If you travel to Thailand and visit Phuket, your trip cannot be truly complete without a visit to the amazing islands of Phang Nga National Park – a chain of small islands with steep limestone cliffs surrounded by gorgeous blue seascape. Explore these unique islands in a way unlike any other, on a tour through Hong Island & Phang Nga National Park by canoe, from daylight to starlight.
Arrive in Phang Nga National Park and let yourself be mesmerized by the massive limestone mountains covered with lush jungle. Hop into a canoe with your personal guide – who will stay with you all day, showing you the magic of these natural wonders. Learn about the incredible geological processes that created this dramatic landscape over thousands of years as you canoe across the sea, searching for secret caves & lagoons.
When the tide is too high, the water lever conceals the entrances to the caves. When the tide is too low, the water completely drains from the lagoons, leaving behind thick, deep mud – nearly impossible to walk through.
When the tide is just right, a hidden doorway opens up & gives visitors the opportunity to explore an otherwise inaccessible region. John Gray’s Sea Canoe times each tour to reach the caves when the conditions are just right, so the tide is just enough to access these hidden lagoons.
Lay back on the canoe as you float beneath low clearance oyster caves & look up in awe as you paddle through long, dark bat caves, with only the light of headlamps illuminating the cavern. When you reach the other side, daylight pierces the darkness, and float through a massive lagoon, hidden from the outside world. Monkeys live here, climbing among the trees and swimming through the water – and look below to see mudskippers – or as they’re also known, walking fish.
Secret Cave Systems
The unique caverns in these islands are known as Hongs – the Thai word for room – because they open up like grand halls once you enter through hidden passages. Some rooms inside the islands are only accessible via swimming or sea canoe, and can only be entered when the tide is just right.
Swim in Paradise
Swim with the fish and jump off the back deck of the boat! After a long adventure on the sea canoe in the Thai sun, nothing is more refreshing than a dip in the crystal blue waters of the ocean. The water is generally calm with minimal waves, so the swimming conditions are perfect. While you swim under the caves you can look up at the stalactites that hang at the base of the tall cliffs.
Sunset on the Water
After a full day of canoeing through some truly epic island hongs, it’s time to relax on the top deck of the boat with a cold drink. Watch the sun dips below the horizon, and cast sunset colors the islands in shades of red and pink. The day might be coming to an end, but one of the best parts has yet to come!
Participate in a beautiful Thai tradition that normally only occurs once per year – on the full moon in November. Craft a krathong floating lantern out of bamboo trunk, palm leaves, flowers, incense, and candles. Learn to create the traditional floating candles, which are floated on the water to give thanks & to apologize to the water gods, and to float your bad luck away on the water. As night falls, canoe under the stars into a shallow cave, light the candles, and make a wish as you set it afloat on the water.
Once you’ve floated your krathong and made your wishes, blow out the candles for a beautiful surprise. See the waters sparkle bright blue as night falls, as bright as a sky full of stars, with only a movement of your hand in the water – thanks to the bioluminescent plankton. As you move your hands and feet through the water and disturb the tiny plankton, they glow for a brief moment with a bright blue color. The way the plankton react to disturbances in the ocean is like watching magic. You can only see these tiny organisms at night, but when the conditions are right, you will be amazed as you watch tiny blue sparks of light shine everywhere you move your hands.