Phang-Nga is the bay with the splinter like islands jutting up out of nowhere. Many of the islands have collapsed centers, secret tree lined lagoons filled with seawater. As the locals have explored these islands, so they've found caves that lead through from the outside of the island into these lagoons.
The caves are filled with water, and so he way in is by kayak with a local guide. The best way to visit these islands is to take a one day boat tour from Phuket. Ready made tours can cram in the Phang-nga bay experience into one day, and so this time I'm going tourist class on a ready made tour!
(Video after the break).
The package I'm on today is from ALP (Andaman Leisure Phuket), whose office is in Royal Phuket Marina, this marina is really buzzing in the morning, with boat tours heading off in all directions to see the islands.
It's a full day tour, starting at 9am with a speedboat ride out to Lava island for Panak Island. Panak island has the best caves, but it's also busy. You wait for the kayaks to be available, a short stop on Lava beach fills the time.
The rest of the boat is in holiday mood, a family from Australia, a woman from Chile, all here for a short time, all wanting to cram as much as possible into their holidays.
The boat crew are well practiced, speeding from island to island, watch closely, recognize the same faces in the kayaks at the next stop? The kayak crews travel island to island too, so do their kayaks, as we arrived at Hong island, we had time to swim while the kayak crew boat caught up with us.
Monkeys live on these islands, fisher-monkeys, we watched as one of them jumped in the water, deftly caught a fish and ate it. No bananas for these monkeys, only sashimi.
These trips are very much bang, Panak, bang, James Bond Island, bang Hong bang, bang bang. You're whisked quickly from venue to venue. You get time to see everything, but no time to rest till the end.
James bond island is touristy, with plenty of shops. Cherry visiting from the UK, decides to go jewelry shopping. It's a busman's holiday, since she owns a jewelry store and sells Swarvoski beads herself. Well I eat out at restaurants, so I can't complain.
A lunch break at the Sea Gypsy village, the floating village of a fishing community, gives an energy boost. The food is good here, but not spicy enough for Thai tastes. When I asked from sliced chilli in fish sauce (a standard Thai condiment), they brought it without complaint.
The trip rounds off with a visit to Naka Island, a time to swim and rest on the beach before heading home.
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