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destination - Phang Nga

Map & Directory Fact Sheet
Phang Nga Overview
Situated on the Andaman coast, the province of Phang Nga is a diverse and natural wonderland endowed with some of the most beautiful national parks in the omega replica Classic whole of Thailand. Located just under 800 kms from Bangkok,there are nine national parks in the province of which Phang Nga Bay National Park is perhaps the best known for its dramatic limestone island formations (karsts). The most photographed island on the bay (and perhaps in Thailand) is the 'James Bond' monolith which featured in the 007 film 'The Man with the Golden Gun.'  
Getting there
There are no direct flights to Phang Nga Province but if you are looking to fly in from Bangkok or outside Thailand the most expedient way to do so is by landing at neighboring Phuket airport.   More >

There are no direct flights to Phang Nga Province but if you are looking to fly in from Bangkok or outside Thailand the most expedient way to do so is by landing at neighboring Phuket airport. If you are flying to or from the north and you have a window seat you should get some amazing glimpses of Phang Nga Bay and its dramatic limestone formations (karsts) that jut out of the sea. Flying to Phuket from Bangkok takes just over an hour and can be done by a domestic or regional airline such as Thai Airlines, Bangkok Airways, Nok Air and Air Asia For overseas visitors dozens of international carriers also fly directly to Phuket, making any need to travel via Bangkok avoidable. If you are visiting during the peak tourist season and you need to go through any immigration procedures be pre-warned that there may be a lengthy queue at the airport. From Phuket's airport to Phang Nga it's about an hour by car or bus. If you don't want to fly, there's a daily air conditioned bus trips that takes around 12 hours from the Thai capital. The AC buses usually leave in the evenings from Bangkok's Southern Bus Terminal. Buses also connect Phang Nga with other major provinces in the south such as Krabi, Trang and Phuket. For the independent traveler, hiring a car is an option if you can get beyond the challenge of driving in Bangkok. Once you are outside the city, driving is more user-friendly and the country has a good road system which offers two routes to choose from to get to get to Phang Nga. Car hire also offers a fun flexible way to see what Thailand has to offer. A Phang Nga -Bangkok car trip takes around the same amount of time as the bus. Trains also travel south from the capital but there's no direct rail connection with Phang Nga. After 12 hours time spent on a train you will need to get off at Surat Thani and from there catch a connecting bus to Phang Nga for a further two hours. There are cheap ferries that depart from Phuket to Phang Nga which take about three-quarters of an hour while long tail boats from the Thian Sin Pier in Phuket can be hired, it'll cost more and will take about one hour to get to Phang Nga. There are also various ways to travel by boat or bus to Khuraburi town from Phuket, just check with local tour operators what options are avaiable.
Seasons (when to visit)
Phang Nga has a tropical monsoon climate and is hot-warm 12 months of the year. There are mostly clear skies from November through to March which generally provide the best months to visit the island.   More >

Phang Nga has a tropical monsoon climate and is hot-warm 12 months of the year. There are mostly clear skies from November through to March which generally provide the best months to visit the island. However, with modern weather being unpredictable as it is, the rainy season of 2010 went against custom and extended until January of this year. Temperatures during the November-March are usually on average somewhere between 25c to 32c with any humidity being eased by a cool breeze. November typically heralds the end of the rainy season and the following four months are regularly rain free. The hottest period is during April-May when temperatures reach the mid-30s. The heat is welcomely relieved by stormy bouts of monsoonal weather, especially during May. While the months of June through to August are part of the rainy season the weather is largely fine until interrupted by intermittent heavy rains. However September is the wettest month of the year, and the large downpours lessen as the year moves into October, the third wettest month of the year. So tourists can expect some wet interruptions on the beach during these two months as the same for the wettish month of May. The Similan Islands are open November to May while the Surin Islands are open mid-November to mid-May.
How to Get Around
Pang Nga province's attractions are well spread apart and if you want to see as many of them as you can, then hiring a car from nearby Phuket or Krabi is a good option.   More >

Pang Nga province's attractions are well spread apart and if you want to see as many of them as you can, then hiring a car from nearby Phuket or Krabi is a good option. But if you choose to drive, the biggest challenge you will face comes in the form of local drivers. For some reason peaceful Thai mannerisms are lost when it comes to driving and many locals don't observe road rules. There are also often unwritten rules that are observed, i.e. if you drive a bigger vehicle you have the right of way. However it is very rare that you will see any road rage or Thais getting angry behind the wheel. If you are hiring a car and you have an international drivers licence, choices of car hire companies are numerous but just make sure you are fully and comprehensively insured. Driving in more remote areas is considered even more hazardous. Unless you are an experienced motorcyclist, the best advice is to avoid hiring a motorbike as the risks of becoming another statistic outweigh the benefits. Another recommended option to experiencing what Pang Nga province has to offer is through joining an organized tour group. In getting around Phang Nga town and other populated areas, you can get on board a Songthaew (a covered pick-up truck with benches in the back) or on a motorbike taxis who offer an alternative when travelling short distances. Busses can also get you through other parts of the countryside, from district to district. There's no regular boat services to the Similan Islands but touring or rented speedboats during permitted times take tourists there within two hours from the Khao Lak area. A four hour ferry service runs to the Surin Islands from a dock just north of Kuraburi town, between Takua Pa and Kapoe.
After Dark
The coastal towns of Phang Nga province have no equal to the nightlife found in neighboring Phuket (especially as experienced in Patong) and, thankfully so, some may say.   More >

