On the boat, with 11 other people, you forgot about all the ladies offering massages in Patong and just relaxed and were stunned by the ‘other worldly’ beauty of the rock formations. Seeing Hawkes so close up, and canoeing into the centre of Panak Island to see the lagoon, stalactites, mangrove trees etc, was breathtaking.
It was a memorably perfect day, we even had our own private Loi Krathong festival in a cave, offering prayers of thanks to the goddess of water and launching lotus flower Krathongs we had made ourselves. The actual festival is on 25 November this year. It was worth paying extra to be with a small group on a large boat, we saw some of the crowded vessels.
My main tip would be to negotiate the 3,900 Baht price for Silver Hawk. I arranged the discounted rate of 2,500 Baht, while my new Canadian friends paid 3,600 Baht.