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“An Amazing Day”

John Gray's Sea Canoe
Ranked #2 of 204 Tours in Phuket Town
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: After 12 years designing and developing one of the World's most highly awarded Ecotourism companies, John "Caveman" Gray goes his own way by forming "John Gray's SeaCanoe" with 18 of his most loyal and experienced guides. "After 12 years in Phuket, the experiment ran its course and I was packing for Polynesia," says Gray, "but when all these guides showed up, I had no choice but to stay and do another start-up."
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“An Amazing Day”
Reviewed 9 November 2013

We went on a sea caves & hong tour which started on a large boat that took us around to different locations. Not long after we boarded the boat we had a buffet lunch, the food was prepared fresh on the boat by staff & consisted of curries, salads, soup, fresh fruit, rice & noodles. It was of very good quality which was surprising seeing it was cooked in a small area on the boat & was a huge selection. Entering the sea caves on our kayaks was an experience in itself, at some places we had to lie flat on our backs just to get through the entrance which can only be accessed at certain times due to the tides, our guide David was a wealth of knowledge & kept a commentary of different facts & pointed out animals & sights that we may not necessarily have seen on our own. Going through the caves into the Hongs - hidden enclosed lagoons was amazing, absolute untouched beauty that was breath taking.
Dinner was also provided, again amazing food full of colour & flavours & wide range of selections. As the day was ending we made a Kratong with the help of our guide & then had the experience of lighting it & setting it off into the sea to float, although we were unable to let our Kratong go by itself as the traditional time for the Thai people is not until the full moon of Nov it was a very touching experience to participate in such a significant Thai tradition.
If you only do one tour while in Thailand this is the one to do, a well spent day that will stay with us forever : )

Visited October 2013
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1 Thank LRollo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Singapore, Singapore
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Most amazing tour in Phuket!”
Reviewed 7 November 2013

I don't usually write reviews for tours, but this was such an amazing experience that i just have to share it!

At roughly SGD158 per person, the tour was quite expensive when compared to other tours in Phuket - but it's well worth every cent! We were picked up promptly from our hotel at Angsana, and it was a short ride to the pier. We boarded a big 2 storey boat (kitchen at the first level) and sailed to Phang Nga. The guide Mon spoke very good english and was really humorous, warming up the group in no time. He also asked at the start of the trip if anyone had any food allergies, which was very thorough of him. Light lunch was provided, and we soon reached the entrance of the caves! They also provide a water proof bag so you could bring along your camera, phone and other belongings without fear that they would get wet.

We visited a couple of caves and it was really amazing. You have a professional guide canoeing for you, so you could just sit back, relax and take lots of pictures. When entering the cave, there were some parts which were so low that you have to lie completely flat down in order to pass through - once you get through, you enter this amazing lagoon with emerald waters and great towering cliffs. The view is just completely surreal and breathtaking. We went in a group of 4, and the guides on both our canoes quickly realised that we were friends and they made the effort to canoe us close to each other even though we didn't ask, so we could chat and take pictures of each other. They were really thoughtful (:

After exploring the caves, we went back to the boat for tea - the banana muffins were simple but so delicious! We also had the chance to try canoeing by ourselves - the sea was calm and it was pretty easy to do so. We watched the sunset from our boat and were taught how to make traditional krathongs. After a delicious dinner (the tom yum soup was amazing!) we went back down to the canoe with our krathong and paddled back into one of the caves. We lit the krathongs and set them floating on the waters for a while before collecting them back. On the way out, we saw plenty of glowing plankton in the waters!

It was really an amazing trip. They also mentioned at the end of the tour that we could tip our guides if we want to, but i like that they were not pushy about it. The other Phi Phi island tour i did, they basically shoved a container in front of you and asked for tips, which i really hated. In the end we gave a generous tip to our guide simply because it was the best experience we ever had in phuket.

If you are heading to Phuket, i would HIGHLY RECOMMEND you do this tour. It's well worth the time and money (:

Visited November 2013
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2 Thank Cherylhuihui
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore, Singapore
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Hong by Starlight”
Reviewed 6 November 2013

One of the major reasons for visiting Phuket was to do this tour. Booking was relatively easy – did this on the website and received the confirmed dates within 1-2 days that pick-up was to be at the hotel lobby at 10:40am. The team also sent a fax to the hotel to inform us what to bring and to get ample rest the night before. The driver arrived on the dot at the hotel and after a 45-min drive to the pier, we were transferred to the boat for 60-min to Phang Nga bay.

