Dream Destinations – Photography in Paradise:

‘The Very Best of Thailand’

An expedition led by award-wining photographer Cameron Hansen

Introduction

With over one thousand kilometres of coastline the western seaboard of Thailand offers the discerning traveller the ideal destination for exploring the wonderful Marine National Parks that glitter like strings of emeralds in the turquoise Andaman Sea. With thousands of pristine islands, countless stunning white beaches, bountiful mangrove fringed creeks and imposing craggy headlands, combined with an ancient cultural heritage, this area is a visual feast for all.

Join Cameron Hansen aboard the gorgeous luxury yacht, The Siam Junk, for an adventure holiday and the photographic opportunity of a lifetime – an invitation to experience an unforgettable and mystical journey touring some of the most picturesque and interesting sites in the world.

An invitation to modern adventure travellers

The incredible biodiversity, pristine tropical rain forests and crystal clear waters will be like a breath of fresh air for all nature lovers – quite literally. The islands are home to a vast collection of extraordinary coral formations, replete with technicolour marine life, an array of rare aquatic marvels and a multitude of exotic wildlife.

Join us aboard our gorgeous luxury yacht, The Siam Junk, for an adventure holiday and the photographic opportunity of a lifetime.

The Siam Junk


The Siam Junk
is a magnificent hand-crafted wooden junk rigged motor yacht built to deliver modern western comforts with traditional Asian features. She boasts five well appointed suites below deck, each fitted with comfortable king-sized double beds. Even the tallest of clients appreciate the 2.5 metres of headroom in these spacious cabins – the four junior suites each have a generous floor area of 24 square metres, while the VIP suite offers over 30 square metres.

Our on board facilities, entertainment and services

All rooms have the following amenities:

Flat screen TV
DVD player
Mini-bar
Air-conditioning (except the Sea Breeze Suite)
Roomy en-suite toilet
Powerful full sized spa shower
Hairdryer
Clothes storage and hanging space
Dressing table

In addition we offer our guests the following services:

A la carte dining
Bar with a full drinks menu
Tea and coffee making facilities
Karaoke system
Massage services
Waterskiing, wakeboarding and fun rides
Sea kayaks
Fishing equipment
Snorkelling gear
A large DVD library
Games console
Board games, playing cards etc
Books and magazines

Optional facilities by prior arrangement:

Diving equipment
Qualified Dive Master

We have a sumptuous communal lounge/dining room with a well stocked bar incorporating a 42” flatscreen TV with DVD player, a full music system and two bathrooms. The total deck space is over 200 square metres with shade provided by removable sunbrellas, sun loungers and comfortable seating for guest. Our powerful tender is available for water sports and fishing in those areas where these activities are permitted.

Your Dream Destination

We have created the following itinerary around our personal favourite destinations combined with the most popular routes our clients have enjoyed: the tour includes the internationally renowned Marine National Parks of the Similan and Surin archipelagos, along with some of the most scenic islands in the highly photogenic Phangna Bay. If you require more time for snorkelling, for beach exploration or trekking etc, The Siam Junk team will be delighted to advise you on creating a customised version of this itinerary, or assist you in creating an entirely new one to meet your requirements.

Let the mystical journey begin…

The Similan Islands

This group of islands can be found some 90km north west of Phuket and, despite its proximity to the mass tourism there, the archipelago has benefited greatly from its protected status as a Marine National Park since official designation in 1982. The waters surrounding the Similan are crystal clear and teeming with vividly coloured tropical fish grazing on beautiful kaleidoscopic coral. The area offers some of the best diving in the world for those who like to explore deeper waters, although snorkelling with turtles and swimming with dolphins can be experienced even by the least adventurous guests.

There are stunning palm fringed powder white beaches to explore, often experienced with no other travellers in sight, and steep winding mountain tracks to trek for those willing to exert themselves to experience the most spectacular views. Guests can also enjoy water sports and fishing when the yacht is moored just a few kilometres out from the islands.

