Day 8 - Spectacular Phang Nga Bay

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July 16th 2014
Published: July 16th 2014
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Yippee ... Although all night I could hear what I thought was rain ( it turned out to be the hum of our room's air conditioner combined with the buzz of the crickets and the frogs in the neighboring property) we woke to blue sky and sunshine today!
That meant our planned trip to Phang Nga Bay was on so we were all very excited.
Unfortunately Dad did not come with us today. He seems to have a nerve pinching in his back and when he moves a certain way it causes a lot of pain and discomfort for him. He's not sure what caused it - only happened yesterday after breakfast. He stayed at the resort and indulged in a massage (which he said helped a lot) and also did some water exercise which also seemed to relieve the discomfort he said.
The rest of us were collected from the resort at 8:30am and set off for a long day out.
We had an English guide called Wendy. We thought initially she was English but it turned out she was an Aussie. She was a right pain in the butt to be honest! But thankfully the places we visited made her ridiculous commentary seem like a distant memory already now.
After about an hour in a minivan, we boarded a long tail boat and were guided out into the Phang Nga Bay through very thick mangroves. Wendy told us that these mangroves were the largest preserved mangroves of their type left in the world today. I'll have to check that fact for myself sometime when I get a chance!
The area we visited today was similar in some ways to Cheow Lan Lake ... Large limestone cliffs and overhanging segments protruding vertically out of the water. This time it was sea water - not fresh water.
The long tail boat steered through cave-like overhangs and tunnels ... The landscape was truly spectacular!
We stopped first at an area where we all sat in sea canoes - each canoe with a Thai guy at the back who was doing the hard work of paddling. Our ride was relaxing .. But no so for him!
He took us under tunnels into open air caves, paddled around large limestone overhanging segments and in and out of areas only the locals could manage to manoeuvre the canoe into. When we went under in some sections we had to lie flat on our backs in the canoe ... A couple of times I actually was worried my knee or face might have scratched against the oyster cladded rock above us! Our paddler man told us we only had about 10 minutes left to get under some sections because the tide was rising ... I think we were some of the last canoe groups to make it under the inlet areas in some sections!!! It was truly amazing and absolutely spectacular as well!
Next stop was ..... James Bond Island.... So called because it featured in the famous film sometime in the 1970's. It is another vertical rock ... Much like many others but made very famous be the film!
Following this stop, we headed to a large township built entirely over water. It is a Muslin settlement and they have even built a large mosque at one end for prayer etc. -incredible!! The settlement has a kindergarten and school and to the surprise of us all ... Even a small soccer field!! Yes .... This is all build entirely overwater!!!
We ate lunch here in a restaurant ... The village obviously makes income from tourism by feeding the tourists when they visit. The meal was actually deliscious ... We were pleasantly surprised.
After eating, it was time to head back to the minivan for a short drive to a temple. This was our first teme visit on this trip! We were attracted to this one, because it is built entirely within a rock cave ... Complete with staligtytes and stalagmites and there is a large reclining Budda inside. Outside, there is a large family of monkeys ... Wild monkeys... And you can feed them peanuts which they snatch out of your hands. The boys loved feeding the monkeys of course!!!
Our final stop was a waterfall in the rainforest .... By the time we arrived there we were exhausted from the rest of the day. Despite this we started to walk up a pathway next to the waterfall... But the sky opened up and it bucketed down so hard we were literally drenched from the inside out!!! It was nice to cool off but we were sodden for the drive back to the resort which was quite funny really 😊
After reuniting with Dad on our return, we all walked to a local restaurant for our final evening meal here in Khao Lak. It was a perfect way to end a fantastic day!!!!
Tomorrow we are looking forward to relaxing at the resort before we fly home tomorrow night. We can't believe the time has gone so fast!!!

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