Phang Nga Bay Marine National Park was declared a protected Ramsar Site (no. 1185) of international ecological significance on 14 August 2002. Phang Nga is a shallow bay with 42 islands, comprising shallow marine waters and intertidal forested wetlands, with at least 28 species of mangrove; seagrass beds and coral reefs are also present.
At least 88 bird species, including the globally threatened Malaysian plover (Charadrius peronii) and Asiatic dowitcher (Limnodromus semipalmatus), can be found within the site, as well as 82 fish species, 18 reptiles, three amphibians, and 17 mammal species. These include the dugong (a vulnerable species), white-hand gibbon (Hylobates lar), the endangered serow (Capricornis sumatraensis), and the black finless porpoise (Neophocaena phocaenoides).
A number of diverse cultures co-exist in local communities, which practice fishing, harvesting Nypa palm fronds for thatch, and catering to an international tourist presence drawn both by the natural beauties and by the archaeological sites, which have paintings more than a thousand years old.