Within the Strait of Malacca is Phang Nga Bay. Between the Malay Peninsula’s mainland and Phuket, this Thailand paradise can be found. There are stunning views throughout the area of Phang Nga Bay, and they beckon visitors to come to explore further. This is a place where you will discover native wildlife, unspoiled rivers, and some of the most meaningful caves in the world.
Moreover, a large portion of the bay is now protected, ensuring that this natural beauty will be with us for a long, long time. Phang Nga Bay and AO Phang Nga National Park are just two of many outdoor activities that can be enjoyed when visiting this incredible Thailand region.
The Journey to Phang Nga Bay
The majority of visitors to this area fly into Krabi International Airport or Phuket International Airport. From both places, you can quickly get to Phang Nga Bay with a boat. There are numerous boat tours available to the bay. The average tour usually takes you to James Bond Island and the gypsy village of Ko Panyee, among other area highlights.
You can also enjoy excursions like sea kayaking and snorkeling, including visits to the smaller islands on your tour. Tour-goers can book a tour based on their interests. From Bangkok, it is possible to take a bus that goes to Panga Gna. Those heading to Phang Nga Bay can also hire a boat from an adjacent boat terminal.
If you wish to visit the Phang Nga National Park immediately upon arrival, you can book a tour with Sayan, situated at the bus station. Many people will be offering tours at the bus station. You shouldn’t choose the first one you come across. Take some time to discuss those tours with the different operators to find the best one for you and your group.
Several various excursions are typically offered every day. The most common types of tours in Ko Panyi are full-day tours, half-day tours, and tours with an evening stay. Alternatively, you may find your needs better served by a sea-kayaking trip. There is a shorter route to Phang Nga Bay from Phuket or Krabi, but the prices are higher.
Where Does Phang Nga Bay Get Its fame?
The modern world has turned Phang Nga into a movie hotspot for worldwide movie buffs. Due to its roles in a few epic movies, it has become the most famous island in the bay. Featured in the film James Bond, The Island that the movie was played in became known as James Bond Island. In the feature film The Man with the Golden Gun, this needle-shaped limestone rock jutted out of the water. Despite its relatively small size, the bay was also presented as a new feature in Star Wars: Episode Three: Revenge of the Sith. The planet Kashyyyk was set against its distinctive look for the film.
Despite these movies becoming more famous, Phang Nga Bay has always been known for its natural beauty. People have been attracted to this area for years by the limestone cliffs, numerous caves, archaeological sites, and collapsed cave systems. One could walk from Phuket to Kabi a thousand years ago when sea levels were low. Today, visitors to the area can explore the bay’s many natural wonders, beaches to relax on, and several activities to fill one’s adventurous side.
The natural beauty and the Hollywood touch that are so inherent to the Phang Nga Bay area also make the area a destination that attracts many diverse cultures to co-exist within the local communities. Occasionally, they gather Nypa palms for thatching, fish, and befriend the foreign tourists who flock to the bay each year.
Phang Nga National Parks
By royal decree, the National Park of the Ao Phang Nga was established on April 29, 1981, in Phang Province. It was decided by proclamation 98, section 64, published in the Royal Gazette on the date cited above. Among its natural wonders are some of the coastal sections of Mueang Phang Nga District and the Takua Thing District.
Most of the park lies along with the Andaman Seas. There are many limestone tower karst islands in this area. In the film “The Man with the Golden Gun”, the Khao Phing Kan Island has been nicknamed James Bond Island for its relevant role. This park is famous for tourists due to its sheer sides and dramatic views of the islands. It also protects one of the most extensive native mangrove forests in Thailand.
Another area worth visiting is the Phang Nga Bay Marine National Park. A Ramsar site has been declared there since August 14, 2002. Ramsar sites are wetlands designated by the Ramsar Convention as having international importance. Interestingly, there are 42 individual islands in the bay, which is relatively shallow. These wetlands, comprised of 28 mangrove species, include shallow marine waters and forested wetlands and include shallow marine waters and forested wetlands.
These mangroves are composed of coral reefs and seagrass beds. Here you can see 88 species of birds in addition to 82 types of fish, three amphibians, 18 reptiles, and 17 mammals. The endangered black finless porpoise, endangered white-hand gibbon, dugong, Asian dowitcher, and Malaysian plover comprise some of these species. Many species are threatened or close to extinction globally in this area.
The Phang Nga Bay & James Bond Islands Visitors’ Tour
If you depart early enough, you will be able to enjoy the tranquil surroundings of the marine environment and take photos before other visitors arrive. You will be whisked away by a water taxi to the island of Hong Island, where you will kayak around a stunning green lagoon at your leisure. In their natural habitats, you will have the chance to observe beautiful birds and sleek silverfish. Next, you’ll visit spectacular Lagoon Cave and Diamond Cave on Panak Island before returning to the resort to finish your day and evening.
