Go beyond the stunning islands and emerald waters of Phang Nga Bay, and get a taste of the local lifestyle on this 5-day trip to southern Thailand. You'll kayak through the lush jungle, unwind on pristine beaches, and eat authentic Thai food with a local family on your homestay in a small fishing village.

Highlights

  • Hike and kayak through jungle mangroves
  • Go fishing with the locals in a traditional long-tail boat
  • Spend the night with a host family and experience village life
  • Snorkel and swim in Phang Nga Bay

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights
Day 1 Arrive in Phuket, drive to Phang Nga Bay
Day 2 Hike and kayak through the mangroves
Day 3 Go fishing with locals and get a taste of village life 
Day 4 Snorkel and swim in Phang Nga Bay
Day 5 Enjoy the beaches of Khao Lak, depart Phuket

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Phuket, Drive to Phang Nga Bay

A small village sits beneath the dramatic limestone karsts in Phang Nga Bay.

On arrival in Phuket, your guide will greet you at the airport and escort you to your jungle lodge. After settling into your bungalow, take advantage of the hotel's off-the-beaten-path location to while away the afternoon in a hammock. Or if you're up for it, rent a bike from the lodge and get the lay of the land. In the evening, dig into authentic southern Thai cuisine and local organic seafood for dinner at the on-site restaurant.

Day 2: Hike & Kayak Through the Mangroves

Jungle mangroves in Phang Nga.

After breakfast, get ready to explore your jungle surroundings. First, you'll hike the nature trails with your guide, where you'll discover the winding creeks and wildlife of the lush forest. Then you'll take a 20-minute drive to the famous Sarasin View Point on Sarasin Bridge, which connects Phuket to the mainland. To the west, you'll gaze out over the endless Andaman Sea, taking in the delights of Phang Nga Bay to the east. Return to the Jungle Lodge for freshly-cooked lunch.

In the afternoon, you'll kayak down the river through the mangroves - the tropical seashore plants that help protect the sensitive ecosystem the fishing villages rely on. Alternatively, take the afternoon to relax after your morning adventures. Dinner will be back at the Jungle Lodge.

Day 3: Homestay in a Coastal Fishing Village

Gorgeous view from the small fishing village of Ban Samchong.

Spend the day living like a local. You'll be up before sunrise, and after breakfast you'll travel with your guide to the small Muslim fishing village of Ban Samchong. The village sits on the edge of Phang Nga Bay, overlooking its picturesque islands. From there you'll accompany a fisherman on his daily rounds in a traditional long-tail boat. Swim in the pristine waters of Phang Nga Bay and relax on a small, secluded island while waiting to collect your own catch of the day. 

For lunch, you'll enjoy the spoils of your morning's work. Bring your freshly caught fish back to the village, where a local restaurant will cook it for you. You'll then be welcomed into a local home for the evening, where you'll have a home-cooked meal with your host family. Be prepared to slow down and appreciate the simplicity of a traditional Thai home, complete with cushioned floor mats for sleeping, mosquito nets, and bucket showers. This experience is ideal for people who want to get a hands-on, authentic inside look at the people and culture of rural southern Thailand. 

Day 4: Snorkel & Swim in Phang Nga Bay 

Phang Nga Bay is famous for its emerald waters and stunning limestone islands.

Today you'll take a deeper dive into Phang Nga Bay. Ban Samchong's proximity to the bay means you'll be perfectly poised to explore its dramatic limestone karsts before the crowds arrive from Phuket. Enjoy a leisurely cruise on a private long-tail boat around the bay's 42 vertical islands. These stunning geological features were formed over millions of years, pushed upwards by movement in the earth's plates. 

The first stop will be Khao Phing Kan and the neighboring Khao Ta Poo, towering needle-like rock formations. The pair had a starring role in the 1974 James Bond movie The Man with the Golden Gun and have since been collectively known as "James Bond Island." Have lunch in the small "floating" island community of Pan-Yee, whose dwellings rest on stilts over the shallow sea.  Spend the afternoon snorkeling among the coral reefs and exploring the islands' collapsed cave systems. You might even discover ancient paintings on the cave walls. After returning from your boat ride, you'll travel to the beaches of Khao Lak on Phang Nga's western coast for your last night.   

Day 5: Beaches of Khao Lak

Khao Lak's quiet, pristine beaches make for a relaxing break. 

Spend your last morning relaxing in Phang Nga. Khao Lak's beautiful white sand beaches are quiet and secluded compared to the busier beaches of Phuket - enjoy a stroll along the coast beneath a jungle-covered mountain backdrop, book a massage at the spa, or take a cooking class before being transported to the airport for your onward flight.

This article is based on an itinerary created by kimkim local travel specialist Holly Richter.

Map

Map of A Taste of Southern Thailand - 5 Days
Map of A Taste of Southern Thailand - 5 Days