We spent the last portion of our Thailand adventure on Naka Island, a five minute boat ride off of Phuket. After a flurry of activity in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, our primary goal switched to relaxation. This was fairly easy to accomplish, as we were staying in a lovely resort with our own villa and a private plunge pool (note to self: you should do this more often, wallet-permitting). Although the resort was our home base, we took a boat to the other side of the island for a tasty dinner at Tenta Nakara -- the spiciest meal we encountered the whole trip. I think our whiteness generally led many Thai restaurateurs to tone down our food, sadly.
The one day trip we planned was a sea canoeing excursion in and around Phang Nga Bay, where we got to explore hongs, or sea caves, only accessible during low tide. The word I keep returning to when describing this trip is magical. First of all, the boat ride to our first anchor spot was incredibly scenic -- so beautiful that I could hardly believe it was real. The green sea was dotted with steep rock uninhabited islands. As we got closer, we anchored and set out in three-person sea canoes, and explored the interiors of these natural wonders. During the course of the day and evening we explored several caves and hongs, saw swooping brown-winged birds, an egret, crabs, fish that walked on land (mudskippers), fish that skimmed above the water, majestic stalagtites and stalagmites, and glittery phosphorescent tiny sea critters. We swam in the balmy waters at sunset with the moon rising above us, and were fed a simple but lovely banquet prepared entirely on our boat. All in all, a magnificent day.
After that, it was back to R & R, although I did squeeze in a little Muay Thai class before heading off to the spa for a body scrub. After sunset cocktails, we capped off our day with a gorgeous beachside dinner, complete with tiki torches, flowers and champagne.
The trip home was long, but I was able to sneak in a bowl of miso ramen at the Tokyo airport this time through. I promise pictures of the trip will be up shortly.