The province of Phang-nga is located some 788 kilometres from Bangkok. It covers an area of 4,170 square kilometres.
Phang-nga is a province with two characters - land and sea - and packed with national parks that guard magnificent scenery with immensely different attractions.
Most famous is Ao Phang-nga National Park, a geological wonder filled with islets, sunken caverns and startling rock formations rising sheer out of the sea. The bay is extremely sheltered ideal for expeditions of sea canoes to explore the many fascinating caverns with their own eco-systems.
Phang-nga's andaman coast offers parks of a different kind. The island groups of Surin and Similan are renowned for their beautiful unspoilt beaches and spectacular underwater scenery, attracting divers from around the world. Khao Lak is a coastal park full of birds, mammals and scenic waterfalls, with a number of hotel developments after Tsunami disaster in December 2004.
Ao Phang-nga National Park or Phang-nga Bay
covers a total area of approximately 250,000 rai in Amphoe Mueang Phang-nga, Amphoe Takua Thung, and Amphoe Ko Yao. It is Thailand’s second marine national park where most of the area is sea water and islands of limestone mountains of different shapes and beauty. It is also the home of mangrove forest and a breeding area of marine animals. It was declared a national park on 29 April, 1981. December to April is the most appropriate period to visit the Park whereas May to October is the period of heavy rainfalls and strong waves.
Interesting Attractions within the National Park:
Ko Panyi is a small island with a plain of approximately 1 rai and 200 houses. Most of the dwellers are Thai Muslims, earning their living by fishing and selling souvenirs and food to visitors. There is a school and public health centre, as well.
Ko Phanak is a beautiful island with stalactite and stalagmite caves and a small tiered waterfall inside.
Khao Phing Kan is an island on the beach that derives its name from the fact that a stone mountain split in two and the smaller part slid down, so that its base was buried into the soil while the top parts still lean against each other. The scenery behind Khao Phing Kan is very picturesque with “Khao Tapu”, otherwise known as “James Bond Island” is seen in the sea in the background, looking like a nail – Tapu – stuck into the water. Admission for climbing Khao Phing Kan is 200 Baht for adults and 100 Baht for children.
Khao Ma Chu is on the way to Ko Panyi and looks similar to a dog, with a head, body, and a hairy tail.
Khao Khian or Rock Paintings is on the way to Ko Panyi and houses rock paintings on the cliff of various animals believed to have been painted by sailors who moored their ships here to take shelter from the monsoon. According to the Fine Arts Department, the paintings are at least 3,000 years old.
Tham Lot is a mountain similar to Ko Thalu. The opening of the cave is approximately 50 metres wide and 40 metres high, through which a small boat can sail to the other end of the cave. There are weird stalactites on the cave’s ceiling.