Published: March 25th 2010March 16th 2010
One of the things we love about travelling is that our plans change all the time we can sit down for a bowl of noodle soup and decide...ok let's go to Koh Phi Phi and do some snorkelling. So putting the new plan into action we sought out a bus to Krabi and bought some goggles.
Krabi surprised us with it's riverside setting, pretty guesthouses and busy night markets. We as always eat very well, selecting an array of delights from the stalls neatly lining the streets. This is one of the
best things about Thailand (and S E Asia) people enjoying the outdoor eating and the great atmosphere of the evening markets.
We arranged a day tour around the Phi Phi islands as to stay there is too expensive for us bargain backpackers. Our day started early the following morning after a stifling night in our sauna bedroom, it
looked pretty, but temperature wise was worse than the tent!
There were numerous tour operators to choose from but we plumped for Barracudas tours, and they shipped us over to Ao Nang where we joined the million other people waiting at the speedboat fringed shore. Luckily our speedboat
was not one of the gargantuan ones so our group was select. The boat sped off to our first stop on what proved to be a beautifully scenic but incredibly bumpy ride.
Our tour leader 'Knock' was a bubbly very loud lady and she barked out information as we shot across the bay. We looked around at the bouncing horizon, scattered with wondrous limestone and green-cloaked islands protruding vertically from the emerald ocean and thought how stunning it was. Such strange protrusions they made, a heart shape, columns, bulbous mushrooms and even a chicken island.
Maya beach AKA 'The Beach' was our first stop and it was amazing. Dazzling blue sea and a curve of white sand encircled, almost, by the towering cliffs. It was a shame to have to share it with all the
hoards of people but you can see why they, and we, were there as it is an extremely dramatic kind of beauty. We took our obligatory photos and soaked up the sights, spotting a green sea snake in the shallows, before it was time to rejoin the tour.
The speedboat whipped us around the headland where we went for our first of
three snorkel sessions that day. I love snorkelling, you feel as though you've entered another world. In this particular site the
marine life was fantastic, we saw shoals and shoals of brightly coloured fish everything from angel fish to trumpet fish and clown fish. Sea urchins, sea slugs and luminous spiney starfish skulked at the bottom, and all around us was the beautiful coral garden.
The tour continued...taking in Viking Cave where swallows nests are harvested for the infamous delicacy birds nest soup, beautiful lagoons and coves, and all before lunch!
Our numbers were reduced after eating as one of our group failed to return to the boat, we waited 45mins but after that Knock declared that we had to go, so we hope that miss lost made it back to the
An open-sea snorkel point was next, a coral mountain beneath the waves made the waters look impossibly blue as we approached. Upon jumping in we realised that it was just as beautiful below, Lewi swam off into the crystal waters in hope of an elusive shark sighting, sadly (for him) he was not successful but we did see another amazing underwater display.
final stop was at Bamboo island yet another immaculate beach above water and vibrant coral habitat beneath. We dived into shoals containing billions of tiny fish scattering their precision synchronised swimming, turning to watch them reform behind us.
Flicking the salt from our hair and reapplying the suncream we clambered aboard the boat taking our seats at the bow for the last thrilling journey back. Every ripple on the calm sea would smack against the hull causing us to grab onto the sides as we were lifted off the seats and thumped back down.
It had been a beautiful action packed day and we stepped from the boat slightly sun burnt, very windswept and with rather bruised backsides!
There are more photos below