Phang Nga Bay is the best place for cave exploration as this entire bay is filled with beautiful limestone caves and hidden cliffs that were only discovered in 1989. “Hong” means “room” in Thai and the Hongs of Phang Nga consist of a number of collapsed caves that can be found in the interior of Phang Nga Bay.
Venture deeper into these caves and you will find a majestic sight awaiting you: an open area with sun rays streaming in and illuminating the water below. There are several kayaking trips into The Hongs that will allow you to explore the rich flora and fauna on a boat at your own pace.
This experience is one that is unbeatable as you get to come upon the diversity of different animal and plant species within these limestone caves. Lie back on your kayak while you are in the cave and soak in the sights and sounds of what was once a hidden escapade from the world.
Another cave to visit while at Phang Nga Bay is the Buddha Cave, also known as Wat Suwan Kuha. This cave is located about 10 km before reaching Phang Nga town and is most recognisable by its large temple gate. There are also a lot of monkeys around the cave so be careful not to get too close to them!
Once you get past the decorated gate, you will find yourself at the feet of a cliff with a large cavern and high ceilings. This cave is home to a massive reclining golden Buddha that is about 15 m long! This temple is also adorned with images of the Buddha and other religious symbols.
Head deeper into the cave and you will find another smaller cave with a golden stupa and at the end of the cave, more stairs that open up to a lush forest and several other smaller caves. When you are here, take in the tranquility of the temple and greeneries and say hello to some of the cats lazing around too as you venture through this maze of inner peace. You will also find a monk meditating inside and you can choose to donate to the upkeep of the temple cave.
James Bond Island is another great sight to visit in Phuket that has become increasingly more touristy after a James Bond movie was shot there. Originally known as Koh Tapu, this area is home to beautiful rocks and caves and is also a landmark of Phang Nga Bay.
Next to the island, you will find the spectacular Koh Ping Ghan rock which contains some smaller caves inside. These caves are not as famous as the others but offer a great adventure for those who like exploring lesser-known paths. The beach area here also gives you a glimpse of James Bond island from afar which is a great sight!
There’s also “Lod Cave” nearby which you can visit on a kayak/canoe, as well as a mangrove forest within this cave. Upon emerging from the cave, you will find several rocky statues of Khao Ma Ju and Khao Nom Sao as well as the Elephant Mountain. Here you will also get to see a sea-gypsy village and observe their daily life for a truly local experience.