If you’re ever in Phuket or Krabi, don’t miss out on island hopping around Phi Phi Islands by speedboat. The scenery is amazing! You really have to see it to believe it – even photos don’t do it justice.
There were too many pictures so I divided them into before and after lunch . Read the first part : here
We spent a wonderful morning swimming at the lagoon in Koh Phi Phi Ley and looking at monkeys on Monkey Beach. On to the next part of the itinerary (a very important one) : Lunch! Our afternoon meal was at Koh Phi Phi Don, the largest. main island in the Phi Phi archipelago and the only one with people on it, around 3,000
I was surprised to learn that the name (pronounced Pee Pee – hold it with the jokes there, folks) comes from Malay, not Thai : Pulau Api-Api (Fire Islands), due to the numerous pokok api-api (mangrove trees) found throughout the island. Predominantly Muslim, it is long thought to be one of the oldest communities in Thailand.
The beach was lined with speedboats. We docked, and our guide, Johnny, told us to be back in an hour. We walked across the sand to a canteen area where food was served, buffet style.
The noon sun was high up in the sky, and the canteen was hot. The beach view was mostly hidden by tall palm trees and various shrubs.
Decent food. :) There was spaghetti with tomato sauce, chicken in a savoury sauce and fried fish nuggets. The meal was included in our tour package.
Still had some time, so we went to take some hipster shots on the beach.
Even though everything looks fine and calm now, Phi Phi Don has seen it’s share of disaster in the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. More than a 1,000 people died, swept away by massive tidal waves. The infrastructure was also almost completely destroyed. Although the island has rebuilt itself as a tourist haven once again, locals hold a memorial every year to honour the departed, and as a reminder that the sea can be both provider and taker.
After our meal, we had to get some exercise in. The boat stopped somewhere near another island, and we went snorkeling.
I couldn’t take any pictures, which was a shame because the views underwater were so pretty! There were all sorts of corals and creatures on the seabed, and the water was so clear that the sunlight shone straight to the bottom. Our guide gave us snorkeling masks, and we literally went swimming with the fishes (in a less sinister sense, of course). I saw an electric blue one with yellow stripes and a fat pink one. :D The mask wasn’t good though, coz it kept slipping and salt water would get into my nose and eyes.
Our final stop on the tour was Khai Island, which was like a pitstop for everyone out island hopping. The beach was busy with tourists; with some sitting on lazy chairs under rented umbrellas and others playing in whatever space there was between the speed boats (which was not a lot). There were many stalls selling food and snacks. Be prepared to pay a heftier price though.
After all, it is a tourist place.
We were attracted to the smell of food fresh off the grille – squid, shrimp, lobsters, sausages, fish wrapped in foil and chicken wings. Couldn’t resist, even though we already had lunch…
The chicken wings were perfectly done, but they cost 150B (!) (Rm17 – enough for a full KFC meal back in KL). We also had fresh, springy squid that came with tangy fish sauce.
Went swimming for a bit. Scraped knees on rocks and hard sand. Some irresponsible tourists threw garbage into the sea.. almost cut myself on a piece of broken glass from a beer bottle. ._.
The sky turned dark around 4.30pm, so it was time for us to head back to Phuket (a 40min ride).
All in all, it was a great tour and value for money at only 1400 B – including shuttle pickup, lunch, fresh fruits and cola. And the view of the vivid blue sea and dark green islands will definitely take your breath away.
Now that’s what I call a holiday! :)