The archipelago and the bay of Phang nga, the Sea Gypsies in Koh Panyee and the sea between blue and green that opens up close to a primordial vegetation.
A true natural paradise. Overlooking the Indian Ocean we find the base of this unusual itinerary: Khao Lak. Hat Khao Lak is a beach particularly suitable for those who prefer to avoid the glitz, nightlife and crowding of large tourist areas but are at the same time looking for comfort and quality services. It offers long stretches of sand fringed by wooded hills while the sea water, very clean and warm, is a privileged way to roam the coast washed by the Indian Ocean and explore the north of the Andaman, reaching in no time the marine national parks of the Similan Islands. and Surin. On the mainland, other national parks: Khao Lak / Lam Ru,Khao Sok and Phang-nga will give you particularly interesting days and above all in close contact with the local flora and fauna. It is therefore not surprising that in recent years the wonderful bronze-colored beach of Khao Lak has been the protagonist of a truly unexpected development. After the devastation of the area caused by the Tsunami in December 2004 and the subsequent reconstruction, new and captivating resorts have sprung up. Tourists (especially divers) arrived en masse and everything is back to normal: the offer of sea, sun, green nature, good food and friendly population works very well and today Khao Lak is a place perfectly able to satisfy needs of different target visitors: there are no shopping centers but there is certainly no shortage of shops, restaurants,bars and all the leisure activities that we would expect to find in a top-class seaside resort. This is an area that extends on the mainland including the stretch of coast that rises north from Phuket towards the Ranong province.
The leap from the “Pearl of the Andaman" – the most famous Thai island in the world – is short but enough to bring the most demanding tourist to places of great well-being: from the exclusive hotel in the shade of palm trees to the Spa, from the starred restaurant to the nature reserve, nothing is missing. Not a small detail: behind the classic seaside paradise there is a world made up of rainforest, wild fauna, waterfalls and bodies of water. To be discovered dangling on the back of an elephant, aboard a long-tail boat or simply on foot. The scene is a triumph of green and water.This part of Thailand is one of the wettest in the country, the rainforest that we find here is among the oldest in the world: a stone's throw from the beaches of Khao Lak, in fact, you can make magnificent excursions and explorations, from bamboo rafting to on the back of an elephant, from trekking to rock climbing. Khao Lak Lam-Ru National Park is worth a visit.
The park is a splendid collection of cliffs, hills, beaches, estuaries, valleys covered with forests and mangroves and occupies an area of approximately 130kmq. In addition to the rainforest, you can admire waterfalls and caves, cross forests of coconut palms, banana trees but above all rubber plantations.From the visitor center you can easily leave for a hike along a 3km long path of medium difficulty that leads to the end of the cape to the often deserted beach of Hat Lek (small beach in Thai). For guided trekking and boat trips, we contact the travel agencies of the town. We recommend the scenic excursion to the Khlong Thap Liang estuary where it is customary to meet permanent communities of macaques and gibbons living between the forest and mangroves, while between Khao Lak and Bang Sak there is a maze of dirt roads and paths that often lead to deserted beaches.
Another highly recommended excursion is to Khao Sok National Park. The reserve enjoys an enviable position:halfway between the fascinating Indian Ocean coast to the west and the Gulf of Thailand to the east. The park is perfectly set on the mainland between the island of Phuket, Krabi, Khao Lak and Koh Samui: precisely the most popular destinations in southern Thailand. It is a fantastic place to go on vacation: it is covered by an ancient evergreen rainforest, surrounded by huge limestone mountains, marked by deep valleys, lakes, thrilling caves and populated by wild animals. The excursions to be carried out inside the park range from trekking in the jungle to canoeing on the river. In particular that at Chiaw Lan Lake, an artificial lake that extends for 165 square kilometers within the park and built thanks to an imposing dam on the river (Ratchaprapa Dam).Once you reach the park entrance, you can board a “long tail boat", a typical Thai fishing boat, and sail on the lake. The landscape is stunning, almost prehistoric.
