On Jennifer's recommendation, we had an amazing late afternoon / evening kayak trip with a local outfitter called John Gray's Sea Kayak Adventures. Basically our day was spent kayaking into various Hongs that surround Phuket. Hongs are a Thai word for lagoons in the centre of a small island, made by the top of the island eroding until a hole is left in the centre, like a donut. The hongs are surrounded by steep cliffs and are accessible via "tunnels" that can be paddled only during low tides. We were paired up and each assigned a specific guide to paddle us into these often narrow caves that reveal their hidden gems to the motivated paddler. Hopping on our canoe, Birch and I excitedly took in the scenery. Tom our guide paddled us beside these steep cliffs that surrounded the lagoons with Carolyn and Allegra and their guide close at hand. We entered our first . . .
cave and after a short paddle we reached the lagoon and found ourselves surrounded by the steep interior cliff walls with the bright sunlight shining in from above - fantastic. We laid back and took in the wonderful scenery before heading back out to a different hong. We explored a few more hongs and each were unique and spectacular in their own way.
The entrance to the second hong was called bat cave due to its length (about 100m) which made a perfect home for bats. We slowly entered and after travelling for a couple of minutes it became pitch dark and our guide had to turn on his head lamp to safely paddle along the winding and twisting tunnel. We immediately knew there were bats above thanks to the wonderful aroma of their guano and our guide flashing his light along the caves ceiling. Soon we saw light and the tunnel opened up to the lagoon before us.
The next hong was amazing because of the family monkeys called long tailed macaques. The first macaque we saw was a lone male perched on the branches of a dead tree in the lagoon. I was mesmerized: monkeys look so human! I didn't know who was observing who. After a while we moved along and saw another pair along the water's edge. Towards the far end of the lagoon there was a whole family of monkeys with mammas and their little babies close at hand. These monkeys were at the water's edge feeding on shellfish. The mamma monkey found a nice sized mussel or clam and started smacking it against a rock, over and over until its juicy innards were exposed. The baby was right by her side expectantly waiting for these little appetizers. It was truly amazing watching these creatures before our eyes. Fantastic.
The final thing we did was make these Kra Thongs out of banana leaves and different coloured flowers. Kra Thongs are beatiful floating bouquets that can be made in many shapes and sizes. The Thai's make a Kra Thong during specific celebrations and then release them to the ocean currents. By releasing the Kra Thong, negative energy is taken away and good wishes released. Allegra and Birch each made one and together we released them on the water. It was magical!