Monday, July 7, 2014

MARCH 28, 2014 PHANG NGA BAY BY SPEEDBOAT


March 28, 2014

     Pick up at 6:30 am for our tour so breakfast is a quick slice of toast and some juice.  Today we are doing the EXPLORE PHANG NGA BAY TOUR WITH CAPTAIN MARK'S PHUKET ALTERNATIVE TOURS/PHUKET SAIL TOURS.  Wow, that's a mouthful!  We had received an e-mail on March 26th with info on what to bring, etc.   This tour is supposed to include a stop to one of the islands of Krabi province, canoeing, and Kho Panyi-the Muslim village on stilts.   The minivan is on time to pick us up and we make a stop at the Le Meridien to pick up another family of 2 adults and 1 boy around Ronan's age.  The mother wants to know if her son can ride next to the driver in front so he'd have a seat belt.  The driver says there are no seat belts.  I'm thinking-lady, you're not in the US anymore so get a grip!  All through the day she hovers over her son (think helicopter mom) making sure he has sunscreen, his hat, etc.  Ronan doesn't click with this boy like he did with Frank and Jack.  This boy stays by his mama's side all day.  I never saw any of them in the water.

     This time we are at AO PIER, PHUKET SAIL TOURS OFFICE.  We have drinks, sign some release from liability forms, make the rest of our payment of 8000 baht.  The cost is 3500 baht per adult and children over age 3 are 2000 baht.  Our tour price (same as the Phi Phi one) is 12500 baht total.                      We leave by 7:45 am.  Again there are drinks, donuts, chicken on a stick to eat.





Walking to get to the boat



Our boat is at the end of a long walkway

Leaving 




     We head to Mangrove Hong.  Lots of mangrove trees.  Amazing rock formations.  Scenery is breathtaking on this tour.











This is the other little boy.

Mangrove Hong




























     We pass some Sea Village caves.  These are not the same ones we saw on the Phi Phi trip as the route is different.







     A stop on a beach for 1 hr.  Hong Island??  There's fruit to eat, swings, and mats to lay on,



Almost there

Think this is Paradise Beach at Hong Island in Krabi province??




Swings



Mats to lay on and our boat #939

This guy never went in the water.





     Another stop where there is a 1000 yr. old bodhi tree which is a sacred tree to Thailand.  We take a short walk through the jungle area.







Another Sea Village cave?







Explaining about the bodhi tree
















     Finally it's time for what we have been waiting for-sea canoeing.  We transfer from our boat to the sea canoes.  Richard and I are in #2 canoe and Dorie and Ronan have their own canoe.  We are paddled for 35 minutes through several  caves and under the hanging rocks.  There were times when I had to lean way back so as not to bump my head going through some of the cave openings.  It was great!   Definitely a highlight of this tour.  I know I gave our canoe paddler a tip and gave money for Dorie to tip her guy but I have no idea of the amount.  Don't think it was more than 500 baht each, maybe less??




Almost to where we will do the sea canoeing

Starting out

All the canoes seem to follow a certain route









Not the real James Bond Island rock



Inside a cave







Daylight!









Looks like Dorie and Ronan are having fun





You can see the 2 on our canoe













Not my best look!







































Here's the "fake" JBI rock again


     Since we've seen the fake James Bond Island rock it's time to get to the real one.  We won't land on the beach as it's so crowded and PST don't stop on the island anymore.  However our boat stops so we can take plenty of pictures.  This is where the James Bond movie "The Man With The Golden Gun" was partially filmed.



This beach is extremely crowded



Here it is.  The real James Bond Island rock!

Leaving



     Then for lunch we stop at Kho Panyi fishing village.  This Muslim village is built on stilts over the water.  Lunch menu:  massaman curry, tom kha guy soup, stir fry vegetables in oyster sauce, curried crab, fresh battered prawns, battered chicken, chicken and cashew nuts, french fries, steamed rice.  Later we have a guide tour of the village seeing the school, souvenir stalls, the mosque that is continuing to be worked on.  I buy some postcards and ice cream that I share with Ronan.  We are here for 1 1/2 hrs.



Approaching the village 








Tom kha gai/chicken and coconut soup, stir fry vegetables

Massaman curry

Curried crab



Chicken and cashew nuts

Battered prawns

French fries













School football/soccer pitch



Vendor stalls

Our boat



     Now we are back on the boat and we go past ancient cave paintings on Kao Kee-un/Drawing Mountain.  1500 yr. old paintings of fish and more.













     Our last stop is Panak Island? where we walk into a very dark cave with interesting formations and have time to swim or just laze on the beach.  We spend almost 1 1/2 hrs. here.













Some people are sea canoeing here 










This is inside the cave we walked through







This is the cave we walked through




I'm swimming

This is the small beach we stopped at 

     We head back to the pier and return by 3:45 pm.  As Richard and I are walking back from the boat to the office which is a long way one of the girls from the boat going by on a motor bike offers me a ride.  Great!!  I wave as we pass Dorie and Ronan and the others!  We buy another picture of the four of us for 200 baht and get more drink holders.  It has been another fantastic tour.  Great weather and so much good food.  The boat staff, guides have all been terrific.  I can truly recommend PHUKET SAIL TOURS.   We arrive back to our hotel by 5:00 pm after dropping off the other family first.  They are going to Fantasea tonight.





This is the other little boy and his dad

Boat crew-I can't remember everyone's names but I wrote down Sam and Serena.  I know who Serena is-duh?-but not Sam!


Momento of our trip 200 baht

     Dinner TWO CHEFS  Walking distance from our hotel.   There is live music-a guitar player who is very good.  Ronan-pancakes; Richard-Greek salad; Dorie-massaman with rice; me-the evening's pork special.  I  tip the guitar player.    The food and service were very good.  Cost 980 baht for food and 570 baht for drinks of 4 beers, milk, and a coke.  Total-1550 baht.




Don't remember what this was??  It wasn't on the bill so maybe a free appetizer??

Guitar player was very good

Ronan's pancakes

Richard's Greek salad

Dorie's massaman with rice

Pork special

Pork special came with these amazing potatoes


     

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