Entering Phang Nga Bay is a day trip you must experience whenever taking a holiday in the southern Thailand area of Phuket and the Phang Nga Province.
An affordable day out that is great for families and special for lovers, who are keen to see a special part of the world that has an abundance of surrounding natural beauty.
An overcast day or blissful sunshine, it doesn’t matter, because nothing will take away the magical moment that you will experience, bypassing the 42 Islands of The Bay, with the wind gushing through your hair, and enjoying one of your favourite days of your vacation.
For now, let me take you on my very own longboat Journey into Phang Nga Bay, Thailand.
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Taking the longboat
You can enter Phang Nga Bay by either speed boat, private charter or the old longboat.
During my own family outing at The Bay, we took the longboat option, and first impressions the old wooden boat may not have been overly comforting on first sight, it did have the appearance that it had seen better days. Don’t judge anything on looks, because these longboats are built to last and can handle the rigours of the water.
From entering the longboat, it was all about taking in the surrounds, as the boat moved smoothly and at a steady pace by the local village, out past the mangroves and into Phang Nga Bay where several islands and islets were waiting spectacularly to be seen.
Canoeing amongst the Mangroves
What an experience to canoe amongst the mangroves as you take the day trip to another level, to think the day has only just began.
It’s time to relax once more as the locals take charge of the situation with an oar in hand and give their guest a serene moment amongst the mangroves and the limestone cave. It’s natural beauty at its very best.
Just chill, take photos and give the local guide a rest at times by taking the oars away and having a go at paddling in the calm waters yourself. The guide may even be kind enough to make a little hand-made flower for their female guest, quite the little charmers.
Once the 60-minute canoe trip is up and you have finished marvelling once more at what is around you, pay a little tip for the friendly guide and then it’s off to the next location in The Bay.
Entering the Islands of Phang Nga Bay
Once you are done canoeing the mangroves, it’s back on the old longboat, where it’s time to head deeper into Phang Nga Bay and gaze at the surrounding islands, as you set-sail to the next port of call.
Many boats of all shapes and sizes will go by and even at times you will wish you were on the luxury cruise-lines that in close distance. It won’t bother you much, because for a cheaper rate, you are still out in paradise enjoying another precious day in Southeast Asia.
James Bond Island
A tourist phenomenon, a visit to James Bond Island is quite short, too short, but there is time enough to make the most of the opportunity by taking a dip in the bay, amongst a few other activities.
You can explore the boutique market places and perhaps buy an expensive cool drink or ice-cream. Then it’s time to capture a few memorable moments by getting the camera out and clicking pictures of the island, especially the famous islet out in the middle (Ko Tapu).
Panyee Island – Floating Village
It is quite amazing to be cruising along the waters of The Bay and stumble upon a floating village, that appears out of nowhere. That’s right, a village built off a small island (Panyee Island), where locals actually eat, sleep, work, and the kids get educated.
For the locals it’s an everyday life, for me and you the tourist it is an eye opener. You can spend a fair amount of time exploring the floating village and its stacked with marketplaces, restaurants, a mosque (it is a village for the Thai Muslims) and even a primary school that has a concrete soccer field. Hey, to me, it’s the prettiest location to have a soccer match.
It capped off the time in Phang Nga Bay perfectly, to see a location that is quite unique. Sure, today Panyee Island is a tourist hotspot and the locals dress it up that way. Even then, it doesn’t take the experience of visiting such a different attraction.
Heading to Phuket? Make sure you check out Phang Nga Bay and its wonderful attractions, it promises to be a busy day out.