These are not my 1st trips with PST, and theres a good reason, I keep coming back to them, they are a 1st class company, Mark, Sean and the crew are fantastic hosts, and they really enjoy what they are doing and about the locations they are working in, and it shows through 150% that they care about the people on their trips and making sure you have a great day.
I have previously done the Phang Nga trip by sail boat 3 times, and just love it, but was determined this year that Ireally should try something different. I could not decide so I did 2 trips!!
This Trip was Racha (or Raya) Islands. All I can say is WOW what an amazing beautiful spot. I have never in my life seen water that was so blue!!! Our 1st stop was a beach where the Raya Resort is located. This location is simply stunning, the water is crysal clear and so blue!! We sent an hour or so exploring this place and swimming.
We then moved on to our 1st snorkeling spot, The fish and marine life are really something to be seen. When were then on to our 2nd snorkeling spot, which was I believe even better than the 1st. Words can not discribe just how beautiful these places are.
It was then onto lunch at Ban Raya, another beautiful resort. After lunch we swam and just chilled out on the beach. Then more snorkeling and exploring. If you really want to see pristine beaches and do fantasic snorkeling, and marine life in all its beauty, then Racha Islands and this tour is for you. In my opinion, Racha far exceeds Phi Phi island in all ways, plus its not been spoilt by millions of tourists and is not covered in shops trying to sell more of the same stuff to you. Sean is a fantasic host and extremely knowlegable, he will take care of you and make sure everyone gets the most that they want to from this trip
My 2nd trip, was Phang Nga by speed boat. I had previously done a similar type of trip many years with the cheap operator, and there are no simularities.
PST changes the order of their trip depending on the tides and how many boats are in there are at the time. So 1st up for or trip was a snorkling spot, PST our the only operators to my knowledge that including snorkeling on this trip. Now prior to this trip I would not have believed that there would be a place to snorkel on a Phang Nga trip , with clear waters, but how wrong was I . We stop at a beautiful beach called paradise beach, where we snorkeled and fed the fish banannas, the water was so clear and the fish would come up and take the banannas right out of your hand, truely awesome.
We continued on our way, we stopped below a cave, high in the cliff face, were theres a man that lives there for 6 months at a time collecting the birds nests. Captain Mark always stops here on this trips and sends him up a few cans of soft drink and just generally checks he is ok. We continues on past a Gypsy fishing village, and were told all about the villages that live there, and how during the tsunami they understood the water so well that they all moved out to high ground before it got to them
Our next stop was yet another beautiful beach, but we where here to see this most amazing big tree thats 1000s of years old, it is certainly a sight to be seen, and the stories and histories that go with it.
It then off to Koh Panyee for lunch, which is often referred to a a gypsy floating village, however they are not gypsies, and nor is it floating. It is in fact a Muslim fishing village. The entire village which is home to a few 1000 people is built on stilts over the water. There is an amazing story about their 1st ever soccer team, which is truely inspirational.
Lunch was out of this world and soooo much food, nobody could ever go home hungry from this trip. We had Curried Crab, The best Chicken Massaman curry I have ever eaten, Stir Fried Vegi, Rice, Prawn Cutlets, Chicken Cutlets and Chips(to keep the kids happy) and fresh watermelon and pineapple!!! There was so much food left over it felt very wasteful.
We then set off with our Thai Guide to explore and learn more about this amazing village and her people. And yes for those that wanted it, there was shopping as well lol. I could have easliy spent a few hours walking around this place and taking it all in , and talking to the locals.
Off we went again to our sea canoeing spot. Captain Mark uses a different spot to most of the other operators so its no nearly as crowded as the main canoeing places we passed earlier in our trip. We probably canoeed and swam off the boat her for about an hour or so. Very pretty and peaceful.
As we headed back towards home , we did one last stop at the mangrove hong. This hong is so interesting, I have been here on other trips with the sail boat, but I never cease to be fasinated by the place and the creatures that live here. So interesting.
All too soon it seems out trip has come to an end, where did all the hours go!!! We never felt rushed but saw so many amazing places and had so much fun.
As with all PTS tours the esky was fully stocked when we left, and was there for everyone to help themselves through out the trip, there was was also bbq chicken when we 1st started our speed boat trips (on both trip Racha and Phang Nga) and a fantasic fruit bowl.
The only thing you need to pay for is beer if you want it and its only 50baht a can.
So ok I got abit carried away as usual, but again these trips did not dissapoint me and where the highlight of my 2012 trip. Thanks to Mark Sean and the crews for some more fantastic memories that I will treasure.
See you guys again next year!!!!