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“Smart Canoeing/Kayaking - Be Very Aware!”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Phang Nga Bay

Phang Nga Bay
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Phang Nga Bay Day Tour and Canoe by Speedboat from Phuket
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Owner description: Phang Nga is famous for spectacular scenery with limestone cliffs rising out of green water. There are caves, lagoons and tiny secluded beaches awaiting discovery.
Maputo, Mozambique
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Smart Canoeing/Kayaking - Be Very Aware!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 17, 2014

If you are planning to do a sea canoe/kayak trip in Phang Nga and into the caves and lagoons that make it so famous, be very aware of the following: as with the rest of Thailand, the tourism industry around Phang Nga is overdeveloped, overexploited, so you have to be double or triple smart when doing tourism in order to have a pleasant and, YES, SAFE experience!. So, here the key tips:

1. Go with either private vessel and guide or with a company that organizes tours with manageable groups, 10 people MAX: With a private guide and vessel you can organize your schedule in order to avoid the notorious hordes of tourists that invade Phang Nga around 9 or 10 am and until 2 or 3 pm (and YES, even in LOW SEASON). So, if you don't have the money to hire a private guide and vessel, I suggest going with a company of the likes of Seacanoe, which manages small groups of people and does a reasonably good job to avoid the crowds (they can do better and hopefully they listen to our suggestions. Actually, they are the reason why I rate the experience as I do, but if I had been with the larger groups we saw, my experience would have been plainly disastrous!).
2. If you don't listen to the suggestion above and end up in a 100+ people ferry trying to access tight and dark caves along with 50 other canoes, please note that you will be getting into a potentially dangerous situation where panic could cause plenty harm due to the lack of space to move and breath. Crowds of human beings in tight places are avoided as the plague in any other normal circumstance, but this common sense is not applied at Phang Nga and there is no order/organization at all when entering/leaving caves. BE VERY AWARE and do not expose yourself or your kids to a situation as the one described above, 50+ canoes entering a small cave at the same time, unsustainable tourism at its most EXTREME representation.

Lastly, as my overall experience in Thailand tells me, if you want to enjoy the beauties of nature in this country and do it safely, avoid crowds at all costs! and that means waking up very early, YES, 4 am to get ready and be out before the sun rises, and going with conscious, smart private guides or very small/manageable tour groups instead of the large, desensitised tourism companies that abound. Traveling smart in Thailand does not mean necessarily that it will be more expensive, but that you have to work harder at planning and building up the right solution for you. Happy and safe travelingll!

Visited June 2014
6 Thank Sverige D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Great time at Phang Nga Bay”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 12, 2014

Just awesome views and great place to get a sense of authentic Thailand. Very warm people who are incredibly helpful.

Visited June 2014
Thank Farzana R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Picton, NSW
Level Contributor
63 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Perfect for a day trip ”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 8, 2014 via mobile

Had a day trip with Phuket Sail Tours around these waters and beaches.
Water quite warm this time of the year but quite clean for Thailand.
So many beautiful places to see and explore. Would be an amazing place to sail around for a few days.

Thank Nomes_Sydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chalong, Thailand
Level Contributor
141 reviews
51 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 98 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 5, 2014

I've done three trips here this year (private vessels), the backdrop and scenery here have to be seen to be believed, rugged terrain combined with the sea make a great contrast.

It's a National Park so fees are payable, I believe most operators include these in the price of the Tour. During the day we had the opportunity to snorkel in some quiet bays there was plenty of fish and the water was clear.

Also available for hire were kayaks by the hour and joyriding on jet skis. Catering was done aboard though there are several restaurants located around the area.

Take a camera.

Visited February 2014
2 Thank AoNangDiver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Level Contributor
20 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“great sightseeing experience”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 4, 2014

Phang Nga bay is mainly a sightseeing tour. The water in most parts of the bay is brown in color, not suitable for swimming. Canoeing inside the caves should not be missed especially in bat cave where you have to lie down in the kayak in order to enter the lagoon. The water should be on a low tide too. The mountain-sized islands are also good to see. The famous James Bond Island is always full of tourists and is good for picture-taking. We do kayaking in Naka Island while some tourists had swimming. The water is not clear still. On our way back to the pier, there appears numerous black birds flying behind our boat in response to the sounds (call) made by our boatmen. It was amazing!

Visited May 2014
Thank poinsettia77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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