Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Thailand // PHI PHI ISLAND

Early morning transfer to Phi Phi Island from Phuket. 
Half day trip on Phi Phi via long boat to see Maya Bay.

When planning our Thailand trip we decided to stay overnight on Phi Phi Island rather than take a day trip out there. Was a great decision in the end! We spent our last 2 days very chilled and relaxed with the only activities being exploring (a given when travelling with me), eating, a half day trip to Maya Bay where they shot the movie The Beach, sunbathing, and a trek up the hill to the viewpoint.

We transferred directly from our hotel in Patong Beach to the pier where we boarded one of the several ferry's that depart at 8:30am to Phi Phi. It takes about an 1h30mins from Phuket to Phi Phi and once docked the ferry only stays for 10mins - in which more than 100 people need to get off and their luggage put on the pier. My mom and I being sceptical debated that this was NEVER going to work or happen in time. Turns out the Thai are quick and stick to their schedules. Within 10mins everyone was off the boat and our luggage (which was at the bottom of the pile because we boarded early) appeared and off the ferry went. Quite impressive. 

To our surprise there was someone from our hotel waiting at the pier and he carted all our luggage up the hill - which we were so grateful for as it was about 35 degrees Celsius with like 95% humidity at 10am and we were sweating!!! Our room was a cute bamboo hut with air conditioning and was a further 60 steps straight up from the check-in...gosh...by now I felt like I was dying haha!

We decided to take the necessities with us and head to town as we weren't going to walk up the hill unnecessarily - it was just too hot and dehydrating to do the trek multiple times - necessities being sunscreen, swimsuits, hats, sarongs, flip flops, camera(s), money and water. We set out to find a tour for the day and settled on a half day tour to visit Maya Bay and snorkel and it included lunch...score! 

The trip was short and sweet but lots of fun. We stopped at several spots along the islands via our long boat and guide like monkey beach, then to Maya Bay were we had about an hour to explore and swim and tan. Lunch consisted of a styrofoam parcel of rice with sprinkling of egg and veg and some water - oh well, bummer on the lunch, but the tour was worth the while. Then we went to another spot to snorkel for about an hour - made use of my underwater disposable film camera here (look out for next post) - was quite an effort to swim down to view the coral up close as the water is super salty making us buoyant - fun nonetheless :) As most of the islands inhabitants are Muslim and it was Ramadan at the time we had to be back at Phi Phi before sunset. 

So we enjoyed what was left of our sunset on the beach having cool drinks and eating chicken skewers from the local vendors and sat and watched a wedding on the beach - I was considering offering to take photos for them and just then the bride started snapping away at the family, so I decided to rather watch from a distance :) We watched a boat come into the shallow water and suddenly 10 locals were waist deep in water and hauling big heavy bags from the boat to the land, we asked what they were carrying and they said it was broken rock to be used for building and construction on the island. We then stuck around to see the night life and boy did it not disappoint. The whole beach lights up with beach bars competing with music and lights and lazers and fire dancers - so beautiful to walk towards the sea and stand on a sand bank and watch everything from afar.

Sunrise in Patong Beach.

Weird looking fishing trawlers in the harbour in Phuket.

Arriving at the beautiful shores of Phi Phi Island. 

Tired hot cats.....EVERYWHERE!

View from our room onto the pool and surrounds.

Asked this man if I could photograph them, so he was pointing for the boy to look at me.

Never seen so many different colourful eggs.

 Little local girls just hanging out and playing on the street.

 This was some sort of fried coconut dessert like food - delish though!

Locals drying out their rice in the sun.

Discovering interesting beach debris.

Approaching Maya Bay.

The sign says "Tsunami Hazard Zone. In case of earthquake, go to high ground or inland."

Jungle chicken.

When you explore deeper into the vegetation on Maya Bay you come across these interesting tropical areas.

This was our snorkel spot.

These were the guys carrying the building material.

The cats here don't seem to mins water or be scared of the sea.

 The bride and groom with the sunset.

They sell these buckets of booze on the beach - cheapest form of alcohol!

Amazing fires dancers.

 This is what it looks like when you try to photograph a guy spitting fire!

Trek up the hill to the Phi Phi viewpoint and then relaxing beach day. 

With our last day we decide to really chill, but first trek up the hill to the Phi Phi viewpoint. This is only a ±30 mins walk but in the Thai humidity it felt worse and way longer! Once again I nearly died. I struggled with my low blood pressure and had to take lots of breaks - you must understand the intense heat and extreme uphill combo are gruelling. We somehow made it to the top and celebrated with a Coke each. What a view! 

Then we head back into town to source some food for energy and parked off on deck chairs on the far side of the beach. I managed to negotiate to use two of the hotels sets of goggles and snorkels that weren't being used for free...score! And just relaxed under the palm trees with some banana and Nutella pancakes for energy. 

Tired. Just tired.

 Banana + nutella pancake and more kittys.

Amazed at the photo realistic painters on the island.

Sad to be leaving paradise. 
Travelled from Phi Phi Island to Phuket airport. 
Flew from Phuket to Bangkok and then from Bangkok to JHB. 
And then from JHB to Cape Town, aka home!

I really didn't want to leave Thailand. The colourfulness, the culture, the affordable sight seeing and shopping and the friendly people all grow on you. These last few pics are of leaving Phi Phi island and departing the pier and the last views of paradise. 

If you can save up the cash - do yourself the favour and take a holiday or trip to Thailand. I can't wait to go back - and I most definitely will go back, theres much more to explore :)

Fish that can be seen from the pier.


Cheryl McEwan said...

Amazing Amazing Taryn! Aah my heart aches to go back!!

nastassja harvey said...

ahhh Taryn these are soooooo stunning wow! i just LOVE that bokeh shot of the colourful night lights. what an amazing adventure!!