John Gray’s Hongs By Starlight

John Gray’s Hongs By Starlight
John Gray’s Hongs By Starlight in Phuket

The first explorer to explore the limestone sea caves (hongs) around the Phang-Nga bay, John Gray, a committed environmentalist, established the award-winning company, Sea Canoe, to showcase the area’s fascinating landscape in 1989. Prior to Phuket, he ran canoeing tours in Vietnam, Fiji, Australia, Hawaii and the Phillippines. Now known as the Caveman, his programme “Hongs By Starlight” allows visitors to explore these sea caves minus the crowds.

Starting at a time other tour operators are returning, the boat departs from Ao Po pier, where a light lunch is served and the head guide gives a short briefing and explains the rules. Then the entire afternoon is spent exploring the cave system, learning about their formation, and the wildlife that lives within them. Back on the boat, it heads out to a special viewing spot to witness the awe-inspiring Phang-Nga sunsets and sample the delicious Thai seafood buffet. John Gray’s Hongs By Starlight in PhuketAfter dinner, the guests can make their own krathongs (floating offerings) that will be floated in the last cave visited during the trip. Known as Diamond Cave, it offers a special experience once the candles in the offerings burn off: lying in the canoe in total darkness with just the starlight at times and the bioluminescent plankton. On the journey back to the pier, the guide points out different Thai and western constellations. Groups of friends, couples and even families will enjoy the experience.

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