Day Out Activities in Phang Nga Bay
You will never be bored when you stay near Phang Nga Bay as there are countless activities you can enjoy doing. Besides the numerous recreational water activities that include simple fishing to snorkeling and rock climbing, Phang Nga also offers many restaurants with local cuisine, unique shopping experiences, and world-class resorts.
Trekking and Rafting
It is no surprise that trekking and rafting are big attractions in Khao Lak. Taking you off the beaten track and onto unspoiled rivers, you can use bamboo rafts to explore. You will see many species of natural wildlife along your journey. Hanging exotic fruits and exotic birds, as well as lizards, tropical birds, and water buffalos, adorn the landscape. A ride on an elephant across the hillside paths is also an option if rafting isn’t your thing. These experiences appeal to people of all ages.
A snorkeling trip along these sheer cliffs and clear waters is ideal. Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Leg’s nearby islands are a great day trip when staying in Phang Nga Bay. Many tropical beaches can be found in Phi Phi Don, while Phi Phi Leg has numerous coral gardens that are shallow enough so even a novice can go exploring the undersea world.
The experience of a jungle safari in Phang Nga is one you won’t soon forget. You will paddle down the river in a canoe, encountering birds, monkeys, and other native wildlife. There is also the option to ride on an elephant through the jungle. There’s no better way to see Phang Nga up close and personal than on an elephant.
Sea kayaking is the only way to reach fantastic worlds found inside the towering karsts in Phang Nga Bay. On sturdy inflatable rafts, guided tours will take you to the center of these natural wonders. To get there, you will paddle through small caves that will lead into caverns that will continually change because of erosion.
It’s hard to comprehend how these caverns were constructed since many of them defy logic. Your knowledgeable guides will also take you to look at the mangroves, Diamond Cave, Bat Cave and tell you about the unique creatures of the sea, including six and a half foot wide sea eagles.
Phang Nga Bay makes the ideal place for Chinese junk cruises. The journey from Phuket to Phang Nga Bay will take you aboard a traditional junk-rigged schooner. You will also have the opportunity to visit James Bond Island, the picturesque Gypsy Village, and more.
A Shopping Guide to Phang Nga Bay
A vacation isn’t complete without shopping. It is excellent to bring souvenirs home from a new destination, especially when visiting a new place for the first time. Many small shops and markets are located in Phang Nga Bay and surrounding areas. You can find some that offer only traveler attractions, while others give you an insight into the local culture.
It is possible to find tailor shops where one can buy made-to-measure clothes such as shirts, suits, and blazers. Mark One Tailor and Khno Lak are frequented by return visitors searching for form-fitting apparel. Dodee Koh Yao Noi, among other local market stalls, offers crafted goods at an affordable price.
You can buy gifts here, as well as tailor-made clothing and jewelry. Ohm Shop and Sale will be a favorite among bargain hunters. A friendly staff welcomes you to a clean and welcoming environment. The store has a great selection of goods on sale, with fair prices for their products.
It is a beautiful place to spend an afternoon at the Bang Niang Market. The customers include both locals and tourists looking for street food, quality wares, and souvenir items. Families will love the friendly, fun atmosphere, and there are several dining options within a short walk. In contrast, the Takuapa Flea Market is popular with locals rather than tourists.
A good understanding of local culture can be gained from this atmosphere. There are all sorts of items here, such as fresh fish, meats, and cooked vegetables. This flea market can be found in the Old Town section of Takuapa.
The Resorts on the Island of Phang Nga
Aleenta Phuket Resort and Spa
Located on one of Phuket’s most luxurious beaches, Aleenta Phuket Resort and Spa is among the country’s most awarded luxury accommodations. With their onsite Ayurah Wellness Centre and Epicurean Spa, you will get the peace and tranquility you deserve. You can enjoy casual dining at the Beach Lounge and The Edge all day and night, where you can have creative, contemporary dishes.
To refuel between meals, the Beach Lounge serves drinks and snacks. In addition to modern Thai dishes made with fresh, local ingredients, private dining can be arranged by contacting The Natai. Wi-Fi Internet access throughout the grounds and a fully equipped gym are available at no additional charge. Guests have the option of staying in apartments, lofts, villas, or suites with one or two bedrooms. All Phang Nga Bay visitors will find plenty of entertainment and activities at Siam Miramit.
Phuket’s Akyra Beach Club
Phuket’s Akyra Beach Club, directly on Natai Beach, offers peaceful waterside settings. This resort is located just 20 minutes north of Phuket International Airport, making it an ideal location for those arriving by plane. Among the 59 luxuriously appointed rooms, suites, or villas, guests can benefit from amenities such as a beach spa and a fully equipped gym.
Whether you are traveling for business, for weddings, or other special occasions, the Akyra Beach Club will accommodate you. These facilities can accommodate a wide range of parties and events. You can find activities like boating, diving, golf, and spiritual yoga in this area.