Introduction

Phang-Nga is a primarily agricultural province in the south of Thailand. The chief cash crop is rubber, and rubber plantations cover a considerable area, especially noticeable along the roads. Aside from that, however, large areas are also given to food crops. Considerable amounts of rice, vegetables and fruits are produced in Phang-Nga. Phang-Nga province has an area of 4,170 sq. kms., a large part of which is forest.

Boundary

North: borders Ranong Province and Surat Thani Province.
South: borders Phuket Province and the Andaman Sea.
East: borders Surat Thani Province and Krabi Province.
West: borders the Andaman Sea.

From Phang-Nga city to nearby provinces
- Ranong         226 kms.
- Surat Thani   196 kms.
- Krabi              86 kms.
- Phuket           87 kms.

History

Ancient records reveal that before establishment of the current dynasty in the late 18th Century, the area called Phang-nga was a district attrached to Takuapa, the leading town thereabouts.  Then with the beginning of the Rattanakosin Dynasty, during the reign of Rama I, Phang-nga was given equal status with Takuapa and another nearby town, Takuatung, and all three were removed from the government's Harbor Department and put under the Ministry of Defense.

The best evidence indicates that Phang-nga was officially established in 1809 during the reign of Rama II, when one of the periodic wars with Burma was reging.  The king there, Padung Kasatri, appointed Ah Terng Woon to lead an invasion force for attack on Thailand's southern towns.  The ship-borne army carried off the populations of Takuatung, and Thaland (in Phuket).  Thalang was razed to the ground.  An army under the direction of a royal prince was therefore sent from Bangkok to drive of the attackers.

While the war was raging some of the local people took refuge at a place then called Kra Ph-nga *(Malay for river mount of Pu-nga) protected on all sides by mountains.  After the razing of Thalang, it was the government's view that Thailand's hold on the area had weakened, and that a new town should be established in its stead.  Thus the citizenry left in the Thalang area was instructed to move to Kra Pu-nga and register themselves as being resident there.  There is still a villages in what is today Takuatung District called Thalang founded by those immigrants from Phuket.  The new city was put under the administration of the government in Nakorn Sri Thammarat.

During the reign of Rama III, the central government thought to strengthen the southwest coastal town that were prey to successive Burmese attacks by appointing a governor for the province who reported directly ot Bangkok.  Praya Borirak Puton (Sang Na Nakorn) thereby became first governor of Phang-nga in 1840.  In the same year, Takuatung was reduced in status and became merely a district of Phang-nga.

All during this period tin mining was booming, and as one of the most tin-rich of Thailand's tin bearing locales, Phang-nga attracted increasing attention from the central government because of its importance as a foreign exchange earner.  When the worldwide economic depression of the 1930s struck.

Thailand, Phang-nga's status was further enhanced by incorporation of Takuapa as a district (1931).  One of Phang-nga Town's most beautiful old buildings is the Provincial Hall.  The first such structure was built in Ban Chai Kai; a larger one was constructed in 1930 at Ban Tai Chang.  The present structure near Poong Chang Cave was built in 1972.

*Pronunciation of Phang-nga's name is thought to have resulted from foreign tin buyers' and operators' confusion with the way it was formerly written on maps, Pu-nga in which the old long '00' sound is not clearly expressed.  If pronounced with a short '00' it is very close to present pronunciation.

How to get there

By Road
From Bangkok, take Route 4, passing Prachuab Khirikan, Chumpon, and Ranong. Total distance is 788 kms. and travel time to Phang-Nga Town is approximately 12 hours.  
From Phuket, use route 402, pass the parallel spans of Sarasin and
Thao Thep Krasatri Bridges.  You are now in Phang-Nga province. To go on to the provincial capital, go north to the town of Koke Kloy. Turn right (at Bangkok Bank), and follow Route 4 to Phang-Nga Town. You will pass Takua Thung along the way and cover a distance of 87 kms. Travel time is about 90 minutes
By Air & Non-Air
leave the Southern Bus Terminal Tel. (02) 435 1195.

Festivals & Events

The Turtle Releasing Festival
Phang-nga Province has an annual 7-day Turtle Releasing Festival in March. Turtles raised by the Fisheries Dept. are released by festival participants into the sea at Thai Muang Beach.

Information provided by Tourism Authority of Thailand

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