One of the things that I was really looking forward to doing when we headed back to Thailand was going out on a boat trip. We did one to Phi Phi Island last time (the island from ‘The Beach’ movie), and really enjoyed it, so we were keen to book again. The good thing about a boat trip is that you get to see so many things in one day, and really see some unique things in the middle of the sea that you wouldn’t be able to see otherwise. If you’re heading to Phuket, then a boat trip is a must.
We booked our trip with Phuket Sail Tours, and decided to go with the Phang Nga Bay by speedboat excursion. It meant going to a different part of the area than we had seen before, and seeing and experiencing some really cool parts of Thailand; it did not disappoint.
To start of with, you are greeted by a taxi to take you to the marina, and you get complimentary breakfast while you wait for the others to arrive. Then you’re off on the boat. It is a smallish group on the speedboat, with only 12 guests and three staff on board. It was a friendly group with people from all over and different dynamics. There are plenty of cooled food and drinks on board the boat all day, so no need to pack anything extra.
The first stop was visiting an island in Krabi, which was about 45 minutes away from the marina. Seriously, such an amazing little place, surrounded completely by water; stunning.
The next stop was still in the Krabi province, but the boat pulls up, you’re all give goggles, masks, snorkels, and flippers if needed, and you jump in to have a snorkel around. The wasn’t quite as clear as I might have liked, so it ended up being a bit more of a swim rather than a snorkel, especially with two little ones in tow. Thank goodness for life jackets, but it was hard to explain to them that they would just bob there and keep afloat if we let go of them. Others stayed out for longer but we got back onto the boat. There were jellyfish around too (non-dangerous kind), so that was quite surreal swimming with them next to you.
The third stop of the day was a little spot where we could go canoeing. You meet some local paddle men who took us on a 30 minute canoe trip through the stunningly beautiful and serene mangrove forest. It was a little crazy as you go through some caves (like literally have to lie down to make it through the cave), and then you come out the other side to some shallow water and the mangrove forest; breathtaking.
You can watch them do some traditional fishing techniques, admire the birds, and see fish, crabs, and general wildlife. It was really chilled, quiet, relaxing, and probably my favourite part of the day.
After that, and getting back on the boat, it was time to go and see (not go ashore) to what gets called ‘James Bond Island’, famed for the movie ‘Man With The Golden Gun’. The reason they say that they just stop to see it now, rather than go ashore is that it is just so busy with far too many souvenir stalls, speedboats, and tourists. and they want to make it an enjoyable day for all, and not tacky. I remember seeing this in photos, so it was really cool seeing it in person. Plus, with erosion, I’m sure it won’t be too long before it is gone and toppled over in the water!
The next stop was for lunch, which is at the fascinating Kho Panyi Village, a Muslim fishing village built entirely over the water on stilts. It was really fascinating how the people live and make it work; so simple and so self-sufficient with a school, mosque, shops, restaurants, and little stalls, as well as the famous floating football field.
After lunch and the village stop, we checked out the ancient cave paintings on Kao Kee-un. It is old paintings, and we passed by a bird’s nest cave, where someone guards it all day, everyday. The nests are a really valuable commodity. The last stop is at a different white sand beach in Krabi, where it was nice to just chill, relax, swim, snorkel, and even see some monkeys.
I honestly couldn’t recommend this tour and this tour company enough. The day was action-packed, but didn’t feel like we were being rushed on, so the timings are just right.
The crew were brilliant, really informative, and we had the same guy as the main tour leader that we had four years ago. The price is a little steep when you just think about it for a family day out, but you do get a lot for your money, as you don’t have to pay for anything on the day, you can drink all that you like and have the snacks on board and the lunch at the village all included. So you do get value for your money. It is one of the best ways to see what the island has to offer, so I would definitely recommend going.
*this was a gifted day out, but all opinions are my own. I honestly couldn’t recommend this enough.