Limestone outcrops reaching 900 meters high rise from the water, as do old trees and mangroves. The fog surrounding the rainforest-covered mountains makes the place evocative, sometimes surreal. A couple of hours away by car from Khao Lak, we find another destination not to be missed: Phang-nga Bay. Rich in limestone formations that were modeled during the last ice age. The area is a succession of countless, wonderful islets and stacks.They rise from the sea like immense monoliths and create a majestic scenery of extraordinary beauty such as to place these places among the greatest beauties of the planet. Right in the Phang-nga bay, between the limestone islands and the villages of the “Sea Gypsies" there is a small but very famous island, Khao Phing Kan. Made famous by a 007 movie and since then renamed James Bond Island. The island is a vertical cone with an inverted base and has the appearance of a huge nail 20 meters high with a diameter ranging from about 4 meters near the water level to 8 meters at the top. The waters of the bay around the island are shallow and jade green; the bottom is covered by silt carried by several rivers from the north of Thailand that flow not far from here. The island is very small,it is not possible to dock there, but it offers glimpses of remarkable beauty. But let's go back to Khao lak.
The local population is predominantly Thai, with Chinese, Malay and Indonesian minorities. The diversity of ethnic groups and cultural influences in and around Khao Lak makes the whole region very rich in products, from agricultural to fish and of course the excellent cuisine is varied and colorful. In the evening, the hustle and bustle of Phuket (which is just 90km away) is very far away. You can choose whether to stroll through the markets or enjoy delicious fish skewers cooked on the spot, or watch small shows on the beach with live music. This is one of the simplest ways to approach the Thai spirit and culture. In fact, moving away from the fascinating,obvious beauty of the resorts turns out to be a truer Khao Lak. You do not need particular information and maps to find it: a few questions to the cordial local population and a little luck are enough to get to know unique places, perfect in their simplicity. If from the central street of the town you take any side street towards the sea you are surrounded by small restaurants, massage centers, clothing shops, diving centers and markets.
In a matter of minutes you will find yourself in Nang Thong, the beach and the best equipped tourist center. This area is home to most of the hotels and resorts in Khao Lak.a few questions to the cordial local population and a little luck are enough to get to know unique places, perfect in their simplicity. If from the central street of the town you take any side street towards the sea you are surrounded by small restaurants, massage centers, clothing shops, diving centers and markets. In a matter of minutes you will find yourself in Nang Thong, the beach and the best equipped tourist center. This area is home to most of the hotels and resorts in Khao Lak.a few questions to the friendly local population and a little luck are enough to get to know unique places, perfect in their simplicity.
If from the central street of the town you take any side street towards the sea you are surrounded by small restaurants, massage centers, clothing shops, diving centers and markets. In a matter of minutes you will find yourself in Nang Thong, the beach and the best equipped tourist center. This area is home to most of the hotels and resorts in Khao Lak.In a matter of minutes you will find yourself in Nang Thong, the beach and the best equipped tourist center. This area is home to most of the hotels and resorts in Khao Lak.In a matter of minutes you will find yourself in Nang Thong, the beach and the best equipped tourist center. This area is home to most of the hotels and resorts in Khao Lak.
The beaches are very beautiful and varied, each with a charm that makes them special. The main one is Ao Thong Beach (White Sand Beach). Its name says it all, a singular white sand beach on the north-east coast of Thailand, where the beaches have a characteristic bronze color. It's not just the sand that makes it so pleasant; it is a very quiet beach where you can enjoy the warm and crystalline waters of the Andaman Sea in all serenity. Located north of Laem Pakarang (17km from Nang Thong Beach), Pak Weep Beach is one of the last remaining natural beaches in the area. Characterized by the lush vegetation of the Beach Forest, Pak Weep Beach guarantees a relaxing beach holiday. Finally, Bang Sak beach is located 4km north of Pak Weep Beach, offers a beautiful beach,ideal for those looking for a “detoxifying" stay.
