By Michael Moore
Leave your hotel after a hearty breakfast. Take Thepkassatri Road
(Highway 402) to Thepkassatri Bridge Phuket's only highway connection
to the mainland. One kilometer after crossing the bridge start looking
for the "Phangna Bay" and "Klong Kian Pier"
signs. When you see the signs, make the right turn as indicated
and then head back down the highway toward Phuket. After 100 meters
you will see a road. This is the road to Klong Kian Pier. Turn down
the road and head for your destination: The House by the Bay Resort
(tel. 01-490-3449 or 263-871).
After a couple of kilometers you will be convinced you are mad!
The road is horrible! But persevere; the reward at the end is worth
it. You have approximately 20 kilometers to go and signs will periodically
appear to reassure you that you are heading toward the pier and
the resort. You will drive past rubber plantations and shrimp farms
with paddles aerating the water. Eventually you will notice Phangna
Bay to your right and the limestone formations that make it famous.
The farther you drive, the more spectacular the scenery will become.
When it reaches its zenith, you'll be at The House by the Bay Resort.
Leah, the amiable manager of The House by the Bay, will greet you
and lead you up the steep stairs to the restaurant and reception
area. The resort you will quickly notice is perched on the side
of a hill, giving it an unparalleled view of Phangna Bay. The House
by the Bay is an eco-resort so it isn't posh. The charming bungalows
are made of bamboo, but come with an attached shower and toilet.
For the adventurous one of the bungalows is attached to a tree.
After lunch you can cross a mangrove swamp on the resort's wooden
walkway. At the end there is a pier from which you can either swim
or paddle to a float anchored in the bay. Here you can swim or simply
lounge and enjoy the view.
If you're feeling energetic, there is a sea kayak for exploring
the bay and mangrove swamp. If you want someone else to do the work,
you can rent a longtail that will take you on a customized tour
of the bay.
For dinner have Leah take you on one of her seafood barbecues. She
and a longtail boat will take you to an uninhabited island where
you can enjoy a fabulous barbecue and have a swim at your own sandy,
tropical beach - something we all dream about, but rarely get a
chance to experience. Life can't get any better than this