Famous for its limestone karst scenery, sheer vertical cliffs and strange rock formations, the 155-square-mile (400-square-km) Ao Phang Nga National Park encompasses more than 40 islands scattered between the coasts of Phuket and Krabi.
A boat trip into the national park allows travelers to discover the dozens of idyllic islands, and the most popular way to explore once here is by kayak. Visitors may find themselves discovering secret lagoons and semi-submerged island caves, or navigating through Thailand's largest remaining mangrove forests, where it’s common to spot kingfishers and blue-winged leafbirds. The limestone environment is also home to sea snakes and flying lizards.
The most famous island within Ao Phang Nga National Park is undoubtedly James Bond Island (Ko Kan), named for having served as the setting for the movie The Man with the Golden Gun. However, there are a whole host of isles to check out, with the central bay area featuring the biggest concentration of rock formations. Experience the whole area on a full-day speedboat tour from Phuket, where you’ll get to see the islands and surrounding green-blue waters with a guide, canoeing and lunch all included.
Insider's Tip: The most popular parts of the national park can become clogged with visitors from November to April. Book ahead to secure your place.
The Ao Phang Nga National Park is located between Phuket and Krabi, just north of the Ko Yao islands. Entry to the park costs 200 baht. The visitor center is located a few miles south of Phang Nga.