Phang Nga

Phang Nga: Why go

The name's Phang, Phang Nga. If you want to be shaken and stirred by some of Thailand's most magnificent natural scenery, this is the place to head. Phang Nga is one of Thailand's southern provinces, leading out to the stunning Andaman Sea. Think lush green forests, mangroves and glistening white sand.

One of its most popular attractions is James Bond Island in Phang Nga Bay on the east side. This is actually easier to visit from Phuket or Krabi, though it's still officially part of this region.

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Our top tips for Phang Nga


Phang Nga Bay & James Bond Island

A wealth of sheer limestone islands rise vertically out of the ocean, the most famous of is a steep rocky monolith (about 20m tall) that is so called because it featured in The Man With The Golden Gun. As movie sets go, this one's pretty dreamy.

It's possible to see most of the area in a day's boat trip. Stop for lunch and shop for handicrafts in Koh Panyee (Sea Gypsy Island), a tiny stilted over-water village built by Indonesian fisherman. Sample the fresh fish, it’s to die for.

Be warned that the area is ridiculously popular with tourists so you'll be sharing the experience with many, many others.


Sa Nang Manora Forest Park & Birdwatching

A little-visited wonderland near Phang Nga Town, full of thick rainforest and hidden pools fed by waterfalls which entice you to take a dip! The park’s name comes from a local folk belief that the mythical Princess Manora bathes in the pools when no one else is around.

Over 90 species have been spotted by twitchers in Phang Nga, including the endangered Malaysian plover. Pack your binoculars!


Islands & Diving

Hire an inflatable kayak and explore some of the uninhabited islands. Khao Khien has intricate rock carvings and you can visit collapsed cave systems known as 'hongs', which are open to the sky and often full of wildlife.

In the north of the region, Koh Phra Thong is one of the largest and least-developed islands in Thailand, with endless sandy quiet beaches, azure seas and only a handful of resorts.

Known for their long white-sand beaches, and crystal-clear seas, the Similan Islands are home to some of the best snorkelling and diving in Thailand. You’ll see shoal after shoal of dazzling fish, plus sea horses, whale sharks, manta rays and corals. (The islands close May-November annually – check exact dates before booking.)

Also a mecca for serious divers, the idyllic Surin Islands sit a couple of hours by speedboat off the west coast - implausibly clear waters await.