Instantly distinguished by its limestone karsts jutting out of the emerald-green Andaman Sea, Phang Nga Bay is a must-see excursion from any trip to the Thai islands of Phuket or Krabi. Beach and nature fanatics will be in their element, with caves, lagoons, and secluded beaches all part of the stunning landscape.
The bay's most famous spots include James Bond Island (named for its role in the filming of the movie The Man With the Golden Gun), the Phi Phi Islands, Hong Island, and Koh Panyee, all easily accessed by catamarans, speedboats, longtail boats, and Chinese junk boats traversing clear waters enclosed by massive limestone cliffs. Most tours feature opportunities to snorkel, swim, and soak up the sun while eating a fresh lunch on the deck.
Adventurous travelers can maneuver through mangrove forests by sea canoe or kayak to reach less-frequented parts of the bay, stopping to explore secluded lagoons, limestone sea caves, and the monkey temple. Visitors interested in local culture can visit the Muslim fishing village of Koh Panyee, built entirely on wooden stilts.Bay tours are well-suited for active travelers and families.
Most tours are limited to small groups or taken as a private tour.
Wear sturdy waterproof sandals and plenty of sun protection for boating excursions.
Dress modestly if visiting Koh Panyee.
Boat trips typically include a set menu lunch, soft drinks, and an alcoholic beverage or two.
How to Get to Phang Nga Bay
Part of the Ao Phang Nga National Park, Phang Nga Bay is located in the Andaman Sea between Phuket and the mainland of southern Thailand, with organized boat trips being the easiest way to visit. Trips regularly depart from Phuket and Krabi, usually including hotel pickup and dropoff.
When to Get There
Catch the hottest rays from March through June, or cool breezes from November through February. Note that visiting during the rainy season could put a damper on your plans. Prices generally peak during high season, so budget travelers may opt to visit at other times.
Where to Get the Best View of Phang Nga Bay
The Samet Nangshe Viewpoint is a fantastic place to see Phang Nga Bay from a distance. Located atop a hill just 30 minutes by car from Phuket, the area offers a stunning 180-degree panorama facing due east, making it particularly spectacular at sunrise.