One of Thailand’s most beautiful bays, Phang Nga sits in the Andaman Sea, north of Phuket and across from the country’s Malay Peninsula. Blessed with over 100 limestone-karst islands jutting vertically from the teal-green seas, parts of the bay are designated as the Ao Phang Nga National Park, protecting 42 of the island-outcrops and their verdant interiors, cave systems and waters. The park spans 400 square kilometers and also safeguards Thailand’s largest mangrove forests.
The islands, mostly uninhabited, are rich in wildlife, including monitor lizards, macaques and gibbons, and their waters boast a profusion of marine species and corals.
Tourists usually flock here in high season to see James Bond Island (Koh Tapu), the limestone pillar that featured in ‘The Man with the Golden Gun.’ Other highlights include Koh Panyi, where a stilted fishing community of mostly Thai Muslims earn their living from fishing and running restaurants and shops built above the water.