Islands are homes to one-tenth of the earth’s population. Many people living in islands have unique cultures, and they get much of their well-being from their island’s abundant natural resources. Island biodiversity is significant to them from wetlands to mountain forests. The islands in Phang Nga Bay stand out in several ways. These include things like serene environments, fresh air, and beautiful limestone cliffs among others as captured in this article.
The Phang Nga Bay islands are located between the south of mainland Thailand and Phuket. There are many small islands between Phuket, Phang Nga, and Krabi. Currently, a significant portion of the Bay is under protection of the Ao Phang-Nga National Park. This means that its attractiveness and natural beauty is bound to stay for visitors who might want to explore the islands.
Culture as a tourist attraction
Phang Nga Bay is a famous destination because of its modern culture. The popular movie starring James Bond led the James Bond Island to be named after it. The place has several natural wonders to explore, including the famous limestone and needle-shaped rock projecting out of the water.
Geologists believe that ten thousand years ago, sea levels were so low that you could walk from Phuket to Kabi. Today, things have changed much with beaches and islands to explore.
The local communities attract tourists because of their unique, diverse, and numerous cultures. These people practice fishing, host international tourists, and harvest Nypa palm fronds to use in thatching.
Other tourist attractions
If you enjoy travelling to beautiful places, then you should consider visiting the Phang Nga Bay Islands. Serene environment, fresh air, stunning limestone cliffs, and rock formations will leave you breathless. The most popular place is the James Bond Island near Koh Phanak. There you can explore lagoons and caves. You may also decide to take a boat ride and enjoy views of the wide variety of tropical fish and corals.
Touring options include an underwater dive or just relax and enjoy the sandy beaches. A jungle safari, on the other hand, is an unforgettable experience. There are various forms of native wildlife, including birds and monkeys.
The Phang Nga Bay has national parks with limestone tower karst islands. Furthermore, the Phang Nga Bay marine national park is full of natural wonders. This makes the island to have a dramatic appearance and consequently a tourist attraction.
Phang Nga Town is a charming little town located in the shadow of a vast range of Karst. The Phang Nga province is full of hills and mountains covered with forest or plantations of rubber and palm oil. The edge of the bay is covered with mangrove and nipa palm forests. The beauty of the rain forests will leave you amazed.
These natural wonders have been showcased by the movie “The Man with the Golden Gun,” starring James Bond in 1974. The 400 kilometres square piece of land is in the Strait of Malacca was the epitome of the film.
In Phang Nga Bay, there are archaeological sites that reveal the 10000-year history when sea levels were lower. The place has over forty small islands (islets). The area is featured in Star Wars.
Beautiful Karst landscapes and tropical lagoons, as well as a sunset views over the limestone islands, will amaze you. At your time exploring the island, you may need to carry sunglasses, sunscreen, changing clothes, swimming attire, and a hat to enjoy the trip. You may need to have a local guide to show you around and probably paddle your sea cave canoe.
During your stay in Phang Nga Bay, there are several activities that you can engage yourself in. There are numerous restaurants to try. Travellers can go shopping and engage in many water activities. Whether you decide to paddle a canoe or board a speed boat, your experience will be breath-taking. You can also try riding an elephant across the hillside paths.
Various shops around the place will make you have a little taste of the local culture. The shops offer fair prices on numerous products and a variety of merchandise on sale. These markets include the Bang Nuiang market, which provides an excellent place to spend an excellent afternoon.
You may also opt to go to the Takuapa Flea Market. This market serves more locals than tourists. Located in the Old Town section of Takuapa, this market can offer fresh fish, meat, and fully cooked foodstuffs.
If you are looking for a luxury beach resort, you can try the Aleenta Phuket Resort and Spa. This award-winning venue has lavish beachfront retreats, where you can choose to do weddings or other fun activities. The five-star resorts offer unique services and facilities that you might want to share with a loved one. This place also has a fully equipped gymnasium, Wi-Fi internet access, and plenty of entertainment for visitors.
Swimming or snorkelling is a must-do activity in the crystal clear waters. Carrying a good camera with you and some cash, around 500bht to hire a long tail boat per person, will make your experience more memorable. When visiting the national park, you might choose to hire a rental car in the mainland near Phan Nga.
