Phang Nga province

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Phang Nga (Thai: พังงา, pronounced [pʰāŋ.ŋāː]) is one of the southern provinces (Changwat) of Thailand, on the shore of the Andaman Sea to the west and Phang Nga Bay to the south. Neighbouring provinces, from north and moving clockwise, are Ranong, Surat Thani, and Krabi. Towards the south of Phang Nga is the Phuket province, connected by the Sarasin Bridge.

Phang Nga
Flag of Phang Nga
Official seal of Phang Nga
Map of Thailand highlighting Phang Nga province
Map of Thailand highlighting Phang Nga province
CapitalPhang Nga
 • GovernorChamroen Thipphayaphongthada
(since  October 2019)[1]
 • Total4,171 km2 (1,610 sq mi)
 • RankRanked 53rd
 • Total268,240
 • RankRanked 72nd
 • Density64/km2 (170/sq mi)
  • RankRanked 68th
Human Achievement Index
 • HAI (2017)0.5649 "somewhat low"
Ranked 59th
Time zoneUTC+7 (ICT)
Postal code
Calling code076
ISO 3166 codeTH-82

Geography edit

The province, located on the western side of the Malay Peninsula, encompasses the islands within Phang Nga Bay. Among these, Khao Phing Kan and Ko Ta Pu, often referred to as "James Bond Island," gained prominence following their appearance in the 1974 film The Man with the Golden Gun. In this film, Khao Phing Kan serves as the base for the antagonist, with the distinct, needle-shaped limestone formation of Ko Ta Pu, situated approximately 20 metres (22 yd) off the main beach, featuring significantly. To safeguard these and other islands, the Ao Phang Nga (Phang Nga Bay) National Park was established in 1981.[5] The province also includes the Similan Islands and Surin Islands, notable diving destinations in Thailand.[6] The total forested area of the province is approximately 1,778 km2 (686 sq mi), accounting for 32.4 percent of its total area.[7]

Toponymy edit

Phang Nga derives its name from the ancient Malay term "Pangan," which translates to 'jungle' in contemporary Thai. This term historically referred to a broad category of indigenous peoples, colloquially known as 'orang Pangan' in Malay. This phrase was used to describe communities perceived as 'heathen, pagan, or primitive', typically residing in the dense jungle regions of the Malay Peninsula[8] and its adjacent islands.

History edit

During the reign of King Rama II, the region surrounding Thalang (currently known as Phuket) fell under Burmese occupation, leading to a significant influx of refugees into Kraphu Nga. Following the successful expulsion of Burmese forces by Siamese troops in 1824, King Rama III renamed the area adjacent to the bay as Phang Nga. This adaptation from the Malay word "pangan" suggests the historical presence of Orang Asli or other indigenous groups in the region. In 1933, the town was elevated to the status of a province.

On the morning of 26 December 2004, the Andaman Sea coastline of Phang Nga Province experienced severe devastation due to a tsunami, resulting in extensive loss of life.

Khura Buri District, and particularly Ko Phra Thong, referred to as smuggler's paradise, has been identified as a critical point of entry for illegal activities in Thailand, including human trafficking. This area is reportedly a transit route for various groups, including Rohingya, Uighur, and Syrian refugees seeking entry into Thailand.[9]

Symbols edit

Provincial seal of Phang Nga

The offical seal of the province features an illustration of the Phu Khao Chang mountains, set as a backdrop to the depiction of the city hall. Additionally, the seal includes an image of a dredge, symbolizing the province's history of tin mining.[10]

The provincial slogan encapsulates various aspects of the region's identity and heritage: "Massive mining industry, Ban Klang Nam 'floating house', delightful caves, strangely shaped hills, Jampun flower, rich in resources". This slogan reflects the diverse elements that define the province, from its industrial past to its unique natural and cultural features.[10]

In terms of regional flora, the province has designated Cinnamomum porrectum, commonly known as hardy cinnamon, as its official tree. The provincial flower is Anaxagorea javanica, further emphasizing the area's rich botanical diversity.

Administrative divisions edit

Map of eight districts

Provincial government edit

Phang Nga is divided into eight districts (amphoes), which are further divided into 48 subdistricts (tambons) and 314 villages (mubans).

  1. Mueang Phang Nga
  2. Ko Yao
  3. Kapong (Malay: Kampung)
  4. Takua Thung
  5. Takua Pa
  6. Khura Buri
  7. Thap Put
  8. Thai Mueang

Local government edit

As of 26 November 2019, there are:[11] one Phang Nga Provincial Administration Organisation (ongkan borihan suan changwat) and 15 municipal (thesaban) areas in the province. Phang Nga and Takua Pa have town (thesaban mueang) status. Further 13 subdistrict municipalities (thesaban tambon). The non-municipal areas are administered by 36 Subdistrict Administrative Organisations - SAO (ongkan borihan suan tambon).[3]

Transportation edit

Transportation in Phang Nga Province is primarily facilitated through a network of highways.