The Surin Islands

This marine national park is the northernmost Thai archipelago and is adjacent to Burmese waters (Myanmar). The Surin Marine National Park is uninhabited apart from a handful of park rangers and a small community of Chao Lay (Moken) Sea Gypsies. These nomadic sea people continue their relatively primitive way of life as, in many ways, time has stood still for them, allowing Cameron’s guests a unique insight into ancient Thai culture, glimpsing a slice of ‘living history.’

In fact Time itself is a vague notion to the Chao Lay people as none of them wear watches, they don’t know their own ages as such a concept is of no use to them, and living their simple life means they have no need (nor ability) to count beyond the fingers on their hands.

Yet they are at the same time a highly advanced civilization and truly skilled in the areas that are essential for their survival: they fashion and build extremely sturdy ocean going boats using the simplest of tools, they catch fish by hand – literally – and they are famous throughout the world for their amazing ability to dive for pearl oysters, remaining underwater for several minutes at a time without the use of scuba tanks. They are a unique and highly interesting people who deserve and receive our respect.

The Surin Islands themselves consist of two main islands with numerous off-lying islets and rocks. The incredible coral formations and crystal clear waters are of world class standard. Between the two main islands there are coral reefs that are simply amazing, offering an unforgettable experience for snorkellers and divers alike. Dazzling white beaches shimmer and sparkle in the sun, while lush jungle vegetation awaits those who want to experience more than merely fabulous diving or snorkelling…

Krabi & the Phi Phi Islands

The amazing beaches and limestone formations of the Phang Nga Bay and Krabi region are iconic images recognisable from the many movies and advertisements filmed here and broadcast throughout the world, and many visitors agree that the level of natural beauty here is unsurpassed.

Koh Phi Phi and the Krabi area constitute a geographic extension of the karst sea mountains of Phang Nga bay, yet being further south offer deeper, clearer water than the mangrove swamp fringed northern islands.

This is a stunning area, again offering exceptional snorkelling, diving, trekking and photographic opportunities. In these final days of the expedition guests can explore the wonders of Koh Phi Phi Lay, the famous Maya beach (the location of the 1999 movie ‘The Beach’), and Koh Phi Phi Don with its beautiful hilltop view points. The Siam Junk will cruise north to Railay beach – which can only be reached by boat – and the beautiful Koh Hong.

Let the mystical journey begin…

Photography in Paradise: ‘The Very Best of Thailand’

A Five Night / Six Day Itinerary

Day 1 – Departure

At around 18:00pm our crew will welcome you aboard the beautiful yacht, The Siam Junk at our mooring Chalong Bay, Phuket. Complimentary drinks will be served in the salon during a short safety briefing and then a welcome talk by our special host, award winning professional photographer Cameron Hansen.

When everyone is settled in we will get underway for our overnight cruise to the Similan Islands Marine National Park, serving dinner and cocktails as the sun sets on the horizon.

Day 2 – The Similan Islands Marine Park

5:30am – Koh Similan
Keen photographers will want to be up shortly after 5am to be in time for a tropical sunrise session from The Siam Junk aft deck. Cameron will be available to offer assistance and advice with fstop / shutter and ISO speeds for these hand held shots – tripods are not required for this shoot.  Cameron will help you learn to react quickly to the changing light conditions with the objective of capturing sharp images from a moving vessel in low light conditions.

8:00am
A delicious breakfast of fresh fruits, cereals, fried to order English breakfasts, tea, freshly ground coffee and fruit juices will be available.

9:30am
The guests can choose to be led ashore and guided by Cameron who will be on hand to offer tips on composition and use of available light whilst capturing beautiful images of a deserted palm fringed beach.

12:30pm
A light lunch aboard The Siam Junk will be followed by a leisurely afternoon. The yacht’s powerful tender will be available to everyone, allowing guests to step ashore to explore the island, snorkel and swim from the fabulous beaches, and enjoy the stunning scenery.

Sea turtles are often willing to be photographed here, especially when tempted with a banana or two!

The crew will be on hand to offer training on snorkelling techniques for those who need assistance and life jackets are available at all times.

18:00pm
A sunset photo shoot will be organised before dinner. The exact location will be decided on the day to ensure the best vantage points for both composition and colour, given the prevailing light conditions. Cameron will be on hand for those willing to learn how to maximise the use of a tripod and how to utilize slow exposures. A tripod and camera bag will be required for this shoot, as well as sturdy footwear as some rock scrambling may be involved.

