Phang Nga, Ko Panyi, Ao Phang-nga and Mu Ko National Parks
The province of Phang-nga is located some 788 kilometres from Bangkok. It covers an area of 4,170 square kilometres.
Phang-nga is a two-character province – land and sea – and packed with national parks that guard magnificent scenery with immensely different attractions.
Phang-nga: land and sea
Most famous is Ao Phang-nga National Park, a geological wonder filled with islets, sunken caverns and startling rock formations rising sheer out of the sea. The bay is extremely sheltered ideal for expeditions of sea canoes to explore the many fascinating caverns with their own eco-systems. It is also famous because Koh Panyi, a floating Muslim fishing village built on stilts by Indonesian fishermen, and Mu Ko Similan National Park and Mu Ko Surin National Park.
Phang-nga’s andaman coast offers parks of a different kind. The island groups of Surin and Similan are renowned for their beautiful unspoilt beaches and spectacular underwater scenery, attracting divers from around the world. Khao Lak is a coastal park full of birds, mammals and scenic waterfalls, with a number of hotel developments after Tsunami disaster in December 2004.
How to get Phang Nga
- First route: From Bangkok, take Highway No. 4, passing the provinces of Prachuap Khiri Khan, Chumphon, and Ranong, then drive straight to Phang-nga town. It is 788 kilometres from Bangkok. The trip takes around 12 hours.
- Second route: From Bangkok, take Highway No.4 to Chumphon, from there, take Highway No. 41 to Amphoe Tha Chang, then go straight to an intersection where a right turn is made to Highway No. 401, keep driving to Amphoe Ban Ta Khun for about 50 kilometres, and then take Highway No. 415 for 30 kilometres, take a right turn to Phang-nga town.
- Visitors travelling from Phuket should use Highway No. 402, passing Sarasin Bridge to Ban Khok Kloi, take a right turn to Amphoe Takua Thung. It is 87 kilometres from Phuket. The journey takes around 1 hour and 30 minutes.
There is no airport here. The closest ones are in Phuket or Krabi.
There is no train station here. You must catch a bus for Phunphin, near Surat Thani.
The State Railways of Thailand operates daily train services between Bangkok and Surat Thani. A trip to Phang-nga can be made by getting off at the Surat Thani Railway Station and then take on a bus for another two hours. For more information call Bangkok’s Hualamphong Railway Station at tel. 1690, 0 2223 7010, 0 2223 7020 or visit http://www.railway.co.th.
Buses from Phuket, Takua Pa and Krabi pass through Phang-Nga. During daytime there are many buses from the bus station to Phuket, Krabi, Takua Pa and Surat Thani. In the evening however there are hardly buses but if you’re lucky you might catch a bus on the Phuket-Krabi road. (4 km from the city) The phone number of the bus station is 076/412014
There are daily bus services from Bangkok to Phang-nga. Air-conditioned buses, varying in 3 types, depart from Bangkok’s Southern Bus Terminal at the following times:
- VIP Bus – 6.30 p.m.
- Standard 1 Bus – 7.30 p.m.
- Standard 2 Bus – 6.30 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Travelling time is 12 hours. For more information call the Southern Bus Terminal at tel. 0 2435 1199-200 or the Phang-nga Bus Terminal at tel: 0 7641 2300, 0 7641 2014.
The pier, Tha Dan, is 9 km south of the town.
From Phuket there are a variety of taxi and private car-hire services. However there is a stranglehold on many of these agencies through local “associations” that demand high prices and disallow competition. It is a common complaint that passengers are made to stop at local gem and/or travel agencies allowing the drivers to collect a commission. To avoid this – demand a meter to be turned on or agree to price ahead of time – with no stops. You may also used licensed and certified agencies. Khao Lak Taxi: http://www.khaolaktaxi.com
Thai Airways International operates Bangkok-Phuket flights daily. From Phuket, take a bus or rent a car to Phang-nga for about 58 kilometres. For more information, call Thai Airways at tel: 1566 or 0 2280 0060, 0 2628 2000 or Phuket office at tel. 0 7636 0444 or visit http://www.thaiair.com.
Bangkok Airways has daily flight connecting Phuket Airport with Pattaya and Ko Samui. For more information contact their Bangkok office at tel. 0 2265 5678. Reservation can be made at tel. 0 2265 5555 or Phuket office tel. 0 7622 5033, 0 7622 5034. Alternatively, browse its website at www.bangkokair.com for more flight details.
One – to – Go by Orient Thai operates a daily flight between Bangkok and Phuket Airport. Call 1126, Phuket office at tel. 0 7635 1460, 0 7635 1238 or visit www.onetwo-go.com for more information. (Currently no service)
Air Asia also offers several daily flights connecting Bangkok and Phuket Airport. Visit www.airasia.com or call 02 5159999 or Phuket office at tel. 0 7635 1428, 0 7636 9182 for reservations.
Nok Air has several daily flights between Bangkok and Phuket. Visit www.nokair.com or call 1318 to make your reservation. (Currently stop Bangkok – Phuket route).