Friday, December 13, 2013

John Gray's Sea Canoe Overnight Expedition - 2 Days & 1 Night Exploring Phang Nga Bay by Kayak - Day 2

Phang Nga Bay Expedition Express trip report: Day 1 | Day 2

Phang Nga Bay Camping & Kayaking
The best sea view "room"
I woke up around 7:00 when the sun was already high enough to warm up my tent, and when I unzipped the tent I was welcomed by a beautiful scenery with some of the limestone islands of Phang Nga Bay at the horizon, it was the best sea view "room" in the world!
While my fellow travellers where still in their tents the staff quickly prepared an abundant picnic breakfast, there was food to suit all habits, from scrambled eggs to bakery stuff and fruit along with tea and coffee.

Camping Panak Island in Phang Nga Bay
Campsite on Lawa Island

Picnic Breakfast on the beach in Phang Nga Bay
Our unique breakfast
After breakfast and some relax time our support longtail boat arrived, it was time to move for some self paddling canoe, one couple had booked a different program so the group was split. Starting from our beach camp we circumnavigated about half of Lawa Island and reached a cave, a different one from those we visited on the previous day. This time there was no water in the cave so we parked our canoes on a tiny sand stripe at the entrance and walked through a long tunnel which once again ended up in a hong.

Mud Skipper - Phang Nga Bay Fauna
Mud Skippers
Due to very low tide also the hong had no water at the time so we could walk around and see some huge mangrove trees and some funny Mud Skippers, a kind of fish with the ability of breathing air and hop around the muddy floor when the tide is low.
Back on the canoe we paddled further and got to a little beach hidden between two cliffs, at first glance it was nothing special but then the guide showed us an old wooden ladder that was leading to a hole a couple of meters above the ground, it was the entrance to another cave but once again it was different from the previous one, we never got bored of seeing caves because each one had its peculiarities. This particular one is called "Icecream Cave" because there are plenty of white and brown stalactites and stalagmites which were mixing together and really looked like huge ice creams. 

Sea Canoe in Phang Nga Bay with incredible landcapes
Some of the magic in Phang Nga Bay
Once back outside we loaded our canoes on the support boat and started cruising east towards a new island where we had some more self paddling around, this time no caves but beautiful environment and landscapes. Later with the boat we moved further east to the Krabi side of the bay and stopped at Pakbia Island which has a nice quiet beach and clear water with the opportunity to do fairly good snorkeling, here we had about 1 hour free time to enjoy the place at leisure.

Krabi Islands - Koh Pakbia
Cruising towards Pakbia Island
Pakbia Island Krabi Beach
Little corner of Parafise at Pakbia Island
When it was about 12:30 we cruised to the little Thalen Pier whiich is located not far from Ao Nang, there we had another great meal at a local restaurant, this time was a seafood set menu lunch. Time to part ways with my new friends Josh and Maggie, they got a car waiting for them to transfer them to Ao Nang and then a short boat ride to Railay Beach where they had booked their new hotel, while I returned strait to Phuket with the fast and comfortable long tail boat. The journey back took about 2 hours, just enjoyed the breeze and the navigation admiring the landscape, there are more than 50 small limestone islets all around. We finally reached Ao Por Pier around 17:00.

Tasty Thai Food in Krabi
Great lunch at local restaurant
A big thanks to the very professional and friendly staff who took very good care of all the guests allowing us to have a truly unforgettable experience. I highly recommend this trip to anyone who wishes to have an original and safe adventure off the beaten track, just remember that accommodation is in a tent so it's very basic and definitely not as comfortable as a hotel. As long as you don't have back ache issues or similar health conditions the experience is definitely worth the effort, after all it's just for one night.

Phang Nga Bay Expedition Express trip report: Day 1 | Day 2

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