Sea canoeing is the ecotourist activity par excellence, and proves the benefit of the natural approach. The quiet of this mode of tourism heightens your sense of awareness, and wildlife is not scared by your silent approach. It is also an exciting physical challenge providing an aerobic workout and tones and develops your arms, shoulders and chest.
Sea canoeing adventures from Phuket take small groups of twopassenger on inflatable kayaks, accompanied by a support boat carrying food and equipment. Three-day excursions include instruction in kayak management, camping and barbecue dinners and the exploration of eight islands, including Ko Chong Lat and its Blue Room, a three-chamber stalacite grotto,
Some of the most spectacular sites for sea canoeing are around Krabi and the island of Phuket and Phang-nga Bay. Sea Canoe Thailand, based in Phuket, was the pioneering eco-tour company that launched thousands of travellers on their sea adventures.
On the southeastern seaboard near the Cambodian border, Ko Chang National Park in Trat Province has more than 50 pristine islands ready to be explored by sea canoe. Ko Kra has some of the best coral in Thailand, but no less spectacular are the golden sands of Ko Mak and the bays of Ko Ngarm.
Although sea canoes are easy to handle and all safety equipment is provided, it is best to get instruction first. Don't venture out on a long adventure without a guide. Sea canoe expeditions are running all year-round, although the rains from June to October can inhibit operations. There is no age limit for participation, but travellers should be able to swim.
PHANG-NGA MINI EXPEDITION
Day 1: Pick up from your hotel. Arrive at Ao Po pier and depart. Motor to the islands. Arrive first island - explore caves and lagoons. Lunch on the escort boat. Arrive second island for more cave exploration and circumnavigation of islands. Traverse 300-metre cave into giant lagoon. Arrive and make camp on island beach - basic kayak training. Thai seafood BBQ dinner. Starlight paddle back to previously entered hong. Hong by Starlight (tides dependant) or sunset paddle. Return to camping beach.
Day 2: Depart for North Ko Yai Noi on escort boat. Breakfast on board. Paddle North Ko Yao Noi and Big Tree Bay. Hike to the giant Ficus. Lunch on board. Paddle 1 km crossing to Lagoon Island. Circumnavigate Lagoon Island. This island is home to many crab eating monkeys and giant fruit bats. Board escort boat and depart for Ko Chong Lat in Krabi Province. Arrive Ko Chong Lat and make camp. Sunset paddle. BBQ dinner.
Day 3: Breakfast on board. Paddle around Ko Chong Lat. This 1,500-foot island has stunning cliffs, the Blue Room and an unusually beautiful channel on the way back to camp. Lunch on board. Motor to Ko Khlui. Circumnavigate Ko Khlui. Board escort boat and depart for Ao Po pier. Hotel drop off.