Phang Nga Bay, Phuket, Thailand (with Map & Photos)

Phang Nga Bay Thailand

Phang Nga Bay
is part of the province of the same name, located near Phuket Island (about 100 km). In recent years, the bay has become a popular tourist destination in Southern Thailand. This place is distinguished by the incredible beauty of the landscape; from the emerald color of the sea, karst rocks rise like towers - there are more than forty islands here. This is without a doubt one of those must-see places if you are vacationing in Phuket or traveling to Southern Thailand.

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Phang Nga Bay Thailand

History of Phang Nga Bay

The karst cliffs of Phang Nga Bay were once part of a huge coral reef stretching from the shores of Australia to Southeast Asia. Due to natural biological processes, the coral reef is petrified. And geological processes pushed rocks out from under the water and formed lagoons, caves, and islands of stunning beauty, only a few of which are available for visiting.

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Phang Nga Bay Thailand

During the reign of King Rama II, the surrounding territories, including today's Phuket, were occupied by the Burmese. This led to the fact that most of the population fled to the neighboring province of Kraphu Nga. But in 1824 Siamese troops defeated and expelled the invaders and King Rama III renamed the territory, which in 1933 acquired the status of Phang Nga province.

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Phang Nga Bay Thailand

Until the 19th century, the islands of the province were a favorite destination for pirates and smugglers from Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Burma. And not surprising, because this is a great place to hide the loot, or hide yourself.

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Phang Nga Bay Thailand

Flora and fauna of Phang Nga Bay

In 1981, the bay acquired the status of a national park. In 2002, Phang Nga Bay Marine National Park became a protected area of ​​global ecological importance and is protected by the Ramsar Convention. The national park includes shallow marine waters, mangroves, reed beds, and coral reefs.

The fauna of the park is very rich. The national park is home to at least 88 species of birds, 82 species of fish, 18 species of reptiles, 3 species of amphibians, and 17 species of mammals. Among the animals, there are endangered species such as the porpoise, white-handed gibbon, and sea cow.

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Phang Nga Bay Thailand

Phang Nga Bay landmarks

In excursion tours to the province of Phang Nga, it is proposed to get acquainted with three sights: caves, a sea gypsy village, and James Bond Island.
  • Caves
Some of the entrances to caves and lagoons are so narrow that you can only get inside by small canoes or by swimming. The Thais call the caves Phang Nga Bay Hong, which literally means "room".

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Phang Nga Bay Thailand

  • Koh Panyee Sea Gypsy Village
Quoting from Wikipedia, we report that Ko Panyi (also known as Ko Panyee) is a fishing village in Phang Nga province, Thailand, notable for being built on stilts by Indonesian fishermen. The village is home to 360 families or 1685 people, descended from two Muslim families from Java.

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Phang Nga Bay Thailand

The buildings of the village of Ko Panyi are placed on wooden piles. The locals earn their living by fishing, trade, and tourism. Even though the place looks quite original, it is a lively and cute village that has everything you need for life: hospitals, schools, restaurants and even a football field in the middle of the sea!

Boats are everywhere, boats and boats again. The boat is the main form of transport that locals can use to get somewhere.

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Phang Nga Bay Thailand

Local vendors sell souvenirs and snacks in stalls and stalls. Walking through the narrow streets of the village, with every step you discover something completely new. Some tourists stay here for a couple of days to better feel the unique atmosphere and flavor of the place.
  • James Bond Island
The island became the hallmark of Phang Nga Bay after the release of the movie "The Man with the Golden Gun", the main character of which is James Bond. The island got its new name in honor of Agent 007. However, it should be noted that the island has appeared in other equally famous films, such as "Star Wars: Episode Three - Revenge of the Sith".

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Phang Nga Bay Thailand

When and How to Visit Phang Nga Bay

Compared to other popular destinations from Phuket like the Phi Phi Islands and the Similan Islands, the sea in Phang Nga Bay (Thailand) is relatively calm all year round. There are no such waves here as in Similan and Phi Phi, therefore the place is recommended for visiting all year round. On the other hand, in Phang Nga Bay, the water is not so clear and the sand on the beaches is not so white. So this is not the best place for diving and snorkeling. Since Phang Nga Bay is very different from other popular tourist destinations, it is not surprising that many visitors to Phuket prefer to see them all at once during their holidays.

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Phang Nga Bay Thailand

Three options to visit Phang Nga Bay

  • Renting a yacht or catamaran is expensive and takes time to prepare.

  • Independently - not very expensive, but it takes time to prepare and organize.

  • An excursion - is inexpensive, and does not require much time and preliminary organization.
Rent a yacht or catamaran. Phang Nga Bay, Thailand is one of the best places to visit by yacht or catamaran. And there are three reasons for this: it is not far from Phuket, it is beautiful, and if you are planning a two-day cruise with an overnight boat, then in the water area of ​​the bay you will be protected from the waves. (Best of all on a catamaran - the rolling is practically not felt on it).

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Phang Nga Bay Thailand

Renting a yacht or catamaran is the most expensive option. And even though many companies are offering such sea cruises in Phuket, you still have to spend time preparing for this event.

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Phang Nga Bay Thailand

On your own. For an independent, inexpensive trip to Phang Nga Bay, you can rent a Thai longtail boat at Surakul Pier, in Phang Nga province, Thailand. This option is convenient for large companies; it will be possible to save on the fixed cost of the boats. It is also a good option if your goal is to spend the night in Koh Panyee village.

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Phang Nga Bay Thailand

With a guided tour. If you are relaxing together, alone, or with a small family and you like a budget option, then an excursion is for you. Often excursions to Phang Nga Bay are called a tour to James Bond Island, which is, in principle, the same thing. There are three types of excursions to Phang Nga. By cruise ship, speedboat, and Thai longtail boat. There are also two-day sea cruises on high-speed ships from Phuket with a visit to the bay, stopping at the beaches of Krabi and calling on the Phi Phi Islands.

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Phang Nga Bay Thailand

All options have their pros and cons, and if your only goal is to visit the bay, then we recommend visiting Phang Nga on a large cruise ship. Usually, excursions on such ships devote more time to exploring the caves and canoeing. They are also better protected from bad weather and do not shake on them like on a speedboat or Thai boat. Which makes cruise ship travel a great option for families with children.

Phang Nga Bay Map