Phang Nga – About Phang Nga in Thailand

If you hear about Phang Nga as the ideal Thai vacation spot, it should come as no surprise. Phang Nga is considered to be one of the most beautiful and interesting locales in all of Thailand. Located next to the Andaman Sea on Thailand’s west coast, the unspoiled natural surroundings are a traveler’s dream come true. As remarkable as the stunning forests and mountains of the region are the friendly warmth and gracious hospitality you will be greeted with by the local residents. The name Phang Nga today refers to both the province and also its capital, formerly known as Kraphu Nga. In this province you will find a mixture of peoples, including ethnic Chinese Thai, Buddhists, Muslims and also the indigenous Moken Sea Gypsies. The area is very peaceful considering that so many different races are living together, and the majority religion is Islam.

 Phang Nga, Thailand Thailand,  Phang Nga
 

Celebrations

One of the benefits of living among such a mix of cultures and religions is that there always seems to be some kind of celebration going on, as the various holidays are observed. Although a good number of the locals do speak a bit of English, there are some that have had limited contact with foreign tourists and speak their own colorful native dialects. Of course all this will be very interesting for you as a tourist. However, lately there have been complaints from some residents, who worry that their village and traditional culture are being treated as some kind of performance. This is particularly so among the Moken. Please bear this in mind when visiting Phang Nga. You are witnessing authentic cultural observances that are important to their participants, so it’s only good manners to behave respectfully.

Getting there

You have quite a choice of transportation to Phang Nga. If you plan to come by plane, you can fly to Phuket or Krabi, since there is no airport in the Phang Nga area itself. You will then continue on by car or boat. You might consider renting a car and making your way from Bangkok, especially if there are 2 or more people to share the driving. It’s about a 12 hour drive altogether but with a smooth road and fascinating scenery, you’ll have a great opportunity to experience the country from a different perspective. By train, you travel to the town of Surat Thani and from there continue on by bus for the last 2 hours of the trip. There are quite a few buses available during the day, generally air conditioned and quite comfortable. Chat with the other passengers to get travel tips and other useful information.

In Phang Nga itself, you can rent a car or a bike to get from place to place, or travel by songthaew. You may want to hire a driver to take you on some special outings. Consult one of the local travel agents for help in organizing excursions and transportation.

Phang Nga in Thailand Thailand,  Phang Nga
 

Activities

There is so much to do in Phang Nga, your biggest problem will be how to squeeze in all the activities you’d like to sample. So start with the obvious – the beach. Swim, sunbathe, and snorkel to your heart’s content. For the ultimate in relaxation, indulge in the high quality Thai massage and beauty treatments available. After all, it’s your vacation. If you are into diving, try heading out to the Similan Islands for a great experience. The coral reefs here are in good shape and beautiful to behold. There are also underwater mountains and other exciting sights, accessible to beginning divers as well as veterans. The Surin islands are an excellent location for snorkeling. Once again, it’s recommended to arrange excursions through a reliable local travel agency.

Canoe trips are a fantastic way to explore the waters of Phang Nga and get a close up view of the incredible rock formations that protrude from the sea. The canoe’s diminutive size allows you the exciting experience of paddling right inside the watery caves. Visit Khao Lak National Park, which is not far away, for some more enjoyable boating or strolling through the woods. Either way, you will see some lovely scenery. In the national parks at Si Phang Nga and Khao Lak Lamru, you can hike in the jungle to see the local animals and waterfalls.

Accommodation

Plan the major attractions for you and your companions in the area – snorkeling, diving, fishing trips, zoo visits and so on – and try to book a hotel that is close to them. Check with the staff of the hotel where you choose to stay in order to find out more about lesser known attractions nearby. If you are renting an apartment or bungalow, you can get this information from a travel agent. The local bars and restaurants provide a relaxed environment to taste some authentic Thai food and have a good time. Visit Phang Nga from November to April for the best weather. Although the rainy season will begin in May, you always have the option of visiting then to take advantage of lowered prices and deserted beaches. The good thing about Phang Nga is that there are always interesting activities there.

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