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Phuket | Places of Interest in Thalang District
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PLACES OF INTEREST IN KATHU DISTRICT

Thalang National Museum (พิพิธภัณฑ์สถานแห่งชาติถลาง) : Ancient artifacts from Phuket’s long history are on display; the oldest were found on the west coast. In addition there are exhibits detailing the famous Battle of Thalang involving the Two Heroines, daily life in Phuket, and the Sea Gypsy culture, open daily except holidays 9:00 am - 4:00 pm. Admission is 30 baht. Located just east of the Two Heroines Monument on the Pa Khlok Road tel. 66 (0) 7631 1025, 66 (0) 7631 1426.

Naka Noi Island (เกาะนาคาน้อย) : this small, quiet island with fine sandy beaches lies just off Phuket’s northeast shore. Water are suitable for swimming. One item of interest at Koh Naka Noi that not found in many other places, is its pearl farm. Boats can be hired from Ao Por Pier, off Pa Khlok Rd., for travel to Koh Naka Noi, and package trips are available at tour agencies, generally including lunch and a visit to the pearl farm.

Pra Nang Sang Temple (วัดพระนางสร้าง) : The grounds of this historic temple are where the Battle of Thalang took place in 1785. Inside are three very old statues wrought in tin of the Buddha; they are the largest such in the world and date from a time when tin was regarded as a semi-precious metal. The bellies of the three big statues each contain a smaller statue, from which derives their name, ‘Monks in the Belly’ in local vernacular, or ‘The Three Kings’ in formal language. Located on Thep Krasattri Rd. in Thalang Town at the traffic light.

Pra Tong Temple (วัดพระทอง) : This shrine encloses a golden statue of Buddha that sprang up from beneath the earth long ago. The story is of a young boy who tied his buffalo to what he thought was a post; it was in an area at that time given over to the raising of animals. After doing so, he fell down in agony and died. The father of the boy dreamed that the reason his son had died was for the sin of tying a filthy buffalo to a sacred object, that what the boy thought was a post was in reality the golden peak of the Buddha’s conical cap. He told his neighbors the dream and they all went out to dig up the statue but had no success. Later, at the time of Thao Thep Krasattri’s heroic defense against the Burmese in 1785, the invaders tried to succeed where the villagers had failed; their intention was to take the statue back to Burma. Sacred objects and slaves were then the most sought after spoil for armies.

Holy statues brought good luck to their possessors, and the slaves were used for work, and to populate places that lacked inhabitants a frequent problem for rulers in Southeast Asia, who had a great deal of land but very few subjects. The Burmese, however, were unable to retrieve the golden Buddha despite several attempts; they were finally driven off by a swarm of angry hornets.

After this the villagers decided to protect their miraculous statue by covering the part that stuck up from the ground with a plaster cast of Buddha’s head and shoulders which is the way it is today. Located north of the traffic light on the out skirts of Thalang Town. A large sign shows at the entrance.

Khao Pra Taew Wildlife Conservation Deve-lopment and Extension Center (เขาพระแทว) : 22.28 square kilometers of virgin forest are covered by this park, which a center for study of the environment. Forest vegetation is spectacular: Giant trees supported by huge buttresses are thick with creepers and climbers of every description; it looks like a Tarzan movie set. One species of palm found, the Governor’s Palm or White Back Palm (Palm Lang Khao in Thai) is especially rare. Langurs, barking deer, mousedeer, deer, bear, wild boar, monkeys, gibbons and many species of birds inhabit the forest. Khao Pra Taew serves also as one of Phuket’s most important water sources. There are two waterfalls of note;

Ton Sai (น้ำตกโตนไทร) : is a small falls over which pours a great volume of water during the rainy season. The trees, watercourses, and pools nearby provide one of Phuket’s loveiest scenes. The park headquarters and a small restaurant with an excellent view are also at Ton Sai. Located near Thalang Town, 22 kms. from Phuket Town. Go to the traffic light and take the road running east; look for posted signs indicating Khao Pra Taew.

Bang Pae (น้ำตกบางแป) : is well-known now as the site of the Gibbon Fund, a project to return domesticated gibbons to the forest, Bang Pae is a small waterfall with a shady forest and thick foliage surrounding. To get there, go to the Two Heroines Monument and take the road running east, Pa Khlok Rd., 7 kms. to Bang Pae, look for the posted signs.

Surin Beach (หาดสุรินทร์) : Evergreen trees rim this small, curving bay beneath the foothills north of Kamala. Surin is home to Phuket’s first golf course, a nine-hole course laid out more than sixty years ago during the reign of King Rama Vll. It is now largely in disuse except as a park. The steep incline of the beach, turbulent water, and big waves make Surin a dangerous place to swim during the rainy season. Located at the end of Sri Soontorn Rd., the road running west from the Two Heroines Monument, 24 kms. from Phuket Town. Accommodations and restaurants are nearby.

