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Khao Lak & Phang-Nga

Phang-nga is located just to the north of Phuket on the western coast of the penisular part of southern Thailand with an area of 4,171 sq km. Its long sandy coast (220 km) and large numbers of limestone islands (161) and mountains make it one of the most scenic provinces of Thailand, and gives a lot of opportunities for tourists to enjoy various activities both on land and in the sea like trekking, canoeing and diving. Though a small province, it has as many as six national parks. Of all the national parks in Phang-nga, three are on land, offering scenic mountains and fine beaches.

Khao Lak-Lamru National Park
Khao Lak-Lamru, commonly called Khao Lak is emerging as a wonderful tourist attraction appealing to those who love tranquility amidst the pristine nature. With an area of about 150 sql km covering four districts of Thai Muang, Pakong, Takua Pa and Muang, the national park boasts virgin forests with abundant flora and fauna and waterfalls. The cream of the park lies on Khao Lak Hill, 25 km from Amphoe Takua Pa, forming a scenic background for a serene long golden beach, which is an ideal place for relaxation and a nice viewpoint for watching the sunset. Visitors can get close to the nature there where the locals live in a simple lifestyle. Several types of accommodations are available.

Khao Lampi-Hat Thai Muang National Park
Is located in Thai Muang country. Its main attractions are Lampi Waterfall, Ton Phrai Waterfall, and Thai Muang Beach which is good for swimming and which is a place to watch sea-turtles laying eggs on moonlight nights from November to February.

Si Phang-nga National Park
Is 100 km to the north of Phang-nga town whose natural resources are still well preserved. It has two attractive waterfalls called Tamnang and Tontontoey Noi.

Similian Marine National Park
Not far from Khao Lak is Thap Lamu landing which enables tourists to reach the 40-km-away Similian Marine National Park, which is famous among tourists, both domestic and foreign, for its uncontaminated water and abundant marine lives and as a place for angling and scuba diving. It can be reached in about 10 hrs by boat from Phuket or 4 hrs from Thap Lamu landing in Phang-nga.

Suring Islands Marine National Park
As beautiful and unspoiled as Similan is this marine national park, which  is farther away off the northwestern coast of the province. The group of islands can be reached mor easily from Phang-nga than from Phuket. It offers excellent sites form skin-diving. About 1.30 hrs away from the islands are Richelieu Rocks, a spot for viewing whale sharks.

Phang-nga Bay National Park
Is by no doubt the most popular national park of the province. The bay is attractive for its numerous weird limestone outcrops and cliffed islets rising from the sea. This place became more famous after the James Bond adventure, The Man with the Golden Gun, was partly filmed here. Its famous islets include Khao Phingkan (or James Bond Island), an islet cut into two from top to bottom by natural forces with the breakaway part leaning against the main one and Ko Tapu which is perhaps the most photographed object in the bay.

Khao Sok National Park
Is for those who want more of the atmosphere of pure nature, in nearby Surat Thani is not too far. Here is one of the most luxuriant rain forests remaining in the country. Canoeing and trekking are operated by many travel agencies in Phuket and Phang-nga.