Introducing Ao Phang-Nga Marine National Park
Established in 1981 and covering an area of 400 sq km, Ao Phang-Nga National Marine Park is noted for its classic karst scenery. There are over 40 islands with huge vertical cliffs, some with caves that are accessible at low tide and lead into hidden hôrng (lagoons surrounded by solid rock walls). The bay itself is composed of large and small tidal channels including Khlong Ko Phanyi, Khlong Phang-Nga, Khlong Bang Toi and Khlong Bo Saen. These channels run through vast mangroves in a north–south direction and today are used by fisher folk and island inhabitants as aquatic highways. They are the largest remaining primary mangrove forests in Thailand.
In the peak season the bay can become a package-tourist superhighway. But if you explore in the early morning (best done from Ko Yao Noi or Ko Yao Yai) or stay out a bit late, you’ll find a slice of beach, sea and a limestone karst to call your own. The best way to experience the park is by kayak.