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.
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.
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.
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.
The next morning when we woke up at nearby Koh Rang Yai the weather was glorious – sunny and windy – which meant we could sail.
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.
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.
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.
We landed on the beach and took a look around – there it was! A small cave-like entrance!
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.
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.
Such an atmospheric place – it felt like a movie set or something from a half forgotten dream.
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.
We returned to the dinghy to go and find a cave on the northeast of Koh Yao Noi that we had heard about.
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.
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.