Phang Nga Bay is a bay in the Strait of Malacca between Phuket island and the mainland of southern Thailand. It's 400 square kilometres big with 42 islands, consisting of numerous limestone cliffs and cave systems. Large sections of the bay have been designated as a part of the Ao Phang Nga National Park since 1981 to protect the natural ecosystem.
There are a few ways to get to Phang Nga Bay if you're staying in Phuket. The easiest way is to join a tour from Phuket Island directly to the bay. In fact, if you're staying at Club Med Phuket, we can arrange a day trip cruise for you with transport from the hotel with lunch included; all you have to do is sit back and enjoy your cruise.
If you're more adventurous, you can drive from Phuket to Phang Nga town, and then get on a boat at the Surakul pier. Depending on where you start on Phuket Island, the drive to Phang Nga can take anywhere from one to two hours.
Phang Nga Bay is a famous Phuket attraction with many things to do there. Whether you just want to enjoy the natural scenery on a relaxing cruise, or to kayak into the numerous cave lagoons, there's definitely something for you.
There's nothing like cruising in the bay on a traditional Chinese Junk. With the unique sail on the boat and the gorgeous limestone cliffs around you, you'll feel like you're in a picturesque, traditional Chinese painting. You'll get to see all of Phang Nga Bay including Koh Ta-pu (Nail Island) or better known as James Bond Island for being featured in The Mand with the Golden Gun.
If you drive to Phang Nga, you can take a detour to Samet Nangshe Viewpoint, which is a hill with an unobstructed view of the whole bay. With it facing eastward, out to the bay, you can get a breathtaking view of the bay at sunrise. Plus, it's only a 30-minute drive away from Phuket.
Ko Panyi is an island village built on stilts over the water. It's a popular stop on island tours as you get to eat at restaurants and buy handicrafts here. The village backed by a single, large limestone monolith, making this village a sight indeed. This community is mainly Muslim, with about half the residents being fishermen and the rest being small entrepreneur catering to tourists.
Wat Suwan Khuha, with its huge reclining Buddha, is a must-visit if you're in Phang Nga. It's less than 10 minutes away from Surakul pier and is easily accessible. The temple is in a cave, which makes for an interesting and spiritual experience. If you drive there, just be careful of the monkeys who like to pull antennas from cars.
Hongs, or rooms in Thai, are the caves in some of the islands. These caves are mostly only accessible by kayak and have beautiful flora untouched by humans. Some caves have collapsed roofs, and with their soaring walls bathed in sunlight, feel like a magical, ancient world. You'll have guides accompanying you on the tour, so there's no risk of getting lost or injured.
With Phang Nga Bay being a top attraction in Phuket, it has to be on your travel list. You'll not only get to experience the beauty of a place unlike any other in the world, but also get to see the unique geographical formation, flora and fauna, and rich local culture. So pack your bags and we hope we can help you visit Phang Nga Bay soon.