Imagine, sitting in the middle of a lagoon, cloaked
in darkness, not a whisper to be heard, as your kayak is paddled
slowly in a circular motion.
Imagine, sitting in the middle of a lagoon, cloaked in darkness,
not a whisper to be heard, as your kayak is paddled slowly in a
circular motion. With your face t ur ned upwards gazing at the stars,
you catch glimpses of tall, bizarre limestone formations (lit by
starlight) reaching up to the night sky. Over here, in the middle
of the lagoon, faraway from humanity, time stops, your mind clears;the
experience verges on the mystical. This peaceful, surreal encounter
with nature lingers in your memory long after the trip is over.
It is perhaps the best that Mother nature offers. This trip is
only provided by "Hongs by Starlight' tour offered by
John Gray's SeaCanoe. It amplifies the beauty and serenity
of Phang- Nga Bay.
John Gray's SeaCanoe is an intimate marine experience exploring
some of nature's most st unning and unique creations. Silent
sea kayaks glide through caves and narrow passages that lead into
lagoons enclosed by tall, cylindrical limestone cliffs. "Kayaks,
" says John, , "are the best means of exploring these
highly sensitive environments. You get close up to geological formations;fauna
and flora yet still enjoy the peaceful ambience that has always
existed in nature. " John's phenomenal knowledge and
contagious enthusiasm as a devoted environmentalist makes the John
Gray SeaCanoe unique amongst the proliferation of cave exploring
Sea-kayaks are paddled into Phang-Nga Bay, home of the world
's most peculiar nat ural limestone karst formations,
caves and "hongs' --lagoons enclosed by tall, circular
limestone walls. "Imagine, " explains John, , "huge
limestone blocks floating on the earth's cr ust like
a cube of ice floating in a glass of water. When continental
plates drift, the limestone spins and bobs up and down, just
like ice does. " This movement causes cracks in the limestone
and caves were formed when water dripped down cracks in the
limestone. The percolation -water dripping down the limestone
-also filled the cavern with stalactites and stalagmites.
"Diamond cave', explored by sea kayaks in this
region takes one close-up to the most st unning, glittering,
The caves are explored only with a flashlight as most of them are
home to bats that are noct urnal and therefore, should not be dist
urbed during the day. They are also home to swallows.
Lifelong environmentalist, John "Caveman' Gray pioneered
tropical kayaking in Hawaii in 1983. His aim was to introduce to
the rest of the world the ancient Hawaiian awareness and appreciation
of the harmony existing in nature.
John launched Sea Canoe in Phuket in 1989 after exploring Phang-Nga's
limestone islands in January of the same year. It was the
first local vent ure focusing on alter native tourism. "I
shared my discoveries with Phuket's locals;created an
experimental eco-tourism laboratory called SeaCanoe and Phuket
's "Low Volume, High Quality' legend was born.
. Today, thousands visit Phang-Nga's caves with so many
"SeaCanoe' companies that I formed "John Gray
's SeaCanoe' to clear market confusion, "
says John. . John Gray's SeaCanoe offers three daily
excursions. The Phang- Nga caves and hongs are explored either
during the day or by starlight. Fantastic overnighters and
charters are also available. "The "3-Day Phang-
Nga Mini Expedition' is an eco- tourism classic, "says
John. "Wings of the White Belly Sea Eagle' packs
two weeks into seven days. The sights and sounds are so unusual
you wonder if you are on planet earth. "Expedition Express
Overnighter' packs in as much as the mind can accept.
John, known as Ling Yai (Big Monkey), to his local friends, takes
pride in being the Original Kayak explorer and operator. "If
we are there, we are there first, "he maintains. "All
I do is paddle into crazy places. If it's interesting, I show
it to my friends. "
The "The Nature Game', an exciting new eco-tourism concept
created by John is used to enhance one's perspective and understanding
of the geological formations and unique wildlife of this region.
John Gray's SeaCanoe trips are well-organised, informative
tours that combine kayaking, nature, culture and great food.
"I owe it to Thailand, which has yet to see our best efforts,
" says John.
John Gray's SeaCanoe Co. Ltd. , Phuket
Tel:(++66 76)245 505 Fax:(++66 76) 226 077