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Image: Narong Niemhom
In this article about Phang Nga Town in Thailand we will give you tips about some great restaurants, local markets, fun (unknown) things to do and the best places to spend the night if you want to visit Phang Nga Town. Phang Nga Town is a relaxed city where there is surprisingly much to see and do!
Authentic Phang Nga Town
If you want something different and are looking for authenticity, then Phang Nga Town is worth considering! Besides the famous attractions, there are also fun things to discover in the area that haven’t yet been discovered by the masses. Another great advantage is that a lot of fun things to do are cheap or even free.
Despite the fact that Phang Nga Town is close to a number of popular attractions, not many tourists visit this town (yet). Most people choose to stay in Phuket, Ao Nang or Khao Lak. If you are looking for a seaside resort with all the tourist amenities at hand, those places are indeed a good choice. You don’t have to sleep in Phang Nga Town to go to the famous Ao Phang Nga National Park. It’s often the cheapest departure point because you are close by and you have more bargaining opportunities for a good tour in this beautiful area.
What to do in Phang Nga Town?
In Phang Nga Town there are plenty of parks, caves and temples to explore. There are also local markets and typical Thai restaurants where you can try authentic and tasty Thai food.
Somdet Phra Srinagarindra Public Park
This beautiful park is located in the middle of Phang Nga Town. The park is popular among the local Thai for a picnic, party, work out or walk. In addition to fitness equipment, there is also a cycling and walking trail. Scattered over the beautiful park are picnic tables and here and there some food stalls. A nice place for a snack and drink when you are in Phan Nga Town.
Where in Thailand you find food, of course there are monkeys, even whole families! They like to steal your freshly bought snacks if you are not careful!
Tham Ruesi Sawan en Tham Luk Suea Cave
Two more highlights of the Somdet Phra Srinagarindra Public Park are Ruesi Sawan and the Luk Suea Cave, in fact they are real gems. Some of the rocks resemble rocks you see on the Phang Nga Bay Tour, the only difference being that they are not in the middle of the sea.
Entrance: Free. Location: View on Google Maps.
Wat Tham Ta Pan (Wat Thamtapan)
On the outskirts of Phang Nga Town you’ll find this special, somewhat lugubrious dilapidated temple. It’s full of scary looking statues and figures that are tortured in all kinds of bizarre ways. The complex depicts the Buddhist hell, Na Rok. To enter the temple you have to go through the mouth and body of an impressive dragon. To prevent yourself from ever ending up there, you must keep the five commandments. Thou shalt not: (1) kill, (2) steal, (3) lie, (4) be drunk and (5) commit adultery.
Luckily it’s not all doom and gloom and there is also a steep staircase that will take you to a little temple. From here on top you have a great view over Phang Nga Town. This temple is possibly less suitable for young children because of the statues.
Open: Daily from 08.30 to 18.00 hours. Admission: Free but a donation is good for the temple and for your karma points. Location: View on Google Maps.
Phung Chang Cave
From almost every part of Phang Nga Town you can see the big rock in the shape of the elephant (chang). In this rock lies the Phung Chang Cave, which you can visit with a guide. During the tour you will use a raft and canoe. Another part of the cave you will discover by walking through the water in the cave. The water level depends on the season.
Costs: 500 baht, the tour takes about 1 hour. Open: Daily from 08:30 – 16:00. Location: View on Google Maps.
Rent a scooter, this is the most inexpensive and fast way to discover Phang Nga Town and its surroundings.
Sa Nang Manora Forest Park
Five kilometers north of Phang Nga Town is the Sa Nang Manora Forest Park with an area of 288 km2. In the park there are several waterfalls, they are not particularly large but the park consists of lush dense jungle with old trees. In the park you can follow a two-kilometer route to a shell and bat cave. The terrain in the park is mostly flat.
You can also skip a visit to the caves and go straight to the waterfalls, these are located near the parking lot. Sometimes this park is visited as a conclusion of the James Bond Tour if you have booked it in Phang Nga Town. Furthermore, the park is gladly visited by locals for picnics and swimming.
Open: The park is always open. Costs: Free. Location: View on Google Maps.
