Phuket, a rainforested, mountainous island in the Andaman Sea, has some of Thailand’s most popular beaches, mainly situated along the clear waters of the western shore. The island is home to many high-end seaside resorts, spas and restaurants. Phuket City, the capital, has old shop houses and busy markets. Patong, the main resort town, has many nightclubs, bars and discos.
Area: 576 km.
Elevation: 529 m
Population: 3.87 lakhs (2015)
Area rank: Provinces of Thailand
Phuket with Sonam and Pria
We went canoeing in the sea caves at Phang Nga Bay and till date, it remains one of the most memorable experiences for me- something I’d highly recommend if you are travelling to Phuket.
My friends and I, including Pria had chosen John Gray’s Sea Canoe Tour. John Gray is the man who started the business of canoeing in Phang Nga sea caves that is just a short drive from Phuket.
Once we were done with our breakfast at the hotel, four of us were chauffeured in a minivan all the way to the jetty where the day boat was waiting. The best part is that these tours have limited slots per day, so you don’t have to worry about overcrowded tours.
After cruising on the sea for a good 30 minutes, we reached a shallow cove/bay where we were supposed to be given canoes and oars. On each canoe, one guide sat with two passengers and canoed around the bay. Imagine listening to nothing but the sound of water and the occasional chirping of birds and wildlife nearby. It was surreal! The guides (who spoke English really well) gave everyone interesting information about the caves and were extremely friendly.
We came across stunning rock formations formed due to tides. Inside the Lion cave, some rocks were so close that we had to lie face up in the canoe to prevent our heads from knocking into the ceiling. Once we exited the cave, we were greeted with the most stunning sight of a lagoon, emerald in colour, surrounded by limestone formations and greenery. Words will fall short for how beautiful it looked. Not to forget, we saw mudskippers, amphibious fishes.
Our guide then asked us to canoe on our own towards the Piranha Cave that was literally a Piranha-like limestone rock. At first I was scared to canoe on my own because I didn’t know the trick but the guide helped and suddenly, it became the most fun activity for me 🙂
We came back to the boat and were served delicious lunch. After stuffing our faces with good food, we started with the Kratong making process, a Thai tradition. We made Kratongs with our guides and used orchid flowers, seeds and stems. While we were making them, it started raining heavily and the sun was also setting. Just to let you know, this tour extends till night. This is the time when you have to release the Kratongs in the sea as a tradition. The guide took us on the canoe again and into the cave, bringing us to a calm portion in the sea. Since it was dark inside with just fire flies, we released the Kratong in the water with the help of the candlelight placed on it. After the releasing process, we were asked to bring back the Kratongs with us because they didn’t want to leave the pins used in the baskets left in the open ocean.
It became dark by the time we came on the boat and it kept raining heavily. To be honest, those 30 minutes in reaching the jetty were quite scary because the sea was rough and it was pitch dark. But all in all, it was an experience to remember 🙂
I hope you liked this blog. If you want me to write more such travel experiences, then do let me know in the comment section.
|Sonam & Pria (Writer is a Travel blogger and has carved a niche in exploring new travel areas)|