The driver picked me up and took me to Bang Rong Pier. I booked a speedboat, because I get too impatient on the slow boat, and because the day was slow they gave me a huge discount. The normal price was 2,600 THB which included transport, speedboat, fruits, lunch, kayaking. I got the price of 1,600, perfect! The other advantage of the speedboat was that we got to see more islands than the slow boat.
The countries represented on the boat included the following: Finland, Sweden, UK, Chile, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, India, and USA. So for the tour we visited the following islands: Panak, Hong, Khao Tapu, Tham lod, Panyee. The first island was 35 minutes where we stopped to view natural caves carved by the sea. At one point our entire speed boat was inside the cave.
Phang Nga Bay Koh's
Hong Island was really nice and had a cave, a quiet bay (which we made not quiet). We carved an arc into and out of this bay, and I hope we did not piss-off the kayakers in the water. Next we left for Tham Lod for our kayaking. Sea kayaking is excellent and when the scenery is truly amazing, well it's just perfect. The kayak outfitter operates from a big barge (the 'mother ship'). Once we were in the kayak we began the tour of caves starting with a large natural cave, so large that even long-tails can transit the cave. It opens from the bay into the sea almost like a tunnel. There are huge mineral formations and as you enter by kayak cool the air is a nice relief. They are dozens of smaller caves that link together a network of quiet pools lit by filtered sunlight. In one of the larger pools was grove of mango's (my favorite).
Cave - Thad Lod Island
To pass through the caves, it must be done at low tide. Also it requires lying down in the kayak to get through the opennings. Very Cool.
After the kayaking we returned to the 'mother ship' for fruit and drinks and reboarding the speedboat for Panyee Island. Here we took lunch at a restaurant on stilts over the water in the bay. Lunch was a set menu of spicy soup, rice, stir fry vegtables, prawns, and curry chicken. After lunch we left for Khao Ping Kan and Khao Tapu (James Bond Island). This stop was really nice because there were caves, beach and James Bond Island which is very narrow at the base and large at the top. It looks at risk of toppling into the sea. The last top was Naka Island where we swam and chilled on a very private beach.
On this night, I needed to return to Patong to do my shopping.
Khao Tapu - James Bond Island
Since I was completely incapable of negotiating with the taxi and tuk tuk drivers, I decided to rent a motorbike. Amazingly, the cost for a Honda Airblade was only 150 THB per day. Why didn't I think of this earlier? Well partly because it is the number one way tourists die on Phuket. But, I have my own motorcycle at home, I've ridden for years, how bad can it be? Hahaha well no problems. I think I created amusement for many people with my height 6'3" (more than 1.9) on the tiny Honda. Hahaha, well ok, I can accept that. I was able to pack all the stuff I bought into the storage under the seat and return to Kamala
. I was enjoying the freedom of having my own transport so I explored a bit as well. Since I had no desire to visit the hospital, I had zero drinking until I returned to Kamala. Met up with Pierre the Norwegian at a local Thai bar (can't recall the name) with some of his friends.
Overall, Kamala is a great town with very nice people. I would have enjoyed it even more so if I had a motorbike the whole time.