Phangnga Tourist Attractions
Top Tourist Attractions in Phangnga
The town of Phangnga lies about 800 km (497 mi.) south of Bangkok on the Malay Peninsula on the river of the same name, which comes down from mountains ranging in height up to 1000 m (3282 ft). The landscape around the Bay of Bengal is full of surprises: white mountain peaks stand out from the intensive greenery of the jungle, pretty villages cling to the mountain slopes, and a boat trip through the bays of Phangnga and Ao Luk, the northern parts of the large bay of Phuket, conveys one of the most marvelous natural experiences imaginable.By car: from Krabi and from Bangkok on Highway 4 (each about 85 km (53 mi.)); from Surat Thani highways 401/4040/4 (195 km (121 mi.)).By rail: nearest station Surat Thani.By bus: from Bangkok Southern Bus Terminal (880 km (547 mi.), 18 hours) and from Phuket Bus Terminal (2 hours).By air: nearest airports Phuket and Surat Thani, several flights daily from Bangkok.
From the more low-lying Chinese quarter, where a number of old houses still stand, the rocky reefs which surround the town appear particularly steep; they stand out as sharp silhouettes against the sky.
Highway 4 from Phangnga to Krabi (87 km (54 mi.)) crosses a landscape of impressive jungle and cliffs.There are a number of towns and attractions within a short distance of Phangnga.
Tham Reussi Grotto
The chalk mountains contain many grottoes, some with beautiful dripstones, which provide refuge for field mice. One of the most famous caves is Tham Reussi, the "Hermits' Cave", close to the town (at the custom house). It comprises a labyrinth of strangely-shaped caves with dripstones. One particular stalagmite, with an almost human shape, is said by local people to look like a miracle-working hermit. It enjoys particular reverence and is covered each day with offerings, mainly little gold tiles. A small park with ponds has been laid out around the entrance to the cave.From here a path leads through a tunnel for about 500 m to Wat Tham Pong Chang ("temple cave in the elephant's stomach") shrine, vaulted by Khao Chang, the mountain of the elephants (so named after its shape). Three statues of holy elephants stand inside.
Tham Suwan Kutta
A palm-lined path marks the entrance to the grotto temple Tham Suwan Kutta (approximately 13 km (8 mi.) from Phangnga, Highway 4 in the direction of Khok Kloi, follow signposts). A number of various figures of Buddha are in the temple, while the cave behind the grotto contains several beautiful dripstone shapes.
The town of Ta Kuapa lies on the Bay of Bengal about 75 km (47 mi.) north of Khok Kloi (120 km (75 mi.) from Phangnga). There are some very beautiful beaches in the vicinity of the town. In the first millennium BC Ta Kuapa was a destination for Indian traders who either settled on the coast of the Malay Peninsula or moved on from here to Cambodia and China. The area around Takua Pa has not yet been examined archaeologically. Three paintings of Pallava (late 9th c. bc) found here are displayed in the national museum of Nakhon Si Thammarat; the remains of an old settlement have also been discovered.Highway 401 leaves Takua Pa and passes through a valley to Surat Thani on the Gulf of Thailand.
Than Bok Koroni National Park
The entrance to Than Bok Koroni National Park, one of the most beautiful national parks in Thailand, can be found at Ao Luk (42 km (26 mi.) east of Phangnga). Magnificent vegetation, high rocky reefs and a river, which rises between the rocks from its underground course, characterize the scene. The towering cliffs of Ao Luk bay form a fantastic backdrop.
Boat trips through Phangnga Bay depart the moorings at Klong Khao Thalu River (5 km (3 mi.) along Highway 4 in the direction of Phuket, turn left at the signpost).
The Moslem village of Panyi, a settlement of buildings on stilts with about 1200 inhabitants, lies in the estuary of the Phangnga river in front of the rocky island of Koh Panyi. The white and green mosque attracts the eye from a distance. Visitors are very welcome. Good fish restaurants and shopping.
Khao Ping Kan
A unique sight is Khao Ping Kan Bay, which appeared in the James Bond film "The Man with the Golden Gun". After this film, whose outside scenes were partly filmed here, the steep chalk rocks towering up in the middle of the bay were commonly called "James Bond Rocks". The best view of the rocks and the bay is gained from a small path, which ascends steeply on the right of the beach at the place where the boats land. Numerous traders sell souvenirs on the beach and there are also some refreshment stalls.
Ban Khok Kloi
Pretty Ban Khok Kloi lies 17 km (11 mi.) past Tham Suwan Kutta at the foot of the mountains. From here a bridge carries vehicles over to the island of Phuket.
Khao Khien rock caves are famous for their cave paintings. They depict, in brownish-red, ochre and black, crocodiles, fish, dolphins and other sea creatures surrounding humans, drawn very vividly as hunters. Another experience is to pass through the Tam Lod arch where stalactites hang down into the water.
About 10 km (6 mi.) behind Phangnga is the rock temple Wat Kirivong containing a statue of Buddha.