Saturday, 9 November 2013

Talking Thai- Day 4: Phi Phi Island, Maya Bay & Khai Island

After a whirlwind day and night yesterday, we were up at the usual time, nice and early to get ready for our speed boat ride to the nearby islands that I had seen and heard so much about.  It was another very hot morning, the temperature throughout our entire trip did not drop below 24 degrees at night and usually reached a top temperature of around 32 degrees each day.  At home, 32 degrees is not that bad as the heat is dry, but in Thailand with its tropical climate, it is always 'sticky' and the intensity of the sun is massive.  It is the kind of place where you could only spend a couple of hours at a time in the sun before you had to seek shelter in the shade, anywhere you could find it.
After a drive to the local sea port where we would set out for the day, we hired some flippers and waited until we boarded the boat.  There were so many people waiting to go out that day and this was only with the one tour operator that we used, there were several others operating that day too.  There were 3 boats that would take the group out to the islands. Many tour operators do this in Phuket, as almost everyone who gets there for the first time, wants to see the islands.  The view from the port in itself was beautiful, we had another glorious day and the sun was beating down on us.
The speed boat was not that comfortable as the seats were cramped and the sides of the boat came up too high so you could not see out as we were travelling.  You had to go to the front of the boat that was an open deck to look out.  But it didn't matter too much as this day promised to be yet another spectacular day with amazing sights and experiences.
We stopped at a small bay when we arrived at the first island and the sand was so clean and white that everything reflected off it like a mirror.  The sea was the colour of crystal blue, like you see in the travel brochures and was breathtaking.  The temperature of the water was also very warm.  I couldn't resist but have a splash in it and walk along the sand, enjoying the feeling of it between my toes.  Unfortunately, there were so many people there at this point that you couldn't really relax and had to almost 'fight the crowds'.  This was a bit of a let down, but as the day went on, the tour groups slowly spread out so you could enjoy the amazing beaches and scenery.
We travelled through these majestic islands and I was totally blown away by them.  You can see from the photos how glorious the ocean was and how amazing the rock formations of the islands were.  I have never seen anything like it before.  We stopped along the way and David did some snorkeling in Maya Bay.  He said that the tropical fish and coral formations were beautiful, very diverse and it was just like looking into a tropical fish tank in an aquarium!  He could not believe the many varieties of fish and the stunning colours of the coral.
As we approached Phi Phi Island, I was very excited about having more time to explore the beach and relax, as our first stop had been brief.  When we reached the island, it was quite large, the beach was long and wide.  We had lunch here, under the shade of a big outdoor room and sampled the local Thai food which was delicious.  The people there were lovely, taking special care to give David several samples of the local dishes that were free of seafood as he has an allergy to it.  David thoroughly enjoyed it.  I didn't spend too much time eating, I was in too much of a hurry to get onto the sand, swim in the sea and soak it all up.  It was so spectacular and exhilarating for I could finally experience such a tropical oasis, touch it and feel it, not just look at pictures of it.

After lunch was over and people had time for a break, we boarded the boat again and headed for Khai Island.  Here is where we would spend the most time and have plenty of time to sit and relax.  By the time we reached this spot, we were all pretty tired as the heat takes so much out of you and getting on and off the boat all of the time wears you out.  I was so very relieved to be able to sit on the beach, eat some wonderful fruit and gaze out at the ocean.  David did more snorkeling here and I was happy to play in the sand.  This island was just what I had expected, with its friendly, warm people, umbrellas and beach huts.
We headed home again back to the pier at Phuket and were completely mesmerised by what we had seen that day.  The beauty of the islands and the sea around it, is totally stunning.  I was very glad that we had done this tour for I have always wanted to see this.  By the time we arrived back at our hotel, I was tired, covered in sand and all salty from the sea.  All I wanted was a long shower.  Our adventure so far in Thailand had been brilliant and we were only half way through it!  After getting changed, we went downstairs for dinner and started to unwind.  Tomorrow would bring some 'retail therapy' and more exploring in town :) xxx