This last day (Feb 9, 2017) kayaking in the Phang Nga Bay in southern Thailand was the highlight of my siteseeing in the country. And I almost missed it.

Over the past three days, we’d paddled more than 60 miles, some of it in open ocean against strong winds and tides. Plus, I’d done four days of kayaking and hiking the previous week, though not as strenuous. Getting up this particular morning was difficult: I was unusually tired and lacking enthusiasm for the day’s paddling. By the end of a breakfast that was heavier on caffeine than anything else but to little effect, I’d decided that I needed to take the day off and just rest. Fortunately, our guide, Mr. Run, was having none of it. He insisted that I come along that day, if for no other reason than to see his lagoon.

Yes, he claimed to have a special lagoon all to himself that nobody else knows about. I expressed my doubts about there really being an unknown lagoon; nonetheless, he sold me on going out. And I’m forever grateful to him for it, because the entire day featured one stunning view another.

This fourth day was heavy on both saltwater and fresh water mangroves, a rare river within one of the karst islands, caves, and tremendous cliff faces of limestone mixed with iron that had produced unusual swirls of colors. 

And the hidden inner lagoon that our guide claimed is known only to him? Nobody can verify such a claim, of course, but as unlikely as it first sounded to me, I now believe that it could well be the case. And it was beautiful and peaceful.

I had started writing a long justification for that belief, but I realized that doing so would give away some clues as to the location.

So, with that, here are some of that day’s sights. First up, the perfectly mundane shots of kayaking through brilliantly lit mangrove forests and along red-swirled cliffs and in amazing limestone caves. Then, the much-rumored secret lagoon of Dr. Moreau

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​And here is Mr. Run introducing me to his very own lagoon entry cave:

And finally, after what is probably far too much in the way of buildup, here is our welcome into the lagoon:

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