Shades of Gray
John Gray’s Sea Canoe tours should be on every Phuket traveler’s bucket list.
The “Hong by Starlight” day trip takes you to Phang Nga Bay via double decker boat. Switching to a kayak paddled by a personal guide, you’ll explore the lagoons, sea caves and donut-shaped islands, known as hongs, dotted along the coast.
Paddling out into pristine sunny bays, views rival the famed James Bond Island near Koh Phi Phi—just without the crowds. You’ll see mangrove-lined basins full of crustaceans and mudskippers, and pitch-black caves inhabited by bats (and thick with the stench of guano). One cave leads to a further verdant clearing where long-tailed macaques watch curiously from the branches above.
As the sun sets, you’ll learn to make a traditional Thai krathong flower offering to present to the sea as a gesture of thanks, following a delicious dinner cooked fresh on board. A sweep of the water in the night-dark lagoon activates sparkling bioluminescent plankton like tiny underwater fireworks, a magical ending to the day.
Hong By Starlight Day Trip group tours THB3,950 ($880) per person from johngray-seacanoe.com