Phang-nga is located immediately north of Phuket, covering an area of 4,170 sq kilometers. The province’s main attractions stem primarily from its geological formations and have an extraordinary number of islands, caves and rocky outcrops. Its most notable landmarks are the national marine parks of Ao Phang-nga, Mu Ko Similan and Mu Ko Surin.
Phang-nga’s mainland is also absolutely a place to discover with major sights of magnificent caves, waterfalls, temples and the archaeological site of Ban Thung Tuek.
James Bond Island
James Bond Island, locally known as Ko Tapu is part of Ao Phang Nga National Park. Since 1974, it has become popular and was called James Bond Island. It was featured in one of the James Bond movie The Man with the Golden Gun.
Ko Panyi (also known as Koh Panyee) is a fishing village, being built on stilts by Indonesian fishermen. The population consist of around 1,600 people, descended from 2 Muslim families from Java. Fishermen were doing their daily routines by going out to catch fishes in the sea and crabs in the nearby mangrove island.
The village has a Muslim school, a mosque, a market and a floating football pitch. Nowadays, this is one of the main attractions, often serving as a lunch stop with fresh seafood from those of large restaurants. There are various stalls selling souvenirs.
Koh Phanak is one of the favorite islands for kayaking and canoeing. It suits travelers who love to admire the sights of limestone, cliffs with various figures and its numerous caves and lagoons.
These fabulous microcosms, hidden realms rich in flora and fauna, are collapsed cave systems open to the sky and surrounded by towering limestone walls. Over millions of years of constant rain, the calcium carbonate that builds thick layers of sediment and the heat and pressure of its own weight has resulted in the formation of these thick limestone.
The pineapple plantation is located mainland about 10 minutes drive from Sarasin Bridge which linked between Phuket island and the mainland. Fresh pineapples are sold next to the plantation.
Monkey Cave Temple
Monkey Cave Temple or locally known as Wat Suwan Kuha Temple is located not far from Raman Waterfall National Forest. There is a dominant figure of a large reclining Buddha, a few small Buddha images and a big Chedi which contains bones of the Na Takuathung family who governed this area about 160 years ago and arranged for the construction of a shrine in this cave. There is an entrance fee to enter the temple. After climbing up the stairway of the temple, it will lead to a cave with limestone. Be caution with slippery surface around the cave.
Visitors can feed the monkeys and of course, there are also people selling fruits outside the entrance of the cave.
International Tsunami Museum
Khao Lak was the hardest hit by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, resulting in the death of 4,000 people including many foreign tourists. After the tsunami occurred, Thai navy boat 813 lies beached almost 2 km inland from Bang Niang Beach. It was on patrol, serving as a guard to a grandson of the king, Bhumi Jensen when he was jet skiing in front of La Flora Resort. He could not be saved from the powerful waves and only his mother, Princess Ubolratana and sister had survived the incident by fleeing to the upper level of the resort.
Boat 813 was carried inland and come to rest opposite Bang Niang’s marketplace. The area is currently been renovated and included a museum to dedicate to the events of Boxing Day 2004.
If you have extra free time, take a swim in the Ton Pling Waterfall or enjoy the scenery along the river on bamboo rafting. Those attractions are not far apart and will take only up to 5-10 minutes drive.