Hidden hongs and secret caves

The charm of Phang Nga Bay is that you can discover hidden hongs and secret caves that might not be mentioned in any guide or yacht pilot. 

Sun setting in Phang Nga Bay

With that in mind we decided to use the time left before leaving Bali Hai for a three-week trip to Australia, to explore the area more thoroughly. 

Red sky at night sailor’s delight?
But first we paid another quick visit to Boat Lagoon Marina to get a few things done – a dental appointment, organise some work to start while we were away visiting our son and his partner in Brisbane, and restocking our food supplies. 

Going into Boat Lagoon with our pilot – never risk going alone!

The dentist’s cat giving me the wink

Sushi – such a treat

Great view of the boat yard from the Boat Lagoon pool
The day we left couldn’t have been more miserable – heavy grey skies, pouring rain, relentless damp, but as always we were very happy to get out of the marina and head for a peaceful anchorage. 

Following the endless markers out of Boat Lagoon Marina

Miserable sailing weather
The next morning when we woke up at nearby Koh Rang Yai the weather was glorious – sunny and windy – which meant we could sail. 

But the next day was sunny
The clear blue sky and the wind in our hair lifted our spirits. The sheer sided sea mountains glowed in the sun and the sea sparkled. 

The Karsts glowing in the sun

We were intending to anchor in the south-west bay at Koh Roi but it didn’t seem sheltered enough so we moved on to anchor snugly between Koh Kudu and Koh Kudu Yai. We had experienced too many sudden storms to take any chances. 

Approaching the anchorage
The next morning we took to our dinghy and motored to Koh Roi. There were two sandy beaches and we opted for the smaller one as we thought there could be a hong there. However, as we approached we couldn’t see anything that looked remotely like an entrance. 

The little beach – but where is the hong entrance?
We landed on the beach and took a look around – there it was! A small cave-like entrance! 

Where is it then?

Could this be it?
We ducked through the opening and were amazed to see that it opened out into an enormous space – totally encircled by towering cliffs but open to the sky. 

We duck through the cave-like entrance
Not a trace of humans but hoards of cicadas chirping, fruit bats quarrelling, monkeys chattering, birds calling and random squawking. And then a ghostly silence. 

Massive cliffs surround us but the hong is open to the sky
Such an atmospheric place – it felt like a movie set or something from a half forgotten dream.  

Capt’n Birdseye inspects the hong
A small brackish stream flowed through the hong and out of the hidden entrance and down the beach to the sea. Tiny little fish nibbled our feet as we dipped them in to cool them down. 

The stream runs out of the hong, down the beach to the sea

The cliffs tower over our heads

We returned to the dinghy to go and find a cave on the northeast of Koh Yao Noi that we had heard about.  

Outside the fishermen’s cave

Remarkably this cave was still used by local fisherman to shelter and even sleep in. Indeed, when we arrived several were there cooking lunch on open fires, mending their nets and relaxing. 

The fishermen’s boats anchored outside the cave

Not wanting to disturb them we kept our distance and strolled up the beach in the other direction following some naughty monkey’s foot prints. 

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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 “Hidden hongs and secret caves”

  1. We, my ex-boyfriend and I, would like to sail exactly where you have been in Phang Nga and around Phuket on a chartered Bavaria 33 Fei Mao.

    Can we meet you in Phuket on our day of arrival 24. November 2016?

    Could we get in contact in Phuket via VHF?

    Do you have a software you use for the tides? My boyfriend found AyeTides. What would you suggest?




    1. Hi Nicole, I am so sorry but we are on our way to Langkawi so cannot meet you. But if you would like me to send you a chart with where we have anchored that would be fine. How about you private message me on Facebook? We use Navionics and Buoy Weather for tides. Thanks for following my blog ⛵️️


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