It’s the second day. Turmoil of serenity continues in this beautiful Shangri-La.
In case, you missed it, you can always check out the first article at here
We woke up early. The sleep was perfect and we didn’t want to lose any of the glee and daze that we were looking for. Beach side Resort restaurant served buffet breakfast featuring the fresh produces, seafood and fruits. We went outside with our coffee, sat on the beach gazing upon the sunny horizon where you could see the beach fronted jungle of the Bamboo island. The morning was apt and we were happy. The weather was sunny, clear and there was no sign of cloud. You need to remember that, Phi Phi at its most pleasant, and at its most crowded, from November through mid-January, when the skies are clear, the water is calm, and the air is at its least humid. During the rainy season, between late May and late September, Phi Phi still sees long patches of sunshine, but the water is slightly wavy (fine for swimming, poor for snorkeling) and the air humidity will make you sweat buckets.
Resort authority holds the arrangement for scuba and snorkeling. It’s only 1000 baht for 6 persons per boat and they will take you to the different points of island and also to Phi Phi Leh, Bamboo Island, and Monkey Island. We were not professional divers and we never did scuba before. So, diving was out of the list, but, snorkeling was on! A bad news came as the wave of the Inlet of Bamboo Island was higher than normal, it was not safe to travel there but we could definitely go to Phi Phi Leh. All the snorkeling gear could be hired or bought from the Resort authority and for snorkeling, it would sum up to 800 baht per person for the whole day. Our excitement were surreal and like two happy birds we managed everything and couldn’t wait to start. We hired a single Long Tail boat for both of us for the whole day and started our journey.
Loh Lana Bay.
Our first stop was at Loh Lana Bay. Lucid and crystal alike green water with a tiny white beach lying almost 300 meters ahead of us and surrounded by the iconic cliffs of Phi Phi. Our boatman, Phukhi, informed us that there is almost 9 feet of water below us. We could see a lot of other boats around anchoring there and many of the tourists were snorkeling in the water. Pukhi helped us putting on the gears and as per his suggestion we left the fins as for the first timers balancing with them in the water can be a bit troublesome. Whilst standing there on the boat, with the sun midst in the sky, we could even see the melee of colors, fishes and corals with our bare eyes. The feeling was something that we had never encountered before. We were, of course, panicking a bit as it was our first time going like this but at the same time we couldn’t help but feel the urge and the desire. Like a magnet, this other universe was summoning us to mate it with.
Snorkeling at Nui Bay
We made our first jump. The first thing that hit us was the struggle with breathing. There is nothing like breathing underwater. You feel your throat dry up and try blowing air from your nose but you can’t. In the struggle of breathing from your mouth, you can’t help but swallow the salty sea water. And then you make a conscious effort to try and convince yourself to breath from the mouth. What fascinating thoroughly was the sound of our breath underwater – it was hypnotizing. It was so quiet there. It takes time to get accustomed to the wave, floating yourself using the life jacket submerging your face under the water and moving forward. But when you look around, you would be amazed at the infinite lengths of the ocean you could see. Unlike in big cities, where your vision is hindered by numerous obstacles, underwater all you could see was clear-cut beauty. We were in awe of the sheer magnificence of it all and just wanted time to stand still. That crawling lobster at the sea floor, schools of fishes passing you by, that lonely baby swordfish, the rocks and plants at the bottom, it all felt like that we were all part of this beautiful symmetrical motion. Never had seen this much color bunched up in one place.
Remembering the boat number is crucial here as all of them looks like the same and there are dozens and dozens of them here.
Loh Lana bay vested some sheer beauties upon us and we continued our journey through Nui Bay and took a lunch break at Tonsier (Tonsai). Lots of Long Tail Boats are anchored in parallel, Tourists are sun bathing at the sunny beach,some them are also in the water. We promised Phuki that we will be back within one hour, told him to finish his lunch also. Tonsai Village is the bustling heart of Phi Phi. Here, there are no cars or roads, only footpaths. It’s located on the isthmus, for which Phi Phi is famous, with Tonsai Bay on the south side and Loh Dalum on the north. Tonsai is a hive of activity from morning to mid afternoon. When the last ferry boat leaves, calm descends on the place and it returns to its sleepy village feel. With ATMs, souvenir shops, a 7-Eleven and a host of cheap and cheerful Thai and European Pubs and food stands it’s got just about everything you need in its compact colorful area. You also can find money exchange here and the exchange rate is much better than what the Resort/Hotel authorities offer. The most amazing thing about the place was, all the different cultural assembly. You could see some Ukrainians running Thai Restaurant, Someone from Argentina greeting you from Gear shop, you could find Italian Pizza stands running by authentic Italian family and among all these muddle you can definitely find yourself some place where it suits you and you can enjoy your lunch and coffee thinking about all the good things that had happened today. We tasted some exotic fresh tropical snake fruit, Dragon fruit, Kiwi, Mangosteens, Thai Lychee which are abundant and real cheap here, we bought some t-shirts and souvenirs for back home and with the blink of an eye, one hour passed by.
Clean and tidy Footpaths with Pubs and Souvenir shops
It was towards the famous Maya Bay next. There not much to say about Maya bay as most of the talks about Phi Phi is mainly based on it. Majestic 100-meter high limestone cliffs that surrounds the already gorgeous beach. Inside the bay there are several beaches, most only exist at low tide. The main one is around 200 meters long with stark white sands, underwater colorful coral and exotic fish. The whole bay is one big reef. There is a National Park entry fee of 400 Baht if you try to get there on your own. Personally, we were disappointed as the whole area was packed with speedboats, Long tail boats, large Ferry boats carrying hundreds of snorkelers, the water was gurgling with people. We went on the water and it was, somewhat, irritating experience as you need to be cautious about getting closer to an arriving boat or speedboat to avoid an unpleasant incident. By the time we got back to the boat our fingers looked like raisins from diving whole day, our hair was covered in sea salt and we were thirsty, thus, we decided to put an end to today’s adventure and get back to Hotel.
Gratitude to all for bearing with us to our adventures on Phi Phi Islands. We will see you at next week for our last day here with more excitements and do’s at Bamboo island and Monkey Island. Till then, Happy Life.