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Emily and Kirk Adventures

Koh Phi Phi - Part 2

THAILAND | Sunday, 23 October 2016 | Views [567]

During our last few days on Koh Phi Phi, we enjoyed two excursions, both of which I highly recommend.  On October 14, we went on the Original Sunset Cruise boat trip, which included a tour of four different islands.  We met at the shop at 1:00 pm and walked to the pier as a group.  There were about 10 people on the boat.  Our first stop was Koh Phi Phi Ley, to see Monkey Beach.  Because it was low tide, the boat could not anchor close enough to the island to walk, and so we kayaked to the beach.  We saw a few monkeys and stayed there about 20 minutes.  Which was long enough for one of the members of our boat to ignore the guide’s instructions not to approach the monkeys or try to touch them.  Of course, there’s always that one guy who can’t follow the rules!  Needless to say, when he tried to pet the monkeys, they got scared and started hissing and chasing all of us off the beach.  Pro-tip:  do not ruin the experience for the rest of your group by trying to pet the monkeys.  They don’t want to be touched.  




Next we went to the Viking Cave but we had to view it from afar.  Visitors are not allowed in the cave.  It is currently inhabited only by national park rangers, and the approved individuals whose job it is to harvest birds’ nests from inside the cave.  These Swallow nests are very expensive and used to make Bird’s Nest Soup, which is a delicacy. 


 Our next short jaunt was to the other side of Koh Phi Le, where we snorkeled for about half hour.  The reef is beautiful and there were lots of fish, although not a huge variety.  We then made our way to Maya Bay, which was the highlight of the trip in my opinion. Because the tide was so low, we approached from the other side of the bay and had to climb through a cave in order to reach the beach.  Pro-tip (if you go during low tide):  WEAR SHOES.  Even flip flops are better than nothing.  The cave is slippery and full of sharp rocks.  Once you reach the beach, you can ditch your shoes.  I was prepared to be underwhelmed, because this is the location on which the movie “The Beach” was filmed.  I assumed that it was overrun with tourists and probably not as great as the movie made it look.  I was wrong.  It was a stunning stretch of beach with fine powdery white sand and soaring cliffs on all sides.  The water was very shallow when we were there, due to low tide, but it was clear and a striking blue.  There were a lot of tourists on the beach, but it wasn’t too crowded.  I think we were lucky to see it in low season, because our guide said that it’s too packed to enjoy during high season.   The pictures absolutely do not do it justice.



Finally we made our way back to the pier, enjoying a simple meal of fried rice and vegetables and a lovely sunset along the way.  The cost for this trip was 500 baht per person, plus a 400 baht “cleaning fee” to enter Maya Beach.  We brought our own beer and a snack with us on the boat, but you could also purchase beer, soda and snacks.  Water, tea, coffee, and a small dinner were provided as part of the trip cost.  We researched several different boat trips, and they all made more or less the same stops, but this one was the best value for money that we found. 


Kirk and I love to cook at home, and we love Thai food, so it only made sense for us to take a Thai cooking class.  We chose Pum’s Cooking School on October 18 and it was fabulous.  There are several class options to choose from, and we chose the 3-hour option.  We got to pre-select 3 dishes each, from a menu of about 25 dishes.  Our instructor’s name was Aretoo Detoo (R2D2.  No, really, that’s his name.  His dad was apparently a huge Star Wars fan!)  He was amazing.  At the start of the class, he gave us a lesson on traditional Thai greetings and a few Thai words.  He then helped us understand the flavors, herbs and spices used in Thai cooking, before we started cooking.  It was really helpful to understand the flavor profiles before we set foot in the kitchen.  Now we know how to cook the six dishes that we selected, but we also know how to construct any other Thai dish we choose.  We were able to eat all the dishes that we cooked, but of course it was too much food.  Aretoo Detoo packed up all the remaining leftovers so that we could take them back to the hotel for later.  He also gave us a cookbook with all the recipes that Pum’s offers in their classes.  We paid 1500 baht per person for this experience and it was worth every penny.   


We spent out our last couple of days on Phi Phi just walking around and lounging by the pool.  It’s a beautiful place with so many options for excursions, parties, or just relaxing on the beach.  The final verdict?  Thumbs up!  


Tags: #kirmily, #kohphiphi, #pumscookingschool



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