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Published: April 22nd 2008
The Viewpoint and Tsunami Memorial Gardens
Although tired after the very busy day tour of both Phi Phi Islands I decided I would make the effort and climb the many steps to the Viewpoint which is regarded as one of the highlights of any trip to this area. It was still very hot and humid at 5.00 pm and I reckon I sweated off a few kilos on this island visit.
I made it to level one of the Viewpoint where there is a shop where you can sit at some tables and admire the view. I was suprised to see a large group of monkeys being fed by three other tourists, more monkeys than I had seen in most of my tours around Thailand. The pics don't do it justice but the view here is stunning as you look across Phi Phi Don towards Phi Phi Lay. The man who ran the shop took a couple of pics for me and I overheard him telling the other tourists that he had witnessed the Tsunami from this vantage point in 2004, something that will stay in his memory forever.
Another fairly long walk along a flatter pavement instead
of steps to Viewpoint level 2 and we were rewarded with an even more impressive view from the sky. This place really is amazing - there were about sixty other locals and tourists admiring the scenery and of course another shop to buy souvenirs and drinks, food etc.
The next morning I had decided to locate the Tsunami Memorial Garden which I walked past without noticing the entrance, went onto the nearby beach and asked directions from a local girl who took me back near JJ Bungalow and told me to follow the soi. Well I thought I was heading in the wrong direction, lets just say that I found the alternative route to the Viewpoint. Yes I kept going and somehow ended up at the Viewpoint Level 1 and then had to walk all the way back down to find the Memorial Garden. I lost another couple of kilos in the heat but did find the gardens and spent about 45 minutes reminiscing about my father's lfe as he had recently passed away. I thought this spot would be appropriate as he was a lover of the sea.
The memorial garden is very well kept with a
nice pond and a collection of plaques with the names of persons lost in the Tsunami including Troy Broadbridge the AFL footballer from Adelaide.
I then had a walk along the deserted beach, returned to the JJ Bungalow and checked out of my room - my luggage was taken to the pier as shown in the pics by the bell boy who deserved the tip I gave him for the carting my gear in the sweltering heat.
The ferry was a bit of a worry on the outgoing voyage as it was definitely overcrowded and they covered the exit routes downstairs with back packs and other luggage. There is no way I would catch the ferry in high seas as it would be a death trap in bad conditions.
We made it back to the Krabi Pier safely and I caught a Chao Kow Group taxi truck back to Krabi Town instead of using the taxi mafia and the guy driving the truck offered to take me to the airport in his mini van a bit later for a total cost of 300 baht, about $A12 - I had used my bartering skills to get this price.
I was tired and ready to fly back to Bangkok after a busy three days on the Phi Phi Islands, a must see destination in Thailand.
Click on the pics if you want a larger view and select next to see all the pictures.
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