April 16/23-Phi Phi Island (sounds like pee pee)

We were supposed to get picked up at our hotel at 6:40 am…. A rush to eat breaky (opens at 6:30) and then there wasn’t anyone here to pick us up. Finally after several notes set to the head guy, they showed about an hour late, apparently delayed because of Songran festival activities.

“Min man tah” is the name of boat. Guide “Coco”

First went to Bamboo Island for a little snorkeling,

Then to Phi Phi Don island to Monkey Beach (macaques). They told us not touch or feed the monkeys or allow them to sit on you because if they bite you have to go to hospital for shots in the belly. For some people, they don’t think the rules apply to them….that they are impervious!

From there we went to lunch on the same island but this place has hotels etc. We were warned to not take any pork or alcohol with us or we could be fined cuz the it is Muslim and you could be fined. It is the only place in the islands that are inhabited… rest of the islands are National Park.

Then went another island, got off the boat and walked to to the other side at Maya Bay…. where the baby sharks are protected. Gorgeous!!! The rangers are always keeping an eye out that you don’t go out too far. If anyone does, they blast a whistle.

From there it was to Pileh Lagoon….. means “small rooms” in Malay. Some people paid to go for a ride on Thai “long boats”, around the inside of the lagoon. It’s very lovely in there. The area kind of reminded me of HaLong Bay in Vietnam with the shear limestone cliffs. I didn’t go cuz I didn’t have money for it. Nobody mentioned bringing any money. It was low tide (but coming in) when we started to enter the lagoon and kept getting stuck on the bottom but finally we got to a deeper spot. No snorkelling here but nice swimming.

Next stop we stopped at Viking Cave to do some snorkelling. Apparently there are carvings inside of the cave that go back 800 years. It is where they collect birds nests for birds nest soup…. Very expensive. You can no longer go in cuz it is now privately owned. Anyway, the snorkelling was amazing with the fish just thick, going between me and my phone…. Some times they were nipping the phone. Of course we didn’t realize that Coco was feeding them from the boat.

I tried to download a video of the feeding frenzy but wasn’t able to so I posted it to FaceBook if you want to see it. It really is something.

We got back to the pier about 5:30, leaving at 6 and arriving back at hotel 3/4 hours later. A long but very enjoyable day although it was off to a rough start. Observation…. So many, many boats, ours carrying about 40 and others (according to the family from NJ) about 75….. not sure if I believe that but it kinda felt like cattle being herded. I will grant you though that they had it all very organized.

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