There are a ton of things to do in Phuket, Thailand, with the highlights being Phang Nga Bay, touring hongs, and James Bong Island, which is exactly what we did! All in one day!
From our hotel, it was about a 45 minute ride to the Royal Phuket Marina, and then another 45 minutes to Phang Nga Bay via speed boat.
The weather our entire trip was stunning, except for today. We woke up to a monsoon outside! However, despite the crappy weather, we set off to Phang Nga Bay anyway.
I do have to admit, the rain clouds only added to the amazing scenery.
Once in Phang Nga Bay, our plan was to visit “hongs,” via kayak, as well as stop on James Bond Island, named after being featured in the movie, The Man With The Golden Gun.
First up, one of the two hong locations we planned on visiting today.
Venturing into these tiny caves was thrilling, scary, and amazing. For my first go on the kayak, I opted to wear a life jacket, as I was just a tiny bit terrified.
It ended up not being scary in the least. The bay was so calm that riding the water in our kayak was gentle and tranquil.
The experience was amazing!
Next, we boarded back onto our speed boat and set off for James Bond Island.
James Bond Island is so stunning in the rain that I can only imagine how nice it must be when it’s sunny out.
Next, we ventured to Koh Panyee, an amazing floating village on wooden platforms.
We ended up spending a lot of time here, as we were waiting for the tide to go down before visiting the next hong location. It was really relaxing and a nice break from the day.
Once the tide went down, we got back on our boat and headed to the next hong location. This one took us through caves that could only be accessed during low tide (hence us waiting for the tide to go down). After the great hong experience earlier in the day, I was SO excited.
Only, this portion of the hong tour ended up being super terrifying!
See the little gap in the picture below? That’s what we had to fit through! We laid down flat in our kayak and in we went…
As went further in, it became pitch black. The only light was the tiny one on our kayak rowers helmet. A little further in, and we stopped. In the blackness. The tide was still too high for us to continue any further. We were trapped inside a pitch black cave. I mean, not really, I guess we could have turned around, but it was so dark I wouldn’t know where to go, and our rower didn’t speak any English. I saw something move in the dark, so naturally, I screamed. Our rower shined his head light on the spot, and it was a bunch of moving crabs. I screamed again. Yup, still scary.
We weren’t on a private tour, so there was a small group of people with us. For once in my life I was thankful for this group tour. There were a couple of people ahead of us who didn’t want to wait for the tide to go down, so instead, they got out of their canoe and swam the rest of the way.
You couldn’t pay me to get out of my kayak and into the water.
It was dark, deep, and super scary. No freakin’ way! Even Josh didn’t want to go in.
So, we waited, in a small, stuffy cave, for the water to go down. In complete darkness.
Thank goodness for the flash on my camera, as I kept taking pictures just for some light. See that tiny, little space straight ahead in the picture below? That’s what we had to fit through.
A couple of minutes later, our canoe operator was so sure we could make it through. FYI, I would NOT recommend doing this if you fear enclosed spaces. I said I wanted to wait, but he didn’t understand.
We heard our canoe scraping against the sides of the rocks as he tried to push us through. Our rower literally got into the water and started deflating our canoe so it could squeeze through. Meanwhile, Josh and I were in the canoe laying flat, with rocks completely surrounding us.
Did you ever see the movie The Descent? That’s what this felt like.
I had my hands criss-cross over my chest and had to put them to my sides in order for us to pass through. There wasn’t even enough room for my hands on my chest! That’s how close we were to the rocks! If I lifted my head even a tiny bit, I’d hit a rock. Heck, all I had to do was stick out my tongue and I’d taste the rock. THATCLOSE. There wasn’t even half an inch between my face and the rocks on top of us and at our sides. If a wave came, or any rush of water, we’d be dead. It was the most horrifying experience of my life.
This guy continued deflating our canoe as he pushed it through. I was panicking, yelling “BACK,” but since our rower didn’t understand a word of English, he continued pushing and pushing. I closed my eyes and prayed it would be over soon. Horrifying. Absolutely horrifying.
Soon, my prayers were answered and we finally made it through.
About 15 minutes later, the tide went down to where they wanted it to, and the rest of the group came through as well.
The picture below is of the low tide, so you can only imagine how terrifying it was for us.
However, once we were on the other side, it was beautiful.
We didn’t stay in the lagoon for long. After that experience, I was so over it.
We soon returned to the larger boat, and headed to a local beach.
Overall, it was an amazing experience, and a great way to see all the highlights Phuket is famous for (of course, minus the terrifying hong experience).