Like so many of Thailand’s adventure water-sports, kayaking is best along the Krabi coastline as the multitude of karst islands with sea-caves and secret beaches are the norm in Phan Nga Bay.

Whether by sunlight or under a starry sky, the islands and sea caves of Phang Nga Bay are a dream come true for both sea canoe enthusiasts and beginners alike! Get away from the crowds and get up close to nature in one of the world’s premier sea-canoe destinations

A series of protected islands in the Ko Samui archipelago, Ang Thong Marine National Park, is the best bet on the gulf coast. Outside of the outstanding day-trip pportunities listed below, self-paddle excursions are best around Ko Tao and Railey Beach Krabi, where kayaks are available for rent on the beach by the hour or the day.

  • Phang Nga Bay: (Phang Nga) - Phang Nga Bay is the body of water between Phuket Island and mainland Krabi (with Ko Phi Phi in the middle). The most beautiful seascape along the Andaman coast, there are hundreds of islands with remote, undeveloped beaches and numerous sea caves and tunnels to navigate. The calm seas of the bay are also ideal for night kayak adventures.

  • Ko Hong: (Krabi) - This outstanding paddling site is part of Than Bok Khorani National Park. The beach here is made of exceptionally fine sand so paddling out invariably involves time on the beach. A variety of wildlife, sea gypsy villages and secluded lagoons round out the experience.

  • Ao Thalane: (Krabi) - The highlight of this bay is an ancient face of eroded sandstone, extravagantly carved by 300 million years’ worth of wind and sea exposure. The mineral-rich cliffs are painted in pastel hues and interspersed with stands of mangroves, making this an ideal retreat for anyone seeking solace from the crowds.

  • Bor Thor: (Krabi) - Bor Thor is difficult to access so paddlers have the area to themselves. Mangroves and karst structures abound, and the shore is fronted by a towering rock cliff. Islets dotting the sea are within paddling distance of the bay.

  • Kaeng Sam Chan River: (Nakorn Nayok) - You may see a few white-water rafters cruising down this river in Nakorn Nayok, but the conditions are best-suited for smaller vessels. Kayakers can course through the rapids, covering six miles in 2 hours, 30 minutes. Be advised that this course is not for beginners.

  • Ko Garos: (Krabi) - Ko Garos sits at the center of a massive mangrove forest and has only recently entered Krabi’s kayaking circuit. The limestone cliffs display ancient pictographs, while local sea-accessed caves are popular gathering spots for bird-nest soup ingredients.

  • Ko Lao Liang: (Trang) - This karst island can be circled in about an hour, but paddlers invariably take longer to enjoy the sites and activities. Sections of the cliff jut out at odd angles over deep waters, tempting climbers to abandon their kayaks and solo a section without ropes. A fall translates into a long dive.

  • Ao Nang: (Krabi) - Ao Nang has only recently moved into the mainstream tourism route so activities like sea kayaking are still taking hold. This is an alternative base from which to launch expeditions into Phang Nga Bay. Paddling here reveals grottos at Bor Thor and tangled stands of mangroves.

  • Klong Pong Nam River: (Chantaburi) - This six-mile course is moderately challenging and suitable for any reasonably fit person. A dozen or more rapids are found here depending on the season, topping out at 30 during the peak rainy season (July and August).

  • Had Yao: (Surat Thani) - Another of Thailand’s newest kayaking destinations, Had Yao has a mixture of mangrove forests and caves. One of the latter conceals a bizarre collection of radiantly white stalactites that cascade over a hidden rock face. This area is so remote that refugees came here to hide from the Japanese during WWII.

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  • John Gray Sea Canoe:

    Trips are hosted by one of the most experienced sea canoeing outfits on Earth. Day trips, include the Starlight Paddle, which features a sunset swim, learning to make traditional Thai Kratongs, a seafood buffet, and exploring the caves and hongs by moonlight are unforgettable experiences.

  • Blue Stars Kayak: 169/1 M.2 Bophut, Ko Samui • Tel: 66(0)77-413-231 •

    Combined snorkeling, kayaking, and hiking tours in Ang Thong National Marine Park.

  • Paddle Asia: 9/71 Moo 3 Thanon Rasdanusorn, Baan Kuku, Phuket • Tel: 66(0)76-240-952 •

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