Paradise Hopping @ The Phi Phi Islands

After a day of shopping along Aonang Beach and enjoying a sumptuous dinner under the island’s gorgeous sunset, Day 2 of our Krabi Holidays saw us venturing out to sea! We signed up for an Island Hopping & Snorkelling Tour to the nearby islands with Aonang Princeville Resort.

There were basically 2 mode of transport – Speedboat or Long Tail Boat. Speedboat was definitely the faster and slightly more expensive option. The package price was reasonable and included hotel transfers, lunch, fruits, water and snorkelling equipments and of course guides. You just need to bring sun protection, swimwear, spare clothes, towel and camera (those that can go beneath the water will be great)!

After an early breakfast, our ‘open concept’ bus picked us up from our resort at around 8.15am.

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After us, the bus went around a few more resorts to pick up the rest of their participants. The final leg of the journey was quite an awkward squeeze where everyone tried really hard not to look at each other in the face….

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We alighted at a makeshift jetty with other tour buses, got grouped and guided to our respective speedboats. The guides were pretty strict about cleanliness – we had to surrender our shoes, wash our feet and be certified ‘no sands’ before we were allowed onto the boats.

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After a quick briefing, we zoomed off to our first island!

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I must admit that I have no idea where our first stop was. From the looks of it, an small village seem to reside on the island itself.

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We hanged around the long pristine white beach for a while.

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A closer look at the ‘sand’ revealed that they were actually tiny pieces of fragmented corals. Other than this, there wasn’t much on this island.

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Next we headed over to The Viking Cave on Phi Phi Ley. The name came about from the presence of ancient paintings which resembles Viking Ships on its walls. Besides ancient paintings, this cave also houses a lucrative trade – harvesting of swifts saliva for Bird Nest, a Chinese delicacy. The unstable looking bamboo scaffoldings you see in the photo are for workers to climb on to reach the swifts nests. Not the safest job in the world!

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Finally, it’s time for us to take a dip into the open waters! I was still a little scared from my previous snorkelling experience at Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

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This school of fishes are definitely not shy! They swam close to our boat and fearlessly looked me in the eye at close proximity.

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The view underwater was magnificent. Compared to Great Barrier Reef, Krabi waters are more shallow and fishes are significantly smaller and less intimidating.

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After around 30 – 45 minutes of blissful snorkelling, the tour group went ashore and navigated through a natural maze to reach ….

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Osama hideout! Nay, it was actually Losama Bay. Everyone made a beeline for the toilet. Not sure why but most of us were experiencing ‘high tide’ in our bladders after snorkelling.

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Maya Bay was the real stunner among the islands. The bay is sheltered by 100 metres high cliffs on three sides and contains several beaches, mostly small and some only exist at low tide.

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Maya Bay became the main tourist attraction of Phi Phi since the movie The Beach was filmed here in 1999. It’s pretty hard to find a quiet corner to yourself.

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But still I managed to sneak a solo photo with traditional long tail boats as my backdrop.

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Its pretty cool to see your own footprints on the beach!

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After another 45 minutes session of leisure snorkelling, our final stop for the day was Monkey Island. Nothing much going on actually, everyone just stayed on the boat to watch another tour group feed the local monkeys with bananas.

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Lunch was served at Phi Phi Don in a open air canteen which offered no solace from the unbearable heat. Our buffet lunch which consists of Thai local food, pasta, fresh seasonal fruits and a choice of coffee or tea wasn’t fantastic either.

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With quite a bit of time to kill before we head back to Krabi, we went on barefoot to check out the retail scene on the island. The shopping sucks but there were lots of gorgeous eye candies around.

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The road linking the shopping area to our lunch canteen offered a stunning view of Phi Phi’s coastline.

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Our final half an hour on the island was spent napping on these beach chairs. Surprisingly, I managed to doze off despite the scorching weather.

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The journey back was pretty uneventful with most of the participants dozing off on their seats.

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I had no regrets going for this Island Hopping & Snorkelling Tour. Although the heat was unbearable, the wonderful snorkelling experience and beautiful Maya Bay made it all worthwhile.

You may also like to check out my posts on other exciting travel destinations here

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