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Same Same, but... a little bit different!

Secluded Paradis?

THAILAND | Saturday, 21 December 2013 | Views [1418]

Our ferry was scheduled to depart at 9am and the travel agent requested us to arrive in the lobby one hour early to the free transfer to the port. We write the blog in the morning which usually isn't an issues as we have been getting up so early. This morning was the first time we had to set and alarm and slept in right until it went off. We scrambled to get the blog written, pack and get out the door within 2 hours, and almost impossible task as the blog has been taking the better part of 2 hours including the writing and the picture coordination. It sometimes takes this long because of the painfully slow internet where uploading a single picture takes 10 minutes.

 

We made it to the lobby in good time and Tim found some meat sticks and sticky rice for breakfast, his favourite price, cheap! We waited in the lobby and I attempted to finish uploading and tagging photos. The truck arrived before I was complete successful getting the blog published.

 

The ferry was uneventful, fairly comfortable and didn't take very long (1.5 hours). We were a little surprised that you could still see the mainland when we arrived at Koh Phi Phi but with the mountains it's understandable. We were greeted by hundreds of people trying to either sell us accommodations, boat taxis, or excursions. After paying our 20 baht (each) environmental tax, we scuttled by all the vendor and set out for our beach bungalows.

The Ferry 

While they are quite cute, they are a sure sign that the island is way over priced ringing in a 1200 baht ($40) a night for a tiki hut with a fan. It would do, for a night!

 Tiki Hut

We immediately set out to find a snorkeling excursion and didn't make it far from our hotel before buying a long tail boat “package” from the store next to our hotel. The speed boats see a bit more, but cost a lot (1200 baht for a speed boat, 500 baht for a long tail). We were requested back at the store in a couple hours for the 1430 start. Tim exclaimed it would be the sunset cruise I was asking for and would make up for the cruise I missed in the summer when I was away in Greenwood, Nova Scotia.

 

We wandered around the little town of Phi Phi, which because there are no motorized vehicles has bicycles and large carts congesting the cobble stone walkways. The comical part was that some bikes had bells to warn pedestrians ahead, but some people made honking or ringing noises with their voices. Honk honk!

 

The prices on the island are not surprisingly high. What was surprising was that Tim was still able to find cheap food meant for the locals; after he bought some one of the ladies was yelling a new price to Tim as the first price was for locals. He didn't end up paying more because the lady that originally sold him the food told him it was OK. What was equally surprising was that some Westerner food, pizza included was cheaper than the Thai food. This girl was in pizza bliss; so much for only eating Thai food in Thailand. It was a street stall, so Same Same... 80 baht ($2.60), for an extra large slice. Yum!

 Pizza

After exploring the island a bit, we returned to our shack, prepared our bag and set out for our excursion. I have to be honest that I was extremely sceptical and I would have preferred either the speed boats or this one Canadian guy (Bob from Vancouver, know him?) was offering what he coined “Bob's Booze Cruise”; free beer for the gents and vodka and rum for the ladies. Tim rejected his offer to refund our tickets if we join him on his sail boat for the evening. At 2500 baht ($80), I begrudgingly passed on the offer...

 Long Tail Boats

Our long tail boat pulled up, and because it was quite full, Tim sat directly at the front. An undesirable set in appearance because of the heat of the sun, but a spot most were envious we had by the end of the trip. From the front, Tim was well position to snap photos of the beautiful scenery as we circled Koh Phi Phi Leh (the main island is Koh Phi Phi Don).

 Boat

Limestone rocks

Our first stop, still on Don, was monkey bay. While part of the main island, this apparently secluded beach is home to hundreds of monkey cut off from the remainder of the island by steep lime walls. Quite a site to marvel (with a hundred of your closest friends, or tourists in this case). The monkeys were quite used to visitors and the large males dominated the attention for food while the little ones stayed back waiting for their share. One large monkey even wadded out into the water to aggressively request a banana from one tourist.

 Monkeys

The second stop was a beautiful, little cove that where the water was water, clear and a incredible blue/aqua colour. We were allotted 15 minutes to enjoy the spot before being ushered back onto the tour.

 Swim

The third stop, which was our favourite and without pictures was snorkeling. The water was equally as warm and clear, but was deeper (about 10-15 feet) and the floor was covered in coral. The fish were amazing and we were able to view pretty much every popular aquarium variety as we hovered overhead. Tim pointed out a giant claim that probably was large enough to hold you down if you play with it too closely; which he did... After about 30 minutes at the spot, far too short, we were whisked away to the premiere destination, Maya Bay.

 Maya Bay

Maya Bay was pretty, don't get me wrong, but as we had read, the spot is almost spoiled by the hundreds of tourists lining the white sand beach, reminiscing over the filming of Leonardo DiCaprio’s some-what famous movie that was filmed here, The Beach. Fortunately the tide was out so the beach was very big an able to accommodate all the tourists clambering around snapping photos. After paying the steep 100 baht per person “environmental” fee, we staked out a spot to enjoy the hour we were allotted for the stay.

 Beach

The boat ride bake to Phi Phi Don was very enjoyable and I would suggest the entire experience was well worth it. They handed our fruit and some excellent fried rice and we enjoyed the sun set while we 'parked' in the middle of the sea. Because Tim had the front seat, we were able to enjoy the romantic sunset unimpeded by the umbrella all the others had crowded under. Based on the looks of many people, this was their lest favourite time, while it was one of the most enjoyable for Tim and I.

 Limestone rocks

Limestone rocks

People

Sunset

I could probably write an entire blog dedicated to the night life on the island. We did check it out and found it to be very impressive. The pictures of the fire swinging, fire skipping rope and fire limbo do not do it justice. The spectacle is one to be admired and if interested, YouTube it.

 Fire Show

As many have complained in blogs of the past, the party is not over until the late into the night. I think it was past 3am before the music died down, which was complete audible a kilometre away in our hut. It was a long night of restless sleep...

 

 

 

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