Saturday, 16 July 2011

The difference between Phang Nga and Pha Ngan Thailand

When booking your travel to Thailand, double check your facts -- and your ticket -- if you're heading to Phang Nga or Pha Ngan.

They are NOT the same place. In fact, decidedly different ...

Phang Nga is a massive bay in the Andaman Sea on the south-west coast of Thailand, famous for its emerald waters and jutting upthrusting limestone karst islands. It was first brought to worldwide prominence by the James Bond movie The Man with the Golden Gun and hence one of the islands here (actually Koh Ping-Gan) is only known as James Bond Island. Another famous spot here is Koh Panyee (Sea Gypsy Island) named for its nomadic seafaring locals.

Boat tours or kayaking tours are the best way to see the bay and its 42 entrancing islands (mostly uninhabited) and it is most easily accessed from Phuket by ferry.

Or, if you were here 10,000 years ago when the sea levels were lower, you could've walked here, jing jing.

Phangan (or Koh Pha Ngan to be exact) on the other hand is in the Gulf of Thailand, on the south-east of Amazing Thailand. About 15 km from Koh Samui. Phangan was put on the map by a little farewell party which proved quite popular. So it was staged again and grew into a regular thing each month. You may have heard of the Full Moon Party?

This is held at Haad Rin Bay. The island has developed greatly because of this, but is rather quiet comparatively during the month, and there are plans to make it more family friendly.

Phangan was featured prominently in Alex Garland's book The Beach, on which the movie was based. Having said that, the movie was filmed in the Phang Nga area. Go figure! Fans of the German band Ace of Base might want to get out their iPods and check out the song Vision in Blue. It's about Phangan ...

A vision in blue 
Forever young 
A token so true 
My Koh Phangan [4x]
I see you dancing in front of my face 
Your body is moving to the trace of the chase 
I'm flashing for you 
A bright light in the night for you

Aah, they don't write lyrics like that anymore. (But there again, they are German.)

So now you know the difference between Phang Nga and Pha Ngan. Are you in the right place after all? Or would you rather be at the OTHER place instead???

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