Renting a boat and cruising the Andaman Sea isn’t a complete trip without stopping at Phang Nga Bay, which is located within the Phang Nga province on the south of the sea. The area is surrounded by mystical limestone karsts layered with various green trees and plants rising from the sea. Within are coves where visitors can paddle their kayaks or inflatable canoes. People can gaze at the distinct islands dotting Phang Nga Bay from the leisure of their boat or tourists can explore the deep magical wonders of the serene area via kayaks or inflatable safety canoes.
A popular highlighted adventure is kayaking around the massive limestone structures that rise from Phang Nga Bay, sometimes looming as high as a kilometre. Over the centuries, rainwater puddles ate into the limestone, eventually creating chimneys and grottos known as ‘hongs’ (from the Thai word for rooms).
It’s definitely advised that your yacht comes equipped with a kayak or two. One of the memorable things you will do at Phang Nga is to canoe in and out of caves, riveted by the light and colors and hushed sounds. And the traffic — some popular caves literally have queues of canoes waiting to enter.
Popular cave rooms to explore are Ko Phanak and Ko Hong. Both are stunning results of the natural formation of the limestone. Ko Hong offers a vast space, with open light sparkling the aquamarine waters and highlighting the flora growing off of the limestone.
Sailing Phang Nga Bay, you’ll happen across James Bond Island (so named because of the 1974 James Bond movie that was filmed here) and Koh Panyee. Boats are not allowed to park ashore because the island’s top-heavy structure makes it unstable, but you can anchor nearby and kayak around the unique structure.
Koh Panyee is a village that still holds onto its traditional lifestyle and customs with a population almost equally divided between fishermen and tour operators, living in quaint houses on stilts. Female travellers are advised to dress conservatively, in deference to the mostly Muslim residents. Visiting Koh Panyee is for those interested in understanding a life so vastly different than their own, although they have adapted to some similar trends of today’s lifestyle but they still celebrate the history of their descendents. Koh Panyee, is like other islands in Phang Nga, with its distinctive landscape and massive limestone bluffs.
Phang Nga Bay, near Phuket, is a magical way to explore these tranquil islands from a boat. Travellers can expect a day of relaxed adventure and fascinating sights. For anyone exploring these turquoise waters from a rented boat, this picturesque bay should be a sure stop.