Planning on taking a trip to Phang Nga, Thailand? Have you been reading up on what there is to see and do there, and feel a little overwhelmed?
No worries. As long as you hit these seven must see places in Phang Nga, you can see the rest of the things on your list afterwards.
Where is Phang Nga, Thailand?
Just in case you are still a little unsure as to where Phang Nga actually is in relation to Bangkok, it is located on both the Andaman Sea and Phang Nga Bay in the south of Thailand, and is 764 kilometers (474 miles) from Bangkok by road.
The two easiest ways to get to the province from Bangkok are either by public bus, with several buses running every day, or by flying into Phuket International Airport and then taking a taxi or a bus. Phang Nga is around an hour’s travel from the airport.
The Seven Must See Places in Phang Nga
Surin Islands National Park — If you want to see one of the most beautiful areas of Phang Nga, then Surin Islands National Park is a must see.
You can take a boat from any of Phang Nga’s major piers and, once there, you can stay a few days in bungalows or in a beach side tent. A bungalow is around 2,000 baht per night, and tents start at 400 baht per person. Of course, you can also take your own tent, and will then only pay a 100 baht fee per night’s camp.
Snorkeling and diving are the reasons most people head to Surin Islands National Park, as it has some of the best in Thailand. Either that, or just for a lazy holiday relaxing on a white sandy beach and paddling around in the crystal clear water. Do note, the park is closed every year during the rainy season — 16 May-15 October.
Similan Islands National Park — If you are in Phang Nga for a back-to-nature holiday, and most people are, after a trip to Surin Islands you can head on to Similan Islands National Park.
A one-day boat trip will give you a tour of the islands, with a stop off on a lovely sandy beach for a swim and for lunch. It is a little touristy, with lots of boats coming and going and many tourists wandering around but, even with that, taking a boat trip to Similan Islands National Park is still a fun thing to do. Especially because everyone is in such a good mood, and the location is one of the most beautiful you will ever see.
Starting in 2018, you will also likely encounter far less people on these trips as Thai authorities are limiting the number of people allowed to visit the Similan Islands National Park due to the environmental damage caused by too many visitors in the past.
In that vein, overnight accommodation in the national park has also been demolished, so it is no longer possible to stay here. The park is closed during rainy season, so don’t expect to be able to take a trip if that is when you will be in Phang Nga.
Khao Na Yak — Khao Na Yak is known for its mangrove forests and deserted sandy beaches, and is a beautiful place to walk and to snorkel. Especially as there are far less tourists in this area of Phang Nga.
If you are looking for a quiet, calm and, most importantly, less touristy area of Phang Nga, then Khao Na Yak is a good choice.
There are also several beautiful resorts on Khao Na Yak where you can stay overnight, or for several days if you really enjoy a less-traveled spot.
Samed Nangshe Viewpoint — A must see place in Phang Nga is the Samed Nangshe Viewpoint, especially if you are willing to get up early to enjoy the sunrise.
Once there, you will have a magnificent view out over the ocean and the enormous limestone formations jutting out of the water.
There is a fee to be able to access the Samed Nangshe Viewpoint, as it is on private land, but it is definitely worth the 30 baht (Thai) or 50 baht (foreigner) just to experience that stunning view and to be able to get some gorgeous photographs.
Koh Ta Poo (James Bond Island) — A little warning on this one as it is one of the most touristy trips available from Phang Nga, especially when you arrive on Koh Ta Poo, otherwise known as James Bond Island due to the Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun being filmed there.
Particularly when, as the boat pulls in, all you will see are tacky souvenir stalls and hordes of tourists.
Koh Ta Poo is still one of the must see places in Phang Nga, however, as the boat trip to it is gorgeous, the tiny island is actually interesting, and you will also visit the amazing Koh Panyee (see below) — the floating Muslim fishing village — where you can wander around, enjoy a cold drink or a nice lunch and, yes, do a little shopping.
Koh Panyee — Koh Panyee is a floating Muslim fishing village built by Indonesian fishermen in the 18th century. The village is out on the water, constructed of mainly wood and metal, and is built on stilts.
It is one of the most famous and most unusual tourist destinations in Thailand, with tourism helping the 1,685 Muslims still living on Koh Panyee survive as their ability to earn a living from fishing declined.
Koh Panyee even has a now-famous floating football field made from planks of wood and attached to the side of the village. It is here where the school children on the island play football and, play so well apparently, they have won regional championships seven times.
The island also has some exceptionally good fish restaurants, which are often a stopping off point for lunch on many of the organized boat trips that come here.
Wat Suwan Kuha (Cave Temple) — Wat Suwan Kuha is one of my favorite must see places in Phang Nga as it is known for its enormous reclining Buddha, for its magnificent and quite extensive limestone cave system and, of course, for the hordes of wild monkeys roaming around the area.
The Buddha in the limestone Wat Suwan Kuha is 15 meters in length, with other beautiful Buddha images you can also see scattered around the cave complex.
The limestone temple is also a wonderful place to visit in the heat of the day, as it is one of the cooler places in Phang Nga. Thais in particular love the cave temple, as it was visited by the country’s beloved King Bhumibol Adulyadej back in 1959, as you will see from a variety of photographs of the king displayed in the caves.
Watch Thai singer Art Thomya’s video below for more about these seven must see places in Phang Nga, and follow him on YouTube as he has many other gorgeous videos of places to visit in Thailand and around the rest of Asia.