Have some time left after your trip to Phuket? Let’s drive north and explore its neighboring city, Phang Nga! While Phang Nga is famously known for the majestic Phang Nga Bay, it has much more to offer you. Home to many must-see attractions which are reachable by land, Phang Nga is definitely one of the destinations in Thailand to visit.
Let’s take a look at 5 must-visit spots in Phang Nga for your next road trip: The Little Amazon Takuapa, Wat Suwan Kuha, Khao Khai Nui, Samet Nangshe Viewpoint, and James Bond Island!
The Little Amazon Takuapa
One of the attractions to visit in Phang Nga is The Little Amazon Takuapa or Sang Ne canal. The name “Little Amazon” is given due to the biodiversity of the mangrove forest, which provides habitat for various mangrove species and diverse wildlife.
Moreover, unlike the usual canal, Sang Ne canal is where you can find remarkable banyan trees aged over 100 years.
Another highlight here is the kayaking activity where you will be taken on a one-hour tour to explore Sang Ne canal. Excluding the guide, an inflatable kayak can hold two people.
During the ride, you can expect to see wildlife such as macaque monkeys, pythons, monitor lizards, kingfishers, and of course, mudskippers.
You will also go under a few natural arches formed by the roots of banyan trees, which provides a unique backdrop for some cool photos!
A drive from Phuket to The Little Amazon Takuapa usually takes less than 2.5 hours.
Opening Hours: Daily, 8 AM – 5 PM
Location: 41/1, Bangnaisee, Takua Pa District
Wat Suwan Kuha
Have you ever seen a massive reclining Buddha image inside a cave? You can find one at Wat Suwan Kuha!
Wat Suwan Kuha is regarded as a significant religious site in Phang Nga. Residing inside Tham Yai (Big Cave), the temple houses a spectacular 15-meter reclining gold Buddha and many other Buddha images.
You can also take the wide stairs up to the forest outside. You will then see the entrance to other smaller caves such as Light Cave and Dark Cave. As the nature of the cave remains, you can spot stalactites and stalagmites.
Furthermore, there is a museum nearby the monastery, which keeps over a hundred artifacts. And if you are outside the cave, do watch out for monkeys too.
A drive from Phuket to Wat Suwan Kuha usually takes less than1.5 hours.
Opening Hours: Daily, 8 AM – 5 PM
Khao Khai Nui
Khao Khai Nui or Khai Nui mountain is another popular natural attraction that you should not miss in Phang Nga.
Despite being only 200 meters above sea level, here, you can enjoy the panoramic scenery of breathtaking sea mist even in the summer. You can catch both sunrise and sunset on this hill too!
The best time to visit this place is in the early morning as you can watch the sun slowly rising and sea mist parting to make way for the Andaman sea. The background of lush mountains also helps enhance this refreshing and peaceful ambiance.
There is a homestay offered by the local community at the top of the hill. So, you can opt to stay overnight at this place and spend time relaxing and immersing yourself in this beautiful nature.
A drive from Phuket to Khao Khai Nui usually takes about 1.5 hours.
Location: Thung Maphrao, Thai Mueang District
Samet Nangshe Viewpoint
When you ask locals for recommended places to visit in Phang Nga, one often mentioned answer you would get is Samet Nangshe Viewpoint.
Apart from being one of the best places to watch the sunrise in Thailand, it also offers a jaw-dropping view of the gorgeous limestone formations of Phang Nga Bay.
There are two main sightseeing spots: an original Samet Nangshe Viewpoint and Samet Nangshe Boutique Viewpoint. While there are tents available for rent for an overnight stay in both areas, the latter also runs a resort.
At night, it is common to find people, especially avid photographers, staying up late to capture the stunning starry sky and even the milky way.
To get up there, you can either climb up for 500 – 700 meters or take a pickup truck offered by the locals.
A drive from Phuket to Samet Nangshe Viewpoint usually takes less than 1.5 hours.
Location: Khlong Khian, Takua Thung District
James Bond Island
While James Bond Island or Koh Tapu is not directly accessible by car, a trip to Phang Nga wouldn’t be complete without visiting this landmark.
Besides being featured in the James Bond movie, Koh Tapu also gains great interest from the unique shape of its limestone cliff. Resembling a nail (tapu in Thai), the rocky pinnacle is large on the top part and slim at the bottom.
Surrounding rock formations is turquoise water, where you can kayak and sail.
To get here, you can take a ferry or a long-tail boat from Phuket. Alternatively, if you are already in Phang Nga, drive to Ao Phang Nga National Park and board the long-tail boat at the pier.
As you can see from above, there are many interesting attractions in Phang Nga. More importantly, on average, it takes only 2 hours or even less from Phuket to reach these places. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s embark on a road trip to Phang Nga!