The Department of Rural Roads (DRR) has officially announced the completion of the Na Klang-Ao Jik road, a critical route that connects Phuket and Phangnga, offering a significant boost to local tourism and facilitating inter-provincial transport. With an investment of approximately 282.8 million baht, this 4.2km stretch of road is part of a broader city expansion strategy for Phangnga’s Thai Muang district, as stated by DRR Director-General Apirat Chaiwongnoi.
Constructed with a robust concrete surface, the road consists of four expansive driving lanes, each 3.5 meters wide, and a 2.5-meter wide hard shoulder on both sides, ensuring a safe and smooth driving experience for motorists. The modernized roadway also boasts a well-designed drainage system, illuminated lamp posts, and clear traffic signs, while its spacious footpaths cater to pedestrian traffic with their 3.5-meter width.
Connecting Phangnga to Phuket, the Na Klang-Ao Jik (1042 rural road) offers a vital new route between the two provinces, with Mr. Apirat stating that it is primed to welcome tourists who fly to Phuket and wish to explore Phangnga’s iconic attractions, including the beaches at Na Tai and Khao Pilai. Although no precise figures have been released regarding expected traffic volume, this new stretch of road is anticipated to positively impact the local economy, tourism industry, and cross-province transportation.
Recent data from the Phangnga Tourism Association reveals an encouraging upward trend in visitor numbers to Phangnga last year, rising by 41.65%. Consequently, the total number of tourists reached 546,475, generating nearly 2.7 billion baht for the province’s economy. Moreover, 2021 has seen a sustained growth in tourism for the region, with Phangnga welcoming 499,047 visitors in the first four months alone, marking a 60.68% increase compared to the same period in 2020.
According to the Tourism and Sports Ministry, the thriving tourism sector has reaped an impressive 1.2 billion baht in revenue for the southern province between January and April 2021, signifying a 20% surge from the same period in the previous year. With the completion of the Na Klang-Ao Jik road, the future looks bright for even more economic and tourism growth in Phangnga and Phuket in the years to come.