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Visiting PhangNga , Let’s touch the Andaman pearl this way.

PhangNga - the beauty of nature. Different ways of life in different communities.

This trip, I would like to take you to visit PhangNga, the Andaman pearl in the southern part of Thailand. (cut off the driving scene on the way from Bangkok - PhangNga) ... The first place that I stopped by was at the Khao Ta Pu roundabout. Because of my passionate to old buildings, Yellow and green buildings like these, made me feel really good every time I saw them., let's got some knowledge before going to PhangNga, so we could visit as we were an intellectual person. hahaha

 

The PhangNga Museum was built in the reign of King Rama III to serve as the PhangNga City Hall, with a colonial style architecture. After the town hall had moved to a new place, the building was renovated into the PhangNga Museum, that opened and continued to be visited since 2013. The museum is open to visitors. On Monday to Friday from 9 am. to 4 pm. without any cost.

The museum is divided into 6 exhibition rooms inside, providing all knowledge about PhangNga which complete within 20 minutes. After that we would get smart immediately hahaha.

Exhibition room 1 - Provides basic knowledge of location, Topography, and various famous tourist attractions in PhangNga Province.

 

Khao Ta Pu or James Bond Island, the world famous landmark from the movie. Anyone who visiting PhangNga has to stop by for a selfie, or It is said that you haven’t arrived.

Exhibition room 2 - Exhibits the historical development of PhangNga. The room divided into 2 parts: PhangNga in the prehistoric period, that explain about the discovery of various archaeological sites. Model of cliff color painting by prehistoric men.The upper one is probably a dolphin, the lower is probably a wild boar. That’s what they said.

Part 2; PhangNga in the historic, which shows the story of international trading ports and the Sea Silk road in an ancient era.

 

The image of Vishnu Narayana was discovered at Khao Phra Nheu, Takua-pa District, PhangNga Province. Thung Tuk Ancient city, which was one of the most important ancient trading ports on the Andaman coast during that period.

Exhibition room 3 - Exhibits on politics, government and trade, by telling the stories and development of 3 important cities: PhangNga, TakuaPa and Takua Thung.

In the trade area, tells a story of a prosperous port city in the past . The important products of PhangNga at that time which were wild goods, spices, glass beads, colored stones and minerals, especially fertile of tin.

The importance of tin to the construction of PhangNga city.

Exhibition room 4 - PhangNga people This room exhibits stories of the people of PhangNga Province. It consists of 4 main groups: Thai Buddhist, Thai Muslim, Thai Chinese, and Chao Le (Sea people), local languages and legends, including the religion and beliefs of these people from the past to the present.

Chao Le (Sea people) settled in the Surin Islands, Kuraburi District and the coastline near Tai Mueang District.

Language and folklore of each local in PhangNga city.

Religion and beliefs of the PhangNga people.

The costumes of various groups for both men and women.

Exhibition room 5 - Cultural heritage and local wisdom. Exhibits the stories about the cultural heritage and various aspects of the PhangNga people that have been passed down to generation, including occupations, traditions, important festivals, Performing arts and play, such as Nang Talung(shadow puppets), Nora, Ligae Pa and food culture.

The wisdom of fishing There are traditional fishing boats known as "Hua Tong" boats, sinking crabs, raising oysters and raising fish in coops.

In agriculture, there are rubber plantation, Oil palm plantation and mixed farms.

Beautiful local traditions and multicultural.

Nang Talung or Shadow Puppets show clearly represents the adoption of Indian culture. Nang Talung in the Andaman provinces is prominent in eloquence, fast story ploting with funny jokes. The famous Talung master includes Meng show, Ban Na Phra show, Pan Talod show.

 

Ronggeng is a popular folk performance sung among Thai Muslims. The show group is set up as well as a local dance. The instrument are violin and tambourine drums which plays in a fun rhythm.

 

The food of PhangNga people are complete with all main course, sweet and savory snacks.

Exhibition room 5 -  The unique architecture presents the ancient architectural heritage of PhangNga Province. It shows the development of the country in each period and local wisdom in the construction of houses of PhangNga people.

Houses and buildings which had been influenced by the 3 eras of Sino-Portuguese styles were finely constructed in different classics models.

Old wooden doors that can be found everywhere in the old PhangNga community.

