Sorry you felt the trip was over-rated and high price. We pay our taxes and national park fees and are the only sea canoeing company that does. There goes about B500 per booking more than many other companies right there.
You also refer to “similar" boat trips to the caves, yet you comment on their noise and high volume. If you sincerely think our quality and commitment is similar, I am astounded!
We joke within the company that in fact we have NO competition.
The other companies are just glorified High Volume, Low Quality James Bond Tours who stop at a couple of caves to muck them up and destroy my original experience. They are the same 2-stroke speedboats who have destroyed Phi-Phi, Maya Bay and Monkey Beach with unenvironmental mass tourism.
They laugh at me for being so poor while they rape the environment to buy a mansion and a Mercedes. Since 1983 our mottos are “We Put You In Your Own Documentary” and “Natural History By Sea Kayak Since 1983.” We have to charge money to stay in business and maintain quality, but our real purpose is to turn our guests into knowledgeable environmental warriors.
I also want to point out that our guide team is the only professionals in the bay, and paid accordingly. While other companies pay B100-200/day, they often take kids out of school to avoid the minimum wage, and cannot teach sea kayaking, caving or natural history because they are neither kayaker nor naturalists, we train our staff to be professionals, then pay them accordingly. (In 21 years I have never seen another owner or manager in the bay.) Our starting pay for English speaking guides is B500 plus benefits on up to B1,200 for lead guides. I often put three lead guides on the boat just to guarantee top quality.
While the other companies buy cheap Chinese river kayaks, I custom design our caving kayaks and have them made from the world's strongest inflatable boat fabric in Oregon, USA.
Doing sea kayaking right is expensive, and as you pointed out, we are the only one who does so. If I were a hardnosed businessman I would charge B5-6,000 to make a real profit by catering to small groups from high-end hotels only. However, I want to spread our environmental ethic to families and general tourists.
I also point out that in the past 21 years I have collected 8,531 trash bags of marine rubbish from Phang nga bay, much of it with the logos our copy-cats. I hope you noticed we use only glass bottles, and our Thai traditional coffee was not instant. It all adds up.
All that considered I think we do a good job of just staying in business - but at the same time I am highly concerned that you were disappointed with your experience. My apologies. Perhaps for you, a James Bond trip would have been better.
Again, I’m sorry that you were not over the moon with your experience, and I apologize. If you have any feedback, I am all ears. Especially on ways we can maintain quality yet save money. I’m tired of being poor, and my backers have never received a dividend on their investment.
Now, if only I can find a motorbike taxi to take me home to my modest cabin in the jungle!
I look forward to your response. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Again, my apologies.
See you on the water, Ling Yai (Thai for 'Big Monkey') AKA John Caveman Gray