Hanging out in a Hong 

Having read some of descriptions of entering and leaving a “Hong” in Phang Nga Bay the thought of exploring one for the first time was making me nervous –  for fear of becoming trapped or worse, drowning. 

The cruising pilot says:

“These shallow water fully-enclosed lagoons, open to the sky, are only accessible through caves at certain stages of the tides …..If you miss the timing you may have to slither out on your belly in the mud or wait for six hours inside the Hong for the next opportunity to escape.”

The entrance to the cave leading to the Hong

And specifically about the one we were intending to enter on the east side of Koh Phanak

“The Hong in this location is difficult to access and only at lower than mid tide.”

Entering the Hong was like entering another world

Yikes! Flitting through my mind were visions of getting stuck in the dark not being able to find my way out or getting caught in the strong currents that the cruising guide also gives warnings about. 

Way, way up you can see the sky

In the event, it was really not difficult but still exciting. We went early in the morning so no tour boats were about. We landed the dinghy on a small beach and after a couple of false starts headed into the correct cave. It was black as night, thank goodness for the torch on our smart phones! 

Such a strange atmosphere in this Hong

We made our way through the circuitous tunnel with the water varying from a small trickle to calf deep. We followed a bend in the tunnel and suddenly there was light!

Such a massive space, it was hard to take it all in

We walked out into this massive space – larger than several football pitches that was totally encircled by the tallest cliffs imaginable. 

The cliffs were as tall as any cliff I’ve seen before

It felt for all the world like a secret garden – locked away from the world with just the sound of sweet bird song to break the silence. Maybe it was my imagination but to me it felt eerie and expectant – a little bit ominous even. 

A weird “secret garden”

Exploring the Hong

 Although it was quite beautiful and I was no longer afraid of getting stuck or drowned, I wasn’t sorry to go back through the cave to the little beach where thankfully, our dinghy was waiting for us.

Our trusty dinghy awaits us

Hongs are all very well but I’d rather hang out in wide open spaces thank you very much!
Better to hang outside the Hong!

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Salty tales from Bali Hai

In 2015, after a break from cruising of almost 30 years, my husband and I sailed off into the sunset - this time to the wonderful Islands of Indonesia and beyond. Three years passed and we swapped sails for wheels driving through Scandinavia and Europe in a motor home. Now we are on the brink of another adventure - buying a Lagoon 420 Catamaran in Athens. This is our story.

2 thoughts on “Hanging out in a Hong ”

  1. Your sentiment about Hongs is exactly the same as mine! Glad you got in and out safely!!
    With love from Sally on Skiathos with the family, having spent last week on Skopelos with George! Xxx


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