I want to let you know that as you suspected, my week with your staff was
the highlight of my month in Thailand. I cannot tell you what a marvelous
time I had. It was made even better by getting to know the group - I can
only hope that they enjoyed their time with me half as much as I did mine
with them. The week created some marvelous memories that I will rely on to
help me adjustment to the NYC subways and winter weather, and for a long
time to come.
All parts of the trip were extraordinary - I am not sure if there is one
favorite part or not. Each portion of the 7 days was so marvelous - doing
the hongs day and night, waking up in Chao Mai to the call to prayer and
watching the sunrise with the Longtails crossing in front as they went to
set crab pots, a sea turtle in the water 20 feet ahead (poor Ali missed it),
pythons in the trees, Bramany Kites all over the damn place, the Sea Eagles.
the Sea Eagles. the Sea Eagles. Bongi leading the way through, over, under,
and around the Crocodile Cave challenges, beachside conversations about Ahn
San Suu Kyi, her father and the Army of God, there were too many magical
moments to even begin to make a representative list. Even the back of the
truck was great dusty fun.
After the past few months in NYC, the glorious beauty and even better
company went a long way in restoring my faith that all can be well again.
Thanks so much for your part in that. I am not sure that even I understood
what was happening until I got back here this week, and I know that the guys
did not know what they were doing for me last week - it is so hard to
describe but I am forever grateful and humbled by what they did for me. Liza Murphy,
New York City
Liza says it all - you can't find a
better seven days in Thailand. Spend three days exploring Phang Nga Bay,
overnight near the Peninsula's summit at a waterfall/wildlife sanctuary with
a 2k high mountain cave and jungle stream, then finish with three nights and
days at Tarutao in the Far South. Follow White Belly sea eagles, Bramany
kites, and Brown Fish owls to their secret spots in hongs, mangrove
estuaries, and colorful limestone cliffs. Many birds know us by sight and
some may be our rehab projects. Explore the summit of the Isthmus of Kra
(Malay Peninsula) with an overnight stop at a wildlife sanctuary including a
limestone waterfall. Small groups go in cabined longtail - fast,
traditional, close to the water. Large groups go in cabined escort boat w/
dining deck, galley, showers, and toilets.
Bramany kites are everywhere. White Belly Sea Eagles are territorial and
found in specific locations. Both species frequently approach our boat.
Brown Fish Owls are less obvious, with occasional sightings. Play with a
school of free jumping sailfish. Water monitors, Dusky Langurs, and
Crab-eating macaque are common. Remember that wildlife sightings are never
The Tarutao region includes excellent rock gardens, a triple-entry hong,
excellent wildlife and world class snorkeling. Phang Nga's world-class
reputation is well established, and the transition day in the highlands is
dazzling. Many clients tell us South Thailand is the only spot they know
that equals Alaska's sea kayaking. We wouldn't know - Alaska is to cold for
We play the Nature Game throughout your trip. First, we explain why we
paddle each particular site- it's much more than just looking at the pretty
places. Of course, we focus on the the tidal zone, "that magic energy where
land, sea and air intertwine", as Caveman says. "It's where our ancestors
climbed from sea to land." As we paddle, we look for everything we explained
in advance. Dialogue with your guides focuses on the sighting rather than
the background, which you already learned. At paddle's end, you fill in your
log, play the game and hopefully win your prize. On the Wings trip, Caveman
especially enjoys Mark O'Shea's tree toads. Mark found them on Tarutao,
Caveman found them at the Peninsula's summit. Wings makes it obvious how
they got both places.
We include an Introduction to Tropical Kayaking on each Wings and
Mini-Expedition trip. Equivalent to the American Canoe Assn. or British
Canoe Union 2-day intro credentials, our program concentrates on warm water.
It's much better than the standard two-day course - your classroom is your
escort boat in transit, and your in-water training is accomplished during
your guided paddles. If you live in those chilly climates Caveman left
behind, we provide references to decked kayak paddling schools near your
Depending upon the tides, this 7-day trip runs either Phang Nga-Tarutao or
Tarutao-Phang Nga. The Southern terminus is Pak Bara, easily accessible by
ground from Had Yai International Airport. Our convenient Hat Yai Taxi
schedule saves costs, adds an extra day, and allows Phuket arrivals and
departures for only B1,500, meals included.
PHANG NGA - TARUTAO FORMAT
(Sample only - each trip is
tailored to the tides.)
Pick-up Phuket airport or resort. Depart Ao Po about 0900
Day of tidal sea caving in Phang Nga Bay - Dinner w/Sunset trip boat -
Camp Koh Penak w/ Hong by night
Hong Yai and
Honeymoon Hong in the morning
Picnic lunch at Pak Bia - afternoon paddle and camp Koh Bele'
Koh Bele' and Talen - transfer to Chao Mai for Sunset paddle and/or hong
Bungalow and dinner at Chao Mai.
After breakfast transfer to Waterfall Park. After lunch paddle 7-Turn
Cave and Jungle stream paddle - take-out at Waterfall Park for dinner
and camping at Park HQ.)
Lunch at Diamond Bungalow; take our private boat to Tarutao. Dinner and
camping at NP beach. (Excellent bungalows available, but book direct.)
drive to Pak Bara (1 hr). Take our private boat to Tarutao to kayak
Southwest coast eagle habitats and mangrove estuary
Camping or bungalow at Tarutao National Park Beach
mangrove estuary (Thailand's best) and North Point cliff-coastline
Camping or bungalow at Tarutao National Park beach
Ride the Park
truck to Old Prison. Picnic lunch followed by rock garden/hong paddle.
Return to Pak Bara by 1600.
Shower and snack at Diamond Bungalows and drive to Had Yai Airport for
"Wings" may run in reverse to take advantage of favorable
tides. Check schedule when you book.