The traditional Thai long tail boat moored up on the beach and the captain beckoned us to climb aboard. Wading out through the warm sea, I did my best to hold my camera bag high above the water. We were embarking on an adventure to see the island jewel ‘Koh Hong’.
And then we were off! Heading out into the Andaman Sea we could see little island silhouettes on the horizon getting larger and larger. Gradually they came into focus and we could see all their detail – the bushy green tree cover and steep, bright rock faces.
We were entering Tharn Bok Khorani National Marine Park; and as the Hong Islands have National Park status they are all protected from development. There are no hotels, all visitors must pay an entry fee to the Marine Park; and the islands are only accessibly by boat.
We soon arrived at the beautiful and uninhabited Hong Island. It really was just as beautiful as I had imagined it would be. The water was so crystal clear that the white sand was clearly visible deep below the surface.
Shoals of fish greeted us as we walked along the jetty towards the white powdery beach.
As we stepped on the beach and felt the soft, silky sand warming our feet; we realised that we were the first to arrive. There were no other footprints! We were the only people on this paradise island for a full ten minutes before other visitor boats began to arrive…
We snorkled in the cove, walked along the beach and took lots of photographs.
It was just beautiful, with the boughs of trees touching the lapping waves. The leafy tree canopy provided much-welcome shade from the sun.
I thought I saw lumps of sea sponge on the rocks, but on closer inspection they turned out to be pieces of polystyrene. I picked them up and took them back on the boat with us. But the island really was remarkably unspoilt, considering the number of visitors who arrive each year…
We walked back along the beach, with the frothy warm sea lapping at our feet.
As we reached the jetty I noticed the paradise island cliché… there were coconuts washing up on the white sand. Perfect!