Panak island is the one of the traditional places at Phang Nga bay to travel in a canoe, in which there are about 9 inter-connected lagoons with many caves and tunnels. Huge in size, the laced lagoons, both underwater and above it. If you are lucky, and with low tide you can see natural reseeding canoeing in Panak island cave for 150 meters and in the end will see a huge, beautiful mangrove lagoon.
But the ‘aha’ moment will most probably be canoeing in the open sea through caves shaped by natural forces. Experience the joy of an adventurer as your guide squeezes the canoe through dark, narrow passages to reveal a pool of water surrounded on all sides by towering limestone formations. If you can kayak, you could go further to discover secret lagoons and island caves, or explore Thailand’s largest remaining mangrove forests. You might even spot sea snakes and flying lizards in the protected environment of the bay.
Our tour operator assigned guides for each canoe and ours was literally super knowledgeable about everything we were seeing and he took us to different lagoons than everyone else went to. Deep within Koh Panak you will find a hong filled with mangrove trees. The island was formed long ago, originally from sedimentary layers on the bottom of a tropical ocean, with no volcanic activity involved in the island formation.
So the rock is soft and the limestone and minerals can ooze over time. Sitting in a small sea canoe and going into different dark caves is one of the highlights of my life; it was so memorable, and it’s the ultimate satisfaction of the importance of traveling experiences over things.
This thrilling canoe experience in Phang Nga bay can only be done at low tide, when there is very little water at the mouth of the cave. At high tide, the entrance of the cave is blocked. The tour boats operate during the daylight hours only, so the cave and hong are empty in the early morning and the evening. The tour groups mostly come at mid-tide. If you are visiting on your own during midday, it is best to visit just after high tide as the tide is dropping.
Tips to the Travelers :
1) Make sure you listen to your guide carefully while riding in the canoe. No need to panic if you feel your canoe got stuck inside the dark cave.
2) Inside the cave, sometimes the distance between water level and cave roof decreases, so be careful about lifting your head high in those places.
3) For a private trip you have to pay for Kayaks which is 300 bhat per hour and you have to pay 400 bhat to the National Park Ranger’s as entrance fee.
4) Please carry your drinking water and energy bar along with sunglasses and sunscreen.
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