No, We wouldn't finished with the learning yet. The staff at the PhangNga Museum advised us to visit the Andaman Center for Research in Fine Arts, Culture and Traditions, which he said that it was a large museum with very well exhibited, and more importantly, It invested over 160 million Baht.  As I am interested in learning, a generous person and do not like to reject anyone as well, then I should visit there. It took only a 10 minutes drive from here.

 

I arrived there and It was really huge place, so confused that I couldn't find the entrance !

Andaman Center for Research in Fine Arts, Culture and Traditions, in PhangNga province comprises buildings with modernized Southern Thai architecture, a one-storey building with a high platform, hip roof and a kite-tiled Manila style roof. There are five permanent exhibition buildings arranged in a semicircular shape. This place is open for visitors from Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. Let’s comes to visit during opening hours, haha.

 

A statue of Narayan Vishnu replica at the entrance, for visitors to worship before entering the exhibits inside.. Look, I had seen the beauty of the sculpture before visiting already.

 

Exhibition building 2 3 4 are very large

Building 2 – “The sea silk road” Exhibits historical and archeology stories, according to the development of the Southern Peninsula, from prehistoric to historical period. There are use of visualization and modeling to describe the people living, terrain conditions and audio narration to encourage visitors to learn by themselves. It is considered one of the great place to visit.

The living of prehistoric man and the art on the walls.

Here it is, a history swinging brig ceremony that I was looking for.. hahaha

An in all. The overview of the exhibition room 2 is well invested and very interesting.

It's a bit more modern, as we coming to the historical period room.

The ancient trade route; The Silk Road and the Spice Road links the trade between Europe, Persia, India, Southeast Asia and China.

An ancient bead production

The entry of foreigners, missionaries for religion, arts and culture.

Ancient seaport and junks. There are many points prepared for tourists to take pictures with.

Ancient maps aged over 200 years old from the Triphum picture book, Krungsri Ayudhaya - Krung Thonburi Edition, show pictures of the Andaman Sea and various port cities. (the unit used of Yojn or Yojana, A Google has given that 1 Yojn = 400 Sen and 1 Sen = 40 meters, so 1 Yojn is equal to 16 kilometers.).

Building 3 - "The diversity of ethnic groups and cultures” Showcases the stories of each ethnic group, as well as the different cultures of the unique Andaman people; Groups of people living in various places, such as Sakai, Chao Lay (Sea man), Townspeople and foreigners. These groups are all different in ethnic, livelihood, religion, belief, language, residence, food, and dress, but they can co-exist in peace with a model of each ethnicity.

There are also display games and residential buildings in that period.

 

The dress up of each ethnicity, make us know who is the hot Penny !

Sakai is an original ethnic group of Andaman and the Malay Peninsula. They live in the deep forest in a simple shelter, created by using natural materials on plains area. Their living are move from place to place, and choose to live near a stream, because it is close to food sources such as taro, sweet potato and hunting small fish, birds and squirrels with darts and blowguns.

Chao Lay (The Sea man) is a group of people who traveled wandering around the islands and beaches along the Andaman Sea from Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia to Indonesia. Originally they were dwelling, eating, sleeping as a family on a boat, called the Canopy and catching marine animals for a living. During the monsoon season, Chao Lay will migrate to build houses on islands or bay sheltered beaches.

Most of the native Thai people are Buddhists and work in farming and fishing for a living. Therefore, Thai traditions are often associated with Buddhism, such as Sart Duen Sib (the tenth month tradition) that combines Brahmin Buddhism respect and the belief of ancestral spirits. Villagers will go to make merit at the temple and bring together sweet and savory foods to make merit contributions to the spirits of the deceased ancestors.

Most of Thai Muslim or Malay are Islamic. Every year, there will important traditions, including the Hari Raya festival, to celebrate the end of fasting. Relatives will return to meet together and prepare the sweet and savory dishes, and perform religious rituals.

The Chinese settled down in the Andaman Sea for trading and mining. Most of them are Hokkien Chinese from Penang, Singapore and mainland China. At present, Chinese-Thai people still have economic influence and there is a strong continuation of culture and traditions, whether it is the Chinese New Year tradition or the ancestor tradition.

