Blogs from Ao Phang-Nga Marine NP, South-West Thailand, Thailand, Asia

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We were only one hour as the crow flies from Phuket and yet we felt wonderfully remote. 'Our' island, Koh Yao Noi, ('long, little island' in Thai) lies in Phang Nga Bay marine park, an archipelago of 44 islands, some inhabited but mostly tiny limestone outcrops. Koh Yao Noi measures 50 square kilometres but has less than 4,000 inhabitants, mainly small fishing communities; our hotel (aptly named 'Paradise Hotel') had its own bay at the northern end, an hour's bumpy drive by four wheel tuk-tuk over tracks through the forest from the island's harbour. At least the journey was worth it. Against a backdrop of mountains, looking out over a bay of craggy islands, we felt like we were in a scene out of The Beach. This was to be a time of rest and recuperation ... read more
Koh Yao Noi Phang Nga Bay
Hornbill Koh Yao Noi


We booked a day trip with "On Sea Speedboats" for snorkeling and kayaking at the Ang Thong marine park northeast of Samui. They were very good...prompt pickup in fancy plush van at o'darkhundred (OK, 7 am, but we're on holidays here!)'. Our hotel made up these huge 'boxed breakfasts' since the buffet hadnt opened yet for us to take. Too much food for anyone but a linebacker, but we don't like to waste, so took it along on the boat (hint: pretty paper mache bags vs salt water.....decision to ocean!) There was pre-seasickness food for us at the dock, tea and toast and a big bowl of individually wrapped Gravol tablets. Sean, mariner that he isn't, took this as a very bad sign, and sat looking queasily out to sea as we waited to board. The ... read more
Snorkelling spot, Ang Thong
View from lookout, Ang Thong
Not the "James Bond rock", but close!!


superbe journee ! et beaux paysages que demander de plus ???... read more
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Sunday 23rd January 2011 After a lazy morning at Phi Phi Hill we boarded our ferry to Phuket, but we decided not to stay there. We hopped on a bus to Phang Nga where we booked a tour of the National Park and James Bond Island the following day. Monday 24th January 2011 Our tour took us to Phang Nga National park where we drifted through Mangroves on the slowest boat ever. We seemed to be overtaken at every turn, which worried us slightly as we wondered how we would fit everything in when we were travelling at half the speed of all the other tours. After travelling past many ‘sights’ that our guide pointed at and announced their names, we went kayaking (well, we sat in a kayak while a local tour guide did all ... read more
Being overtaken... again!
Kayaking
Richard holding up James Bond Island


Having left Khao Sok with a feeling of contentment that we had found something nearing the mythical stories of natural beauty you hear and read about, we felt optimistic about our next stop on our world tour; Khao Sok was a destination advised by a friend which paid huge dividends, so given that our good friend Oli had advised we head to Ao Phang Nga (having heard great things about it) we thought we would ride our luck whilst it was in. Riding just our luck, however, would not get us to Ao Phang Nga so we forked out 500baht each to catch a minibus from Khao Sok to our destination via Krabi. Upon arrival into Ao Phang Nga bus station we immediately consulted the local travel and tour agent eager to explore the Archipelago which ... read more
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In der Bucht von Phang Nga gab es zur Abwechslung ;-) mal viele Karstfelsen zu sehen. Die Bootsfahrt ging zunaechst durch einen Fluss an Mangrovenwaeldern vorbei, hinter denen immer wieder hohe, von tropischen Baeumen bewachsene Felsentuerme und -Mauern hervor ragten. Einige bildeten Durchgaenge und kleine Hoehlen, unter denen man hindurch fahren konnte. Nach einer Weile wurde der Fluss breiter und die Mangroven verschwanden allmaehlich und ohne, dass wir es richtig bemerkt hatten, waren wir auf dem Meer in der eigentlichen Bucht. Den Hoehepunkt der Fahrt bildete der Besuch der sogenannten James-Bond-Insel, wo der beruehmte Felsen aus dem Film "Der Mann mit dem goldenen Colt." steht. Ohne diesen Felsen wuerden vermutlich deutlich weniger Touristen kommen. Auch, wenn die Phang-Nga-Bucht beeindruckend ist, kann sie mit der Halong-Bucht in Vietnam definitiv nicht mithalten.... read more
Mangroven
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Last stop in Thailand in a magic place. We rented a longtail boat for the day to wander in the biggest mangrove in Thailand, visiting breathtaking caves and islands. Next stop is Bali.... read more
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Photos of Ao Phang-Nga and Ko Samui - 2008... read more
Ao Phang Nga
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James Bond Island


I rejoined Connie and Rosemary yesterday afternoon at Karon, one of the beaches on the west coast of Phuket Island, down in the south where the tsunami had a great impact. Adrian and I used to travel there each day from Phuket city 30 years ago when we were teaching at the university here. We stayed in the town in a fine old Chinese hotel which is still going . In those days there wasn't really anywhere to stay at the beaches. Now!!! I am sorry to report that the various beach villages are something of a cross between Surfers Paradise and Kings Cross. Absolutely jam-packed with bars and bar girls. And this is the off season, so most places are empty. Rahter pathetic. Phuket might be nice in an isolated resort away from the main ... read more
PATONG BEACH
Wires!!!
Cat in Cremorne, Sydney


After I left Krabi, I headed North to the town of Ao Phang Nga. This small town is mainly a jumping off point to the local national marine park. I strolled around the town a bit, and I have to say, it was kinda crummy. No offense to anyone, but there was only 1 restaurant! After I got off at the bus stop a hostel was recommended to me by the guy, Mr. Kean, who is the one-stop tour operator in the town. Very helpful and nice. And he must be well respected because mentioning his name always seemed to drop a few baht off the price of anything you were negotiating for. Very handy. Anyway, I went to the first hostel and booked a room, in a hurry to drop off my bag which was ... read more
National Park
Serious business
View from long tail




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