19:00pm
Dinner will be served after sundown, followed by a seminar style discussion about the techniques and methods Cameron uses and a slide show of his favourite images from the past 10 years.  The session will include a DVD about Moken culture while the yacht begins her overnight journey to their home in the Surin National Marine Park

Day 3 – Koh Surin Tai Island and the Moken People

7:30am
Breakfast aboard The Siam Junk.

9:00am
Photographers will be able to choose which one of two groups they wish to join for a shore expedition to the Moken village with Cameron. The second group will arrive ashore some 30 minutes behind the first to ensure small numbers and a variation of images. A Thai English speaking guide will be on hand to answer questions and to offer local interaction with the photographers.

12:00pm
Light lunch followed by a relaxation period before snorkelling and an underwater photography session exploring the fabulous coral fields.

13:30pm
Cameron has three underwater digital cameras and housings available for those who would like to try their hand at underwater photography but lack the necessary equipment. Guests can snorkel amidst the stunning coral with its teeming shoals of multi-coloured fish and a tender will be on hand to ferry those back to The Siam Junk at any time.

16:00pm
The afternoon will be spent resting on The Siam Junk or at Surin island bay area.  Photographers are given the opportunity to capture images of their choice, laze on the pristine beaches or explore the national park area. Some beautiful sunset shots can usually be taken from this location too.

19:00pm
The fragrant scent of exotic spices and a sumptuous dinner of freshly caught seafood will welcome our guests back on board as the tropical twilight finally fades.

Day 4 – Surin Islands Marine National Park

7:30am
Breakfast aboard The Siam Junk

9:00am
Cameron will lead a walking tour through the Surin Island Bay – sandals and a decent camera bag are necessary as the route entails walking on rocks through knee deep water. Photographers will learn to step outside of their comfort zones and sharpen their composition skills in order to create better landscape images. Tripod are not necessary for this session.

12:00pm
Lunch aboard The Siam Junk.

13:30pm
Depart Surin Island to return via the Similan Islands, pausing at islands along the way to take advantage of any photographic opportunities..

16:30pm
Cameron will organise a sunset shoot from one of the west facing beaches in the Similan Islands. A tripod and camera bag will be required for this shoot as well as sturdy footwear as some rock scrambling may be involved.

19:00pm
A spectacular barbeque banquet will served.

An overnight crossing to Koh Phi Phi (leaving the Similan Islands at around 7:00pm to arrive Phi Phi at about 8:00am).

Phang Nga Bay, thailand

Day 5 – Koh Phi Phi Lay (Maya Bay) and Krabi (Railay Beach)

5:30am
Cameron is invariably up early to take advantage of the amazing sunrise photo opportunities of Koh Phi Phi and Southern Phang Nga bay. Guests are once again invited to join him.

7:30am
Breakfast aboard The Siam Junk.

8:30am
Maya Bay (made world famous by the film ‘The Beach’) is hugely popular as a tourist destination but, by arriving early, guests can take shots of the deserted beach and spectacular bay before the hordes of speedboats arrive. As soon as they hove into view The Siam Junk heads off to Krabi.

12:00pm
Lunch aboard The Siam Junk at Krabi beach.

13:30pm
Guests can be transferred by tender to Railay Beach for some stunning landscape shots. This area is home to some of Cameron’s favourite locations in the whole of Thailand and several of his most popular pieces have been shot here.

16:30pm
A short cruise to Koh Dam Hok (Chicken Head Island) will be followed by a brief Q&A session with Cameron in preparation for stunning sunset opportunities provided by the pristine tidal spit which separates the two islands at low tide.

17:30pm
Sunset shots.

19:00pm
A final dinner aboard The Siam Junk will be followed by a presentation from Cameron including a slideshow of images taken during the trip. Each guest can submit up to twenty images of their own for inclusion in this seminar style discussion: the photographer who is judged to have presented the best image will be awarded a unique prize:

Cameron has created a limited edition print, a signed copy of one of his favourite images, exclusively available only to those who have experienced The Siam Junk photographic expedition as his guest.

