Phang-nga, a seaside province by the Andaman Sea with scenic views of forests and islands. The province offers superb natural beauty both onshore and underwater.
The province of Phang-nga is located some 788 kilometres from Bangkok. It covers an area of 4,170 square kilometres. It is administratively divided into 8 Amphoe (districts): Muang, Khura Buri, Thap Put, Kapong, Takua Thung, Takua Pa, Thai Mueang, and Ko Yao.
Distances from Amphoe Muang to Other Districts :
The outer islands of Phang Nga are considered to be one of the world best scuba diving grounds. Popular trips are liveaboard diving excursions to Similan Islands, home of the most beautiful and colorful soft corals in the world plus a whole range of coral fish, manta rays and other exotic marine animals. Visibility is often more than 100 feet and the warm water temperature doesn't really require a wetsuit, though only accessible during the months of October-May. The nine Similan Islands became a national marine park in the mid-1980s and the name imilanis thought to derive from a Malaysian word meaning ine Accordingly, the islands are called Koh 1 to Koh 9 based on their location from south to north, with the southermost one being Koh 1. The park headquarters and tourist facilities are located on Koh 4. At Koh 9, underwater grottoes and swim-through tunnels add to the islandsappeal for divers.
The remote Surin Islands consist of 5 islands and is also another superb scuba diving sites with a pristine marine ecosystem. The islands are virtually uninhabited, except for a few sea gypsies. The surronding sea offers and outstanding array of soft corals and frequent sightings of rays and the elusive whale sharks. It is also a marine national park.
Aside from the spectacular limestone cliffs and islands of unusual rock formations, the Phang Nga Bay Marine National Park has other interesting attractions. The bay is home to a village of Muslim sea gypsies living on Panyi Island. About 200 families live on this tiny island with their homes built on stilts above the water. Tham Lot is a 50-m long sea tunnel through a limestone mountain with stalactites hanging from the roof and is accessible by a small boat or canoe/ kayak.
The island of Koh Khao Phing Kan (Cliffs Leaning on Each Other Island) and nearby Koh Tapu (Nail Island) in the Phang Nga Bay were made famous in the James Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun (1974) and are the highlights of numerous boat tours. The later island is a isolated, sheer, thin stack that just appears from the water and has some forest scrubs clinging to the cracks.
The holy Wat Tham Suwan Kuha (Cave Temple) houses a reclining Buddha, tiny shrines, and chedis interspersed among the stalactites and stalagmites in the cave.
There are many interesting attractions:
Hat Bang Sak , located in Tambon Bang Muang on Phetkasem Road, on the Thai Mueang - Takua Pa section, between Km.76-77 and going down a side road for another hundred metres. The beach of Bang Sak has clean white sand and stretches along a grove of shady pines. Accommodation and restaurant are available on the beach.
Hat Khao Lak , 32 kilometres from Takua Pa, is now an interesting destination for domestic and overseas tourists. It has an advantage of beautiful, long beach of Andaman Sea and green mountain of Khao Lak-Lamru National Park parallel to the coast. The accommodation of Takua Pa along Khao Lak and Bang Sak Beach are built in the original southern architecture style. With the combination of the hospitality of local people who love in nature and environment, seaside town of Khao Lak akuapa has its unique and charms of attracting tourists to the area.
Attractions on Ko Yao Noi include:
Hat Pa Sai , situated 7 kilometres from the District Office on Ko Yao Noi. This white sandy beach is covered with shady trees. From Hat Pa Sai, a scenic view of the islands of Krabi province can be seen in the distance.
Hat Tha Kao , situated 5 kilometres from the District Office on Ko Yao Noi. The beach features boulders, rocks, and pebbles of various shapes, size, and coloration. During the low tide, you can walk to another small island nearby.
Attractions on Ko Yao Yai include:
Ao Ti Kut, located at Ko Yao Yai. This bay has a white sandy beach. To the north of the bay, there is a beautiful rocky cape with a beach lined with pine trees.
Ao Klong Son Offering a beach of fine, white sand and shady pine trees. On the left end of the beach is a colourful rock formation with equally beautiful multi-coloured pebbles. Swimming and snorkelling to see beautiful coral is recommended.
Ao Hin Kong , situated on Ko Yao Yai. It is a shady beach lined with Cotyletobium trees. This bay is home to young rays, which makes it unsuitable for swimming. Ao Hin Kong is also a habitat of Muslims who earn their living from fishing.
Ao Lan , the bay offers a beautiful beach, ideal for swimming. To the north, there is a cape which has a steep cliff and at the base of the cliff, the water is quite deep. Boat riding is the most convenient mode of transport to get there.
Ao Sai is blessed with powdery white sand. The bay also has beautiful rock formations. Swimming can be enjoyed.
Hat Lo Pa Raet features a long stretch of a white sandy beach teeming with groves of coconut trees. To the north of the bay is a cape with a beautiful rock formation and the water around the cape is suitable for swimming.
Laem Nok Ok , located on Ko Yao Yai. The beach here has rock formations and pebbles of many colours. Swimming is recommended.
How to Get There
To get to Ko Yao Noi, visitors can take a ferry departing from Phuket Bang Rong Pier at 11 a.m., 12 noon, 1 p.m. 2.30 p.m. and 5 p.m. On return, the ferry departs from Ko Yao Noi at 7 a.m. and 7.30 a.m. One-way fare is 40 baht. The trip takes 45 minutes.
Travelling to Ko Yao Yai, visitors need to ride a ferry from Phuket Thian Sin Pier. The ferry leaves the pier at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. On return, the ferry departs from Ko Yao Yai Lo Chak pier at 12 noon. The trip takes an hour. One-way fare is 50 baht.
There are also long-tail boat shuttle services between Ko Yao Noi and Ko Yao Yai. The trip takes 10 minutes.