Phi Phi Islands Speedboat Excursion

Saturday, December 10, 2016
Ao Nang, Krabi Province, Thailand

Make the short journey by private minibus to the stunning surrounds of Krabi and your base at Ao Nang (approximately 30 minutes) . Famous for the incredible limestone karst scenery of the headland, sun-seekers will fall in love with Krabi's unspoilt beaches, the spectacular cliffs will tempt avid rock climbers, while scuba fans can embark on a Krabi diving adventure. If you love getting out on the water and exploring islands, then consider taking a trip by boat to explore Phi Phi and Khai Nok, islands surrounded by white sandy beach perfect for swimming and snorkelling. The area around Krabi is also home to some of the most spectacular climbing routes around. Whether you're a novice or a pro, being securely tied high up a limestone cliff-face looking down on jungle and crystalline seas is unforgettable. In the evening, look out for a beautiful sunset and consider dining on seafood in a beachside restaurant, followed by a drink in one of the many clubs and bars along on the beach. Optional Activities
  • Ao Nang - Rock Climbing - THB1800
  • Ao Nang - Scuba Diving (3 dives) - THB4000
  • Ao Nang - Phi Phi Island Day Tour - THB1600
  • Ao Nang - Thai Cooking Class - THB1300

Today I was solo for my excursion to the Phi Phi Islands by speedboat. I was picked up at the hotel at 8:30 am with Tai seeing me off and making sure I was properly looked after . i don't know that that happened but a few young women from Singapore who were on my boat did look after me quite well.

First we went to Bamboo Island where I mostly took photos and changed into my bathing suit on the a secluded section. We had 45 minutes and it seemed to go by very fast. Not exactly sure about the order of things, but we saw Viking Cave with the birds nest concession. Then we saw Monkey Cove with the monkeys and we went snorkeling in another cove nearby. I went in for about a few minutes, figured out it was too hazy and my mask was leading so I quit and sat in the boat and took a few photos. No loss I think. I was glad I checked it out and I saw some fish and coral so that was good. We went to a bigger island for our lunch in a restaurant. There were lots of hotels and gift shops. I didn't have much time left after eating but did manage to buy 3 overpriced post cards. Finally we stopped at Shark Point to snorkel. I was going to skip it as well but saw a bunch of fish when I was taking a few photos so I decided to go it . It wasn't too bad but disappointing in terms of colorful coral or lots of fish. I did see the sergeant major types I think and they swam extremely close by - the closest ever I think. I also saw lots of black-spined sea urchins. The coral was in huge lumps mostly brown or orangey brown. The boat ride was nice. I didn't get sick and I watched some of the amazing karst formations go past. We had s Iots of big waves to go over when bigger boats went by. I think there was as group of Russians (or people speaking some similar language) in our boat.

In my blogging right after the experience, I forgot the major island we visited - where we had more time to explore the beach and walk to the bay on the other side. This island was part of the Phi Phi Islands National Park and had signs identifying some of the plants - which, of course, I loved. They had told us that this island was famous for the scenery backdrop of the film :The Beach.: I think the tour was pretty well desinged to give the tourist a feeling for some of the spectacularly beautiful beaches with crystal clear water. I never felt like other than a tourist though. I think my fear of getting seasick hampered my enjoyment a bit but I liked wandering around and seeing the karst formations.

After I returned, there wasn't much time. Just before 5 pm Alex and I went downstairs to meet Tai for our sunset viewing . We were joined by Simon and Shane and walked down to the main street and to the left for quite a ways. Then we crossed to the seaside and sat on the steps and wall to wait for the sunset. We waited for quite awhile. I am not sure what all we talked about. Sometimes Tai asks questions about our lives. We may have talked about our excursions earlier that day. Alex and the others went rock climbing and apparently they all enjoyed it but found it strenuous and hence tiring. I haven't heard about Margaret's experience but Alex said she did quite well. In any case, the sun finally set and I took millions of photos before and during and even after the sunset trying to get boats in the sun's reflection on the water. They didn't all turn out so that you can see the boat but some aren't too bad. The colors change from light to dark to light again. Interesting. I reordered them in the attached photos so that they go from light to dark so it would be more logical, if not realistic.

After the sunset, Tai showed us to a seaside restaurant that was more expensive than our usual dinners but it did have a wonderful view of the beach . I had stir-fried vegetables with cashews and a fresh lime soda. You order lemon but it is really lime. After dinner, we split up, Tai went back to the hotel; Shane and Simon wandered on their own, and Alex and I went shopping to fulfill our various needs. She was buying drybags as Xmas presents for her brother and sister and I was getting postcards. I ended up getting two little presents as we visited several more shops down the street before turning back again.

Once back at the hotel, Alex and I tried to organize our stuff and pack up as much as possible. In order to do that I needed (note the word) to upload my photos. That done, I should take out the sd card and put the camera away. I still have a battery charging. I will probably try to charge the phone (and/or) computer as well. I still have my postcards to write. I am saving that for last.

Today was more like what I expected from South Thailand - beaches and water activities. I did enjoy our homestay and Khao Sok National Park with its jungly vegetation and reservoir lake . Our accommodations were quite OK bu, when you're visiting beaches, it is always nicer if you can get to stay right on the beach. Not always possible if it is too expensive. After seeing the crowded and not very beautiful resorts on the island we visited with the lunch restaurant, I was glad that we weren't staying at a place like that. And yet, in some ways it reminded me of my stay in the Maldives - with all of its construction, I think it will soon look like that Thailand beach area. It wasn't yet - which made it much mre pleasant.

It is always a trade-off. You can buzz around and see a lot of the world superficially - like this - or you can see less, but more in depth. I am in the frenzied see-it-all mode still but I always feel a bit guilty that I rush around so. But, there is so much to see and the world is such a huge place......
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