Phang Nga Bay

Everything you Need to Know about Phang Nga Bay

Phang Nga Bay

A distinctive feature of Phang Nga Bay are the sheer limestone karsts that jut vertically out of the emerald-green water.  James Bond Island and Koh Panyee are just two of the more famous spots in this bay. By far the best means of enjoying the spectacular scenery, with only brief encounters with the tourist crowds at James Bond and Koh Panyee, is to take one of the boat trips from the northern end of Phuket.

A leisurely day trip cruising through the dramatic limestone islands, occasionally stopping to enjoy quiet beaches, is far more rewarding than the standard bus-boat tour.


James Bond Island

This famous landmark, called Koh Ta-pu ('Nail Island'), first found its way onto the international map through its starring role in the James Bond movie 'The Man With the Golden Gun'. And this is where most tours seem to take all of the tourists - all at the same time. The entire area surrounding this island with its signature rocky pinnacle is indeed spectacular, but most of the tours bus visitors up the main highway for an hour on the same well-worn itinerary. An integral part of that tour is lunch at Koh Panyee, a nearby Muslim fishing village. Read More...

 

Koh Panyee in Phang Nga Bay

This is a remarkable village, the whole of it built out over water on stilts and with a giant rock monolith guarding its rear. At lunchtime, many tourists on the James Bond Island tours are brought in to eat and shop for handicrafts.

As soon as the tourists leave, the community closes up its restaurants and trinket shops and transforms from a tourist trap into a quiet community of fishermen.

See Koh Panyee Photo Gallery... Read More...

Cruising Phang Nga Bay

Phang Nga Bay is a great place for boating. The interesting limestone cliffs create a picturesque backdrop and there are many safe places to anchor.

The fact that it's protected from both the Northeast and the Southwest monsoon seasons means that its waters remain calm year-round, which adds to the appeal of its scenic wonders and abundant wildlife.

Read more about boat charters...

Limestone Cliffs of Phang Nga Bay

Limestone is calcium carbonate, which is generally white. Over millions of years, the skeletons from a constant rain of marine organisms, plus the chemical precipitation of yet more calcium carbonate build thick layers of sediment. Eventually, the heat and pressure of their own weight turn these strata, hundreds of metres thick, to stone.

A variety of geological forces have then fractured the limestone beds and pushed up the 40 steep-sided islands that provide the exotic scenery for which this shallow bay is noted. Mineral oxides from various sources paint the vari-coloured streaks that characterise the cliffs of Phang Nga Bay.

Hongs of Phang Nga

And there are lost worlds awaiting discovery. It wasn't many years ago that aerial surveys first revealed the Hong, or 'rooms', that lie inside some of Phang Nga's islands.

These fabulous microcosms, hidden realms rich in unspoiled flora and fauna, are collapsed cave systems open to the sky and surrounded by towering limestone walls. Try sea-kayaking, where you paddle sturdy plastic boats through caves into the mysterious hearts of islands such as Koh Panak and Koh Hong. (Read more about Sea canoeing in Phang Nga Bay)

Getting to Phang Nga Bay

It's possible to see many of the bay's attractions in a single day. A launch from any point along the east coast of Phuket will take you immediately into Phang Nga Bay.

There are also a number of launching sites on the Phang Nga province mainland, including the Ka Sohm Pier in Takua Thung district just south of Phang Nga Town. Most visit the area by booking a long-tail or speedboat day trip, joining a cruise or canoeing tour, or chartering a yacht. See all Phang Nga Bay Tours available...

Other Islands in Phang Nga Bay

Most of the islands are uninhabited. Many of them have spectacular caves which you can only reach by an inflatable kayak.

Koh Hong is one of the most popular of these islands. Khao Khien near Koh Panyee is worth sailing past to see the ancient paintings of boats and animals on the rock walls.

One of the few inhabited islands, Koh Maak, sits near the top of the bay and is home to a small community of fisherfolk who maintain a traditional way of life - it's not part of any tour itinerary and it is recommended to bring your own food and supplies if visiting since there are no facilities for tourists. There are also no places to stay here. 

 

Related Tours

Hong Daytrip Kayaking by Starlight Hong by Starlight

The perfect opportunity to canoe in Phang Nga and get the best of both worlds - by day and night. Starting after lunch, explore the limestone caves, which can only be entered by canoe. Read More...

 
June Bahtra - Magical Phang Nga Bay Cruise June Bahtra Cruise

This traditional junk-rigged schooner cruises the tropical archipelago from Phuket to Phang Nga Bay, visiting James Bond Island, the picturesque Sea Gypsy village, and more. Read More...

Phang Nga Bay 4-in-1 Tour Phang Nga Bay 4-in-1 Tour

See it all in one day. Visit and explore James Bond Island, enjoy a delicious Thai and seafood lunch at the Sea Gypsy Village, be tantalized by the sea kayaking tour through the caves. Read More...

 
James Bond Island Kayaking Daytrip James Bond Island Kayaking

You will have the wonderful chance to discover James Bond Island, where 'The Man With The Golden Gun' staring Roger Moore and Christopher Lee was filmed in 1974. Read More...

Related Pages

Koh Panyee Koh Panyee

Koh Panyee is about 20 minutes by long-tail boat from Surakul pier in Phang Nga Province. Many people flying into Phuket will have looked down on this village. Read More...

 
John Gray’s Sea Canoe John Gray’s Sea Canoe

There are not too many people in the world who would choose to call themselves “Ling Yai” - Thai for Big Monkey. But John Gray is proud of the nickname. Read More...

Wat Tham Ta Pan in Phang Nga Town Wat Tham Ta Pan

Wat Tham Ta Pan is without doubt one of the most weirdly original temples in southern Thailand. Located in Phang Nga Town, it offers a journey through Buddhist Heaven and Hell. Read More...

 
All-in-One Phang Nga Bay Tour All-in-One Phang Nga Bay

The All-in-One Phang Nga Bay Tour takes you on an exhilarating discovery cruise in one of the most famous natural attractions near Phuket Island: Phang Nga Bay. Read More...

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