Saturday, 3 February 2018

Paul and Michelle meet John Gray

 The John Gray vessel pulls in to the pick up pier at Ao Po on the North East end of Phuket Island.This is the vessel that will take the adventurers on what many regard as the very best of the trips that Phuket has to offer......and it is BRILLIANT!!


And now...once again...I hand over to our Budding Blogger and Ace Photogrpaher, Mr Paul Cross....

Paul writes......
 ''Organized by John Gray, the original sea cave explorer and well-known conservationist, this is a magical experience not to be missed by nature lovers. 













The 'Hongs by Starlight' tour starts in the early afternoon with a delicious lunch on board the boat while it makes it way from Ao Por Pier heading north towards Koh Panak and Koh Hong in Phang Nga Bay.















 The exact destination will depend on the tide as some sea caves are only accessible by expert paddle guides when the tide is just right.













The Legendary John Gray himself....now 77 years young and paddling that Kayak like a 'Good 'Un'

John started this adventure over 30 years ago.....and we only meet the old pirate himself!!! Thumbs up, John,  for a great trip!

(Editors Note...And thumbs up from me too, John, for the massive amount of pleasure your trips have given to my friends over the past 10 years!!!! Paul Whittall)







These sea caves were formed by the dissolution of the limestone rocks which formed cavities that became the caves you can visit today.












The sensation of gently floating through these dark caves lit by the torches worn by the paddle guides with stalagmites dangling from above is both other-worldly and exciting. 











On the other side you emerge into a "hong", a hidden lagoon surrounded on all sides by sheer stone walls topped with lush jungle.













The food on the boat was outstanding and the service was great. 

Then comes the part where everyone on board, under the expert guidance of the Thai crew members, makes the Loi Kratong water offerings to be illuminated with a candle and floated off inside the final cave in the night darkness.

(The John Gray set up is all about caring for the environment....so, please don't worry....everything is retrieved!)








Then after dark the most magical part of the tour begins.




Thailand....a magical country of Romance.

 The sun sets in Phang Gna Bay for the start of the most magical part of the trip....
 Michelle inside the final cave....

And me.....presenting my offering to the Water Spirits. What a trip...what memories....what a country!!!!








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