Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Phang Nga Islands: A Trip Worth Taking

Tropical Thailand stays warm all year and its beauty is astounding, making it the perfect place to spend summer . The Island Tour I had there was fantastic and I would highly recommend it to anyone seeking an escape from the boredom chill. I stayed at one of Phuket’s best and newest resort hotels Grand Mercure Patong who arranged speed boat tour for me.  
Thailand has a lot to offer when it comes to sightseeing particularly the island tours offered by Sea and Canoe, also known as Phang Nga Explorations.  They offer three different packages, each one providing a unique experience.  

The island tours are in the Phang Nga Bay area where the deep Andaman Sea spreads out its gorgeous blue-green waters for a stretch. Huddled together in seclusion in the Andaman, just off the east coast of Phuket province and Southern Thailand are the islands of Phang Bay.

The scenery and wildlife are a truly amazing sight. We paddled through one cave and caught a glimpse of a grouping of bats sleeping on the ceiling with not a care in the world that anyone was passing below them. I’m not particularly a fan of bats, but it was pretty neat to see them all.

Each island that we had the pleasure to visit seemed to have something new to offer .
Wildlife, including monkeys
Limestone crags
Tall cliffs
Mangrove forest

Phang Nga Explorations offers three different island tours for you to try. 
Canoe trips
Speedboat trips
Junk Excursions

If you have the time and the budget, then I recommend trying all three.

Speedboat Trips

If a speedboat seems more your style, you will feel right at home in one of their modern boats. Each boat has two or three engines to power it through the waters. The speedboat tour also includes the use of snorkelling gear if you’d like to explore the some of the tropics first hand.

I saw the Phi Phi islands up close, and even had the opportunity to walk on the sandy beaches and swim, and snorkel. It was so relaxing. While we were there, the temperature was not too hot, so the opportunity to soak up the sun and take a dip was a welcome venture. I’ve never seen water so immensely clear as it was during our island trip. It was like peering through liquid glass, and oh so beautiful. There were multiple times during our tour when I thought I was going to have to pinch myself to ensure I was alert. The views reminded me so much of what you see in a beautiful painting or on television, not typically something that you have the opportunity to visit first hand.

One of our stops was at Maya Bay at Phi Phi Don. The white sands and crystal clear waters welcomed us in, and we learned that this was where Leonardo Di Caprio walked during the filming of “The Beach” back in 2000. It was a very cool experience to walk along the same stretch of beach and say, “Yeah, I’ve walked where actors played and a movie was made.”

The speedboat trip also toured the Koh Kai Nai Island as well and offered us a canoeing adventure. When we stopped to visit the beach and relax for a spell, I couldn’t help the amazement that I felt while in the water with my snorkeling gear. Even so close to the beach, the waters were teaming with wildlife. There was so much to see before heading back to Phuket

Sea Cave Canoe Trip

The Sea Cave canoe trip is another option for you.  You’ll be boarding the main boat, I believe it was called the Laem Sai, and cruised on out to sea. The first stop would be the Lawa Island, where you can board a canoe with a guide. It was two to a canoe, plus the guide makes three. You will be paddling through different caves, around the bank, and you’ll see marvelous hidden lagoons. Some of the caves are only accessible during low tide. The lagoons are located near the center of the islands where the island has at one point in time collapsed and created them. 

Lunch is served in the boat and at times, you will have to go down at PhiPhi Island and have a lunch buffet at one of the hotels there partnered with the tour.

Next stop will be the Koh Tapu Island, also known as James Bond Island because a James Bond movie had been filmed there during the ‘70’s. It was this massive hunk of limestone rock jutting from the sea, 20 meters high. All you could probably do is think of a couple of cliff climbers trying to scale it. 

Phang Nga Trip

Phang Nga Exploration also offers two junk boat cruises, day and evening. You can watch the sunset as it seemingly melted into the sea during late afternoon. Afterwards, you can treat yourself to a mouthwatering barbeque buffet on board the ship.