Things to Do in Phang Nga, Thailand
Phang Nga is one of the southern provinces (Changwat) of Thailand located on the shore of the Andaman Sea to the west and Phang Nga Bay to the south. Neighbouring provinces are (from the north, clockwise) Ranong, Surat Thani, and Krabi. To the south is the Phuket Province, connected by a highway bridge. Phang Nga is the modern Thai transliteration of the archaic Malay word pangan, literally meaning ‘jungle’.
Picture Credits – La Moet Phuket
Following are some of the places you definitely must visit if you’re heading to Phang Nga
Ao Phang-Nga National Park
Established in 1981, 400-sq-km Ao Phang-Nga National Marine Park is famous for its classic karst scenery. Huge vertical cliffs dominate its 42 islands, some of them with caves that lead into hidden hôrng (lagoons surrounded by solid rock walls). The bay is composed of large and small tidal channels (Khlong Ko Phanyi, Khlong Phang-Nga, Khlong Bang Toi, Khlong Bo Saen), which run north to south through vast mangroves and function as aquatic highways. These are Thailand’s largest remaining primary mangrove forests.
Koh Tapu (James Bond Island)
This famous landmark, called Koh Ta-pu (‘Nail Island’), first found its way onto the international map through its starring role in the James Bond movie ‘The Man with the Golden Gun’ and this is where most tours seem to take all of the tourists – all at the same time. The entire area surrounding this island with its signature rocky pinnacle is indeed spectacular.
Picture Credits – mythailandtours.com
This is a remarkable village, the whole of it built out over water on stilts and with a giant rock monolith guarding its rear. At lunchtime, many tourists on the James Bond Island tours are brought in to eat and shop for handicrafts. Koh Panyee is a small island. Most of it is huge, almost vertical, limestone cliffs. The hundreds of huts, shacks, restaurants and houses where the villagers live are built on stilts over the surrounding shallow sea. No one seems quite sure how many wooden and concrete piles hold up this extraordinary community, but it is certainly a fascinating and unique feat of informal engineering.
Picture Credits – Similan Islands
Twin Peaks at Ko Tachai is one of the best dive sites in the Similans, although strong currents mean it is generally reserved for experienced divers. Expect to see big fish: Manta Rays and Leopard sharks, as well as turtles. Ko Tachai, along with Ko Bon, became part of the national park in 1998, when the park was expanded from its original nine islands.
Picture Credits – Learn Thai with Mod
Named because the rocky outcrops here are said to resemble an elephant’s head, the strong currents mean this site is for advanced divers. There are dive-throughs and marine life ranging from tiny plume worms and soft corals to schooling fish, octopus and reef sharks.
Lam Ru National ParkPicture Credits – Anton Saloff
Khao Lak–Lam Ru National Park is named for two of its mountain peaks, Khao Lak and Lam Ru. It encompasses beaches and forests. The park is known for its numerous large waterfalls, the largest of which is Lam Ru Waterfall. Other waterfalls include Lam Phrao, Hin Lat, and Ton Chong Fa. The coastal park section is surrounded by clear waters and quiet, clear stretches of beach.
Surin Islands Marine National Park
The five gorgeous isles of the Surin Islands Marine National Park sit 60km offshore, 5km from the Thailand–Myanmar marine border. Healthy rainforest, pockets of white-sand beach in sheltered bays and rocky headlands that jut into the ocean characterise these granite-outcrop islands. Perfectly clear water makes for easy marine-life spotting, with underwater visibility of up to 30m outside monsoon. Divers will have a field day, but this is also one of the finest spots for snorkelling in all Thailand.
Picture Credits – Laguna Phuket
You can also participate the Turtle release fair. The 7-day event is annually held in March with its highlighted activity – releasing young turtle hatchlings. It is held at Thai Muang Beach. During the festival baby turtles raised by the Fisheries Department are released into the sea at Thai Muang Beach.