By road from Bangkok, take Route 4, passing Prachuap Kiri Khan, Chumporn, and Ranong. The total distance is 788 kms, which can be covered in approximately 12 hours.
Both air-conditioned and non air-conditioned buses leave the Southern Bus Terminal daily with a choice between buses going directly to Phang-nga or buses going to Phuket. For more information, Please call 0-2435-1195 (2 class air-conditioned) and 0-2435-1199, 0-2435-1200 (VIP air-conditioned bus).
By road from Phuket, take Route 402, passing Sarasin Bridge to Khoke Kloy. Turn right to Thakua-thong and Phang-nga town. The total distance is 87 kms, approximate travel time is 90 minutes.
Buses from Phang-nga leave from the bus tesminal in Phang-nga Town (timetable and fares can be found at tel. 0-7641-2014). The bus terminal in Thakua-pa (timetable and fares can be found at tel. 0-7642-1686).
Phang-nga has an area of 4,170.895-sq.km., a large part of which is forests. Phang-nga has 118 islands. Its boundaries are as follows:
North, connects with Ranong and Surat Thani.
East, connects with surat Thani and Krabi.
South, connects with Phuket and the Andaman sea.
West, connects with the Andaman sea.
The name Phang-nga is supposed to have come from Muang Phu-nga, named after Nga mountain (or Phang-nga Mountain), which is situated in Phang-nga Town.
Muang Phu-nga was under the administration of the government in Nakhorn Sri Thammarat. During the reign of Rama II, the name Phu-nga was found in records of government officials in Nakhorn Sri Thammarat, showing that Phu-nga must have been a town under the Left Surasawadee Department. It is also thought that Phu-nga was named so in order to rhyme with Phuket.
The change in the pronunciation of Phu-nga to Phang-nga is thought to have resulted from the confusion of foreign tin buyers with the way it was written and the way it was pronounced. The foreign tin buyers spelled it Phunga, which could be read as Phu-nga, Phang-nga, or Phang-ga.
Ancient records reveal that before the establishment of the Chakri Dynasty, Phang-nga was a district under Thakua-pa. During the reign of Rama I of the Chakri Dynasty, Phang-nga was given equal status with Thakua-pa and Thakua-thung, and all three were removed from the former Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs and were put under the Ministry of Defense.
The best evidence indicates that Phang-nga was officially established in 1809 during the reign of Rama ll, when one of the periodic wars with Burma was raging. Padung Kasatri, the Burmese king then, appointed Ah Therng Woon to lead an invasion on the southern towns of Thailand. Burma's ship-borne army attacked Thakua-pa, Thakua-thung, and Thalang, and carried off the populations to their fort. The town of Thalang was razed to the ground. Rama II appointed his younger brother, Prince Saynanurak Kromphraratchavangbavon, to lead an army down from Bangkok to drive away the invaders.
During the war some of the local people took refuge at Kra Phu-nga (Malay for mount of Phu-nga river), which was surrounded by mountains. After the war Prince Saynanurak saw that Thalang had been too badly damaged to build a new town, so he decided to move the people of Thalang to Kra Phu-nga and registered the new town to be under the administration of the government in Nakhorn Sri Thammarat. There is still a village in what is today Thakua-thung district called Thalang, founded by those immigrants from Thalang in Phuket.
During the reign of Rama III, the central government thought to strengthen the southwest coastal towns that were prey to Burmese attacks by appointing a governor for each town, each governor reporting directly to Bangkok. Phraya Borrirak Phuthorn (Saen Na Nakhorn) became the first governor of Phang-nga in 1840. Later on, in the same year Thakua-thung was reduced in status and became merely a district of Phang-nga.
During the reign of Rama VII, the worldwide economic depression of the 1930 struck. In 1931 the government in Phuket decided to reduce Thakua-pa's status to a district of Phang-nga.
Phang-nga's Provincial Hall was first built on site at Baan Chai Khai, In 1930 a larger one was built at Baan Thai Chang. The present Provincial Hall in front of Phoong Chang Cave was built in 1972.
Phang-nga is divided into 8 districts, which are Muang, Kura-buri, Thap-put, Ka-pong, Thakua-thung, Thakua-pa, Thai-muang, and Koh Yao. The total population of Phang-nga was 235,217 as of December 31, 2000.
The Turtle-Releasing Festival
This festival is held for a week in the beginning of March each year. Turtles raised by the Fisheries Department and the Royal Navy Third Fleet to be released at Thai Muang Beach.
The Thakua-pa Vegetarian Festival
Similar to the well-known Vegetarian Festival in Phuket and Trang, this festival is held during September-October.
Handmade from rubber tree leaver and fish scales by the Farm Women's Group in the different tambons villages, these flowers can be bought at the Phang-nga Provincial Agriculture Office at (tel. 0-76-41-2019) or at the Farm Women's Group in the tambons.
Outstanding Local Products
Phang-nga is famous for its shrimp paste (kapi) such as the shrimp paste from Yao and Panyee Islands, along with being famous for its dried shrimp (kung siab). Both kapi and kung siab can be found in local stores and markets everywhere.