Sunday, March 9, 2014

KO HONG

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Ko Hong Trip Report - visited February 2014 (and August 2013).

There are 2 Ko Hongs in Phang Nga Bay. This page concentrates on the southern one between the western Krabi coast and Ko Yao Noi. The northern/north-western one is best visited on the trips out of Phang Nga town and Phuket. A hong is a former cave whose roof has collapsed, oftren joined to the sea by a tunnel. The southern one is huge, the northern one pretty compact, only accessed by kayak from memory. The southern one has a very nice beach nearby, which you can't say for the north/north-western bay islands.

Our 2014 trip started at Ko Yao Noi. It was organised by Sabai Corner resort which is pretty good at organising a boat between various guests and customers - 3700b between 6 of us - plus 200b each entry fee onto the National Park beach. No lunch provided although Sabai corner can pack you a pretty tasty lunch for exta baht. These longtail guys can also put on a 4 island trip which includes some of Ko Hong's neighbours for around 5000 per boat.


Ko Yao Noi is closer to Ko Hong (far right behind boat) than Railay - took our slower long tail boat about 20m vs 30+ for the speedboat out of Railay the previous August. This is the view from our Ko Noi accommodation, Holiday Resort.


The actual hong is huge, and connected to the sea not by a cave but a narrow entrance. This is one of those fancy panorama shots showing abt 180 degrees of the inner lagoon - these look better when click-expanded.


We stopped and had a swim for 20 minutes or so.


I figured these dudes must have paddled around from the National Park's hire facility on the main beach/outer lagoon - about 1500m





On leaving the inner lagoon we landed on a small beach close to the entrance - it was pretty underwhelming so our boat guy, once he knew we were prepared to pay the 200b each  entrance fee, took us around to the main National Park beach in the east of the island. The arrivals beach is at right, the main beach left coupled with an offshore island, forms a sheltered outer lagoon. Pretty nice location.


From the other end.


Less fish-eye in this one


Big change in 2014. This pontoon pier was not there 5 months previously. Maybe National Parks brings it in for high season. I doubt it; itlooked pretty new. NP dudes were collecting 200b entrance fees at the end of the pier on arrival. No-one collected a fee from us the previous August - I thought the speedboat outfit maybe made it inclusive in their price and passed it on to NP. In August the boats were mooring against the beach - see below.


Removal of the boats from this area certainly opened up the pontoon beach for swimming etc. Fair bit of coral off this beach but pretty ordinary. Water not all that clear - Phang Nga Bay has a lot of streams running into it. The inner lagoon was no better for snorkelling. A small swell running in this August wet season shot - very smooth in February. Much less sand in August, not only due to tide - wer season storm erosion too.

There is a nature trail which leaves the northern corner of the lagoon beach, heads in for 200m to the foot of the karst cliffs and then loops left to follow the cliff base south-west. It arrives back at the beach near the arrivals pontoon. Took me maybe 15 minutes to walk, no steep slopes, saw a few birds etc - several signs abt botany but there was no access to viewpoints for the inner lagoon; those cliffs are pretty formidable.


Heading back to Yao Noi.



The August 2013 visit out of Railay.
This was a 3 island trip with most time spent on Ko Hong. Price was 1400 each including lunch. I don't know if it included National Park entry - certainly no one asked us to pay extra. But maybe that is a low season thing.

First stop was Ko Phak Bia to the north of Ko Hong. This has a rather nice sand-spit beach and a small karst islet background left you could easily swim or wade around.


Ko Phak Bia


Next island was Ko Lading (Ko Ra Ding) to the south - Paradise beach there was pretty nice too until it started to rain, forcing us to have our inclusive buffet luncheon (fried chicken with rice, vegetables) in the shelter of the cliff overhang. Rain only lasted a half hour - the rest of the day was a mix of sun and cloud. Typical wet season.


Ko Lading


South again for a tour of the inner lagoon at Ko Hong - we didn't stop for a swim. Maybe regulations keep speedboats moving - the only swimmers I saw were out of longtails.


Final stop - the outer lagoon at the National Park HQ beach.



Boleslav has some info and pix on a kayaking trip to Ko Lading on the Ko Yao Noi Trip Report page.

There are pix and info on the more western and northern Phang Nga Bay islands including the smaller Ko Hong on this page.


IF YOU SEE MISTAKES OR HAVE EXTRA INFO PLEASE POST BELOW. BUT IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS PLEASE ASK THEM ON THE FORUM PAGE WHICH CAN BE ACCESSED VIA THE MAIN BEACHES AND ISLAND INDEX. I SELDOM CHECK THESE INDIVIDUAL ISLAND REPORTS WHEREAS I VISIT THE FORUM MOST DAYS WHEN NOT TRAVELLING.





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