Phangnga
Location
Located just north of Phuket, this coastal province is 788 km. to the south of Bangkok. It is adjacent to Ranong and Surat Thani in the North, Phuket and the Andaman Sea in the South, Surat Thani and Krabi in the East and the Andaman Sea in the West.
Area
Phang-nga has an area of 4,170 sq.km. The province has a coastline of 240 km. long and 105 islets.
Climate
There are only two seasons in Phang-nga: the hot season from January to April, and the rainy season from May to December.
Topography
The terrain is predominantly mountains and forests combined with rubber plantations. 57% of the total area is mangrove and primary forests. An important mountain is 517-km. Phuket mountain range. Two major rivers are the Phang-nga river and the Takua Pa river. The coastline of Phang-nga is long, narrow and curvy. The province also has about 105 islets, mostly located to the northwest of the province.
Population
The population is 235,217 (end 2000). They consist of Thai-Buddhist, 83%; Muslim, 17%; and Christian, 0.01% (end 1999).
Administration
Phang-nga consists of 8 counties (amphoe): Amphoe Muang, Kuraburi, Thap Put, Takua Thung, Takua Pa, Thai Muang, and Ko Yao.
Language
Southern dialect and standard Thai language. English is spoken and understood in tourist areas.
Products
Rubber.
History top

The present province of Phang-nga was first inhabited by small communities on the bank of the Phang-nga river in a district called Kraphu-nga. The district expanded in the reign of King Rama II (1809-1824) when the Burmese troops invaded southern Thailand. As the army from Bangkok did not arrive in time, the three important nearby towns of Takua Pa, Takua Thung, and Thalang (present Phuket) fell one after the other and their large numbers of inhabitants fled to Kraphu-nga and settled there. Later the Siamese army successfully expelled all the Burmese invaders but most people chose to stay in their new communities.
In the reign of King Rama III (1824-1851), the status of Kraphu-nga village was changed into a town under the name of Phang-nga, and by the King's order Takua Thung became part of Phang-nga. Phang-nga was elevated to a province in 1933.

Attractions top
Phang-nga is located just to the north of Phuket on the western coast of the peninsular part of southern Thailand, with an area of 4,171 sq.km. Its long sandy coast (220 km.) and large numbers of limestone islands (161) and mountains make it one of the most scenic provinces of Thailand, and that is why it boasts as many as six national parks, including three on the sea.
Phang-nga's attractions are divided according to the counties they belong to. If you want to find some specific places.

Most attractions in Phang-nga are major excursion destinations from Phuket. The following are among the best known.

Ao Phang-nga (Phang-nga Bay)
Khao Phingkan
Ko Tapu (James Bond Island)
Ko Panyi

Now Phang-nga is popular for eco-tourism. There are many tour operators organizing a large variety of activities in this area, such as sea canoeing, rafting, elephant trekking, jungle trekking, diving, etc.You are recommended to contact tour operators for such a tour.

Transportation top
There are songthaeos (minibuses) running regularly between Phang-nga town and other districts. Car rental is recommended for a long journey.
Shopping top
As a coastal province, important souvenirs of Phang-nga are woman accessories and decorative items made of shells, dried seafood and shrimp paste. Another product which is a local handmade speciality is artificial flowers made of rubber tree leaves. All these items can be found in markets and souvenir shops in Phang-nga town and other tourist places such as Panyi Island and Ping Kan Island.
Festivals top

Sea Turtles Releasing Festival (early March)
Phang-nga annually organizes this 7-day festival in March on Thai Muang Beach to preserve the sea turtles. In the festival the turtles raised by the Department of Fisheries are released into the sea by the festival participants.
For more details, contact TAT Southern Office, Region 4, tel. 0 7621 1036

Copyright 2001-2005 Thailandparadise.com, All rights reserved.