Featured Writer: Kirsten Muolic
Bucket List Item #2: Island Hop in Thailand
One of the best parts about Thailand is that there are endless things you can do. From the bustling streets of Bangkok, to the pristine Phi Phi Island beaches. The one thing that stands out the most to me was a boat tour out to Phang Nga Bay where the famous James Bond Island resides.
There are dozens and dozens of different tour groups you can take and I happened to find the best one out there – Rattanchol Canoeing (they unfortunately don’t have a website). The amazingly friendly staff took us out on 2 separate boats of about 15 people per boat. We cruised around many different islands and lagoons including Hong Island, Panak Island, Khao Ping Kan, Panyee Island and of course, James Bond Island. The beaches were absolutely perfect – exactly what you dreamed Thailand looks like.
Lunch was served at a large floating village, Koh Panyee, where a community of about 1000 Muslims live. This village on stilts is mostly self-sustaining because they generate all of their own power. Hundreds of tourists come during lunch time to eat and buy souvenirs at their many markets and afterwards, the village closes down back to a quiet fishing village.
We had a Thai guide paddle us around in a canoe at Talu Island. We went in and out of caves big and small – some so small where we had to lay down in our canoes to be able to pass through. He showed us the best parts of the lagoon, rowed us to passing boats where he sold hash to other guides, and was our personal photographer.
The last stop of the tour were the Ice Cream Caves. We docked the boat, walked into the cave and were greeted by hundreds of screeching bats. The limestone cave were covered in stalactites and stalagmites, creating ginormous ice-cream-looking statues.
The more popular islands (like James Bond Island), are especially crowded so I recommend going on tours that visit multiple islands (most notably Phang Nga Bay!). This trip was easily the most perfect and ideal day in Thailand I could ever ask for.