For most other tours, all you have is a cruise along the scenic bay. The difference for John Gray is that we get to sit on a canoe (guide-propelled – we just sit and enjoy the views, plus pictures and videos), and go into the “hong” (lagoon inside a limestone cliff) for a close-up view of the sea-caves. No worries on the camera/video-cam as the team provided dry-bags while on the canoe. Then again, we did not need the bag as the guides were well-trained to keep the canoes stable. The lunch and dinner served was good – the tom yum goong (it's non-spicy despite the name) was very flavorful – I ended up with 3 servings!

As the tour name suggests, we visited Hong Island in which we were paddled into the caves (yes, it was almost pitch-black) and exit into a mangrove swamp filled with mudskippers and macaques, etc. i.e. a place which not many get to see. Besides the canoeing, we also get to have free time for kayaking (and realize how bad we are at it), see the John Gray team feeding the many raptors (I think they are called Brahminy kites) while we take pictures, making the kratong and placing them into the water, seeing the bioluminescence in the caves at night…

All in all, it was one of the highlights of our trip to Phuket and will recommend everyone to do it at least once in their lifetime!

Visited November 2013
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2 Thank weikwan72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Australia
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Amazing experience! don't hesitate!!”
Reviewed 4 November 2013

My husband and I did the overnight camping trip a couple of days ago, on tues/Wed 29 & 30 Oct 2013. It's theHong by starlight tour, with the added bonus of overnight camping, and an extra day of kayaking. We can't speak highly enough of the whole tour. All the other reviews I've read are correct! It's the best experience/adventure ever!
We were picked up in Patong at 11.30am and got to the Ao Por Pier around 1pm. we were introduced to our guide Ti, what a lovely man, always smiling, joking and friendly, whilst also being helpful and safety conscious. we also met another couple from Nz who were also camping, so we had some company! Plus our 2 guides, and 2 young guys in training, the "interns"
We bought some beers at the pier to take with us for the night time camp, which Ti happily put on ice for us. Note to others - you can take beer/wine etc with you from your hotel, saves buying it at the pier.
the food on board is delicious, lunch is vegetarian, and they ensure any allergies are catered for - my hubby can't eat prawns, plenty of other dishes for him to enjoy.
the main part of the day is visiting the hongs - just amazing! The kayaks are easy to board and safe, plus your guide does the paddling, so plenty of time for you to enjoy then scenery and take as many photos as possible :) We visited 3 different spots, each of them a little bit different and all beautiful.sometimes you have to lie down flat in the kayak to get thru into the hong - it almost seems as if you might not squeeze through, but all is well and the guides know what they more doing! After dinner we all made Loi Krathong offerings, part of Thai culture to say thank you to the sea/water for all it's blessings (ie, being able to kayak around in the ocean!) and then released them in one last hong, by starlight just as the name implies! A magical experience.
After that, we waved good-bye to the main boat and kayaked to our campsite, which the guides had set up earlier. It is simple but everything you need is supplied, tent, mattress & pillows, snacks around the campfire! We enjoyed the evening very much - Ti is very knowledgeable about the whole area, and had some funny stories to share.The guides all speak highly about the man John Gray! he is obviously very much loved!
Next morning We got up (early) to watch the sunrise, again another wonderful moment, alone on a beautiful beach, with just the sound of the waves lapping at the shore.
After breakfast we got to do our own paddling! Double kayaks for each couple, plus one guide per couple! The kayaking isn't too strenuous and we visited an extra 2 hongs. We saw monkeys that came down from the rainforest to catch crabs and eat mussels! Really, they were about 3 metres from us and didn't seem to mind us being there, we even saw a mum with her two babies! Just amazing!
the rest of the day includes visiting another beach for swimming, and a yummy lunch at a local restaurant. By 4pm we,re back at the pier, and transferred onto our bus back to Patong. the whole experience is fantastic! Highly recommend!
Note to others - I did get a couple of sea lice bites whilst swimming, so glad I took some antiseptic cream, also recommend insect repellant as the mozzies at dawn can be quite vicious, also SPF sun cream, and a rashie/sun shirt/hat to cover up whilst kayaking.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank AusBoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“My best Phuket experience”
Reviewed 4 November 2013 via mobile

This trip was amazing. I was a bit hesitant as I didn't see it advertise anywhere when I got here and our hotel had never heard of it. That's all because this tour speaks for its self. It was such a personnel experience. The crew were amazing. The food was so yummy I would go just for that again. Seems like an expensive tour 3900thb) however considering it was for two main meals and afternoon tea, a personnel guide per canoe (only me and my partner in mine) it was worth every cent!!! So Eco friendly too. Even asked if anyone had any dietary requirements. Can't speak highly enough about this tour. Best experience!

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Saracorns
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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