Day 6 – Koh Dam Hok (Chicken Head Island) and Koh Mai Thon

7:30pm
Breakfast aboard The Siam Junk.

9:30am
Cameron reveals the winner of the best image and awards prizes.

10:30am
Depart for Koh Mai Thon.

12:30pm
Lunch is served en-route to Mai Thon.

14:30pm
Arrive at Koh Mai Thon for swimming, snorkelling and photo opportunities.

16:00pm Depart for Chalong Bay.

Disembarkation from The Siam Junk at Phuket:

Arrival at Chalong Pier is usually around 18:30pm. Onward VIP transportation can be provided by arrangement with The Siam Junk team.

Notes:

All meals, snacks, some soft drinks, tea and coffee are included. Alcoholic drinks will be available from the bar at our standard prices – please see our menu. Please notify us of any special dietary restrictions at the time of booking to ensure we can fulfil your requirements.

Diving, waterskiing, wakeboarding and other motorised water sports are all undertaken at the clients’ risk. Water sports will be charged by the hour.

This special Dream Destination Photographic Expedition includes fuel, although we reserve the right to impose a surcharge if the local price of diesel rises above 25 Thai Baht per litre on or before the date of departure (currently 20 Baht during May 2009).

Please treat this itinerary as a guide only: all times, destinations and departure points need to be flexible to account for tides and prevailing weather conditions.

Onward connections and transfers are by arrangement with.

More details can be found at www.thesiamjunk.com

TOUR COST – Prices in Thai Baht
All tours are subject to a ‘one off’ Acceptance Payment/Deposit of £200.00.

* Minimum 2 persons traveling together.

* The tour prices include service and government tax.

Photography in Paradise – Broker Information

‘The Very Best of Thailand’

5 Night / 6 Day inclusive packages from only 100,000 Baht (2,200 Euros) per person

Prices include Asian style breakfast and buffet lunch, soft drinks, fuel, mooring fees and exclusive use of the yacht’s facilities, excluding the upper deck cabin, and with restricted use of the private upper sundeck (the upper level Sea Breeze Suite is reserved for Cameron Hansen). National park fees are included. Additional snacks, alcoholic beverages and a la carte dining will be charged at advertised rates – please see our menus for details.

Pricing is based on each of five lower deck rooms:

One Bow VIP Suite for up to four people sharing (one king sized double, two single bunk beds)
May only be booked as an entire room – so one, two, three or four people sharing will pay a total of                      400,000 Baht
(8,800 Euros)

Two Executive Triple Suites for up to three people sharing (one king sized double, one single bunk in each)
May be booked by individuals prepared to share with strangers (same sex) for only 100,000 Baht
(2,200 Euros) per head, or as a whole room for one, two or three people paying a total of                                         300,000 Baht
(6,600 Euros)

Two Executive Double Suites for up to two people sharing (one king sized double bed in each)

May be booked by a couple sharing a bed for only                                                                                          300,000 Baht
(6,600 Euros)
or

A single person with exclusive use of the room                                                                                                200,000 Baht
(4,400 Euros)

Deposits, Refunds and Supplements:

Clients may reserve a whole room or a share of a room by paying a deposit of 25% of the above rates. See full payment schedule below.

In the event that there are too few passengers to undertake the expedition then the clients will be informed and offered the tour at a supplement. If the clients do not wish to accept the supplement then all deposits will be repaid in full.

A fuel supplement will be levied if the local price of marine diesel exceeds 30 Baht a litre (price at the time of printing is 23 Baht per litre).

Broker Commissions and Terms of Business:

The above rates include commission of 20% which can be deducted in proportion as the clients’ funds are received by the agent.

If a tour is cancelled by The Siam Junk Team due to insufficient bookings the client’s deposit will be refunded to the agent for onward transmission to the client. NB There is no commission payable in this event. However, The Siam Junk Team will endeavour to ensure the minimum number of clients for a viable trip and, if there is the likelihood of cancellation, we will offer reduced rates through our agents as the departure date approaches.

Clients and agents will be given at least sixty days notice of any such cancellation.

