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Phang-nga Bay or Ao Phang-nga National Park

The Phang-nga National Park covers a vast area both onshore and offshore of about 250,000 rais (100,000 acres), covering the areas of Amphoe Mueang, Amphoe Takua Thung, and Amphoe Ko Yao. It was declared a national park on 29th April B.E. 2524 (1981). Ao Phang-nga National Park is the second seacoast national park after Tarutao National Park. It has striking scenic views because of a mass of limestone formations scattered around in the sea near the shore. Also, as a result of natural changes; caves and rock formations have been formed. The park is also fertile with mangroves. Best time to visit is between December and April. The most popular way to visit is a boat ride to various islands, which include:

Ko Panyi is a small island made from limestone hills and plains. This is an interesting Muslim community. There are about 200 households of fishermen. On the island, there are many restaurants and souvenir shops.

Ko Phanak is a beautiful island with caves that house stalactite and stalagmite formations as well as small cascade, which flows onto several tiers.

Khao Phing Kan Named so because of its nature of being split into two halves. The smaller rock slid down, with its foundation stuck under the ground and the upper parts still leaning against each other. Behind the mountain is a superb scenery. Looking into the sea one finds “Khao Tapu”, a nail-shaped island, a solitary pillar in the sea. It is the most remarkable attraction of Ao Phang-nga National Park.

Khao Machu, a striking appearance rock formation is located on the way to Ko Panyi. It resembles a dog; its head, body, with a bushy tail.

Khao Khian, is on the way to Panyi Island. On the cliff which stands above the sea, there are pre-historic paintings featuring various kinds of animals. A study by the Department of Fine Arts has indicated that these paintings are over 3,000 years old. They are assumed to have been painted by seamen who use this place to escape from the monsoon.

Tham Lot is a lofty limestone cave with a giant hollow whereby boats can pass through. In a hollow, there are numerous stalactite formations on its ceiling, beyond the hollow is a beautiful sight of the mangrove forest.
Ko Hong, with big and small mountains. Sailing to this island gives you a feeling of being surrounded in a large hall with two doors. It will give you an immense feeling of the power of nature’s creation.

How to Get There

Ao Phang-nga National Park is situated 12 kilometres from Phang-nga town. Travel 8 kilometres from the town via Highway No. 4, then turn left into Highway No. 4114 and continue for 4 kilometres to the Ao Phang-nga National Park’s headquarters where visitors can obtain tourist information. The trip can also be made by riding a local bus from Phang-nga town. Several tour operators in Phang-nga and Phuket organise a day trip to Phang-nga Bay.

Chartered boats around Phang-nga Bay are available at the following piers:

- Customs Pier or Tha Dan, located at nearby Phang-nga Bay Resort. There are various sizes of chartered boats. Prices range from 600-3,500 baht per boat.
- Ao Phang-nga National Park’s pier, speedboats and long-tail boats available.
- Surakun or Kasom Pier, located in Amphoe Takua Thung.

A trip to Ao Phang-nga National Park takes around three hours, with a half-day tour arrangeable. The Phang-nga Bay Resort near the Tha Dan pier offers comfortable accommodation. There are bungalows and tents available at the National Park. For more information contact Ao Phang-nga National Park at 80 Mu 1, Tambon Ko Panyi, Amphoe Mueang, Phang-nga 82000 or tel. 0 7641 1136, 0 7641 2188.

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