Less than 24 hours after touching down at Bangkok I'm lying back in an inflatable sea canoe so we can get through into a hong in Phang Nga Bay. A hong is a sea cave, and access into them is very much dependant on the tides. Stay in there too long and you'll be there until the tide changes.
My guide Noi (as with the other guides in the group) does the paddling through into each hong, then takes the canoe round pointing out different things. The boat makes about three stops at different islands in Phang Nga Bay, and we head out on the inflatable canoes to about three hong systems each time.
One of the larger caves we passed through was Bat Cave - for obvious reasons. What seemed like thousands of bats were clinging upside down to the walls and roof of the cave, with a few early risers flying around.
Before dinner everyone made a Kratong which is a small flower 'raft', made throughout Thailand on the full moon in November. Before setting them afloat the candles and inscence are lit, and you make a wish.
Usually they are made of banana tree trunk
and leaves, but a marigold and orchids are always used.
Into the inflatables when it got dark and by torchlight we went back into a hong we had been to earlier in the day. The torches were turned out, candles and inscence lit, wishes made, and the Kratong launched......
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