The Route Along Phang Nga Bay

| March 2, 2016

Set off on Highway 4 heading south and passing through the provinces of Phetchaburi and Prachuap Khiri Khan. Then turn right at the Pathomphon intersection and go along shoulders of hills towards Ranong Province. This two-lane route is narrow and curving, so motorists must drive carefully until they get to Khura Buri District of Phang Nga Province, which is the starting point of the Phang Nga route along the Andaman coast.
Khura Buri is a good spot to begin a journey to Surin Islands National Park, which is famous for spectacular shallow-water coral reefs. The Tourist Information Center, about 5 kilometers from the Khura Buri District Office, offers boat service to Surin islands. The coral reefs in this national park are 7 square kilometers wide, the largest of all in Thailand. You may hire a boat from the national park for a tour of the line reef formations. There are many good dive spots around the islands, where divers can appreciate a dazzling array of coral and catch a glimpse of numerous marine animals, such as sea fan, starfish, parrot fish, angelfish, spiny lobster, green turtle, and dolphin. Surin Islands are also the settlements of “Sea Gypsies”, called Mokens, an ethnic tribe living in the Andaman Sea, stretching from India to Indonesia. Interested eco-tourists may visit their villages to learn more about their traditional way of life.
Returning to Khura Buri, you may check in at a comfortable and luxurious resort. like Khura Buri Green View Resort. before setting off again on Highway 4 heading south until reaching kilometer 756 in Ban Tam Nang. Then turn left and drive for another 5 kilometers to get to Si Phang Nga National Park, a famous site for beautiful waterfalls, especially Tam Nang Waterfall, which is 60 meters high. There is also a 2·kilometer nature trail, where you may explore rare plant species, such as bua phut, or Rafflesia, and rare bird species, such as helmeted hornbill and black hornbill.

From Si Phang Nga National Park, use Highway 4 again heading south for Takua Pa District to observe exotic buildings of old Sino-Portuguese architecture. Popular local products, taoso, a kind of Chinese cake, and brochettes of dried shrimp, are available in the local market.
From Takua Pa, keep on the same route to Ban Bang Sak. On the way to Ban Bang Sak Nua, stop at Ban Bo Hin Waterfall for swimming and relaxation. Another not-to-be-missed waterfall is Sal Rung Waterfall at Ban Pak Wip. Then look for an intersection with the signboard, Laem Pakarang (Coral Cape). 5 kilometers from the intersection is this cape, where many migrated bird species are found during the cool season. Another 5 kilometers from the cape is Ton Chong Fa Waterfall, a large cascade located in Khao Lak – Lam Au National Park, where tourists may stay overnight. The national park also offers tent service for tourists who are enthusiastic about bird watching and hiking.
From this area, Highway 4 still lies parallel with the Andaman Sea. While passing through the Khao Lak – Lam Au National Park Office, you may stop to swim or have a walk along the beach there. Not so far from the area is Thap Lamu Port, the starting point to Similan islands. Since the Similans are 70 kilometers from the coast, water around the islands is very clear. with pure white line sand. The islands are recognized as heaven in the Andaman Sea. Unlike in the past, traveling to Similan islands today is quite easy. Visitors may use speed boat service for a day tour. Most of them stop at Ko Paet, an island with a rock in the figure of a sailboat, and it boasts a scenic viewpoint, where a panorama of the crystal water of the Andaman can be seen. There are some shallow-water diving sites, where you can enjoy the undersea world as well.

If visitors have enough time, they usually stay overnight at Ko Si, which is the location of the Similan Islands National Park Office. This island is comparable to a station in the middle of the deep sea where hired boats are available for an island tour to view the world renowned diving sites, such as Christmas Point Rock and Fantasy Rock. These areas are the natural habitats ol numerous large and small marine animals, such as giant clam, sea turtle, sharkray, and at least 13 species of whale and dolphin.
After returning to the Thap Lamu coast, take Highway 4 heading for Thai Muang District. On the left, there is an intersection leading to 2 waterfalls, Lam Pi and Ton Phrai, which are located in Khao Lam Pi – Hat Thai Muang National Park. Places of interest near the national park office include Thai Muang beach, where sea turtles usually lay eggs, and Thung Samet Khao, which looks like a swamp, and it is a major site for bird watching.

From Thai Muang District on Highway 4, set off to Khok Kloi at Ban Bo Dan School, and then make a right turn beside the school. Going straight for around 3 kilometers, you will arrive at Ban Bo Dan Hot Spring, with beautiful landscape excellent for relaxation and swimming. The temperature of this spring is about 40 to 50 degrees Celsius. Then take the beachfront road, 20 kilometers in length, via Hat Khao Pi Lai and Hat Tha Nun, where you will pass a long beach, mangroves, and beach forest.
At an intersection of Highway 402, make a left turn to the Khok Kloi market, and then turn right to return to Highway 4 again. On the way to Takua Thung District, you are advised to stop at Poo Dam Restaurant, which is famous for seafood, especially crab, before using Highway 4 again heading for Muang District of Phang Nga. On the way is Wat Suwannakhuha, locally referred to as Wat Tham, with large caves where Buddha images are enshrined and splendid stalactites stalagmites are found.

2 kilometers from this area is an intersection across Highway 4144. Turn right and go lor about 2 kilometers, you will find the Phang Nga Bay National Park Office, where tourists may hire a boat to view the beautiful Phang Nga Bay, taking you past mangroves and dozens of huge limestone formations. Phang Nga Bay comprises 42 large and small islands; the most popular tourist site is Khao Ma Chu, a limestone mountain resembling a Pekinese dog. Among favorite stopovers for all tourists are Tham Nak, a cave with prehistoric paintings, and Ko Panyi, a Moken floating village. The not-to-be-missed place in this area is Khao Tapu-Khao Ping Kan, recognized as a symbol of Phang Nga. The 2 islands are well known worldwide as they were once the sites, where filming for the James Bond movie The Man With the Golden Gun took place. If you have more time, you may go canoeing to pass through caves towards the sea.

We recommend that you check in at Phang Nga Bay Resort nearby, where you can view the rising sun from the bay in every room. From Phangnga Bay along Highway are other interesting stopovers, such as Sala Klang Kao, a pavilion in the architectural style of the reign of King Rama VII, and Khao Phung Chang Cave, another symbol of Phang Nga. Recommended restaurants include Thanun Khanom Chin, Na San Chao Ma Cho Po, Muang Phangnga, and Duang.

Phang Nga Map Thailand

Category: Phang Nga