Destinations
Bangkok  September 24, 2009 12:53 PMSunny83°
 

 

PHANG-NGA

 

Thailand’s Best Scuba-Dive Site
  

Phang-nga is a province with two elements—land and sea—and is packed with national parks that border magnificent scenery with immensely different attractions. The island groups of Surin and Similan, renowned for their beautiful unspoiled beaches and spectacular underwater scenery, attract divers from around the world. While Phang-nga Bay is extremely sheltered, it is ideal for sea canoe expeditions to explore the many fascinating caverns with their own eco-systems.
 

 

  

 01 The Similan Islands are a diver’s haven

The charm of the soft corals and sea fans make Similan Islands one of the most beautiful dive sites in the world. It also has the greatest diversity of marine life; many species of fish are found only here. With over 100 convenient live-abroad boats ready to serve, no one can deny these islands are in a league of their own.
 


02
Sublime snorkeling at Surin

The islands of Surin Archipelago are one of the best places for snorkeling in Asia. About 37 miles off-shore from Kuraburi pier, are shallow reefs with beautiful corals, turtles, lobsters, humped head parrot fish, and bat fish. After snorkeling, enjoy the beautiful white sandy beaches, and relax under the gentle breeze and clear blue skies.
 

 
 03 Take in the scenery while canoeing around Phang-nga Bay

Phang-nga Bay, a part of Ao Nang National Park, has striking scenic views of limestone formations scattered around. Rock formations, caves and mangroves within the park are the highlights of the area, and are popular among those who love canoeing.
 

04 Awesome rafting trips at Ton Pariwat

Ton Pariwat is a good place to enjoy rafting, if you do not mind of getting wet! Most rafting trips take place on the Khlong Song Phraek stream in the Ton Pariwat Wildlife Conservation Area. The stream is quite narrow with a few boulders and the rapids are rated Class 2 and 3. The trip is about half a day and usually includes other activities such as elephant trekking or hiking to one of the waterfalls.
 

 
 05 A fisherman’s life: homestay at Ko Yao Noi

Families on Ko Yao Noi welcome visitors to experience life in their small fishing community. Travelers can learn how to make fishing nets, set fish traps and catch crabs. Most impressive is a visit to the feeding beds (Kra-chang), which have floating underwater cages attached to thin wooden poles arranged in checker-like squares. These are used as nurseries for oysters, mussels, lobsters and several kinds of fish.
 

06 Shaken, not stirred: Khao Phing Kan & Khao Tapu (a.k.a James Bond Island)

Khao Phing Kan derived its name from its nature of being split into two halves. Behind the mountain is superb scenery and while looking out into the ocean, one will also make out a nail-shaped island, and a solitary pillar in the sea called Khao Tapu. It is the most remarkable attraction of Phang-nga, and has become a popular tourist attraction since it was featured in the 1974 James Bond movie, ‘The Man with the Golden Gun.’
 

 
 07 The unspoiled splendor of Khao Lak

Khao Lak is a thriving tourist destination for backpackers, upscale tourists, adventure tourists, and seasoned scuba enthusiasts. It is a coastal park full of birds, mammals and scenic waterfalls, with a number of hotel developments. The pristine coastline is synonymous with beauty, while rubber and palm plantations dot the coastal region and most nearby inland areas.
 

08 A celebration of the traditional: Sea Gypsy Village

A Singha (Morgan) Sea Gypsy tribe resides on the shore of Hat Sai En, Ko Surin Nuea. There are 130-150 sea gypsies who still hold on to their traditional ways of life and still live in their boats. The shore is considered a sacred area, and has a wooden sculpture resembling a Native American Totem Pole. Every year, on the 15th day of the waxing moon in April, the sea gypsies in this village would worship their respected spirits. The event lasts for 3 days.
 

 
 

09 Shop for exotic treats and presents

Created by the local Farmer’s Housewives Organization, artificial flowers made from rubber and fish scales are souvenirs symbolic of Phang-nga province. Travelers also shop for Phang-nga’s well-known shrimp paste and sun-dried shrimp.

Shopping Directory

10 Superb Phang-Nga dining choices

In general, food in Phang-nga is similar to other Southern Thai food, which is renowned for its spiciness. Popular dishes include southern style curry and rice noodles in fish curry sauce (Khanom Jeen). A favorite treat is the local baked cake (Tao So).

Dining Directory

   

 

  

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 How to Get There
 

 

 

There is no direct flight from Bangkok to Phang-nga, although travelers may fly Thai Airways International, One-Two-Go, Air Asia, and Nok Air from Bangkok to Phuket. From Phuket, take a bus or rent a car to Phang-nga for about 36 miles.


Thai Airways International
Bangkok Office

Tel. 0 2280 0060, 0 2628 2000 or Hotline 1566

www.thaiairwaysusa.com

 

One-Two-Go
Hotline1126
www.fly12go.com

Air Asia
Bangkok office

Tel. 0 2515 9999
www.airasia.com

Nok Air
www.nokair.co.th

 

 

 

The 12-hour journey from Bangkok can be made by either air-conditioned or non air-conditioned bus, leaving Bangkok’s Southern Bus Terminal for Phang-nga.

 

Tel. 0 2435 1199, 0 2435 1200
www.transport.co.th
 

 

 

Route 1: From Bangkok, take Highway 4, passing the provinces of Prachuap Khiri Khan, Chumphon, and Ranong, then drive straight to Phang-nga town, a total distance of 489 miles.

Route 2: From Bangkok, take Highway 4 to Chumphon, from there, take Highway 41 to Amphoe Tha Chang, then Highway 401 to Amphoe Ban Ta Khun, and Highway 415 to Phang-nga town.
 

 

Useful Links

 

Mu Ko Similan National Park

Mu Ko Surin National Park

Ao Phang-nga National Park

Khao Lak-Lam Ru National Park

Thai Airways International

One-Two-Go

Air Asia

Nok Air