For any native or foreign tourist familiar with Thailand, the southern province of Phang Nga conjures up images of dramatic limestone cliffs rising out of the turquoise waters (forming Phang Nga Bay), as well as the region’s stunning network of mangrove-covered canals and tropical jungles. Plus, let’s not forget those picture-perfect, white-sanded beaches either!
This popular destination, however, can get quite busy in certain places where tour agencies bring boat-loads of visitors each day, especially in high season. So, to get away from it all, we recommend a “One Night Stay with Locals” trip to Baan Sam Chong Nuea Community – thanks to its remote location that still makes for a perfect launch pad for many of the bay’s must-visit sights.
Perhaps the highlight of this specially-curated “Extraordinary Experience” is the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the sunrise over Phang Nga Bay (at dawn on day-two), with your local guide taking you out on a boat to a secluded viewpoint overlooking the glowing sun which slowly rises above the horizon.
But this trip to Baan Sam Chong Nuea is not only about the sun, sea and sand. Many of the activities are located mostly inland. Starting from the later hours of the morning, learn about the history of this fascinating community at the village’s main center, and kayak through the mangrove forests and swamps while helping out with afforestation at the same time.
The afternoon of the first day provides an invaluable opportunity to learn more about the local villagers, farmers and fishermen’s way of life and how they earn income in this remote region. This involves checking out a shrimp paste-making demonstration, trying your hand at fabric tie-dyeing and observing traditional fishing techniques which use floating baskets, as well as visit a fresh oyster farm (with tasting, of course!)
Apart from the early morning sunrise trip (which is optional for the late-risers), even more adventure around the bay is booked for day-two. Hop into a long-tail boat – locally known as ‘hua tong’ – and observe the stunning beauty of Phang Nga Bay. Along the way, your expert local guide will take you to Petch Pakarang Cave, where you can walk up to discover the highest point for a bird’s-eye view. The scenery of Khao Phing Kan, Khao Tapu, Lod Cave, and Punyee Island is all incredible, making this long trip south (and back again) worth the extra effort.
After a short cruise back to your Baan Sam Chong Nuea homestay, it’s time to pack up your bags and bid farewell to your hosts – until next time!