The trick to exploring the mesmerising Phang Nga Bay is to do it when there are no tourists about.
Bali Hai and her crew were there in June and while the weather at times was rainy and blowing nine bells, there were also many hours of sunny weather.
Exploring the many little tucked away beaches is one of the highlights of any cruise in this glorious area but unless you arrive early in the morning or in the evening you will end up sharing the beach.
This is fine if it’s with just one traditional long tail with a young couple or small family aboard but quite a different thing when a couple of “fizz” boats turn up crammed with hoards of tourists!
We had just settled on a pretty little beach on Koh Phanak, just my husband, our daughter visiting us for a short break and one little monkey.
The bottle of bubbles was about to be popped when suddenly not one but two big boatloads of holidaymakers arrived.
We moved discretely into a minuscule Hong – more of a cave horizontal to the shore with an opening each end and “window” in the middle.
It was the perfect place to sip our bubbles and hide from the sun and the hoards of people!
The boats didn’t stay long – just enough time for people to kayak to shore, have a swim, eat some fruit and then kayak back to their mothership.
All too soon we had the beach back to ourselves – just my husband, our daughter, the monkey and me!