  • Roads: Highway 4 is the main artery connecting most districts within the province, excluding Kapong and Ko Yao. Highway 401 provides a route to Surat Thani, while Highway 402 links Phang Nga with Phuket Province. Additionally, Highway 4090 connects Muang to Kapong District.
  • Railways: Rail transport is absent in Phang Nga Province. The closest railway station is located in the Phunphin District of Surat Thani Province.
  • Bus:: These services in the province offer frequent connections to Bangkok and other regions. Intra-provincial travel is supported by non-air-conditioned buses.
  • Public transit: Songthaews are the predominant form of public transit within Phang Nga, offering accessible transportation options to the local population.
  • Motorbike-taxi: They are primarily found in Phang Nga town, cater to short-distance travel, with fares varying based on distance.
  • Airport: As of now, Phang Nga Province does not have an airport. The nearest facility is Phuket International Airport. Plans for a new airport in Phang Nga have been proposed, with the intention of serving not only Phang Nga but also neighboring Krabi Province and as an alternative to Phuket's existing airport.[12][13]

Human achievement index 2017 edit

Health Education Employment Income
9 51 76 20
Housing Family Transport Participation
70 34 18 26
Province Phang Nga, with an HAI 2017 value of 0.5649 is "somewhat low", and occupies place 59 in the ranking.

Since 2003, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Thailand has tracked progress on human development at the sub-national level using the Human achievement index (HAI), a composite index covering all the eight key areas of human development. The National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) has taken over this task since 2017.[4]

Rank Classification
  1 - 15 "high"
16 - 30 "somewhat high"
31 - 45 "average"
45 - 60 "somewhat low"
61 - 77 "low"

National parks edit

Region 5 (Nakhon Si Thammarat) of Thailand's protected areas encompasses a total of twenty national parks, six of which are particularly notable. These parks are characterized by their diverse ecological landscapes and natural features. The region, renowned for its environmental variety, includes parks that range from coastal and marine environments to mountainous and forested areas. Each park serves as a habitat for a variety of flora and fauna.

  • Ao Phang Nga (Phang Nga Bay) National Park (อุทยานแห่งชาติอ่าวพังงา), officially designated on 29 April 1981, spans an area of approximately 400 square kilometers (150 sq mi), equivalent to 250,000 rai.[14]: 25  This park is distinguished by its picturesque landscapes, notably featuring a multitude of limestone formations rising majestically from the sea near the coast. These geological structures also account for the high concentration of caves within the park's boundaries. The area is rich in mangrove forests, contributing to its ecological diversity. Additionally, the park encompasses several islands, each contributing to the overall scenic and biological richness of Ao Phang Nga National Park.
Mushroom Rock Island and Ko Tapu (James Bond Island), Phang Nga Bay
  • Mu Ko Surin National Park (อุทยานแห่งชาติหมู่เกาะสุรินทร์), formally established on 9 July 1981, encompasses an archipelago consisting of five islands: Ko Surin Nuea, Ko Surin Tai, Ko Ri, Ko Khai, and Ko Klang.[15] The park covers an area of approximately 141 square kilometers (54 sq mi), equivalent to 88,282 rai.[14]: 30  Located in the Andaman Sea, close to the maritime border between Thailand and Myanmar, the archipelago is known for its rich marine life and coral reefs.
  • Si Phang Nga National Park (อุทยานแห่งชาติศรีพังงา), designated as a national park on 16 April 1988, spans an area of about 246 square kilometers (95 sq mi) or 153,800 rai. The park's landscape is characterized by its rugged mountainous terrain, predominantly covered with dipterocarp forests. These natural features contribute to the park's biodiversity and its status as a significant ecological area.
  • Khao Lak–Lam Ru National Park (อุทยานแห่งชาติเขาหลัก-ลำรู่) was established on 30 August 1991, encompassing an area of approximately 125 square kilometers (48 sq mi)[14]: 66  or 78,125 rai. The park extends across Thai Mueang, Kapong, Takua Pa, and Mueang Districts. Notable sites within the park include Khao Lak, home to the Chao Pho Khao Lak Shrine, Laem Pakarang, known for its pine groves and suitability for camping and relaxation, and the Ton Chong Fa Waterfall (Namtok Ton Chong Fa).[16]
  • Khao Lampi–Hat Thai Mueang National Park (อุทยานแห่งชาติเขาลำปี-หาดท้ายเหมือง), designated on 14 April 1988, covers about 72 square kilometers (28 sq mi)[14]: 52 , or 44,950 rai. Key attractions in the park are the year-round Namtok Lampi, a 6-tiered waterfall; Namtok Ton Phrai, another perennial waterfall; and Hat Thai Mueang beach, the annual site of the Sea Turtle Festival.[17]
Khao Lak-Lam Ru jungle.
  • Mu Ko Similan National Park (อุทยานแห่งชาติหมู่เกาะสิมิลัน) was declared a national park on 1 September 1982. The park, spanning around 140 square kilometers (54 sq mi)[14]: 43  or 87,500 rai, consists of the Similan Islands, a group of nine islands. The park is closed annually from 16 May to 31 October for ecological recovery and maintenance.[18]
Panorama from Similan Islands in the Andaman Sea

Wildlife sanctuary edit

There is one wildlife sanctuary, along with three other wildlife sanctuaries, makeup region 5 (Nakhon Si Thammarat) of Thailand's protected areas.

