Once we are all safely onboard the Sakai we are all introduced to Captain Noi, (he does all the hard work) and Ya (the worlds best cook).
We all pick our positions on the boat and off we go, within minutes we are eating fruit and these yummy sweet little parcels wrapped in banana leaves (I forget what their called).
Then we are eating Ya’s delicious freshly cooked crispy chicken wings.
Soon we were heading for Koh Phanak and Mark bought some fresh prawns from a fisherman.
Now its time to anchor and climb into the dinghy to go over to the Pirate Cave. The Pirate Cave is amazing, it’s only accessible at low tide and you can see where people over the years have been digging trying to find the rumored treasure.
So with torches in hand we set off through the cave, there are many hollow rock formations made by the water continually coming in and a massive reddish formation at the back of the cave.
It was such an eerie feeling being in the Pirates Cave, it felt like someone was there watching, maybe it was the ghost who lives there. It was also stifling hot the further back we went.
Then it was back onto the Sakai and off we went (after a drink or two) to the Mangrove Hong.
On go the torches, we can see water running out and the only way in is to walk in that water through the cave. So in we go. When the water started to get a little bit deeper, me being so brave took over the lead!
The water only gets to my knees so I tell them it’s ok to come through, we wade, duck and weave the low roof for about 200 meters then I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
We come through an opening into the Mangrove Hong, obviously the tide is out as the hong is empty of water. It was fantastic, like we were the only people on earth and had just discovered something magical.
To be able to walk around in there looking at all the mudskippers, crabs, skeletons of people who had got stuck in the mud years ago (only joking). We stayed in there for ages, it was great and no one wanted to leave.
Next stop I think is my favorite and not because of the name.
It’s the Ice Cream Cave. We pull up at a beautiful deserted little beach and off to the side of a cliff is a bamboo ladder leading up to a small opening.
How exciting, up we all go and then we follow Mark, some places are extremely slippery in here so good grip sandals are needed.
We walked about 300 meters through this cave with hundreds of stalactites, stalagmites and lots of sparkly ice-creams (or diamonds).
Once at the back of this cave (we were gradually heading up for the 300 meter walk) we come to a small opening, almost like a window, what a sight, we are looking down into a Hong that has no entrance.
Now we have worked up an appetite and its time to head off to another deserted little beach for lunch.
Wow – what a setting, just behind us were a couple of hundred meter high limestone cliffs!
Fresh seafood is bought directly from the fishermen during the trip. All the food is served fresh and as much as possible is prepared onboard or cooked on the beach for a relaxing picnic by Ya.
The food is simple but delicious and you definitely will not go hungry on the trip!
Drinks are also available on board at very reasonable prices.
Phuket Sail Tours have one day and overnight tours through some of the most beautiful and uninhabited islands of Phang Nga Bay. Nothing is more relaxing than the tranquility of sailing around these magnificient islands on board the Sakai.
You will also visit beautiful islands, go swimming and explore caves.
The Sakai is a shallow draft vessel which means that she is able to enter places that larger vessels cannot and Phuket Sail Tours avoid overpopulated areas, instead concentrating on remote peaceful places to give you that extra special experience.
One of the highlights of the day is the food. Fresh seafood is bought directly from the fishermen during the trip. All of the food served is fresh, and as much as possible, prepared onboard or cooked on the beach for a relaxing picnic. You definately will not go hungry on this trip!!
You can also buy drinks on board at very reasonable prices.
There is plenty of room for up to 10 passengers and a crew of 3 for day trips.
For overnight trips, the Sakai can accommodate up to 6 passengers plus a crew of 2, with tents for sleeping ashore for another 4 passengers. There is a detailed report on our sailing tours under Things To Do Tips, Phuket Sail Tours (Part 2 and Part 3 for their Sunset Tour).
For lots more info and prices have a look at Phuket Sail Tours website or send Mark an email at: email@example.com
More photos and info here
More than the highlights where you will be conducted (James Bond Island and Floating Village) all the way in the bay is a succession of beautiful cliffs, rocks and caves.
I don't know if it happens in all circuits, but we were taken for a long trip, with a brake for lunch in the floating village.
Then a heavy rain appeared, making everybody fear for the long way back. The funny is that the village was so close to the starting point, that in a couple of minutes, we were well protected from the rain.
Wow, what a special day! Enjoyed every moment of our day.
We sailed with Phuket Sail Tours to Kho Phanak. Lucky for us there were only 4 of us sailing with Captain Mark and his team.
The excitement was building from the time we got in to the dinghy that took us out to the yacht. It just got better as the day went on. The islands looked so mystical in the haze. It was a real highlight going in to the caves and then being in the hongs. Having lunch on a deserted beach was brilliant.
Canoeing around Hong and Lawa Islands in the beautiful Phang Nga Bay was amazing. So peaceful and tranquil and just awe-inspiring. Even though we didnt actually do any of the paddling, our canoe guy called Lep did all of that, it was still a lot of fun and not something you get to do very often.
The colour of the water was amazing, very blue/green and the caves and the scenery was breathtakingly beautiful.
