If you have been driving along Route 4 from Phuket to Krabi or vice versa, you couldn’t have missed the huge black monk statue facing the highway in Phang Nga province. The statue depicts Phor Than Klai, one of the most famous guru monks of his generation (1876-1970).
The erosion of limestone has formed the spectacular karst landscape in Krabi and Phang Nga Bay (once coral reefs hundreds of millions of years ago) due to the chemical weathering where acid rain, which produces carbonic acid, has dissolved layers of soluble bedrock. Karst landscapes feature limestone cliffs, caves, underground streams, and sinkholes.
The islands of Krabi and Phang Nga Bay were formed by the movements of massive plates of earth and lifted out of the seas. This geological process has created a landscape that really fascinates me, and I have been taking quite some pictures during my stays here. Check them out.
Koh Panyee is a Muslim village built on stilts in Phang Nga Bay, famous for its floating football pitch and the touching story behind it; check out this short film on youtube. Koh Panyee is about 20 minutes by longtail boat from one of the three piers in Phang Nga. Our plan was to go to the famous James Bond Island, and since Koh Panyee is on the way, we decided to stop on the way back to check out this village surrounded by picturesque limestone cliffs. Koh Panyee has developed into a tourist trap; but with such a sweet story and beautiful scenery, it’s worth a visit.
Khao Phing Kan is an island in Phang Nga Bay 25 km northeast of Phuket – known as James Bond Island since it was featured in the James Bond movie The Man with the Golden Gun from 1974. People come here to take pictures of the iconic 20-meters tall rock that vertically juts out of the greenish water. The rock is called Kho Tapu, which translates into English as “nail island.” It’s truly stunning scenery in the surrounding area and attracts a lot of visitors every day.
The Similan Islands (Mu Koh Similan) is a group of 9 islands in the Andaman Sea, located 65 km off the coastline of Phang Nga province. The islands belong to the Similan National Park, boasting some stunning natural beauty and world-class diving and snorkeling. The area is closed six months per year (15th May – 15th October) to let nature and wildlife recover. A fascinating thing about the Similan Islands is the fact that the landscape with its granite rock formations was formed more than 250 million years ago in the Paleozoic period – a time before the dinosaurs.
Donald Duck Bay (Ao Kueak)
The viewpoint on island number eight offers an absolutely gorgeous view!
Bang Pat (Bang Toei subdistrict) in Phang Nga, located 1 hour and a half north of Phuket, is a Muslim village built entirely on the water next to a mangrove forest – connected to the mainland by a few hundred meters long bridge. About 80 families are living here which some of them offer homestays where you can sleep in one of the stilt houses, share meals with the owner, experience mangrove planting, fishing and cooking.