The coastal towns of Phang Nga province have no equal to the nightlife found in neighboring Phuket (especially as experienced in Patong) and, thankfully so, some may say. Phang Nga province which is more recognised for its ecotourism and A laid back get away from it all ethos. The resort town of Kao Lak has open-air beer bars plus pub style establishments (which includes at least one Irish themed pub) and on Friday nights there's chance to see Muay Thai (Thai boxing) at the local boxing stadium. There are some nightspots offering live music such the very hip Happy Snapper which is a very welcoming venue that also offers some very decent cocktails. In addition there's Jerung Street at nearby Bang Niang Beach township which includes a number of bars. Beyond that Bang Niang Beach has a number of easy going establishments such of the unassuming Song's Bar and the Degree Bar which offers a real Thai experience. Outside of that, resorts of course have their own bars and lounges. Given that the sun sets in the west, having a cocktail at either Kao Lak or on Bang Niang Beach, and watching the sun go down over the Andaman Sea sounds absolutely ideal. Further south Phang Nga Town isn't really a touristy city but it does have some bars.
Attractions
Endowed with beautiful bays, sandy beaches, lush jungles and unspoilt islands, it's easy to appreciate that Phang Nga's natural beauty is the main drawcard for the thousands of travelers visiting this part of Thailand.   More >

Endowed with beautiful bays, sandy beaches, lush jungles and unspoilt islands, it's easy to appreciate that Phang Nga's natural beauty is the main drawcard for the thousands of travelers visiting this part of Thailand. With more than 40 dramatic limestone karsts (islands) rising out of its calm turquoise waters, Phang Nga Bay is considered the province's prime tourist attraction. Established in 1981 as a national park, the bay's limestone cliffs, semi-submerged caves, karsts formations and Thailand's largest mangrove forests can be explored by boats and canoes. Day trippers and package tourists flock from nearby Phuket and make up the grand share of travelers to the bay, many of whom are drawn to see the 'James Bond' island which was featured in the 1974 film 'The Man with the Golden Gun.' The film's villain - a deadly assassin with a third nipple - used the island as a secret hideout, not that the location is hush-hush anymore tourists complaining that the much visited isle is a 'tourist trap'. Many of the tour groups on the bay stop for lunch at Ko Panyi, a Muslim fishing village built mainly on stilts at the bottom of a lofty limestone precipice. Off the beaten track there are other quieter Muslim seaside villages around the bay such as Ban Ling and Ban Mai Phai which are worth a visit also if you have the means to do so. Khao Khian is one of numerous islands on the bay that travelers are taken to see examples of prehistoric rock art. Given the limestone character of Phang Nga Bay there are numerous caves worth visiting in the area which includes those that have been made into Buddhist temples. Further north of Phang Nga Bay is the resort town of Khao Lak which is a starting point for some of the best scuba diving in the Andaman Sea. The most popular diving sites accessible from Khao Lak are the Similan Islands (open November to May) and the Surin Islands (open mid-November to mid-May). Khao Lak also has some of Thailand's finest beaches and a breathtaking 125 sqr km national park on its doorstep. While numerous beach side resorts have developed around Khao Lak the area maintains a relaxed character with little in the way of a rowdiness that can be found in Phuket.
Activities
Given the natural beauties both on land and in the water it's all about getting out and about in Phang Nga.   More >

Given the natural beauties both on land and in the water it's all about getting out and about in Phang Nga. Eco-tourism is the catchword of the day and activities in Phang Nga include elephant trekking, white water rafting, cave trekking, bird watching, bamboo rafting or hiking through one of the many national parks. Kayaking and canoeing are among the most popular types of activities and the place where it is practiced in abundance is at Phang Nga Bay National Park. Many of the Phang Nga Bay tour vessels offer the chance for travellers to get off and into a canoe so you can get up close to the limestone islands known as 'karsts' and into the semi-submerged sea caves called 'hongs'. If you are looking for something more than an hour or so in canoe with the masses, there are many smaller groups who kayak for several days or overnight who visit quieter and more secluded areas of this amazing park which also includes mangroves swamps. The marine national parks that include the nine Similan islands and the more distant Surin Islands offer some of the best scuba diving sites in Thailand (which are sadly being diminished by illegal fishing). The Similan Islands are open November to May while the Surin Islands are open mid-November to mid-May. The waters off the province also offer opportunities for game fishing and for golfers there are a number of 18-hole golf courses in Phang Nga to choose from. Given that Phang Nga province is covered with limestone mounts and karsts, mountain climbing options are abundant with one standout being in Phang Nga Bay on the island of Koh Yao Noi which offers a good range of bolted or trad routes. Next to the Thai boxing stadium in the resort town of Khao Lak there is an open air gym run by a former Muay Thai and boxing champ who offers professional training and classes. For something a bit less strenuous enjoy a Thai massage at spa or visit some of the impressive Buddhist temples (wats) in the province, just remember to dress modestly.

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