This picturesque bay is full of limestone outcrops called Karsts. Its essentially Thailands version of Halong Bay. In many of these there are caves called Hongs. These can be explored either by sea kakak or dinghy. I went with Phuket Sail Tours, so he had a dinghy used to explore some of these hongs. Some, at low tide, can even be explored on foot.
Mangroves and tropical vegetation abounds. One can see a variety of wilflife also including birds, mangrove life such as mudskippers and even if you are lucky, monkeys. An excursion here is definitely recommended.
Phang Nga Bay is a very scenic area of ocean which has limestone crags jutting dramatically from the ocean. A lot of areas have developed caves for exploration, some of these tiny would be islands even have beaches (like the one near James Bond Island) and in some areas mangrove forests spring from the waters and atop of some of these massive rocks. I went through Phang Nga Bay as part of a tour which provided snorkeling in the bay, James Bond Island, lunch at the floating Muslim village and Phang Nga Bay and a small island to lounge on in the afternoon. See the details of the other sites for more information. I was very happy with this tour as it was relaxing and entertaining. You could either visit Phang Nga Bay on a combo tour or a sailing company that allows you to peddle through the caves and islands. Just visit one of the many tourist agencies in Phuket to set this up. Phang Nga Bay is definately a must while in Phuket.
You may see that this area is very popular for it's fishing industry. Long tail boats scoot around the limestone rocks searching for a big catch
****Check out my video of Phang Nga Bay. Taken while riding in a high speed boat. Just to give you a glimpse of what youll see
El Tels boat trip to Phang Nga Bay . . .no need to say anymore !!!!!!!!
call him on +66(0) 81 086 8041
or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
This boat trip was just amazing !
I've been on boat trips before to such places as Phi Phi Islands and been treated like cattle,
terry gave us just a fantastic day, private Islands, scenery, it was just great.
don't be put off by the price, yes you pay a bit more than the normal trips, but in this case you most certainly get what you pay for.
I can't say enough about this day, probably the best value for money we have ever spent
Phang Nga Bay is part of our day tour package to James Bond Island. We enjoyed every minute of that tour. We were on the speedboat package. I would recommend sitting in the front of the boat if the weather is good - it is quite bumpy to be honest and you could get a sunburn, but it is worth it if you want to take pictures. We took over 500 pictures that day. And we ended up looking for creams for our sunburn that night! LOL
We went on the sea canoe trip with "Phuket Siam Sea Canoe" to Phang Nga Bay. When we first arrived at the port about 8.30 a.m.. We started thinking it was a bit dodgy, however after a long tail boat took us out to the main boat, the service was excellent, food and non alcoholic drinks included, and cheap beer as well. Panak Island 1st stop, 2 people to a canoe and a Thai guide paddles you through the bat cave into a lagoon in the middle of the island, with mud skippers and a family of monkeys, just amazing. Onto Hong Island, more canoing and caves, just beautiful. Stopped at James Bond Island, what a let down, market stalls on the beach and very pushy shop keepers, worth a quick look, thats all. On the boat and lunch, very nice and ok to eat. Stopped for a swim on the way back at a beautiful secluded beach, a show on the way back to the harbour and dropped off about 5 p.m. Book this trip at any tour stall, don't book it at your hotel or resort, they will rip you off. Tour desks are everywhere in Patong, barter with them for the best price and compare, we paid about 1600 baht for the both of us I think (a bit over $53 AU), well worth it for a full day. The organisers will pick you up at your hotel and drop you back.
Update 2008, still the best trip to do, excellent..................
The bay was declared as a Marine National Park in 1981. The bay includes more than 40 lime stone rock islands, each one with it´s particular shape, sea caves and small white sand beaches. There´s a diverse wildlife in the area, dolphins, macaques, bats and specially a lots of birds like sea eagles and egrets.
The best way to enjoy the beauty of Phang Nga Bay is to go sailing. We had a wonderful experience as we had chartered the SAKAI from Phuket Sail Tours. Captn. Mark and his fun loving crew made sure that we had a great time. Fresh Prawns from the fishing boats for lunch and dinner around a campfire on a secluded island. Snorkeling and swimming away from the crowds and exploring the Hongs. Learning the basics of sailing and enjoying great thai food. This trip had it all.
This was a really special trip and would recommend it. Contact Captain Mark at email@example.com
Canoeing is one fun activity esp for group. If you avail a package tour...canoeing is usually included in the package.
You will be given about an hour to explore the island. At first, someone from the tour company will join you to be familiarize with the place..then on your next canoeing activity you will be given the chance to explore the island on your own.
Maximum 3 persons per canoe.
Usually packaged together with the James Bond Island tours.
I strongly suggest a dry bag for your camera. I brought my whole family including 15-month old Michaela.
If you are adventurous and won't even let crying and fussing babies stop you, a must.
We went on this tour in July 06 for a complete afternoon of exploring. You are picked up at your hotel and taken out to these Hongs (caves) where your guide takes you on inflatable sea canoes through tiny cave openning into the mountain mangroves. This is the only tour that goes to Hongs latter in afternoon so you can experience the Hong at night time and release your offering a kratong that you make yourself with the help of your personal guide.
I highly recommend this tour for those of us who are more eco-friendly.
Their email address is firstname.lastname@example.org or you can book at most good tour desks.