|photo courtesy of Dave and Deb|
I really felt that I would like to give you feedback on my perceptions of this tour. Unfortunately, I am not able to do so on Tripadvisor since I would neither like to register with them nor use my Facebook profile to submit the review.
But here is the review I would have written:
"My fiance and I did the John Gray sea kayak day trip, ending with the Hong by Starlight Tour, and it was the best trip we did in Phuket. The guides are incredibly knowledgable and willing to share their knowledge. It was the one trip where we felt we weren't being shepherded along a 'tourist trap', we were truly made to feel a part of the environment we were in. The guides are willing to answer any questions, which meant we understood what we were looking at - on most tours in Thailand I found that the 'guides' we not at all interested in sharing the history of their country or telling you about the place you are visiting except in the vaguest terms (often with false information) and were merely interested in getting us to buy goods from vendors they no doubt receive kick-backs from.
Not so with John Gray, we had a relaxing (albeit very long) day with guides that were passionate about what they were doing and also cared for their environment. Littering in the ocean was not encouraged and respect for the environment was - as it should be, but most of the "tourist trap tours" really don't seem to care how the environment is treated and with the thousands of visitors to Thailand this is a pity since I personally noticed the environmental degradation that took place in the 10 years since I last visited Thailand - which of course also impacts on the quality of tours offered. I think that if Thailand wishes to continue it's dependancy on tourism as a main form of income, much attention needs to be paid to the manner in which tourism is carried out. John Gray pays attention to this, contributing to an enjoyable and rewarding tour!
Nothing beats the starlight trip! If you do one tour in Phuket, make sure it's this one."
I know I carried on about the manner in which you treat the environment, but I was so shocked to return to Thailand after 10 years and notice how the environment has been degraded during that time. Thailand seems to rely mostly on tourism for its income, but the manner in which tourism is conducted is questionable. It seems as though tourists are permitted to treat the country and the environment with no respect and to behave in a
manner that they would never behave in back home. For those reasons it was so refreshing to find just one tour company (your's) that instils respect for the environment, the country, its people and its traditions. For those reasons the tour was the best we had in Thailand, we felt like we had learned something on the tour and were allowed to be part of something beautiful for one day.
Thank you so much for that experience and please continue your good work!!
See you on the water, Ling Yai (Thai for 'Big Monkey') AKA John Caveman Gray