Phang Nga Bay, Phuket
Yeah yaeh I know but its well worth going to see as part of a trip,when in Rome etc.
I'd love to spend time backpacking around this part of the world,maybe one day....
Trouble is, theres so much to see and do all over this small world of ours and only one life to do it all,so let get our skates on and do something about it..........
Phang Nga Bay is about 95km's north east of Phuket and it is dotted with hundreds of small islands and impressive limestone cliffs.
Unless you prefer to haggle over prices with boat drivers I would recommend that you go with an organised tour which most of the hotels can arrange for you.
At some islands there are partially submerged grotoes that can be entered by small boats during low tide.
Swiftlets have made their nests in some of these caves where locals come to 'farm' these nests to be used in 'bird's nest soup'.
The broth that is made from the bird saliva holding the nest together is a highly prized Chinese delicacy.
Its a 3 hours long white water rafting at the Phang Nga Bay. But this rafting is a little disappointing. It is using a couple of dams at different points to create strong current so that it looks like real water rafting.
Khao Phing Kan (Thai: เขาพิงกัน) or Ko Khao Phing Kan (เกาะเขาพิงกัน) is a pair of islands on the west coast of Thailand, in the Phang Nga Bay, Andaman Sea.
Since 1974, when it was featured in the James Bond movie The Man with the Golden Gun, it is popularly called James Bond Island.
Before 1974, the island was a rarely visited indigenous area. However, it was chosen as one of the locations for the 1974 James Bond movie The Man with the Golden Gun as the hideout for Bond's antagonist, Francisco Scaramanga. After the movie release it turned into a popular tourist destination that has gradually contaminated Khao Phing Kan with household litter.
In 1981, the island became the most famous part of the newly established Ao Phang Nga Marine National Park. Since 1998, it is forbidden for tourist boats to approach Ko Tapu. This measure aims to stop erosion of the limestone rocks on and near the islet that might eventually result in its collapse.
As u r on the boat from Phuket to Island(s), just in the middle of the sea surrounded by the high hill giant rocks, u r offered lunch on a floating restaurant w great seafood, shrimps, squids, fish, fresh fruits etc ... :) Thats amazing ...
On the way home from Phang Na Bay the tour stops at a Muslim Fishing Village (Kah Pannyi). No matter where you go in Thailand it seems, there is someone wanting to sell you something - this place is no different. Over the lunch-time peak tourist time, the gypsies display all sorts of little trinkets and souvenies. The meal here was glorious - this is where I developed an even greater passion for omletts!!
This is an interesting piece of writing I found on the www.phuket.com site - and I wonder what you make of it!!
'It is better to give this 'attraction' a miss. Unfortunately, what might have been a healthy community of Chao Le, or sea nomads, has been largely turned into a squalid human zoo. Don't contribute to the degradation of these once-proud people. (If you go a couple of hundreds miles to the north, among the islands off the coast of Burma, long closed to visitors, you can still find unspoiled sea nomad communities living in the old way). '
Rubbish I say!!
Phang Nga Bay - known as James Bond Island and Koh Pannyi are just two of the more famous spots in this hauntingly beautiful bay. A distinctive feature of Phang Nga Bay is the sheer limestone cliffs that jut vertically out of the emerald green water. You approach the bay by longtail boats down a river esturary where mangrove swamps enhance the still water. There is also a large Muslim fishing village typically built over the sea on stilts.
(Photo courtesy of http://www.phuket.com/)
Phang Nga Bay is home to many limestone caves or 'hongs'. It is believed that the first visitors to the caves were most likely Chinese fishermen. Here many centuries ago they found swallow nests which were worth a considerably amount in China for their medicinal value.
A trip out to Phang Nga Bay is highly recommended if you find yourself in Phuket. Local tours can be booked from the airport and the coach usually picks you up in the morning from where you are staying. Unfortunately it's been awhile and I don't remember too many details of the trip but the photos below should say something :)
Most boat tours will take you to the islands that were used as a backdrop for the James Bond film 'The Man with the Golden Gun'. Nowadays it's overun with tourists and souvenir vendors.