One of the highlights of cruising around Phuket (pronounced “poo-ket”) in Thailand is a visit to the magical islands of Phang Nga (pronounced “pang naa”). These beautiful limestone islands leap out of the water to majestic heights, and the rocks are a plethora of colors covered with tropical vegetation. The islands have lots of eagles and other birds on them, and fisherman are often found around them – some scooping up the huge jelly fish found in the area. Here’s a map of the location:The beauty of the islands have not escaped notice. Every day hundreds of boats arrive with tourists who get a few minutes to stop at some of the islands and jump on kayaks to explore them. The highlights of the visits are not only the lovely sea-carved overhangs you can kayak under, but some of the islands have “hongs”. Hongs are places within the island where “holes” are formed by the sea penetrating through cave tunnels underneath that eroded away and formed a lagoon within the tall islands. Our first stop was Ko Phanak (panak) that has a huge cave with a 50 meter long tunnel. The first time we went in this cave tunnel the tide was too high. We waited an hour and were just able to squeeze underneath the tunnel by laying flat on our very low kayak. Inside we found a tropical lagoon with huge steep cliffs on all sides. Amazing!
We visited several hongs on different islands during our explorations of Phang Nga over the course of several days. Another, more popular, island is Koh Hong – which has a very accessible large hong you can get to without going through a tunnel. A day or two later we heard that a cruising boat that had anchored here had their boat robbed in just a few minutes while they went to visit the hong on their dinghy! We had locked our boat and thought we were pretty safe with lots of people around the boat. But, the boat that was robbed did the same thing. But, they didn’t lock their boat up. We had heard about such robberies and were very careful. They lost passports, wallets, laptops, and phones. So sad that such things happen!We went further north into Phang Nga and stopped by this lovely island for Valentine’s Day. It looked like a quiet little place, and only 1 other boat was anchored with us all day and night. But, during the night some winds picked up and we had some uncomfortable swells during the night. The next day we moved the boat not far away to go and visit the famous “James Bond Island” (pronounced “Bond James Bond” :-). This island was the site of the home of “The Man with the Golden Gun”. The awesome rock, that in the movie had a hidden solar panel inside of it, is the most recognizable part from the movie. It is a highlight of the visit there. We tried to arrive before the crowds, but were just getting in our dinghy when the first fast boats arrived with people. Still, we beat the main crowds and had a relatively uncrowded chance to view the sites.
Check out the pictures of our visit to Phang Nga and James Bond Island. I think you’ll agree with us this is a beautiful and fantastic place.
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