I am planning to visit the Phang Nga Bay area for 2-3 days (maybe 2 from Phang Nga and 1 from Ao Nang) with my husband. We are interested in both kayaking around the mangroves and into hongs as well as boating for a "tour" of the scenery with a few stops. We are on a bit of a tight budget and so can't afford to do any of the really awesome looking kayaking tours.
Does anyone know:
a) if kayak tours booked in Phang Nga are a lot cheaper than listed online?
b) how easy and cost effective it is to do a DIY tour of the bay including kayaking and maybe a longtail boat? (I've read a little on chartering a boat from the NP headquarters. Is this a viable, affordable option? We would like to do at least a day tour, but I've read that you can only charter these boats for a few hours--is that true? Can you rent kayaks with a guide for mangrove tours?)
c) if it is possible to do an overnight on Pannyi if it is not part of a tour?
Any recommendations for reputable budget companies are much appreciated!