Phang Nga - The sixth step ... back to SE Asia - CycleBlaze

February 23, 2019

Phang Nga

Today was a time to play tourist.  Yesterday we had booked our tour into Ao Phang Nga National Park and this morning we were collected from our hotel at 8:30 am.  It was an eight kilometer ride to the the pier in a Songthaew with the other folks on our tour - an Dutch couple about ten years older than us, a French couple about ten years younger than us and two Taiwanese guys of about the same age as the French couple.  Then it was onto a long tail boat which took us slowly into the mangroves that lie between the pier and the sea.

Our long tail boat left the peir south of Phang Nga and headed into the National Park.
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The slow trip through the mangroves produced some good bird sightings before we emerged into the bay where the karst islands starting showing themselve

The bay is studded with karst islands ...
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... of various shapes and sizes.
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The most famous being Ko Ta Pu 40m off James Bond Island.
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We had half an hour on Khao Phing Kan or James Bond Island - it gets very busy and we were there before the main crowds from Phuket had arrived.  Despite being packed with tourists it is still quite amazing with the views of Ko Ta Pu making it all worthwhile.

After that it was down to Ko Hong where, to our surprise, we were bundled into an inflatabled kayak to be paddled around the amazing views of the island.  We hadn't paid for this so when we got back to our boat, it took a game of broken telephones to sort out all the confusion with the Dutch couple initially being accused of not paying.  As much as I tried to get the boatsman to listen to me he kept accusing the poor Dutch guy.  When I forcibly pushed the money into his hands the penny finally dropped.

After that we visited a few islands with some enormous caves, had a few swims and then headed back to the pier with a long stop off at Ko Panyee, an island inhabited by a Muslim fishing community.   Tourists are free to wander around, and some did, but I really don't like intruding in traditional communities' lives and we simply enjoyed a cold drink at a restaurant instead.

When we got back to Phang Nga we had to change digs because the hotel we were at was fully booked for the weekend.  The move was a small one - just a kilometer up the road to Rachawadee House, a really nice Thai style motel just off the main road.

Today's ride: 1 km (1 miles)
Total: 508 km (315 miles)

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