Monday, October 31, 2011

Phi Phi Islands Tour Package @ Krabi (Ao Nang), Thailand

Following that super fun trip to Ko Hong island, Alex and I decided to book for another island package the next day. This time, we took the celebrity route to the world-famous Phi Phi islands!

It should have been a lovely trip but unfortunately, the speedboat broke down while on its way to pick up two customers at Railay Bay. We were sent back to Aonang and made to wait for three hours before the problem was eventually rectified!

Barracudas Tour was actually very professional about it as they could have jolly well cancelled the tour and saved the operating costs after twelve persons opted out due to the delay. Which they didn't of course.

First stop was Bamboo Island (Ko Mai Phai); a small enclave surrounded by a beautiful ring of really sandy beach. Trust me on the sandy part, the sand was as fine as flour.

Like most of you, we expected to see loads of bamboos but there wasn't any. In their place were actually towering pine-like trees providing good shelter from the sunny mid-day sun.

We had been pre-informed that due to the devastating tsunami in year 2004, most of the corals around Bamboo Island are dead and it will take a long time for the ecosystem to recover. I did some snorkeling in the shallow waters and could barely catch the sights of any live underwater activity.

Next up was Phi Phi Don; the main island filled with shops, restaurants, pubs and accommodation for visitors. Our purpose there? Lunch!

Lunch was Thai cuisine, buffet style. Nothing to marvel about although i did enjoy the scenery while having my meal on the second floor of a no-frills restaurant.

This is, by and large, a touristier town than Ao Nang. Staying at Phi Phi Don is definitely an option for the future as i can partake in extended period of snorkeling without being asked to leave for another island.

Third destination for the tour was Monkey Beach - a complete waste of time.

It is at most 50-100 meters long and the monkeys belong to the long tailed macaques species commonly see in Singapore. Furthermore, we watched them from a far yet safe distance due to a recent attack on a visitor.

Impressive view as the speedboat travelled to the next stop; Maya Bay which happens to be the main filming location for the movie (The Beach) starring Hollywood heartthrob (then) Leonardo Dicarpio.

Some basic information on Phi Phi islands (the above shows Maya Bay).

As the name suggests, Phi Phi islands is a group of six islands with Phi Phi Don being the largest and Phi Phi Leh being the significantly more famous one (no doubt the help of the movie since Maya Bay is located there).

Slices of juicy watermelon and pineapples were dispensed at this point and they tasted extremely marvelous under the hot weather with the assistance of salty sea water residue on my lips. Hannah would not have rendered that as being sufficient and might proceed to dip them in seawater instead.

As anticipated, Maya Bay was popular! Definitely beautiful although i found the snorkeling experience to be less than satisfactory; albeit better than Bamboo Island.

Fifth stop; Loh Samah Bay. This is the place promised by the guide to be a much better place for snorkeling as compared to the miserable ones i mentioned.

The following few iPhone pictures will best describe the under-the-sea experience that i frequently brought out to my friends who have never tried snorkeling.

Alex prepared bread to act as lure to entice as many fishes as he could. He bought a total of four loaves!!! I told him he might as well sell them at a 200% profit to tourists!

He did manage to attract quite a few greedy ones!

I took a few pieces of bread for my personal agenda; coax them to swim nearer so that i can take some pictures!

It might not look deep but the seabed is around two to three meters with many jagged stones. I almost crashed into one when i first dived in. Note of caution; please enter the water gently.

Up to this juncture, i am 70% satisfied with the underwater exploration!

Now entering Pileh Bay which was described as a beautiful lagoon in the brochure.

Judging from the picture, i would say the brochure wasn't too far from the truth! The water was crystal clear and given the seemingly shallow depth, i am surprised this place wasn't popular with snorkelers. Until i saw the possibly thousands of spiky sea urchins lying at the bottom!

With reference to the brochure again, Viking Cave is in fact a place where locals harvest bird's nest and visitors can also go in for sightseeing. However, the tour guide told us that the cave is getting to be really unsafe due to the heavy tourist traffic and is now closed to all visitors.

I am not sure how true that is even though i could not help but have this nagging suspicion that she was sacrificing this venue to secure more time for our next snorkeling station. Which i would have agreed anyway. ^_^

Our last stop; Hin Klang, described as the best place to snorkel in the Phi Phi islands region.

An exaggeration maybe? Absolutely not! Fishes were in abundance yet the area gave the impression that it's no difference from the sea we have in Singapore.

Categorised as an underwater reef or coral mountain, the depth was roughly around three to four meters and you could hardly find anything to step on for balancing or to take a short break from the tight snorkeling mask.

The deepness was a blessing in disguise as the floor was filled with those needle heads (aka sea urchins)!

As you might have noticed by now, the above fish is the most common (and possibly the most daring) and has been often featured in my Krabi posts. There were other fishes captured on my iPhone but the quality was worse than what i have posted here.

