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John Gray's Sea Canoe, Phuket Town

#1 of 26 in Adventure in Phuket Town
Kayaking / Canoeing · Nature / Wildlife Tour
After 12 years designing and developing one of the World's most highly awarded Ecotourism companies, John "Caveman" Gray goes his own way by forming "John Gray's SeaCanoe" with 18 of his most loyal and experienced guides. "After 12 years in Phuket, the experiment ran its course and I was packing for Polynesia," says Gray, "but when all these guides showed up, I had no choice but to stay and do another start-up."

"I owe it to the guys for their loyalty, honesty and pride, and to Thailand, which has yet to see our best." Unlike his old experimental company where Gray gave away the shares to local people, Caveman is managing director of the new company. "In the economic laboratory, I played consultant/observer. Now I'm director of the movie - it's a different story."

Gray, known as Ling Yai (Big Monkey) to his friends - takes pride on being the Original kayak explorer and operator in each of his sites. ("If we are there, we are the first.") The Big Monkey was doing OK before he formed his own company. (Caveman still owns the SeaCanoe trademark.) Gray's economic demonstration project was a classic Ecotourism business model, and his local enfranchisement concept and stunning trips led to a string of six major Ecotourism Awards from 1995-99. "All I do is paddle into crazy places. If it's interesting, I show it to my friends."

Almost immediately after "Caveman" started "Natural History by Sea Kayak" in Hawai'i (1983), the World began to notice the effort. Gray teamed with Gary Sprinkle and Mike May to produce "Moloka'i's Forgotten Frontier", and won a 1985 EMMY award. The honors continue right up to the National Geographic Adventure Magazine giving SeaCanoe Vietnam a "World Top 25 Adventures" listing.

Now you can truly put yourself into your own "Natural History by Sea Kayak" documentary in Thailand, Vietnam, Fiji, Philippines and Hawai'i. The combination of experienced guides, new equipment and creative freedom takes you to new levels for even a "Ling Yai".

What's new?

Try Caveman's "Wings of the White Belly Sea Eagle" seven-day South Thailand program. It only starts with the Phang Nga Mini-Expedition, already considered South-East Asia's best adventure by many guidebooks and websites, then adds four days more... See a "Wings" highlight featured in a Discovery Channel documentary in Spring, 2002.

Hotel-dwellers mumble something about Phuket's "Hongs By Starlight" being a "spiritual experience". More orthodox day trips include "Hornbill Island" where you can actually cackle with these personable freaky flyers.

Polynesia Freaks? Try Taveuni, Fiji's Ravilevu Coastline or Caveman's Hawai'i Local Boy (August) for Polynesia's most dramatic cliff-coasts. .

See you on the water (since 1983).
To visit John Gray's Sea Canoe on your holiday in Phuket Town, and find out what else Phuket Town has to offer, use our Phuket Town.
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John Gray's Sea Canoe reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 5.0
3,248 reviews
  • I did have a great time however part of the appeal of going on this trip and paying the price was the fact that we were told the experience was recoreded. It is our wedding annivesary today and...  more »
  • Late in posting this. We had a great time on the tour. Guides were very accommodating and allowed the kids to try doing it themselves. They explained about the animals around the place and customised....  more »
  • We learned about this excursion from a couple friends that had experienced it during their trips to Phuket. We had a total of 10 people (5 couples) and we all felt this may have been the best thing we did during our week long trip. John Gray himself was on our boat and it was great to get to know him and learn about him putting this experience together years ago. He said he goes out almost everyday as he loves to interact with his customers. Everything was extremely organized and well run. The boat ride out to go canoeing was awesome. Smooth water and amazing scenery. Then we got in canoes and a guide paddled each group so we could just sit and relax. Going into these caves and then into the middle of these islands was incredible. The whole experience was awesome! The food they provided was very good and the crew gave great customer service. I would highly recommend this activity to anyone, regardless of age. I would also recommend using John Gray as they have been doing this for years and know how to create a great experience.
  • We did the tour in December - it was amazing! If you go to Phuket, do this excursion! Perfect for couples or families - activities, scenery and food was SUPERB! Excellent value for money, the staff is very friendly, informative and has a great sense of humor. Everything is as promised and beyond - 10/10 would recommend!

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