Wat Suwan Khuha
Wat Suwan Khuha (also spelled as Wat Suwan Kuha) is also called the Reclining Buddha Cave Temple. The reclining Buddha is 15 meters long. Another nickname of this cave is the Monkey Cave, for the cave are many monkeys to find.
Before you get to the entrance of the Wat Suwan Khuha, you first pass a number of stores. Because this temple is sometimes visited as part of a tour, it can be busy here at times. The temple is located about 10 kilometers south of Phang Nga Town.
Open: Daily. Costs: 20 baht per person. Location: View on Google Maps.
Markets in Phang Nga Town
The markets in Phang Nga Town are not aimed at tourists. It’s mainly the locals who come here to do their shopping, snack and socialize. Therefore, don’t be surprised if you are the only tourist. A great opportunity to immerse yourself in the local Thai life!
Klong Nga Floating Market
The Klong Nga Floating Market is a local riverside market overlooking the high cliffs. The name Floating Market probably reminds you of the floating markets in Bangkok such as the Amphawa Floating Market.
This market is less “polished” and more authentic. Besides a number of boats there are many market stalls on the quayside along the river. People from all over the area come to this market to do their shopping. You can buy snacks, beverages, clothing and household supplies.
Open: Saturday from 16:00 – 21:00. Location: View on Google Maps.
Phangnga Chatuchak Weekend Market
The name Pnhangna Chatuchak Weekend Market is chosen a bit odd, this market is only open on Mondays. Maybe she meant a market that is open after the weekend? On the small local market different kinds of vegetables, fruit, fish, meat, clothes and snacks are sold.
Open: Monday 16:00 – 20:00. Location: View on Google Maps.
Kraphunga Fresh Market
You’ll have to get up early to see this market at its best. Around eleven o’clock every merchant hopes to have sold out long ago. The market is covered and there are long tables to eat your newly bought snack. Come for breakfast? Act like the Thai and start the day with Pa Tong Go (or Bah Tong Kho). These are deep-fried dough snacks and are native to China. Pa Tong Go is a kind of cross between an Spanish Churro and a donut, try to buy them when they are still warm and dip them in a bag of delicious sweet pandan (green bag below on the picture) or condensed milk (white bag).
Open: Daily from 05:00 – 11:00. Location: View on Google Maps.
Banghang Night Market
In a side street of the main road of the city of Phang Nga, every night the stalls are transformed into a small food feast called Nanghang Night Market. A locally popular dish is Khanom Chin, which is rice noodles with curry that you can top yourself with all kinds of vegetables.
Open: Daily from 16:00 – 21:00. Location: View on Google Maps.
Good eats in and around Phang Nga Town
If you haven’t eaten your belly full yet on the market or can’t get enough of that tasty Thai food, Phang Nga Town and surroundings won’t disappoint you. We have listed some good restaurants and eateries for you below. Not always the menu will be in English, but by pointing things out and especially by laughing you will go a long way.
Phang Nga Viewpoint Cafe
The Phang Nga Viewpoint Cafe is a nice place for a drink or dinner. The restaurant stands on a hill and has an open character you have a view of Phang Nga Town and the rock formations. Special enough there are horses and there is also a small zipline parkour. Location: View on Google Maps.
Also visit the Samet Nangshe Viewpoint which is also located in the province of Phang Nga and has a phenomenal 180 degree view over Phang Nga Bay!
The restaurants, bars and accommodations selected by us are very well regarded. However, it is possible that due to, for example, new management the quality of the location deteriorates. A location can also close down. To keep Thailand Magazine as up to date as possible we would like to hear from you! If you have had a negative experience or a favorite not to miss spot in Thailand please let us know by mail, Instagram or Facebook. Thanks!
Raruenja Cafe & Restaurant is a modern restaurant with traditional Thai dishes but also western dishes such as hamburgers and T-Bone steaks. The restaurant serves beautifully made plates and delicious desserts. Already eaten enough? The terrace on the waterfront overlooks the mountains of Phang Nga Town. A nice place to end the day with a cold beer or other beverage. Cheers!
Open: Daily from 10:30 – 23:00. Location: View on Google Maps.
