Phangnga Travel Guide

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History of Phangnga, Thailand
Ancient records reveal that before establishment of the current dynasty in the late 18th Century, the area called Phang-nga was a district attrached to Takuapa, the leading town thereabouts. Then with the beginning of the Rattanakosin Dynasty, during the reign of Rama I, Phang-nga was given equal status with Takuapa and another nearby town, Takuatung, and all three were removed from the government's Harbor Department and put under the Ministry of Defense.

The best evidence indicates that Phang-nga was officially established in 1809 during the reign of Rama II, when one of the periodic wars with Burma was reging. The king there, Padung Kasatri, appointed Ah Terng Woon to lead an invasion force for attack on Thailand's southern towns. The ship-borne army carried off the populations of Takuatung, and Thaland (in Phuket). Thalang was razed to the ground. An army under the direction of a royal prince was therefore sent from Bangkok to drive of the attackers.

While the war was raging some of the local people took refuge at a place then called Kra Ph-nga *(Malay for river mount of Pu-nga) protected on all sides by mountains. After the razing of Thalang, it was the government's view that Thailand's hold on the area had weakened, and that a new town should be established in its stead. Thus the citizenry left in the Thalang area was instructed to move to Kra Pu-nga and register themselves as being resident there. There is still a villages in what is today Takuatung District called Thalang founded by those immigrants from Phuket. The new city was put under the administration of the government in Nakorn Sri Thammarat.

During the reign of Rama III, the central government thought to strengthen the southwest coastal town that were prey to successive Burmese attacks by appointing a governor for the province who reported directly ot Bangkok. Praya Borirak Puton (Sang Na Nakorn) thereby became first governor of Phang-nga in 1840. In the same year, Takuatung was reduced in status and became merely a district of Phang-nga.

All during this period tin mining was booming, and as one of the most tin-rich of Thailand's tin bearing locales, Phang-nga attracted increasing attention from the central government because of its importance as a foreign exchange earner. When the worldwide economic depression of the 1930s struck.

Thailand, Phang-nga's status was further enhanced by incorporation of Takuapa as a district (1931). One of Phang-nga Town's most beautiful old buildings is the Provincial Hall. The first such structure was built in Ban Chai Kai; a larger one was constructed in 1930 at Ban Tai Chang. The present structure near Poong Chang Cave was built in 1972.

** Pronunciation of Phang-nga's name is thought to have resulted from foreign tin buyers and operators confusion with the way it was formerly written on maps, Pu-nga in which the old long '00' sound is not clearly expressed. If pronounced with a short '00' it is very close to present pronunciation.