• Lulu Gibbons

Thailand Tour: Day 5


We had an early start today as we were at breakfast for 8 o'clock.it has to be said, for the vegans among us the selection here wasn't quite as good as that of Sawadi in Phuket. Yet, they had watermelon so I was more than happy.The boat for the day came to collect us from the hotel lobby and was a fair amount bigger than that of the James Bond boat tour. This won brownie into as it meant that there was room for more people to sit out front on the boat. We set off, but only for a short ride across the bay to ‘Monkey Beach’, which for the wise guys amongst you may have guessed, it was a beach inhabited by monkeys. These chappies were incredibly bold, even though wild they even allowed some people to touch them. One of our boat skippers even gave one a can of coke which it proceeded to chugg down! We didn't stay too long, but long enough to get some good piccies (which is all we came for!). During the course of the day I spent most of my time out the front of the boat as I came to the realisation that being out at see with the wind rushing past is one of my favourite places to be.

The next stop for the day was THE BEACH. This was at Maya bay where the film ‘The Beach’ was shot with old Leo Di Caprio, yet another film that I've not seen (but aim to). When we first set foot on the shores we wandered along the beach to where the classic photo on the beach is taken before taking a short walk over to the other side of the island for yet another picturesque view. By the time we had made our way back to the original beach it was already heaving in just 10 minutes! We were all clearly partaking in one of the many ‘Maya Bay’ boat tours done daily as there were innumerable numbers of same boat that we were on temporarily on the beaches moorings.

It was now time for our to dive into the glorious water that we were so longing to. The waterproof camera proved it self yet again as I got some more shots of us in the water. We managed to get a whole group shot of all 30 of us before we set of to the next popular spot (where all the other boat tours were too) in a little cove.

It seemed kinda random as all the other visitors were just bobbing about in the sea, nonetheless we joined in by jumping and flipping off the boat. 'Twas pretty funny because at one point two of the Contiki group, Danny and Keegan, found their way on to the neighbouring boat of Asian tourists and were flipping off their boat to receive applause and photos! We bobbed about in the sea for the next 40 or so minutes, finally to clamber back on board with shrivelled up fingers and toes. I was very pleased indeed to find that yet again I had platters of watermelon and pineapple before me – I took more than my fair share it has to be said! The next stop along the way was due to be for snorkelling, however when we arrived another boat already there said that the water was currently occupied already with some jelly fish, which we decided we would rather not get too friendly with.

For this reason we pootled on elsewhere, only a short ride away, to another site where we were not disappointed by what we found. Here there were tonnes of these little yellow and black stripped fish, probably just bigger than my palm, alongside a few bigger fish that were blue. But don't be fooled, these yellow fish were small but mighty! They could even be described as aggressive at times – they swarmed around us and would come and smack you on the back with their fins or on the arm, one even came and nipped me on the lip! Very much up close and personal. The underwater camera really shone here, I got some absolute crackers of the wee fishies, but not only this, as I was getting out of the water one of the skippers monitored at my camera so I gave it to him. He then drove super deep and swam around out of sight while I waited on the boat (munching, yes, more watermelon) and upon his return he said that he had photos of Nemo! Straight away I looked at the shots and they really were incredible to have come out of my dingy little camera!

Once all aboard again we went to our last stop of the day which was to a little, but very beautiful, beach island with a small area of forestry in the middle. There was, not surprisingly, a fleet of tourist boats here too, but not to the extent as we'd seen elsewhere. A little shack in the middle of the island provided the necessary supplies of ice cream, burgers, fried rice and the obvious requirement of beer for the boys (who were probably experiencing withdrawal symptoms at this point, so long had they been without a beer in hand). We then relaxed on the beach until it was time to go, however not before a group photo which some Asian tourists were just in time to have arrived by in order for their own photos of us to be taken too! The weather seemed at first glance to be pretty overcast, yet, this was very deceiving as they were the pesky sort of clouds that let you get sunburnt without seeing the sun – as many people did, badly. We got back on to the boat at about 2 and took the 10 minute journey back to the main pier of Phi Phi. This was as Charmani was going to show everyone where we could go later to see a Mai Thai fight. You might be surprised to hear that Nina and I were not interested in this so we then departed to go and get showered at the hotel, chill out for a bit then make our way down to the shops to do some serious shopping. I had made a list of things that I was hoping to get for presents as well as a few cheeky purchases for myself. This made me a tiny bit anxious as I realised that it was actually quite long – another shout out to mum, she would not be surprised by this.

As all the shops and stall sold the same things, me and Nina didn't really know where to start! A few key rings and little embroidered purses got us on our way, then moving on to clothing items, which luckily majority of which I wasn't majorly keen on, saving me some money! After a while we started to see the enthusiasm levels dropping as neither of us had had lunch (poor decision – we had not fuelled ourselves properly for the marathon of shopping ahead).

With my stomach almost concave, the two of us meandered our way towards the’Banana Bar’, favourite of the island for its Mexican fair – just why I came to Thailand, to eat burritos. We were then joined by the whole group of 30 and went up the stairs to the 4th floor of the open restaurant, where we sat under the night sky. At this point I was pretty hungry so we placed our orders at about 7.30, mine sticking to Thai food of another Pad Thai. We were then informed that the restaurant had run out of bottled water. On an island in a country where bottled water was the only water that they could drink, they had run out. So, less than amused I opted for a coke. The other tables around us received their food, my stomach yearning with each plate that was placed down. The other tables around us finished their food – my stomach still empty. Now at this point, I'm sorry to say that the symptoms of hanger had well and truly set in. I was beyond unimpressed by the time our food finally arrived 1.5 hrs later (to the extent that I was suggesting that I wouldn't pay). Yet as we were talking a matter of £2.50, I wasn't going to waste the effort. At this point we were then informed that yes, they did in fact have water.

Leaving the restaurant everyone made their way towards the bar for the Thai fight, I wasn't really feeling it but Nina and I thought we would tag along to see what it was about. We sat down and waited to see clearly two drunken tourists take to the ring – really traditional was this bar. The waiter then came over and took our ordered, for myself was nothing, but this just wouldn't do as you had to order something to watch, so at this Nina and I got up and left ambling back to the hotel were we spent the rest of the evening in the lobby on the beach with the sound of the ocean in the background.


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