Since this was the last item on our itinerary, Alex figured that if he wanted to catch a marine fish, there's no better time than then! Using an empty bread bag, he tried again and again without success and judging from the setting sun, time was running short.

Luckily for him, he succeeded (look at that smug look) a while before we were dragged up by the tour guide! Okay lah, we were nicely asked to embark the boat. Just to make things clear, the captured fish was released back into the great ocean after being ridiculed by Alex.

On our way back to Ao Nang.

Thanks to the delay, we managed to catch the dazzling sunset. Sometimes in life, things happen for a reason and there's no point in getting upset because eventually, it might turn out to be rewarding.

Time to disembark.

These are the wonderful friends we acquainted with on this trip; Patrick and Pearl hailing from Malaysia, Oshri and Dana from Israel and missing in this photograph are Clarisse from Reunion Island and Satiish from India.

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At 900 Thai Baht, this tour package to Phi Phi islands (map attached for your reference) included the usual stuff like lunch, snorkeling kit, life jacket, complimentary cold mineral water, pepsi, cake and fruits!

18 comments:

  1. Pearl&Pat7:59 PM

    It was a nice trip for us too... but even more nicer with you guys around!!! Thanks for the great company.
    Maybe we can plan for next trip : )

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for yours too! We should go boracay!!! haha

    ReplyDelete
  3. We are planning to visit Phuket and Krabi in mid-Dec.
    Thank you for posting.
    I've been looking at some of the posts on this website to get an idea about travel in Phuket and Krabi for my next vacation.
    At Phuket, I think I'll stay here Surin Beach Hotel This hotel is very nice clean and the people are friendly. VERY nice hotel with helpful staff.
    And I really love white sand, crystal clear waters at Surin Beach too.
    Thank again.

    ReplyDelete
  4. you are most welcome!

    Well, i have been to phuket but guess krabi still wins, hands down! hahaha.

    Shall consider boracay next! shall keep in mind surin beach hotel if i am ever in phuket. :P

    thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous3:09 PM

    Hi,

    You booked for phiphi island at 900baht? on longtail boat? which agency is it? It this the 'common' price over there?

    Because I got quoted 1200baht over the email through agency.

    I am just wondering am I able to just walk in to any agency to book the trip? Is it easily to be found on Ao Nang street?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous3:17 PM

    hey can I also check.. did you bring your iphone underwater? Is there waterproof casing for iphone?! sorry I didnt know!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Anonymous [since you didn't indicate your name],

    900 baht was for speedboat but do note that my trip was during the off peak season and that could explain the wide difference. I used Barracudas Tours [for more info, please click http://cavinteo.blogspot.com/2011/10/koh-hong-island-tour-by-speed-boat.html].

    And yes, you could buy waterproof casing for iphones! But i found it difficult to take pictures. Videos via iPhone were much easier.

    Hope you enjoy Krabi~! I have always missed my times there. :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Woww!!! nice trip. If you can’t decide for your next trip…Phuket is the best choice for you!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thailand and Philippines has one thing in common, They have many beautiful islands resort.. You can compare this island to Boracay from the Philippines..


    United Kingdom Visa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i would love to visit Boracay this year!! check out my blog frequently for updates!

      Delete
  10. Shika7:55 PM

    Hey!

    I am going AoNang this Oct for my sis bday.
    Its 5D4N trip.

    Where can i find map/travel guide/tours information?
    And how much should i bring?

    Please advice.

    Thanks
    Shika

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HI Shika!

      It really depends on what you want to do in AoNang; the tours are usually around S$50 (depending on seasons) and i spent less than S$300 as i didn't do much shopping.

      You can find loads of tour agent counters in AoNang so fret not about finding information. I visited with zero information and yet i survived! Haha. thought my blog is quite a good starting point for info on AoNang.

      Click http://cavinteo.blogspot.sg/search/label/Travel_Thailand_Krabi for more information. :)

      Delete
  11. Anonymous4:35 PM

    Wow, I read this and no need to get headache, phi phi tour around 900-1200 is consider cheap.As I check thru online, price is around 1400-1800 which quite expensive. I will go check out on first day on the ground, hopefully the weather is fine for 2nd day phi phi tour. As I learn, if agent didn't manage to get through tour they will refund our cash yet I still afraid. It's going to be my first time to be there.

    How was Barracudas?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. you can check out the counter i visited; http://cavinteo.blogspot.sg/2011/10/tour-agent-counters-our-preferred.html. Very nice lady by the name of Tarn and the charges were quite reasonable.

      The list on the counter was actually 1800 baht but she gave us a discount. It could be a gimmick but to me, so long the price is reasonable and the person sounds sincere, i am willing to pay.

      Delete
  12. Anonymous4:36 PM

    But,this post is 2011. Haha .. okay.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. haha, i hope to go back there soon!

      Delete
  13. NICE SHOTS. CHEERS!

    ReplyDelete

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