Day two of our trip was the day that I looked forward to the most! Koh Phi Phi Don was the stuff my island dreams and screensavers were made of – white sandy beaches, clear turquoise waters and heaps of marine life.
(Fun fact: much as I love the great outdoors and am quite the strong swimmer, I have an irrational and inexplicable fear of depths; not quite bathophobia where you fear the unknown depths, but when I look up and see a ton of water vertically above me… a friend’s termed it reverse vertigo – which has prevented me from taking up the diving certification.)
Prelude: getting the tour package
While my friend, M, and I were walking to the beach on the first day, we stumbled upon quite a number of shops in town, including massage parlours as well as travel agents.
We must have been really blessed because we managed to strike up a conversation with a lady who recommended the most beautiful tour of islands which suited our tight timings best, and the best part? We didn’t have to haggle – she gave us a 30% discount without us having to ask, seeing that it was the off-peak season (we went in late September!).
Our friendly tour operator (whose name eludes me now) booked us for a multi-island day tour at approximately S$40pp for a 5-motor speedboat Orchid Aonang – the largest, fastest ride which meant for the least amount of bumpiness and seasickness.
The itinerary (weather permitting – every travel agent’s most common caveat) included a visit to:
– Bamboo Island
– Monkey Bay
– Maya Bay
– Koh Phi Phi Don
It didn’t take much convincing for me to take up this tour v. the others available (Tiger Caves, hot springs and elephant treks etc.). It helped that it was well within the budget I’d allocated for the day tour – I was sold and out of the store within 10 minutes.
After we’d had our fill at breakfast (we opted for a la carte as the buffet line wasn’t set up for that day – turns out the resort was hosting a mere 5 – 7 guests at the time we were around!), we got dressed and a jeep came round to pick us up promptly at 9am, before collecting a few other fellow tour groupies, and we were off to the jetty!
I could hardly contain my excitement – was the boat gonna be semi-filled and were we going to have a somewhat private tour? Yep, a girl can dream! Our boat was packed with about 30 of us and indeed, the ride was like a dream!
(I don’t think M would agree, seeing how she is a tad motion-sensitive when it comes to watercraft.)
First stop: Bamboo Island
M and I did what most excited tourists would do – trekked for 5 minutes around the island before excitedly removing our cover-ups and jumping into the water! Boy, was it… salty. There were heaps of water twigs, vines and branches which I mistook for… water snakes. Needless to say, I wasn’t the happiest swimmer of the lot and got out very quickly. Didn’t help that my snorkel mask was ill-fitting! Our tour guide told us that there wasn’t much to do at Bamboo Island, except admire the view really. So, it was a really quick pit-stop before we moved on to… Monkey Bay!
Expecting to see the Island of the Apes from the name, I was quite let down when our tour guide told us the isle was quite devoid of monkeys because the monkeys were too crowd-shy for that day. Riiiiight. Moving along.
Okay, we didn’t quite make it to Maya Bay either – the tides and currents didn’t permit our entry so we stopped our boat in a quiet area outside the bay. But, that development didn’t mean that we couldn’t have fun jumping ship (quite literally!)!
M and I (along with the other passengers, of course) took turns jumping into the clear blue waters and snapping lots of photos of our stunning surroundings. Friends have said that nature’s one of the ways God speaks to us… and I agree – oh how awesome and majestic these creations art!
Apart from the snorkeling activity that was to come later, this was the highlight of our whole trip – jumping over and over and over again into the pristine, blue waters of the bay. Here’re two of my favourite photos in this area below, courtesy of Lady M : )
Goofing off with the boat and posing before the series of jumps – I even jumped off the roof of the boat!
(FYI I got the bathers on the cheap at the beach town market for about S$10 – score!)
Koh Phi Phi Don
(Phi Phi’s main island)
Rounding up the day’s activities, we stopped at the main island of Koh Phi Phi Don for lunch before we set off for some snorkelling – the highlight of our day trip!
There were so many things to see, taste and experience but I’ll just let the pictures do the talking instead for this bit! : )
Krabi is a lovely place with great natural land- and sea-scapes. The people are nice, warm and things are affordable too! I’ll definitely return again, seeing the proximity to my country and the other islands yet unseen.
What I learned from this trip:
The importance of the Dry- Bag, SPF, Aloe Vera Gel and please, invest in an underwater camera too.
More so than the hard facts, I learned more about the people of this world and the simple things.
At the risk of sounding cheesy, here goes –
If you keep an open mind and immerse yourself in the experience of being in a new environment, are open to making small talk with strangers and then establishing new friendships, you will find yourself having an enriching an full trip.
You will find also, that the key to happiness could lie in contentment, when you see that a lot of people around you are much happier with a lot less.
And, it costs you nothing to be kind and smile nor hurts to be nice to people! Even if you don’t speak the same language, y’all know “Hi!” (in the words of my intern’s mate).
Have fun – I know I always do! Too much, sometimes. : p
’til the next time,