There are video presentation, games, shows and various activities. These shows are unique, such as Rong Geng, Ligae Pa, Nora for us to sit and relax the watching.

I really like the buffalo kites, because it has a very nice sound and it is the wisdom of the southern people. ... Whoever read this and still confused what it is, you must travel here. It is not easy to find.

Nang Talung (shadow puppets) of the South-West is unique among the Andaman people, which different from that of the South-Eastern Talung. The differences are in terms of vocals, speech, character and playing traditions, which there is a term that call Nang Talung of the Western part of the South that Nang Phladok.

 

Nang Talung of the Western part of the South region has its identity of ancient play of Southern people.

Andaman food.

The unique Sino-Portuguese architecture.

A Wooden minibus, another unique feature of PhangNga and Phuket people. Phuket people call Pho Tong minibus. It looks like a hybrid between a pickup truck and a 10-wheeler truck.

Building 4 - "Mountains, forests, fields, sea and blue world.” - exhibits the natural beauty of the southern Andaman coast. Providing the knowledge of biology Ecology and geology corresponds to the mangrove area behind the buildings in Ao PhangNga National Park, which is an abundant food source for coastal life with high biodiversity. In addition, It also provides botanical information on the unique local flora of the South, including economic crops, i.e. rubber and oil palm.

Exhibit mangrove forest ecology

Rubber, economic crops of the Southern people. I hope the rubber price be high, so the southern brothers and sisters will be happy.

Abundant marine resources of PhangNga Bay.

Building 5 - " Andaman paradise” Summarizes all Andaman stories, rich culture, Architecture and nature which is the origin of the word “Andaman paradise” by simulating the atmosphere of famous places in different corners of PhangNga for visitors to take pictures for a memento ...... Girls may like this room, It's time for a selfie.

The natural beauty of PhangNga has inspired many films producers came to film the movies in PhangNga, which help convey the beauty of Andaman to the eyes of the world, such as The Beach and James Bond 007. Thus, make PhangNga City and Thailand becomes famous all over the world, resulting in the creation of jobs and much more income for the people in the province and Thailand, as well. 

Now, So much knowledge that we have been absorbed from the museums, it is the time to go out and really appreciate the beautiful nature of PhangNga. Let's go to the first place. Baan Sam Chong Tai.... Many people may not know. ... Baan Sam Chong Tai is one of my most impressive places, since I started taking photo. I am happy every time I come back here. It has the peace, purity and beauty of nature that is perfectly blended with the local fishermen lifestyle. This time, it's not that different, just add a little extra Milky Way ! which create a lot more beautiful.

The early morning light before sunrise with a wide view and a cool breeze in front of you like this still always makes my heart happy and delighted.

Shallow water fishermen wake up before the sunrise. The sun is not up yet, they are off to work, then ... No man among the diligent people of this village be on starvation.

Another landmark for photography lovers must come, if they come to visit PhangNga. A wooden Bridge at Khao Pi lai Beach, the legendary old wooden bridge that has been used for a long time. Unfortunately, It will not be there for long for us to admire.  You should come to see with your eyes before It is gone ... So today. Is this bridge still be there? I don't know. Let's check the information with people in the area first.

 

This bridge has been in use for a long time. It is mainly used for loading tin ore from ships into onshore ore separation plants. Today, the tin has been completely mined with the closure of the factory, leaving only the remains of a wooden bridge to commemorate the prosperity of PhangNga during the mining era at Khao Pi Lai Beach.

The light entered from the Samed Nang Shee viewpoint on that day, was just absolutely  beautiful moment. (Secretly crying ... softly in my heart so many times that how it was so beautiful, haha) I recommend you to come to the viewpoint, before the sun rises so that you can observe the changes of sky colors minutely with your eyes.

 

Nowadays, there are many new accommodations popping up in accordance with the popularity of Samed Nang Shee. This time, I stayed at village chief’s Homestay in the middle of Soi Baan Hin Rom. It is a big yellow house with a very good deal price (the whole house cost 1,500 Baht) for up 10 people !. More convenient that you can make an appointment with the village chief to bring the car to pick up at home, and delivered to this viewpoint since 4 am.

Before the sun rises. Before the strong light starts to dazzle your eyes. The sky is sweet like this.

Sweet colors contrasting with the sky and sea at Samed Nangshee.