Singh Cape (แหลมสิงห์) : The name means Lion’s Point in English - in this case, the mythical, stulized lion of Chinese literature, not the African variety; there have never been any lions found in Thailand. The beach is in a small, curving bay with rocky headlands at the foot of forest-fringed cliffs and is among Phuket’s most beautiful. Located about 1 km. south of the entrance to Surin Beach. Look for signs indicating the path down to the beach.

Bangtao Beach (หาดบางเทา) : Bang Tao is a large open bay with one of Phuket’s longest beaches. It was once used for tin mining, but has since been developed into a luxury resort. Most of it is occupied by the Laguna complex, a massive five-hotel development with golf course. There are, however, accommodations available outside Laguna at the bay’s south end. Dry season swimming is excellent, and at the bay’s north end is a smaller bay, almost completely enclosed, at the mouth of which is some fine coral. Plenty of places to eat, tour companies, and other tourist facilities are available either at Laguna or in the nearby town of Cherng Talay. Located off Sri Soontorn Rd. in Cherng Talay for access to Laguna; the south end of the bay may be approached by taking the road north from Surin Beach. To get to the far north end from Sri Soontorn Rd., take the road leading to Laguna, but do not enter, continue on to the town of Ban Don where there is an intersection of asphalted roads, and take the one leading west toward the sea. This road leads also to Nai Ton Bay and makes a very pleasant drive. Along the way are some small bays with good swimming and no development.

Sirinat National Park (อุทยานแห่งชาติสิรินาถ) : This National Park covers 90 square kilometers near Phuket’s airport and includes 13 kilometers of Nai Yang Beach. The park stretches all the way to the island’s northern tip. There are a number of interesting places to visit:

Nai Ton Beach (หาดในทอน) : This quiet bay nestled at the foot of high hills has a fine strip of sand. There are some accommodations but virtually no other business; it’s often nearly deserted. Located between Bang Tao Bay and Nai Yang. From Thep Krasattri Rd., turn at the first traffic light north of Thalang Town heading west, which is the Nai Yang Rd. (so called because it passes through rubber plantations, or yang in Thai). Look for signs indicating the turnoff to Nai Ton.

Nai Yang Beach (หาดในยาง) : This is where the National Park offices are located. The beach itself is on a long curving bay lined with evergreens that provide shade to picnickers for which activity this is a very popular spot. The large coral reef is home to many different species of fish, and Nai Yang is well-known as a site where sea turtles come to lay their eggs during the period from November to February; the population of these has, however, dropped off greatly. First class accommodations are available, and small food vendors cater to the many day trippers that visit. To get there take Nai Yang Rd. and look for signs indicating the park entrance.

Mai Khao Beach (หาดไม้ขาว) : Many kilometers of deserted beach characterize Mai Khao. There is little tourist business. The water is fine for swimming during the dry season; the rainy season brings big waves and strong currents that are dangerous. This lonely beach is another where sea turtles come to lay eggs. It is also home to what the Thais call a sea cicada, which is a form of marine life. To get there go to the northern tip of Phuket; the beach lies along the road’s length.

Sai Kaew Beach (หาดทรายแก้ว) : This strip of sand is really just the northern portion of Mai Khao Beach and has much the same character. Located west of the bridges spanning the Mangrove Forest (ป่าชายเลน) is in Sirinat National Park near Ta Chatchai on Phuket’s northern tip, the mangroves saltwater swamps with unique eco-systems much prized by scientists searching for clues about adaptation and evolution cover about 800 rai. Anyone with an interest in horticulture will be interested in the many unusual perennial plants found here: mountain ebony (kohng kahng bai lek), red cycas (prohng daeng), black myrsina (samae dahm), the Lady’s Nails quisqualis (leb mue nang), and various creepers and climbers are among the more significant. There are also many mangrove-dwelling animals with unique evolutionary characteristics. A nature trail has been cleared for the convenience of visitors with signs indicating and explaining the various species. channel between Phuket and Phang-Nga provinces.

Mangrove Forest (ป่าชายเลน) is in Sirinat National Park near Ta Chatchai on Phuket’s northern tip, the mangroves saltwater swamps with unique eco-systems much prized by scientists searching for clues about adaptation and evolution cover about 800 rai. Anyone with an interest in horticulture will be interested in the many unusual perennial plants found here: mountain ebony (kohng kahng bai lek), red cycas (prohng daeng), black myrsina (samae dahm), the Lady’s Nails quisqualis (leb mue nang), and various creepers and climbers are among the more significant. There are also many mangrove-dwelling animals with unique evolutionary characteristics. A nature trail has been cleared for the convenience of visitors with signs indicating and explaining the various species.