Our morning started at 5:30am, getting ready for our big day out in the sun. The hotel kindly packed for us breakfast as we were up so early. The driver from Phuket Sails Tour was already waiting to pick us up at 6:30am at the hotel lobby, 15mins before the appointed time. By the time the shuttle service had picked up the other passengers and reached the other marina pier, which is located on the north-eastern side, it was about 7:45am. After a short introduction by the head of the tour company, Captain Mark, we were on our way to tour Phang Na Bay!
As you will see in the photos, the sky was only starting to brighten when we set off.
Our first stop was a little island where we had to enter a natural tunnel in order to enter the centre of the island. Thankfully we were there when the tide was super low. The highest level of water was up to our knees when we entered the tunnel. The centre of the island was a small mangrove, with the mangrove trees and some mudskippers but it was the rock formations that were more interesting. Due to the physical shape of the island, the rain came down straight in and hit the rocks and also, because the wind could not blow into the centre of the island, the rocks, over many many years, became sharp and thin, like natural knives.
Our second stop was a canoe ride in a lagoon at another island. The three of us got into a canoe, but due to safety reasons, we did not peddle the canoe ourselves but there was a local who did so for us. It was a nice relaxing ride around the lagoon for 30mins. The boatman, or do we call him a peddler?, took some photos for us. And also, for the fun of it, I peddled us for a few minutes and my gosh, my arms were tired! I most seriously need to do more weights when I get home. LOL!
The next stop was at the Muslim Sea Village. The history goes that they are descendants of three Muslim families from the South, like Malaysia and Indonesia, who many years ago sailed north. The original families split up to find a suitable place to settle and one of them found Koh Panyee. To this day, Koh Panyee, Panyee Island, is known as the Muslim Sea Village. Before we alighted at the island, we visited a nearby isle just to see its ancient cave drawing, which was probably drawn by one of the earlier settlers. We had lunch at Koh Panyee. It was a delicious spread of (Halal) Seafood, caught fresh from the sea. Sadly, because I was hungry, I did not take any photos of the lunch. Lol!! After lunch, our guide brought us to see the village’s floating football pitch. Apparently, there is a YouTube video of it, which tells the story of how the villagers put their resources together in order to built this pitch so that their youth can practice and take part in a football match. There are two photos of us standing on the pitch; one is to show how big the whole pitch is, and another is to show the awesome skill of our tour guide who took the ‘jump’ shot of us. 🙂 Because the village is Muslim, it is natural for them to have a mosque and that was what was being built; a bigger and more beautiful mosque for the growing community. I forgot to mention that this village is not a floating village. It is like how Venice was built; on wooden pillars sunk into the mud which became the foundation for the houses there. There is also a school there, classes are up till secondary level, after which, the students will have to continue their education on the mainland.
After lunch and Koh Panyee, we went to another isle to visit a really huge, tall, and old tree. It is not very clear in my photo but it is really huge and tall.
The next stop was our final stop but before we got there, we had to sail through 2 squalls in the open sea. We sat out front for the fun of it but when the rain hit us, it was not so fun any more as the rain drops were like little bullets hitting us, the combination of raindrops and high speed speedboat. Ouch. We had to go in, but other than that, it was a lovely day out as the sun was blazing down on us.
The last stop was in a bay where we could swim, feed banana-eating fish, and snorkel a bit. It was lovely. Bliss.
Our day came to an end after that and on the ride back, we were all so tired that we just dozed off.
Thank you Phuket Sails Tour for such a lovely day, taking care of our needs, feeding us well, and to our tour guide Sompong for being such an excellent host and photographer.
(J was saying to me that if young kids could be on this tour, it could only meant that it was very safe. I couldn’t agree more.)