Hey all! Welcome to my destination guide on Phang Nga Bay in Southern Thailand. My name is Jeroen from the Instagram account @jeroenvisuals and I grew up in the Netherlands, a small country in Western Europe.
The Netherlands is one of the most flat and densely populated countries on earth. So naturally I always found mountainous and empty landscapes to be interesting, since we don’t have them where I’m from. Growing up I loved travel because it felt like an escape to something new and unknown.
Recently, I have been spending time in one of my favourite destinations of Asia: Thailand. The first time I visited Thailand was in 2017 but I kept coming back because of the people, culture and nature. To me Thailand has the perfect balance of a warm culture and beautiful nature.
During my most recent visit I spent some time exploring Phang Nga Bay – an underrated province in the south. It was only after I started taking photography seriously that I learnt about what Phang Nga Bay had to offer.
It seemed like an interesting place because of the combo of limestone karsts and mangroves that reminded me of the Amazon. I had to go see these incredible landscapes for myself and boy they did not disappoint!
Favourite Place in Phang Nga Bay
My favourite place in Phang Nga Bay is definitely the Phang Nga Bay Pier area. There is a super friendly local Thai community there that offers boat trips straight through the mangroves. They will drop you off at one of the most unique places in Thailand: the floating village built on stilts, Ko Panyi.
Ko Panyi is a floating village that has a mosque, school and one of the tastiest examples of roti in Southern Thailand. Make the trip just for the roti! You can even have a game of soccer on their floating soccer field. It’s such an incredible place and I can’t recommend visiting Ko Panyi enough.
5 Best To Do in Phang Nga Bay
Imagine a place shrouded in jungle-covered mountains and mangrove forests which are carved up by rivers that lead to limestone karsts and underwater treasures – that’s Phang Nga Bay! This place is utterly beautiful and you won’t want to miss a thing. Here are my recommendations:
1. Take a Boat Tour through Phang Nga Bay
There is nothing better than cruising through the lush mangroves and towering limestone karsts of Phang Nga Bay on a boat tour. Seeing them up close is a real treat! You will also spot some beautiful wildlife on the way.
2. Visit the Floating Village of Ko Panyi
A unique experience as you marvel at how this village stays afloat built precariously on stilts. This is the best spot in Southern Thailand to enjoy Muslim-style cuisine and interact with a fascinating bunch of local people.
3. Enjoy a Coconut at Samet Nangshe Viewpoint
The resort of Samet Nangshe Boutique offers an incredible view over the limestone karsts and waterways of Phang Nga. One of the best places in the world to watch the sunset and sip on a refreshing coconut. You can reach this resort by driving 45 minutes from Phang Nga Town.
4. Discover the Stunning Wat Bang Thong
The majestic Wat Bang Thong is a golden temple located just 30 minutes drive from Phang Nga Town. It’s one of the most beautiful temples of Southern Temple and a must-see for all lovers of architecture and culture.
5. Day Trip out to James Bond Island
If you are a fan of James Bond then this recommendation might be for you! This is the place where James Bond “The Man with the Golden Gun” was filmed. Keep in mind that this will be one of the more touristy activities.
Where to Stay in Phang Nga Bay
When it comes to picking a hotel in the Phang Nga Bay area, I don’t have a particular favourite hotel in mind to recommend. There are not many hotels outside of Phang Nga Town – so it’s best to plan your trip in advance.
If you have a big budget, Samet Nangshe Boutique offers quality rooms in a peaceful and natural setting. This is also the hotel with the best views! However, you can find places in Phang Nga Town for a good price as well.
Need to Know Before you Go
If I could give just one piece of advice before coming to Phang Nga Bay it would definitely be to take an early morning boat trip through the mangroves. This will be one of your best experiences on your Thailand trip.
Also, don’t be afraid to try local Thai food in Phang Nga Town. It might be spicier than your average restaurant in the touristy places but also a lot more fresh and tasty. Then there are the locals near the pier. They are all friendly people who aren’t shy to ask you to play sports with them!
All in all, I would describe the surrounding area of Phang Nga Bay as an underrated gem with the most beautiful landscapes in Southern Thailand. Many people visit the south for Phuket or Krabi without knowing about it.
Phang Nga Bay is located just between Phuket and Krabi and offers an escape to the local, adventurous side of the south. Thanks for reading everyone and enjoy your visit to one of the most beautiful spots on earth!