Punctuated by vast limestone karsts soaring from the water and topped with jungle vegetation, the gravity-defying rock formations in Phang Nga Bay (Ao Phang Nga) are a must-see sight. Located between Phang Nga Town, Phuket and Krabi, the bay is an easy day-trip destination.
Phang Nga Bay is part of the Phang Nga National Park and this picturesque location was sadly devastated in the 2004 tsunami. The stunning watery surrounds of the bay contain several islands, rocky outcrops of limestone, hidden lakes, secret beaches, swimming holes and sea caves to explore by kayak.
The famously pointy Ko Tapu island is known as James Bond Island for its starring role in 'The Man With The Golden Gun' and is included in all tours of the area. The islands of Ko Bon, Ko Hae, Ko Lon, Ko Mai Thon, Ko Maprao, Ko Racha and Ko Yao all offer accommodation of varying luxury if you are looking for a longer stay in the bay.
Popular sights of Phang Nga Bay include Khao Ping Gan or Leaning Rock, and Ko Panyi – a village built on stilts. The best way to see the bay is by tour. There are lots of different half-day, day and overnight tours on offer which allow you to take in the white sands, turquoise waters and stunning limestone formations of the bay with snorkelling and swimming opportunities. For a different view, there are the eco-friendly guided sea canoe excursions which are also the only way to traverse the sunken sea caves, mangrove swamps and hidden beaches.
Access to Phang Nga Bay is from Phanga Nga Town, Phuket and Krabi by guided boat tours. These vary in price and duration depending on your location and which operator you choose. As Phang Nga Town is closer to the bay, tours tend to be longer and cheaper than those departing from Phuket or Krabi.