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Mark's World Tour 2007-08

Day 90: Theft on Monkey Beach!

THAILAND | Sunday, 3 February 2008 | Views [1200]

Thieving monkey bastards make good with Sangita's stuff!

Thieving monkey bastards make good with Sangita's stuff!

Sunday 3rd February

Sangita and Tania put forward the idea of doing more kayaking and it sounded like a fine plan to me, the perfect way to get away from the crowds for a few hours. Ko Phi Phi is basically two islands connected by a major sandbank, with two bays formed on either side: Ao Lo Dalam to the north and Ao Ton Sai to the south. We set out onto the Ao Ton Sai bay around 11.30, trying to stay out of the way of the ferries, fishing boats and speedboats that create heavy traffic in the busiest of the two bays.

One of the stopping off points for the many tours around the island is Monkey Beach, and this was our first port of call, so we could get some rest, have a swim and do some snorkelling. We weren't the only people on this secluded beach, as another kayak lay on the sand when we arrived, and its owners emerged from the water as we were about to get in.

There were many rocks around the shore, providing a home to a big variety of exotic fish. Some of them were so beautiful, their array of colours changing in the light of the water. They came in many shapes and sizes but they all looked amazing.

We got out of the water to find the couple who were also visiting the island with the oars from their kayak in hand, fending off about twenty monkeys who had pilfered some of our stuff while we were in the water. I hadn't really given it much consideration before, but the name 'Monkey Beach' should have served as a bit of a warning! The three of us grabbed our oars too and tried to gather up as much of our stuff as possible, but poor Sangita was the unluckiest of us all, as the monkeys made off with her dress and satchel (including a purse , sunglasses and sunscreen). Whenever we attempted to recover the stuff, a few larger monkeys moved in closer to us, to protect the smaller thieves who were now busy playing with their booty in the background (one of them even drank the sunscreen!).

We were pretty wary of being bitten or scratched by these animals, so we let them be, but at least Sangita managed to get back her purse. Things were made worse when a few boats full of tourists on bigger budgets turned up on speedboats to feed and taunt the monkeys, antagonising them by tempting them with food, forcing the monkeys to lash out. There are not a few meatheads on Phi Phi, posers who think taunting a monkey is proof of their virility, as opposed to them looking like the twats that they are.

We made a quick exit from 'Monkey Beach', leaving behind the assorted apes that had gathered on the beach. We paddled further up the coast but didn't find much else apart from a completely deserted little cove, which was also monkey-free and without the possibility of the other morons turning up. The water was warm and clear, and we lay back in the water and chilled out for an hour or so before making our way back to the main beach.

We spent the rest of the afternoon eating and swimming. In certain parts of the bay, the water was like a bathtub, really the warmest seawater I have ever swam in. It had been a good couple of days, primarily because I had really enjoyed the company of Sangita and Tania. They were a good laugh, and made up for the fact that Phi Phi is inhabited by those who can't get to Spain during the winter time. It is a truly beautiful place, but it has been spoilt by mass tourism. I was planning to move on the next day to a small town further north called Phang-Nga, via Phuket, and hoping that it would be less touristy than Phi Phi.

Tags: Beaches & sunshine


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