PHANG NGA BAY

Trip Start Mar 24, 2013
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5
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Trip End Apr 15, 2013


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Flag of Thailand  , Phuket,
Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Jose was up at 3:00 AM as he is still dealing with the time change. Since he got up, I could no longer sleep and decided to get up as well.

There are 7-elevens every where here and the only cup of coffee you can get is hot water and Nescafe packets. And so, it is Nescafe and a vanilla cake roll for a quick breakfast.

We are getting ready for our pick up at 6:00 AM to go to Phang Nga Bay. Since I have allot of time to kill I thought I would take some time to catch up on my travel blog.

The itinerary for our day is as follows:

The Phang Nga excursion takes you into the heart of Thailand 's most dramatic national park where sheer limestone islands jut vertically out of the emerald green waters of the Andaman Sea. Formed over 136 million years ago, Phang Nga has over 42 islands, all rich with life and intrigue. Simba Sea Trips have been running tours for over 5 years in this region, giving us an intimate knowledge of the hidden caves, secluded ‘hongs' and picture perfect beaches.

Secret Hong - A beautiful, secluded beach, hidden away from all but a few other people. Sheer limestone cliffs surround you while you can relax and have a swim in the emerald water. Behind the beach, one of Phang Nga's many famous caves can be explored with provided, high-powered flashlights and a guide.

Koh Phanak Cave Exploring - One of the most intriguing aspects of the Pang-Nga trip is undoubtedly the cave exploration. See how the limestone islands are formed by stepping inside these hidden, geological wonders. With dramatic stalactites, stalagmites and concealed salt water lagoons you can step back in time and see how nature sculpted these beautiful islands.

Koh Hong – Ko Hong's literal translation is ‘island room' - which it was named because of the rock ceiling that once closed it off from the rest of the world. These hongs were made famous by a Lonely Planet documentary and are simply spectacular. They are remenence of old, collapsed caves that have formed protected Laguna's or rooms. Simba will take you into the very heart of these natural formations.

James Bond Island – The island made famous by ‘The Man with the Golden Gun' as Scamamnger's hide out (Khao Phing Kan) it has been a popular tourist spot ever since. The famous rock jutting out of the beach gives rise to the Thai's names for the island (Khao Tapu) “Nail” and makes for a memorable photo opportunity. Although this spot is often crowded, we try and pick a time that has the least tourist and if no one wants to stop, we can drive the boat slowly in front of the island slowly for that photo.

Sea Canoeing – This is a great opportunity to get close to the shear limestone cliffs and caves inside. A local Thai guide will paddle you around the island of koh Talu, showing you the formations, while you can lie back and enjoy the scenery. This is defiantly another opportunity for photos.

Koh Panyi Village – Often referred to as ‘The floating Village' or the “ Sea Gipsy Village ', Panyi is in fact neither. Founded by a nomadic Indonesian fishing family around 200 years ago, the village has been built on wooden stilts. With a strong community emphasis on Muslim family values, the village has grown to inhabit over 1500 people. Simba stops here for a sea food buffet lunch, prepared in the village using the produce caught by the villager's themselves (chicken and vegetarian dishes are also available). After lunch we take a walk round the village, showing you the school, health centre, mosque and other facets of the villager's life.

Open water swimming – Despite the emerald green water colour, Phang Nga bay is a beautiful spot for a quick swim. The water has a very high mineral salt content which aids your natural buoyancy and combined with the stunning scenery allows for a fun swim for all.

Koh Rang Yai – Normally our last stop on the way home, Rang Yai is the only remaining Pearl Island off the coast of Phuket . It's now home to a few bamboo bungalows, an activity centre and the ‘Captain's Bar'. You're more than welcome to enjoy a cocktail and relax on the beach before we make our way home to the marina.

We had an amazing day filled with adventure and culture. Simba Sea Tours took very good care of us and we had a great small mixture of people from Australia, Dubai, and Israel.

The floating muslim fishing village was an eye opener. The only thing that bothered me was that there were women with small baby gibbons attached to their hips. These monkeys were so cute. Our guide said that in order for them to get these babies, the mothers of the Monkeys must be killed. It was heart breaking.

We were so tired when we got back that we didn't make it to dinner - we passed out on the couch and woke up at midnight.

I posted only a fraction of the pictures that I took.
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