The Phang Nga West Coast is also a stunner. It has lovely sandy beaches. Big companies are investing in significant resort projects on the 30-kilometre-long beach. It runs north along Phang Nga coast from the Phuket Bridge. In Natai beach, there are small resorts scattered over many kilometres.
In Phang Nga Bay, only a seas kayak can fit in the many narrow tunnel caves that run deep into the rocky hongs. The experience is utterly sublime. A tourist has the option of taking a one-person tour. Kayaking trips are adventurous as a traveller is bound to see birds and monkeys.
Another must-see place in the Phang Nga region is the Similan Islands. The area is full of granite, weather-worn boulders that form many striking and unusual shapes. The city has nine solid granite islands lying more than sixty kilometres out to the sea.
Being far out in the Andaman Sea, the place is one of the best dive sites on the planet. Big boulders have toppled into the water creating an incredible topography for SCUBA divers and the different fish varieties.
The island has many sea caves. Visitors can tour the Mangrove cave, Diamond Cave, Oyster Cave, and Bat Cave. A Diamond Cave is covered in sparkling white rock, as the name suggests. The Oyster cave, on the other hand, is full of friendly monkeys.
Hong Island is a limestone island with lagoons and caves. The rock formations are interesting to look at, among them being Buddha and Piranha. As you canoe through the cave, you will be required to lie down and gaze up at the rock ceilings. You can also decide to jump out for a swim once you reach the inner lagoon. Panak Island is renowned for its wide variety of caves. The James bond island is known for its large limestone rock shooting out of the water. There is also the Lawa Island where you can get a beautiful white sandy beach and a breathtaking view of mountainous limestone islands.
Lawa Island is also an ideal place to take a swim because of its shallow waters. If you are looking for a weekend getaway escape from the mainland, Lawa is the place for you. By experiencing new cultures, adventures, and cuisine, you open your mind to the good things of life. Unique experiences are suitable for the soul.
Phang Nga Bay is calm especially during the monsoon season. The water is greenish, not that suitable for snorkelling, but perfect for swimming. To have the ultimate experience, you need to do your research well by signing up for the daily sea kayaking trips. Most visitors only tour the James Bond Island, and yet there are many picturesque venues to see and explore.
Phuket is 48 kilometers from Phang Nga Bay. Phang Nga Bay has a lot to offer, including a floating village, cuisines, amazing scenery rock formations, and more.
Around Phang Nga Bay
Phang Nga Bay is located within the Ao Phang Nga National Park. James Bond Island is also called Koh Tapu. Other islands in Phang Nga bay are Ko Sup, Ko Batang, Ko Yao Yai, Ko Nui, Ko Na Khae, Ko Nom Sao, Ko Boi Yai, Koh Panyee, Koh Hong, Ko Kudu Yai, Ko Sup among others.
Small islands are the essential sources of income. Their resourcefulness is over the top. They are comprised of a high proportion of coastal and marine areas.
Koh Panyee Island is famous for its remarkable Muslim fishing village. To avoid encounters with the tourist crowds, begin your boat rides from the northern end of Phuket.
Koh Panyee is a lunch stopover for many tourists on the James Bond Island tours. It is mainly composed of big, almost vertical limestone cliffs. These days, nearly half of the population in the area is engaged in the tourism industry.
Koh Panyee village is not very far from Phang Nga Bay Island. The main economic activities of the town are tourism and fishing. The place gets crowded from time to time. However, you may choose to visit outside the ‘rush hour’ period.
Koh-Tapu (James Bond Island)
The entire area surrounding the island is spectacular.
Modern culture has turned Phang Nga into an icon for movie buffs around the world. It has become the most famous island in the bay due in part to its roles in a few epic movies.
Samet Nangshe viewpoint
Samet Nangshe viewpoint is one of the best vantage points across Phang Nga Bay. At sunrise, the view is amazing from the 1.6 kilometres of mangrove to the chain of islands stretching out of sight.
Boating Phang Nga Bay
Phang Nga Bay is a good place for cruising, taking pictures of the impressive limestone cliffs and anchoring at safe places to bring food. The waters are calm throughout the year, adding to the beauty of abundant wildlife and scenic wonders.
Beginning your tour from Phuket, you will go past hundreds of limestone islands. You might decide to make a stop at James Bond Island and also at the beautiful lagoons of Talu Island. From there, you can take a canoe ride and walk through the peaceful caves for a close look at the limestone wonders.
