Weekend Trip to Phang Nga for L’Etape Thailand

Over the weekend, I was invited by TAT to fly down to Phuket to attend the inaugural L’Etape Thailand by Le Tour de France in neighboring Phang-nga province. This was held on fully closed roads and under professional race conditions in the spectacular scenery of Phang-nga province in southern Thailand.

Date of trip: 20-21 October 2018

DAY ONE: Good morning from Don Mueang Airport. I have an early morning flight down to Phuket. This weekend I’m taking photos at the L’Etape Thailand by Le Tour de France in Phang Nga.

Boarding AirAsia FD3029 from Bangkok to Phuket. Luckily, flight time is only an hour or so as legroom is zero even when I take out the magazines from the seat pocket. Light rain here in Bangkok and 80% chance of thunderstorms in Phang Nga this afternoon.

Breakfast this morning is at Super Dim Sum (ซุปเปอร์ติ่มซำสนามบินภูเก็ต) near Phuket Airport. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/eKir9GnHt1u

Raining in Phuket, which I guess is not a surprise. The southern end of Phuket should be better, but we’re heading north to Phang Nga. Thunderstorms are in the forecast.

Wat Thetthumnava, or Wat Tha Sai, is a teakwood temple on the Andaman coast in Thaimuang district of Phang Nga. The wooden building was built in 2014. Inside there is a white jade Buddha image measuring 2.15 meters high. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/aZE645m6RdM2

Drone photos of Wat Thetthumnava, a teakwood temple on the Andaman coast in Phang Nga..

Time for a seafood lunch at Mon Phochana in Thai Mueang District of Phang Nga. My favorite amongst this spread was the soft shelled crab curry. The fried squid, gaeng som, and the fish curry were also good. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/9yiqSFFkHa22

Police Boat 813 was on patrol off the coast in Phang Nga on 26 December 2004 when the whole area was devastated by a Tsunami. The patrol boat was swept inland nearly 2km where it still remains today as a memorial to the thousands who lost their lives. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/pYBdT4GW8ym

Tonight I’m staying at The Sands Khao Lak in Phang Nga. It looks quite an extensive resort with multiple swimming pools & lots of space. Most of the guests seem to be European. I could easily spend a week here relaxing & being quite content. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/fZiJswEp8Nz

Sign of the times. A no flying drone sign at my hotel. Which is perfectly understandable as they can get really annoying when people fly them low.

Sunset on Khao Lak beach in Phang Nga.

Drone photos of Khao Lak beach and The Sands Khao Lak where I’m staying tonight in Phang Nga. This whole area was devastated by the Boxing Day Tsunami. Over 4,000 people were killed on that day in 2004. About a thousand of them were foreign tourists.

Dinner at Samsi Seafood (สามสีซีฟู๊ด) in Takua Pa district of Phang Nga. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/VAYBhxXjiaP2

Alberto Contador, two-time Tour de France champion has arrived in Thailand to join the “L’Etape Thailand by Le Tour de France” for the first time in Southeast Asia in Phang-nga between 19 and 21 October.

DAY TWO: Good morning from Phang Nga in Southern Thailand. Waiting for the start of the inaugural “L’Etape Thailand by Le Tour de France”.

At the Start Line for the “L’Etape Thailand by Le Tour de France” in Phang Nga.

The “L’Etape Thailand by Le Tour de France” took place today in Phang Nga, Thailand. Hundreds of cyclists from around the world competed for the official Tour de France jerseys on a choice of two routes: 70km and 140km. The race started in Khao Lak and finished in Ta Kua Pa.

This morning we’re taking a boat trip at a place called “Little Amazon” in Takua Pa district of Phang Nga. Boats cost from 500B-800B for two people which includes someone to row for you. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/6e4YdjWtxK72

Lots of flora and fauna on the boat trip through “Little Amazon” in Phang Nga. The banks of the river are lined with many large banyan trees. There is also a chance to spot snakes, monkeys & colourful birds.

Takuapa in Phang Nga is an old town with some well preserved Chino Portuguese buildings. Some of the street art reflects the history of the area with pictures of tin mining. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/zvR9HV4KQrL2

The 200 meter long Boon Soong Iron Bridge in Takua Pa district of Phang Nga was built in 1965 by a local mining company as a short cut for their workers. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/jT1zPMLmWFv

The Baan Nam Kem Tsunami Memorial Park in Phang Nga was set up by a German group & is reasonably well maintained. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/FDmhSAof9X12

Some drone shots of Baan Nam Kem and the Tsunami Memorial Park in Phang Nga.

I was hoping to see two more fishing boats in Baan Nam Kem that were washed ashore by the Boxing Day Tsunami, but sadly this is all that is left of them. I’m told they are building a Tsunami Museum. Click here for some old photos & story about the boats.

A seafood lunch at Rerdang restaurant (เรอดัง ซีฟู้ด) in Thai Mueang district of Phang Nga. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/B4epfyk4n6P2

From the top of Samet Nangshe Viewpoint in Takua Thung District, there are some excellent panoramic views of Phang Nga Bay. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/DaJNxav5zkv

ou cannot drive your car up to Samet Nangshe Viewpoint in Phang Nga as the road is very steep and unpaved. The cost is 90 Baht for a round trip in a pick-up from the car park which also includes admission. Or 30 Baht if you want to walk up the very steep hill.

Drone photo above Samet Nangshe Viewpoint looking down on Phang Nga Bay.

That’s a wrap on my short two-day trip to Phang Nga province in Southern Thailand. I hope you enjoyed my photos and I’ve inspired you to visit. See you on the next trip!

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