Satay lovers should not skip Khun Thip Mueang! This is the most famous satay seller of Phang Nga Town and surroundings. You can combine the satay with white bread and satay (peanut) sauce. Not a meat lover? Other ingredients that can be on a stick are also possible, such as shrimp or tofu for example.
Open: Daily from 11:00 – 16:30 except Wednesdays. Location: View on Google Maps.
The Er-gu Cafe is a nice small and modern café where you can have lunch or dinner and finish off with a delicious dessert. For a good cup of coffee or cold beer this is also a suitable place. You can sit inside and outside under a canopy with a partial view over Phang Nga Town. Tip, toasted bread with peanut butter and/or banana is also available here!
Open: Daily from 11:00 – 00:00. Location: View on Google Maps.
Talat Khwang is THE noodle store of Phang Nga Town and surroundings. The homemade noodles are so very tasty! The small air-conditioned restaurant was founded in 1915 and is a must if you are a noodle lover! Not a noodle lover yet? Here you will become one! Chances are that you are the only tourist in this typical Thai restaurant but you will slurp!
Open: Monday to Saturday from 09:30 – 15:30. Location: View on Google Maps.
Big C Shopping Mall (foodcourt)
At the Big C Shopping Mall is a food court where you can eat cheap and tasty food. Big C is a large supermarket with some small stores and restaurants around it. Go eat at M.K. Restaurant for example. Besides eating and shopping you can also catch a movie at the cinema in the Big C of Phang Nga Town. Good idea for a rainy day?
Open: Daily from 09:00 – 21:00. Location: View on Google Maps.
Hot Spots in Phang Nga
Where to spend the night in Phang Nga Town?
Sleeping in Phang Nga Town is mostly done in nice small guesthouses and homestay-like accommodations. The prices are budget-friendly and the rooms have everything you need without too much luxury. Usually you have to deal directly with the owner, which gives your stay a more personal character than in for example large-scale resorts or hotels.
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Home Phang-Nga Guest House is an excellent 2-star hotel. The hotel has clean and spacious rooms, some with balconies and views over Phang Nga Town. The guesthouse is located in a quiet area yet central. The owner is friendly and can tell you a lot about the area and help you rent a scooter or book tours.
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T.P. Place Hotel is a large hotel by Phang Nga Town standards. It is an affordable place in the center of Phang Nga. The fresh rooms have a small balcony with views of the mountains and the city. All rooms have air conditioning, hot water and free parking is available on site if you visit Phang Nga Town by car.
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Tours from Phang Nga Town
From Phang Nga Town you can easily book the James Bond Island Tour or arrange a longtail boat to Panyee Island. Sayan Tour has the most satisfied customers in Phang Nga Town. For a group tour with a longtail boat you pay between 1,100 and 1,300 baht. Often you are on the road all day. You will find the Sayan Tour office in the bus station of Phang Nga Town. As soon as you arrive in Phang Nga Town you will be directly approached by several tour guides for tours and accommodations. Don’t be overwhelmed and think carefully about what you want before booking.
From Phang Nga Town to Phang Nga Bay
Organize your own Phan Nga Bay tour
You can also drive to the Thadan Pier yourself and book a James Bond Island Tour there. The Thadan Pier is about ten kilometers from Phang Nga Town. Other tours in the area are also possible, such as an overnight stay at Koh Panyee or a kayak tour in Phang Nga Bay.
At the pier you can only book private tours or you must be lucky that other people want to share a boat with you. As soon as you get close to the pier you will be approached by people offering tours, use your negotiating skills and ask around first! A three hour private tour of Phang Nga Bay should cost around 1,500 baht. This is for a maximum of four to six people in the longtail boat.
To avoid disappointment, make sure you are clear before you leave which places you are going to visit, how long the tour will take and what is in- or exclusive. The boat drivers often speak poor English or no English at all, so consultation or a change during the tour is usually not possible.
Travel further from Phang Nga Town
In the southern part of Phang Nga Town is the bus station, here you can buy your own bus ticket to your next destination by (mini) bus. Often your hotel can also arrange this for you (for a small commission). The famous Ao Phang Nga National Park is half an hour away by car.