You also have the option of carrying your food or enjoying the local cuisines at Koh Panyee village that floats on water. Moreover, you can prefer to swim or relax at Naka Island’s secluded beach.
Limestone cliffs of Phang Nga bay (From a Geographical Standpoint
Skeletons from a constant accumulation of marine organisms and chemical precipitation over millions of years lead to thick layers of calcium carbonate sediments. Limestone is primarily calcium carbonate with rare traces of silicates and other carbonates. Geological forces fracture the limestone beds creating exotic scenery.
Hongs of Phang Nga
Inside some of Phang Nga’s islands lies Hongs (means ‘rooms’). These microcosms are collapsed cave systems that are surrounded by towering limestone walls that are open to the sky. Mysterious islands such as Koh Hong and Koh Panak also have these features.
Getting to Phang Nga Bay
Beginning your journey from the East Coast of Phuket will immediately take you to the bay. Moreover, there are some sites where you can launch on the Phang Nga mainland. An example is the Ka Sohm Pier in that is located on the southern side of Phang Nga town.
Most people do their tours by chartering a yacht, joining a cruise, or booking a speedboat day trip.
Other Islands in Phang Nga
Most of the islands have caves that are accessible by a Kayak. Khao Khien Island has ancient paintings of boats and animals on rock walls. Koh Hong Island, on the other hand, is another island that is worth sailing to.
Another point to note is that most of the islands are uninhabited. One of the few inhabited islands, Koh Maak, near the top of the bay has a small community who practice fishing as their way of life. Remember to bring your food supplies with you and probably a body bag or sleeping items if you are on a mission to visit the island.
The Koh Yao Yai and Koh Yao Noi islands are right in the middle of Phang Nga Bay. Some of the activities you can engage in these areas include swimming, snorkelling, hiking, and kayaking.
Koh Yao Noi is more modern as it has shops, restaurants, and internet service. Before your trip, remember to withdraw some money as you may need to stay over. Remember your dressing and avoid drinking in public places as the locals are keen on maintaining their culture.
How to get to Koh Yao Islands
From the east coast of Phuket, You can get a ferry or a long tail boat. If you touch down at Phuket International Airport, you might opt to take a taxi, which will take you to the pier in around 25 minutes. The ferry leaves Phuket from 9.30 AM to 5 PM, and the fare starts from 50 baht.
The beaches are primarily located on the east coast. Mangroves and rice fields mostly cover the west coast. If you are interested in getting around Koh Yao, motorbikes and tuk-tuks are available for hire.
You can drive from Phuket to Phang Nga Bay. The journey is adventurous with dense vegetation and incredibly high cliffs. At the intersection of Karbi road and Phang Nga town is a beautiful park with an intricate maze of caves that are well paved.
The locals like to enjoy picnics near the cave. Drink and food vendors are all around the place. Make sure to watch out for the monkeys as they may steal your food.
Another notable landmark that you might be interested in is the cave of the reclining Buddha. Watch out for the naughty monkeys, which may pull your antennas and rubber strips from cars.
The islands have been inspirational and incredibly essential both today and in the past. Like other islands, Phang Nga bay is a biodiversity hotspot.
Phang Nga Climate
There are three seasons in Phang Nga. These include the hot season, the cool season (which is quite hot), and the rainy season (hot and wet).
Monsoon winds determine the climate. The directions of the prevailing winds dictate how the land and the oceans retain heat. During summer, the Asian landmass is warmer than the ocean. The direction of the prevailing winds changes from the northeast, thereby bringing good weather and drier air to Phang Nga.
The Cool Season
The cool season begins in November and ends in early February. This season is the best time of the year to visit the islands. During this period, there is lower humidity, very little rain, and lots of blue skies. Most of the visitors arrive on the island during the Christmas festive season and the New Year.
The Hot Season
This season begins in the middle of February and ends in early May. Some people find the temperatures a little bit too high and uncomfortable. However, the hotels lower their rates during this season.
The Rainy Season
Phang Nga is the second wettest province in Thailand. During this season, there is still plenty of sunshine in the region. This season is also responsible for the vibrant and beautiful rain forests.
The highest rainfall comes in October and September. The rains usually fall in short heavy bursts. In the six months of the rainy season, the area is generally very peaceful. Hotel rates are low as well as vehicle rentals, boat trips, and tour operators.