I'd just like to say first of all that this trip was the highlight of our holiday in Thailand. From the moment we stepped on the boat we were impressed by the friendly guides (sunny being a fantastic host!!) and the welcoming atmosphere.
The trip out to Hong seemed to take no time at all with the inclusion of a fantastic lunch and the added bonus of being surrounded by stunning scenery and escorted by dozens of beautiful sea eagles and kites.
The trip into the caves themselves was an experience that I could never have imagined. Our guide (Lai ?) was very knowledgable and could tell that, even though his english was still improving, he wanted to point out lots of things and explain names and what they were. To say he had an eagle eye would be an understatement.....he could pick out a lizard at 100yards!!!
Sarah, my wife, is always slightly apprehensive about activities like this and was no exception on this trip. From the moment she entered the canoe however she loved every minute of it. And although she doesn't like enclosed spaces she was fascinated by the caves and found herself wanting to explore more and more!! In fact it had that much of a positive effect on her that when she returned to the boat after the first exploration she dived off into the ocean which she would never have done before!!!
The dinner on board outweighed every meal we had eaten in Thailand and was truly delicious. For anyone that is too afraid to breach their hotel confines but wants to try REAL Thai food then this is the trip for you!!! A huge round of applause to the 'family' down below deck!
The Kratong ceremony was a truly magical experience. I would feel happy to extend a challenge to those around the world that can describe an experience even similar to this. Floating on a calm sea with only the moon and stars lighting the way was magical enough but then passing through a cave into the heart of the island lagoon, looking at the rockfaces all around you and the firefly in the trees......wow!! And just to top it off the bioluminescence was just unbelievable. Seeing these prehistoric creatures in the water darting around your hand like a laser show is again an experience I will never forget.
On the way back to the pier i just sat at the front of the boat looking at the stars and watching the flying fish alongside the boat contemplating everything I had seen during this eyeopening day. I felt like a kid on christmas morning having just opened my most wished for present!
If you want to feel like you're really part of nature then this is the trip! It was great to see you on the trip John and was great to speak to such a knowledgable person who loves nature that much. I will certainly be leaving positive feedback on the trip advisr site and I recommended everyone that I met on the remainder of my holiday to book this excursion.
I know on the day you took about 3 or 4 photos of myself and Sarah in various caves and was wondering if you still had them to E-Mail. The trip was on the 22nd May and our guide was Lai. I've attached one of the photos of us as we were on the boat.
Thank you again for a truly magical experience and good luck with all your future ventures. Wherever I go in the future I will look out for John Grays Sea Canoe!!!