Known for its limestone rock formations rising out of the turquoise Andaman Sea, the protected Ao Phang Nga National Marine Park covers a large swathe of water in southern Thailand. Many visitors come to the area to enjoy the scenery and take part in watersports.
Ao Phang Nga National Marine Park was created by royal decree in 1981 to preserve area marine life. The park covers more than 40 islands in the Andaman Sea, including Khao Phing Kan, known as “James Bond Island” after its islet Ko Ta Pu appeared in the movie The Man With the Golden Gun. Diving, snorkeling, and kayaking are popular, as are island-hopping boat tours, which usually include swimming and snorkeling.
Things to Know Before You Go
Boats and ferries visit Phang Nga Bay from Krabi, Phuket, and the Phi Phi islands.
See multiple highlights in one day on an island-hopping boat tour.
Many tours include lunch or other refreshments.
Remember to wear suitable footwear if you’re planning to take part in watersports.
Pack your sunscreen: the sun is strong here.
How to Get There
Ao Phang Nga National Park covers most of Phang Nga Bay in the Andaman Sea. Most people come by ferry or private boat from Krabi or Phuket, or they enjoy the islands as part of a pre-booked guided tour. The closest airport is Krabi.
When to Get There
To get the best of the weather, plan to visit Phang Nga from November to March. This part of Thailand is hot during April and May, and in the rainy season (late May to October), there are often heavy downpours.
See Ancient Rock Art in Phang Nga
A number of the limestone islands in Ao Phang Nga National Park have ancient wall paintings, some more than 3,000 years old. Khao Khian island is one of the best sites for viewing the cave paintings, which include depictions of humans, bats, boats, birds, fish, and elephants. While most drawings are monochrome, there are some done in color.