Exploring hidden Mangrove Forests
The other good thing about being on a boat with a small group of people and an incredibly knowledgeable guide, in this case the wonderfully enthusiastic Willie, is that you get shown little secret places that you would never find on your own, or are not suitable for big groups. This little bay around Phang Nga was one of those occasions. I particularly liked being able to jump off the boat and swim ashore explore and swim back at my leisure. On this occasion Willie took a dingy ashore so I was able to have my phone to take pictures.
The mangrove forest acts as a protective buffer for the islands especially in the case of a tsunami or other large swell of water. Their complex root systems are a fantastic habitat for all sorts of sea life to flourish as it provides protection from weather and larger predators. It is a breeding ground for smaller creatures almost like a nursery for sea life.
This particular forest was hidden away off to the side of the beach through a gap in the rocks. While we were exploring we came across groups of flying squirrels which look and sound very much like large bats. It was fascinating watching them high up in the trees.