Today, I planned to go to Khao Lak for another night, before taking a long drive back to Bangkok. Since I bought a package from Khao Lak Laguna Resort and leave it for a long time, I have a chance to use it at this time.

 

Before entering Khao Lak I would like to stop by and visit The Chulabhorn Underwater Park Conservation Centre for a bit. The trip from Ban Hin Rom takes a about an hour and a bit with a distance of about 70 kilometers. You have to take caution when driving as the road are up and down the hills. Please be careful when driving.

 

The Chulabhorn Underwater Park Conservation Centre is located across the street from Nong Thap Lamu Pier, Takua Thung District, there are many cars parked in the center according to the number of tourists who visit the coast and islands of the Andaman Sea.

The Chulabhorn Underwater Park Conservation Centre is situated inside the 3rd Naval Area Command of the Royal Thai Navy, Ban Thap Lamu, Tambon Lam Kaen. It was established by the Phang-nga Naval Base with an aim to provide knowledge about underwater resources for tourists and the public. It is a 2-storey building exhibiting the significance of natural resources, marine environment.

This center was established in collaboration with Chulabhorn Research Institute, Forest Department, Department of Fisheries, PhangNga Province, Tourism Authority of Thailand, and Siam Commercial Bank In honor of Her Majesty Prince Chulabhorn on the occasion of the age of 36 in the year 1993 and to encourage people to see the importance of conservation of the marine environment.

 

There is an exhibition room named “Chulabhorn 36”, an Andaman Underwater equipped with slide multi-vision presentation. The centre is open daily during 08.30 – 16.30 Everyday,  Not exempt from official holidays.  

The interior of the exhibition room is decorated like a warship.This section shows the islands. Of the Similan and Surin Islands National Park.

The objectives of project and missions of the 3rd Naval Area Command are currently focus on the diver training program for the conservation of the undersea environment and the buoys  laying to tie ships in coral reefs.

Exhibits ideas and methods of Conservation tourism. Water activities, activities that are contributing to ecotourism, tourist attraction and an important rest points that are suitable for various activities, and the correct information about ecotourism.

Exhibits the atmosphere under the sea.  Hmmm ... Too many sharks !!!

After that, I’d better go out to find a place to stay tonight ... Khaolak Laguna Resort was the last answer. I had a room with oriental villa located almost next to the sea. Unfortunately, there were 2 more rooms blocking it. .. “Do not think of the time when tsunami hit here, how was it!” Tonight, let's sleep comfortably first, tomorrow I had to leave already.

 

When I came back and thinking (if it was not too late, haha,) about the package price. if I remember correctly, It was about 3 thousand a little including dinner on the beach and breakfast for 2 people. The atmosphere in the evening at sunset is so beautiful.

Walking along the beach with me alone ..... it was a bit scared ! But for such a beautiful light, I have to admit it.

The atmosphere at the Oriental Villa in the hotel was really helped create a great atmosphere. (There was more light for me here to walk alone safety, haha)

As we were talking about the accommodation ....This time I stayed at PhangNga Cottage, It was in the city of PhangNga which I booked it from Agoda late at night, haha. It was 750 baht only. The room was 2 floors as shown in the picture; the ground floor was for parking. The back was a living corner, there was no roof to let the cool wind flow. There is a low fence that could be closed, but I left it opened.

 

Stairs up to the 2nd floor.

The upper floor was divided into 2 parts. The bedroom was looking like this.

The bathroom and water sink. I like the refrigerator that was outside, well separated. The room was clean. Pillows, blankets, towels, nothing to blame with this price. (breakfast was not included)

That was it. I would like to finish off a trip to PhangNga. The emerald city of Andaman with the last light of the day when I was driving back from PhangNga city. It was one of a very beautiful day in a year.  

 

The comment gained from driving for a long trip alone is that you should find a friend in case you are tired so you can take turns driving, haha ​​... That is one thing, but another observation that remains skeptical and unanswered to me was that how the reunification of the Andaman people to have the same unity as today without any contradiction. How is that possible, As from the information I have learned in the past two days, that the Andaman region was created and developed from the differences, regardless of ethnicity, language, religion, belief and culture, they can be called different in every aspect. Let's keep thinking about it as a homework. Good bye everyone.

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