone outcrops swathed in tangles of creepers, shrubs, and mostly uninhabited. Some rise sheer from the water, others are humped or jagged and all present a haunting aspect. Many have notable features, such as Khao Khian, where prehistoric rock paintings can be seen on the cliffs; Koh Panyi where there is a Muslim fishing village built on stilts: Koh Phanak with beautiful caves, and "James Bond Island" which is famous for the location of the movie "The Man with the Golden Gun". Several tour companies operate organised excursions to these islands, departing either from the Customs Pier (Tha Dan) on the Phang Nga mainland, or from Phuket.

Ao Phang Nga

 

Mu Koh Similan

Like Ao Phang Nga, Mu Koh Similan are also preserved as a national marine park, extending over an area of 32,000 acres. Set in the Andaman Sea about a 3-hour boat ride from the mainland, the nine islands of the archipelago are quite distinct from those of Phang Nga. The islands are of granite, not limestone which makes them a rare beauty. The formations are also uniquely different. Together with hiking trails and other onshore attractions, however, Similan's reputation is its 30 excellent and dissimilar diving sites. Coral walls, huge sea fans and barrel sponges, rock reefs, swim-throughs and other underwater features offer a wide variety of opportunities for experiencing, while plenty of shallows afford excellent conditions for snorkeling.

 

Mu Koh Similan

 

Mu Koh Surin

This National Marine Park, comprising five islands and covering more than 33,000 acres, is located north of the Similans. The islands are best reached from the Khura Buri Pier (125 km. north of Phang Nga town), and takes 4 hours. Again the main attractions are scuba-diving and snorkeling, as the coral formations are spectacular. However, the two largest islands, Koh Surin Nuea and Koh Surin Tai (North and South islands, respectively) have good potential for exploring on land, with several hiking trails and, On Koh Surin Tai, a Sea Gypsy village.

 

Other attractions in Phang Nga

Tham Phung Chang

This cave is located within the grounds of Wat Phra Phat Phra Chim Kaet behind the Provincial Hall. Inside are stalagmites, stalactites and a stream that runs all year round. Two-hour excursions on foot, canoe, or raft through the cave arc available (contact Thongthae Sea Canoe Tel. 0 7641 2292)

Khao Lampi-Hat Thai Mueang National Park

The National Park covers an area of 18,000 acres. The main features are Namtok Lampi (a medium-sized cascade with three levels reaching a height of about 100 metres) and Ton Phrai (a large waterfall with a powerful flow year-round.)

Wat Suwan Khuha

Located at Mu 2, Tambon Krasom, this is one of Phang Nga's most important and most fascinating Buddhist temples. Located within the temple compound is a series of superb caves, the largest of which (Tham Yai), measuring more than 20 metres by 40 metres, enshrines Buddha images, the biggest being a magnificent 15-metre Reclining Buddha.

Khao Lak-Lam Ru National Park

Extending over a vast area, the park encompasses both mountain and coastal environments and includes a number of interesting features such as Hat Khao Lak, Hat Nang Thong, Hat Bang Niang. Khao Lak Mountain is famous for the shrine of Chao Pho Khao Lak and also the 5-tier waterfall of Lam Ru.

Tham Lot

Beautiful stalagmite and stalactite formations can be seen in this cave, which is located in the Ao Phang Nga area.

Ban Thung Tuek Ancient Town

Of interest to history buffs, the site of Ban Thung Tuek, in Amphoe Khura Buri, bears a few archaeological remains that attest to its ancient Importance as a port of call for Arab, Indian and Malay merchants engaged in the spice trade.

 

 

Sporting opportunities in Phang Nga

Scuba-diving

Some of Thailand's very best dive sites are located off the shores of Phang Nga, especially around Mu Koh Similan and Mu Koh Surin. To visit these waters is by joining excursions organised by dive operators.

Scuba diving

 

Sea Canoeing

Many of the islands in Phang Nga are riddled with marine grottos, to which Phuket-based sea canoe operators offer organised tours.

Snorkeling

As with scuba-diving, snorkeling conditions in the waters off Phang Nga are excellent.

 

Special events in Phang Nga

Free the Turtles Fair
Held usually in March at Hat Thai Mueang, the 7-day festival is celebrated by the release of baby turtles into the sea.

 

Accommodation in Phang Nga

A range of hotel and resort accommodation is available on Phang Nga mainland, while basic accommodation such as bungalows or tents is provided on both Mu Koh Similan and Mu Koh Surin. Full details are available from the TAT office in Phuket or www.tourismthailand.org

 

Shopping in Phang Nga

Phang Nga's most famous local buys are its artificial flowers made from rubber and fish scales. The quite exquisite products are sold at the Phang Nga Provincial Agricultural Office (TeI. 0 7641 2019) and the Farmers Housewives Group.

 

 

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