  • Namtok Song Phraek Wildlife Sanctuary occupies an area of 138,712 rai ~ 222 square kilometers (86 sq mi).[19]: 8  The wildlife sanctuary was previously known as Ton Pariwat wildlife sanctuary and covers Kapong district, Mueang Phang Nga district, and Thap Put district.

Gallery edit

References edit

  1. ^ "ประกาศสำนักนายกรัฐมนตรี เรื่อง แต่งตั้งข้าราชการพลเรือนสามัญ" [Announcement of the Prime Minister's Office regarding the appointment of civil servants] (PDF). Royal Thai Government Gazette. 136 (Special 242 Ngor). 15. 28 September 2019. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 September 2019. Retrieved 24 November 2019.
  2. ^ Advancing Human Development through the ASEAN Community, Thailand Human Development Report 2014, table 0:Basic Data (PDF) (Report). United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Thailand. pp. 134–135. ISBN 978-974-680-368-7. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 August 2019. Retrieved 17 January 2016, Data has been supplied by Land Development Department, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, at Wayback Machine.{{cite report}}: CS1 maint: postscript (link)
  3. ^ a b "รายงานสถิติจำนวนประชากรและบ้านประจำปี พ.ศ.2561" [Statistics, population and house statistics for the year 2018]. Registration Office Department of the Interior, Ministry of the Interior (in Thai). 31 December 2018. Archived from the original on 14 June 2019. Retrieved 20 June 2019.
  4. ^ a b Human achievement index 2017 by National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB), pages 1-40, maps 1-9, retrieved 14 September 2019, ISBN 978-974-9769-33-1
  5. ^ "Ao Phang-nga National Park". Department of National Parks (DNP) Thailand. Archived from the original on 20 October 2014. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  6. ^ "About Phang Nga". Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). Archived from the original on 22 April 2019. Retrieved 16 December 2018.
  7. ^ "ตารางที่ 2 พี้นที่ป่าไม้ แยกรายจังหวัด พ.ศ.2562" [Table 2 Forest area Separate province year 2019]. Royal Forest Department (in Thai). 2019. Archived from the original on 10 April 2021. Retrieved 6 April 2021, information, Forest statistics Year 2019{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: postscript (link)
  8. ^ Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Thomas Newbold (1807–1850), an army officer in the East India Company and oriental scholar. Malay: Pangan, a tract of forest (Oxford Dictionaries).
  9. ^ Yongcharoenchai, Chaiyot; Na Thalang, Jeerawat (20 September 2015). "Tied up in a trafficking jam". Bangkok Post. Archived from the original on 1 May 2023. Retrieved 20 September 2015.
  10. ^ a b "Symbol of Phang Nga". OSM Andamnan: The Office of Strategy Management for Southern Province Cluster. Archived from the original on 26 May 2015. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  11. ^ "Number of local government organizations by province". Department of Local Administration (DLA). 26 November 2019. Archived from the original on 26 November 2019. Retrieved 10 December 2019. 33 Phang Nga: 1 PAO, 2 Town mun., 13 Subdistrict mun., 36 SAO.
  12. ^ "Phang Nga - Andaman International Airport New Airport Profile | CAPA". Archived from the original on 8 December 2022. Retrieved 8 December 2022.
  13. ^ "» New airport planned for Phangnga to serve southern tourism". Archived from the original on 8 December 2022. Retrieved 8 December 2022.
  14. ^ a b c d e . "ข้อมูลพื้นที่อุทยานแห่งชาติ ที่ประกาศในราชกิจจานุบกษา 133 แห่ง" [National Park Area Information published in the 133 Government Gazettes]. Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (in Thai). December 2020. Archived from the original on 3 November 2022. Retrieved 1 November 2022.
  15. ^ "Mu Ko Surin National Park". Department of National Parks (DNP) Thailand. Archived from the original on 26 May 2015. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  16. ^ "Khao Lak-Lam Ru National Park". Department of National Parks (DNP) Thailand. Archived from the original on 20 April 2013. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  17. ^ "Khao Lampi–Hat Thai Mueang National Park". Department of National Parks (DNP) Thailand. Archived from the original on 26 May 2015. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  18. ^ "Mu Koh Similan National Park". Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). Archived from the original on 26 May 2015. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  19. ^ "ตาราง 5 พื้นที่เขตรักษาพันธุ์สัตว์ป่า พ.ศ. 2562" [Table 5 Wildlife Sanctuary Areas in 2019] (PDF). Department of National Parks, Wildlife Sanctuaries and Plant Conservation (in Thai). 2019. Archived (PDF) from the original on 16 November 2022. Retrieved 1 November 2022.

External links edit

8°26′23″N 98°31′5″E / 8.43972°N 98.51806°E / 8.43972; 98.51806