Payment schedule is as follows:

  1. 50 % to confirm the booking
  2. 50 % no more than one month before client departure date

Cancellation by the client will incur the following charges:

  1. One month or more before departure date                 50%of the appropriate client rate
  2. Less than one month before departure date                              100% of the appropriate client rate

NB Commission is only payable on funds actually received from the clients

Photographic Expeditions

Schedule 2009 / 2010

Nov-09    
     
DepartsReturns‘The Very Best of Thailand’Days NightsPer person from
SundayFridayDepart Chalong, Phuket  
15.11.0920.11.09Similan, Surin, Phi Phi, Krabi6-D / 5-N100,000 Baht
Dec-09    
     
DepartsReturns‘The Very Best of Thailand’Days NightsPer person from
SundayFridayDepart Chalong, Phuket  
13.12.0918.12.09Similan, Surin, Phi Phi, Krabi6-D / 5-N100,000 Baht
Jan-10    
  Itinerary To be confirmed  
  Contact us for details of our  
  Andaman Island  
  and Myanmar tours  
Feb-10    
     
DepartsReturns‘The Very Best of Thailand’Days NightsPer person from
SundayFridayDepart Chalong, Phuket  
14.02.1019.02.10Similan, Surin, Phi Phi, Krabi6-D /5-N100,000 Baht
Mar-10    
     
DepartsReturns‘The Very Best of Thailand’Days NightsPer person from
SundayFridayDepart Chalong, Phuket  
07.03.1012.03.10Similan, Surin, Phi Phi, Krabi6-D / 5-N100,000 Baht

Payment.

1. On acceptance£200 per person, Acceptance Payment/Deposit (non refundable) by cheque payable to “S W & M Miller”.

Your Contract for all tour arrangements is directly with our Associate Company in Thailand to whom payment for the tour is made.

2. You pay eight weeks prior to arrival in xxxxxx, or on Acceptance – 50% of the total in US $, by Credit Card or International Bank Transfer.
3. On arrival in xxxxxx– the balance of 50% is payable, in US $, by Credit Card or Cash.

Please Note:  A credit card charge may apply in certain countries.

Cancellation Charges

35 days prior to arrival a cancellation fee of US$200 per person will be applicable.
30 days notice of cancellation a fee of 25% of the total amount will be applicable.
25 days notice of cancellation a fee of 50% of the total amount will be applicable
Less than 25 days notice incurs the full amount.
Acceptance Payment non refundable

Included in the Cost

  • Accommodation on a twin sharing basis in the hotels mentioned above or equivalent – subject to availability.
  • Any single room subject to supplement shown.
  • Room and breakfast basis – or meals as indicated in the itinerary (B), (L) and (D)
  • Full board if applicable.
  • All transfers, sightseeing and excursions by air-conditioned vehicle where appropriate.
  • Transfers by boat where appropriate
  • Services of an English speaking local guide (or a naturalist in National Parks)
  • Entrance fees at monuments and parks where applicable
  • Train journeys where applicable
  • Domestic economy airfares, indicated in the itinerary, are subject to change.
  • Basic porterage at airports, rail stations and hotels (not tips).
  • All currently applicable taxes.
  • Where US$ are quoted the UK pounds price shown is for comparison only and is subject to change.

Excluded from the Cost

  • Expenses of a personal nature such as table drinks, laundry, telephone calls, Internet charges, mineral water, tips, shopping etc.
  • Any other meals or services not mentioned in the itinerary or ‘includes’ list.
  • Any international airfares to India and Asia
  • Any airport taxes where applicable in each country
  • Any subsequent increase in airfares, fuel costs, monuments/sightseeing fees.
  • Any other taxes subsequently introduced by Government, State or Tourist Ministry.
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visa Fees, if applicable, in any country
  • Any Christmas, New Year and Gala Dinners

General note:

  • All elements included in this quotation are subject to availability until the booking is made.  The hotels/ services as quoted may change when giving you the final confirmation, based on current availability.
_MG_3619 on board Siam Junk scaled
_MG_4338 cabins x 2 Siam Junk scaled
_MG_3572 Junk off shore Siam Junk scaled (1)
_MG_2368 dining for all Siam Junk
_MG_2360 shower Siam Junk