Whilst visiting the coastal regions of southern Thailand you can pretty much guarantee that you’ll be jumping on a boat and heading out to sea at some point. There are a seemingly countless numbers of islands and beaches scattered around this beautiful country to explore which makes it less about if you’ll do island boat trips and more about how many you can fit in during your visit!
We headed out to Phang Nga Bay and decided to do a boat trip to James Bond Island with Siam Adventure World. This excursion stopped at numerous locations however one of the main highlights was the mangrove swamp and cave.
Setting off from Phuket marina the boat left open sea and turned up a river to head inland, meandering through a forest of trees.
After a short while we reached a small jetty in the middle of the river where we disembarked from the Siam Adventure World boat.
This was where the mangrove canoeing began; there were inflatable canoes waiting for us so in pairs we (carefully!) stepped into them, trying not to fall in!
The canoes are paddled by locals so there was no effort required here – pretty good considering Thailand’s heat and humidity! We just sat back and enjoyed the hour long ride!
Setting off, the first part of the route takes you through a very large cave. This has all sorts of interesting features to it due to its jagged rocky facade but is also home to bats, crabs and other bugs.
Beyond the cave we entered open water on the river which of course was completely calm with it being enclosed by trees.
This was certainly one of the most relaxing parts of the trip as at this point everything is incredibly still on the water and quiet. Just the gentle paddling can be heard. It was beautiful.
Around 15 minutes along the river we took a turning down a narrow section which took us directly through the mangrove.
Now, this in itself was a really peaceful and enjoyable experience right up to the part where you realise that a swampy mangrove is a haven for breeding mosquitos! There were a huge number of the little blighters buzzing around here so my top tip is to either bring something along to cover up your bare skin or use some deet or suncream containing insect repellent. Our mangrove trip left me with 8 bites! Itchy!
As we were paddled through the mangroves we saw crabs climbing the exposed tree roots so if you planning this same trip definitely keep your eyes peeled as they are very well camouflaged.
Having explored a few different areas of the mangrove our canoe was turned around and we returned back to the river and through the cave to disembark at the jetty before re-boarding the Siam Adventure World speed boat.
Phang Nga Bay mangrove cave and swamp review
Our overall experience of canoeing through the Phang Nga Bay mangrove was a really positive one as it offered something out of the ordinary which was easily accessible to us as it formed part of a broader excursion.
If you are thinking of heading here too then I would absolutely recommend it but make sure to pack your mosquito spray, sun cream and a bottle of water. The mangrove swamp and river is very exposed and there is next to no wind so you will burn and dehydrate very quickly.
We loved canoeing the mangrove and are sure you will too!
Are you heading to Phang Nga this year and planning an excursion to the mangroves? Let us know in the comments!