Views in Phuket!
A distinctive feature of Phang Nga
Bay are the sheer limestone karsts that jut vertically
out of the emerald-green water. James Bond Island and
Koh Panyee are just two of the more famous spots in this
bay. By far the best means of enjoying the spectacular
scenery, with only brief encounters with the tourist
crowds at James Bond and Koh Panyee, is to take one of
the boat trips from the northern end of Phuket. A
leisurely day trip cruising through the dramatic
limestone islands, occasionally stopping to enjoy quiet
beaches, is far more rewarding than the standard
Phi Phi Island is Thailand's
island-superstar. It's been in the movies. It's the
topic of conversation for travelers all over Thailand.
For some, it's the only reason to touchdown in Phuket.
Even with all the hype, it doesn't disappoint. Phi Phi's
beauty is a large chunk of the allure. The islands, when
approached by boat, rise from the sea like a fortress.
Sheer cliffs tower overhead, then give way to
beach-fronted jungle. It's love at first sight. The
second part of the why-we-love-this-place story is
attitude: few places on the planet are this laid-back.
Of the two islands located near Phuket and Krabi, one is
completely free of human inhabitants (Phi Phi Leh), and
the other is without roads (Phi Phi Don). There's no
schedule, no hustle-and-bustle, no reason to be in a
Bangla Road really comes to life once
the sun sets. The road is closed to vehicle traffic and
becomes a 400 metre festival of neon lights, loud music
and cheap beer. Jammed most nights of the year, it is
quite a friendly and lively place to walk around as bars
and clubs compete with each other for customers. If
you’re looking for a fun night out in Phuket, Bangla
Road should be your first (and, often, only) stop.
Almost all of the bars are outdoors or open-fronted, so
the music from each one blends into a mess of mixed
beats. Beer bars occupy most of the street's length,
with several go-go bars and a few pubs, restaurants,
discos and shops rounding out the attractions, both on
Soi Bangla and down its side streets. Street
performances are also common most nights, which can make
dodging around the tailor shop salesmen, leaflet
distributors, street vendors and ping pong show touts
more difficult, but it is all part of the fun.
Similan Islands are located just 84 km northwest of the bustling crowds of Phuket. Koh Similan is one of the best-known island groups in the Andaman Sea, largely because of the wonders that wait beneath the clear blue waters that surround it. Generally counted among the 10 most interesting dive areas in the world, this little archipelago has also become a favourite destination for yachts and tour boats. "Similan" is derived from the Malay sembilan, and means "nine". Each of the Similan Islands has a number as well as a name. These are, running from north to south: Koh Ba Ngu (No. 9), Similan (No. 8), Payu (No. 7), Miang (No. 4, No. 5 and, in some opinion, No. 6), Payan (No. 3), Payang (No. 2), and Hu Yong (No. 1). Hin Pousar, or "Elephant Head Rock", is alternatively designated No. 6 by some. Koh Bon, lying 17 nautical miles north of Ba Ngu, is part of the Similan National Park and may be granted honorary status as No. 10.