Khao Lak is also one of the favorite destinations for divers, thanks to its proximity to the Similan and Surin islands, authentic pearls and must-sees for fans of this sport. The most beautiful underwater environment and the most eclectic marine life of Thailand's coral reefs are at home right here! “Similan” means nine and refers to the nine islands that are aligned from north to south about 60km from the mainland. The crystal clear water of the Indian Ocean bathes these granite islands and gives them the most beautiful beaches and underwater attractions in Thailand. The marine environment is well protected by the national park: the great variety of marine fauna, the charm of corals, alcyonaries and fan-shaped gorgonians make the area one of the 10 most beautiful dive sites in the world.There are several ways to visit these places: you can stay in campsites managed by the Marine National Park which offer very basic tents and bungalows on island “4" (Koh Miang) and only tents on island “8" (Koh Similan) or reach the Similan in an hour and a half by speedboat departing from Khao Lak. There are nine islands, but access is forbidden at 1,2 and 3 due to the turtles that lay their eggs there. The boat cruise is a fantastic solution because it is the one that will best introduce you to this incredible archipelago.(Koh Similan) or reach Similan in an hour and ½ by speedboat departing from Khao Lak. There are nine islands, but access is forbidden at 1,2 and 3 due to the turtles that lay their eggs there. The boat cruise is a fantastic solution because it is the one that will best introduce you to this incredible archipelago.(Koh Similan) or reach the Similan in an hour and a half by speedboat departing from Khao Lak. There are nine islands, but access is forbidden at nos. 1,2 and 3 due to the turtles that lay their eggs there. The boat cruise is a fantastic solution because it is the one that will best introduce you to this incredible archipelago.
Best time to go: December to April
How to get there:
thanks to its location, on the border with both Phuket and Krabi, the province of Phang-nga is quite easy to reach. Day trips to the area's national parks depart frequently from Phuket and Krabi.
On the train. There is no direct train to Phang-Nga. The State Railways of Thailand operate daily rail services between Bangkok and Surat Thani. Visitors can get to Phang Nga by getting off at Surat Thani Railway Station and then transferring in two hours.
For more information call Hua Lumphong station in Bangkok +66 0 2223 7010 or visit www.railway.co.th.
From Bangkok there are two routes to get to Phang Nga, which is 800 kilometers from the capital, about 12 hours.
1: Take Highway No. 4 through Prachuap Khiri Khan, Chumphon, and Ranong provinces before arriving in Phang Nga.
2: Take Highway No. 4 to Chumphon and then Highway No. 41 to Amphoe Tha Chang, turning right onto Highway 401 No. Continue to Amphoe Ban Ta Khun, approximately 50 kilometers, then take Highway No. 415 for the last 30 kilometers.
Visitors traveling from Phuket
can use Highway No. 402, near the Sarasin Bridge. Highway 4 north, left, leads to Khao Lak, while Highway No. 4 south, right, leads to Phang-nga. Both Khao Lak and Phang Nga are approximately 90 kilometers from Phuket, a journey of approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.
By bus. There are daily bus services from Bangkok to Phang-nga, departing in the morning and evening. The travel time is approximately 12 hours.
For more information call the South Bus Terminal at tel. +66 0 2435 1199-200 or the Bus Terminal in Phang Nga tel: +66 0 7641 2300, 0 7641 2014 or visit the website www.transport.co.th.
The closest airport to Phan-nga is Phuket International Airport, which is served by numerous Thai and international airlines from domestic and overseas destinations. From Phuket, visitors can take a bus, rental car, or taxi to Phang-nga, which is approximately 90 kilometers away. It is also possible to fly to Krabi, where you can then rent a car or take a scheduled mini-bus to Phang-nga, a journey of about 2 hours.
The rule is this: “Air passengers – reads the Dpcm – must necessarily wear a surgical mask, which will be replaced every four hours if an exception to the interpersonal distance of one meter is allowed". The point is the interpretation: is the surgical mask only the one you buy at the pharmacy? Or are common cloth masks also considered “surgical"? There does not seem to be a clear and unambiguous answer. The civil aviation authority, ENAC, responded only informally – there are no official notes on the site – interpreting the rule in an extensive way, i.e. considering the fabric masks equivalent to the surgical ones (and at this point it is necessary to have two in case of flights longer than four hours). But Alitalia, for example, has interpreted the use of a medical, surgical or Ffp2 or Ffp3 mask as mandatory. So excluding cloth masks.
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