Phang Ngalies on the Northern Andaman Coast of Thailand, city and province of the same name. The natural environment is beautiful; forests, islands, beaches and blue sea. Its history is varied; occupation by the Burmese until Siamese troops expelled them in 1824. It has always been a mix of Thai Chinese, Muslim, Buddhist and sea gypsies. As a result there is always a celebration of some kind going on.
Phang Nga has yet to become a popular tourist destination though it can be included in Thailand travel packages.
How to get there
Phang Nga is almost 800 kilometres from Bangkok, a drive of at least 12 hours. Phuket is less than 100 kilometres away and that means that Phang Nga is fairly accessible for overseas visitors on a holiday in Thailand. Phuket and Krabi are the closest airports for visitors.
The rail network gets no closer than two hours away by bus but is an alternative.
Best time to visit
The peak season starts before Christmas when the rains finish with temperatures rising in March for a couple of months before those monsoon rains begin again. This Thailand travel guide recognises that there is rain for long periods in the year yet tourists are happy to travel to its many highlights all twelve months of the year.
Things to see and do
Thailand tour packages that include Phang Nga have plenty of things to put into the time spent in this area:
In the immediate vicinity there is plenty of interest:
• Heaven and Hell Cave includes a temple and a cave in the centre of the city. The temple has various Hindu images, Ganesh and the Three Wise Monkeys. There are several statues and the site covers around an acre.The cave is several hundred metres deep and the monks at the entrance will bless all visitors, tying a string around their wrists.
• Waterfalls, rivers and hot springs are a local feature and explorers will certainly find things of interest.
• There are several temples with elephant mountain temple worth investigating.
Not far from the city there are a few other attractions:
• Sanong Manora waterfall
• Somdet Phra Srinagarindra Park
• Namtok Lamru is a waterfall on five tiers
• Khao Lak and its beachesare certainly worth seeing
• Ko Similan and Ko Surin National Parks for diving & snorkelling
• General jungle exploration reveals many wonders
There is little top quality accommodation in Phang Nai which reflects that there has yet to be significant tourist numbers. Guesthouses and hotels are available but many visit for a day, staying instead in places like Phuket. Those on organised tours will have all their arrangements made for them long before their tour starts and will be given options to consider.
One fairly new innovation is daily tours to local villages and the chance of homestays. The real experience of rural Thailand is to meet the locals and learn more about their local lives that have not changed a great deal over the years.