The mix of nature and culture will make this day really remarkable. And our combination of the ‘Little Amazon’ and the Sri Phang Nga National Park gives you an amazing day away from the standard tourist areas.
We start off with a visit in Takuapa Old Town, what is about 7 km outside the new town center. Compared to the bustling new town it’s very laid-back here. Founded in the 13th century, it was one of the big tin dredging and trading centers for more than 100 years what brought a lot of Chinese workers and traders into the city. The Sino-Portuguese architecture, Chinese shrines, altars, signs and red lanterns are the last relics of this ancient and glorious history. The picturesque buildings are the main reason for the unique charm of the old town.
On our stroll we can experience the way many Thais are living still today. We see the old buildings with small shops and elderly people sitting in front of them, relaxing and chatting the day away with their friends or riding aged bicycles. The historic streets with ancient shop houses and arcades invite you to slow down, roam, explore and take lots of photos.
We discover also the local indoor market selling daily fresh food, meat, fruit, vegetables, fish and seafood and you can also try some Thai culinary snacks. Get some old bananas to use later for fish feeding.
Now it’s time for a little temple culture since they play a vital role in Thai life and society.
First we visit the Chinese Guan Yu Shrine at the main road of Old Takuapa but behind this shrine we find another temple, Wat Na Muang, one of the oldest temple in the Takuapa district, built more than 100 years ago. In a plain storehouse (to protect the old walls) you can find big, old and unusual Buddha statues.
After a short drive we arrive at the Khlong Sung Nae River to do a canoe tour through a hidden forest called “Little Amazon”. This is the best way to explore this stunning nature trail, discover the local flora & fauna, feel the peace and listen to the soundtrack of nature. Paddled by professional local canoe guides we follow the curvy river under the shady canopies of old Banyan trees. The jungle here grows even in the water and between the giant roots we can see different kinds of lizards in all sizes and shapes. Higher up in the trees sleeping snakes can be seen and various kind of birds and butterflies and if we are lucky we might also meet a family of monkeys.
Going further north we arrive at the Sri Phang Nga National Park about 45 minutes later. This national park is very little known by tourists but it offers amazing scenery and big waterfalls.
At first we will enjoy a delicious Thai lunch in the restaurant of the national park.
Then it’s action time! About 800 meters jungle walk leads us to the Sri Phang Nga waterfall, one of the biggest in the area with water throughout the entire year (not granted in South Thailand!). Here we find a big pool for a refreshing swim and the fish to feed.