Ao Phangnga National Park, Phangnga Province

Ao Phangnga National Park
was established as a national park in 1982 to conserve and protect one of the most important coastal mangrove areas of the entire country. It located in the area of Amphoe Muang, Amphoe Takua Thung and Amphoe Ko Yao of Phangnga. The park covers the area of 400 square kilometres, mainly comprises of many isles of different shape and size. Caves and beautiful bays together with rock formations and mangrove are some of the park's major attractions. From Ao Phangnga, there are boat services at Tha Dan Pier in Amphoe Muang and at Surakun- Pier in Amphoe Takua Thung for tourists to visit the islands and its many attractions. There are;
Ko Panyi or Panyi Island
is among the main attractions. Quite small with only around two hundred families living here; mostly fishing for a living or selling souvenirs or running tourist restaurants. The villagers are mostly Muslims. The island may be reached by boat and visitors are welcome to tour the village where villagers can be seen producing fish sauce from koey, a tiny shrimp, or making shrimp paste - a very important ingredient in a Thai kitchen. The Village houses are inter-connected and built on poles one metre above the surface of the water. The Village has forgets on either side and is built on a mangrove reserve away from the high tide marks.
Ko Khao Ping Kan
locateded in Takua Thung district, derives its name from a broken rock formation with one part learning against one side of the hill. There is also another hill, nearby, called Khao Tpu, rising from the sea and looling very much like a giant nail with the head on top and the tail resting on the water.
Here may be seen a spectacular high cliff that appears to have been cloven in two, the halves supported by leaning against each other-a sight of rare and exquisite beauty.
Ko Tapu
"Nail Island" in English, is a small island located in front of Khao Ping Kan. The Base of the rock is quite narrow but having a broad peak, giving the strange a beautiful appearance of a spike driven into the sea.
Khao Khien
Here, in a mountain cavern, primitive paintings depicting fish, water lizard, dolphin, believed to be several thousand years old, may be seen.
Ko Nom Sao
These twin islands, also called Ko Ok Meri, are located nearby Ko Panyi.
Thum Lot Cave
This cave is another spot of interest in Ao Phangnga area. Similar in appearance but larger than Ko Talu. The mouth of the cave is about 50 meters wide, 40 meters high, and small boats may pass through. There are beautiful stalactites inside the cave which its total length of about 100 meters.
Ko Talu
This island is just beyond Ko Nom Sao. The middle part of it has been eroded by water and boats pass among giant stalacities from one side of the island to the other through a water-filled cavern.
Khao Machu
Here on a hilltop, there is a rock formation resembling a chow.
Ko Yao
Ko Yao covers an area of 137.6 square kilometers consisting of 2 main island: Ko Yao Noi and Ko Yao Yai, and several surrounding islets. Beautiful beaches include: Hat Pa Sai, Hat Tha Khao, Ao Tikut, Ao Khlong Son, Hat Loparent, etc. To get to Ko Yao from Ao Phagnga pier takes about 2 hours. Boats are also available from Ao Po, Phuket, the travel takes about 1 1/2 hours. Customs Landing, this island has an interesting pearl raising farm and excellent swimming and fishing with beautiful scenery.
The best time of the year to visit these places is between December and April when good quality accommodation can be found in Phangnga bay Resort from where you can see spectacular sunrises from the hotel's balconies.
There is a mountain range backdrop to the hotel. The hotel rents out boats for private parties, with attendent crews, to make trips to Panyi Island and Tham Lot. Room rates vary between 1,200 and 2,500 baht a night.

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