Ao Phang Nga Marine National Park South Thailand
- Ao Phang Nga Marine National Park is a short drive north east of Phuket and comprises an area of 400 square kilometres of which the 40 islands cover 53 square kilometres (20 square miles) and the surrounding turquoise water covers 350 square kilometres (135 square miles). It is located in the Province of Phang Nga on the west side of the Malay Penninsula.
- The Phang Nga Province includes both Phang Nga Bay and surrounding land. Between Phanga Bay and the Andaman Sea is the Island of Phuket. A large portion of the Phang Nga Bay comprises the Ao Phang Nga National Park.
- This is one of the most spectacular locations in South East Asia. The Islands comprise limestone Karsk formed of Permian limestone, thrust up high millions of years ago to form today a bewildering array of shapes, some reaching 400 metres high (1,315 feet). There is abundant plant life and a vast array of fauna. The coast line of the park is extensively covered by mangrove forests.
- Within Phang Nga Bay are numerous Islands, the most well known being James Bond Island so named after the filming there of its location for the James Bond series film '' The man with the Golden Gun ''. Within the Bay the major two Island groups are Ko Yao Yai (big Island) and Ko Yao Noi (small Island).
- Ao Phang Nga Bay is a huge shallow bay fringed with extensive mangrove swamps, extending north from Phuket Island eastwards along the mainland coast past the mouths of six river systems to the mouth of the Mae Nam Marui.
- The easternmost boundary of the site is delimited by the large promontory of Khao Ao Muang, which separates the site from another major mangrove inlet, Ao Luk (Krabi Province). A great many limestone pillars and islands rise sheer from the coastal flats, and there are extensive shallows offshore, only 1 to 4 m deep at mean low water. The site encompasses the two offshore islands of Ko Yao Yai and Ko Yao Noi together with a great many smaller islets.
- The tidal amplitude at Ao Nang, Krabi, varies from l meter at neap tides to 3 meters at spring tides. The tidal regime is complex, the usual pattern is two high tides per day, but there are many irregularities.
- Ao Png Nga National Park is home to over 206 animal species, including 17 species of mammals, 88 bird species, 18 reptiles, 3 amphibians and 24 speices of fish.
Cruising In Ao Phang Nga Bay
The Southwest Monsoon
- The Southwest Monsoon is the reverse of the Northeast Monsoon and comes to Thailand from the Indian Ocean from May to October and impacts the Andaman Coast. Then the sea waters of the Andaman Coast are disturbed whilst those of the Gulf of Thailand on the other side of the Peninsula are calm and clear for diving and boating.
Ao Phang Nga Thailand Mangroves
- The word ''mangroves'' has 3 meanings which need to be understood. In the first sense it means the habitat where the range of Mangrove species grows, the special biological issues that define where they grow and the total assembly of all species within that ecological area. Here terms such as mangrove forest and mangrove swamp are inter changeable. The technical term for the plant community where magroves habitat is a ''Mangal''.
- Secondly ''mangroves'' refers to the trees and schrubs in the mangal.
- Thirdly and more specifically it is the term for the specific species of Mangrove Family of plants called Rhizophoracae and also the genus ''Rhizophara''.
For further details about Thailand mangroves go here.