We arrived in Phuket at around 1950 and was picked up by our hotel. The airport was an hour drive from Karon Beach, where the Pacific Club & Spa was located. After checking in, we rested in our spacious hotel room which had a balcony overlooking the beach. The next morning, we hiked down to the beach to check out Phuket’s world famous shoreline. Everywhere you turn, you can literally spot evacuation signs pointing to shelters should a tsunami occur once more. I was impressed though with how well Phuket has recovered after the devastating tidal waves a couple of years back. After taking several photos, we walked back to our hotel to get ready for the only tour we signed up for in this leg of our trip (thanks to tripadvisor!) – The John Gray’s Sea Canoe Hong by Starlight Tour. We were picked up by the tour company from our hotel on time. The drive to the pier was almost an hour, and the trip to the first limestone cave in Phang Nga Bay took another hour and a half. Phang Nga Bay is a popular tourist destination in Thailand, that can only be explored by taking a tour. It is a protected marine area that has more than one hundred limestone formations springing out of the sea. Some of these limestone formations have caves that are accessible only when it is low tide. When we got to our first cave, we jumped into our canoes, which can fit two people and one guide. We were taught how to paddle correctly, and were given free time to paddle by ourselves as well. The first cave was suprisingly easy to enter. After our free time rehearsing how to paddle, we transferred to another cave, which was simply breathtaking. This cave needed some major technical maneuvering so we let our guide show us his tricks. We were asked to lie down on our canoes so as not to scrape our skins from the low-lying rocks. We were surprised to see another world inside the second cave. We stayed until night time at the ocean where we had a scrumptious thai dinner buffet on board the ship. We sailed back to the pier and got back in our hotel at around 2100. The next morning, we arranged to rent the hotel car for 5 hours to check out the sights in Phuket town and also to bring us back to the airport for our flight to Koh Samui. The Phuket tour included trips to the Big Buddha, several temples, and an animal farm where my mom got her b-day wish granted – she rode an elephant for 30 minutes.