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Travel, Teach, Live in Thailand

A Trip to Phang Nga Bay
By:Thom Sanders

If you're heading out on one of the many Phuket holidays available these days then one of the 'must visit' places on your list of things to do should be "Phang Nga Bay". The bay is made of a stunning mix of sheer limestone cliffs, mangroves and jungle capped rocky outcroppings. It covers and area just over 400 kmĀ² and is set in the Andaman Sea near to the island of Phuket.

If you're one of the people out there lucky enough to have your own sailing boat you could spend days looking around the various islands, archaeological sites and cave systems, that or you could hire out kayaks to spend some time exploring. Most people though choose to just hire a boat to day trip around the bay.

The bay was made a National Park back in 1981 and then was protected as a site of international ecological significance in 2002. This is mainly due to the fantastic variety of wildlife, well over 100 species of birds and fish call this unique landscape home, but also because of its unique ecosystem. The bay also features a significant collection of archaeological sites and a diverse selection of local cultures.

Because of this unique setting the bay draws people from all over the world, so if you want to avoid the crowds it's worth setting of to hire a boat early to beat the daily rush. Most people drive up to Phang Nga and hire one of the local "longtail" boats. Getting to the National Park Pier, where most of the boats depart from, before 10am gives you the best chance of setting off without having to deal with the crowds that come later.

The average boat hire takes you out around the bay for a good 4-5 hours, which is plenty of time to get some good photos and enjoy the surroundings. Most boats stop at the fascinating floating village of Koh Panyee for refreshments half way through the trip, although taking your own bottled water is always advised. The village features many restaurants to grab a bite to eat and is a pretty unique setting to enjoy a lunch out.

Finally most boat tours of the bay will take you to the famous James Bond Island. Which although usually a little crowded is a great way to see the setting for the film 'The Man with the Golden Gun' and the iconic rocky spire that features in it.

Qantas Holidays offer an extensive range of Phuket holidays and are specialists in the Holidays in Thailand market. http://www.qantasholidays.co.uk/region-overview.aspx?qs=productid_e_149498

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