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Published: July 10th 2012
Officially arrive in Paradise!
Took the 2hr boat at 11am over to Koh Phi Phi, arriving in the harbour surrounded by tall steep cliffs, waves lapping up, the clear blue sea below us, fish, coral. It was gorgeous!
It took about 2 minutes to find our hostel. Ivory hostel- its literally right in the centre of the island... which is only about 2 minutes from the beach. Checked in. Lovely rooms...would call it more of a hotel than a hostel.
Decided to go for a wander and explore the island. Had a good wander around in the scorching sunshine, taking in pardise.
Passed a dive school and got chatting to a girl there about how good the diving is on Phi Phi. We had all decided before the holiday we wanted to dive and Phi Phi seemed like the ideal place to do it. Decided to go ahead and do the fun dive at 3500baht. We talked about all the stuff we were likely to see - sharks, seahorses, turtles (if we were really lucky), the different types of fish, nemop fish, octopus. Got to the 'medical' section of the chat, filled out these forms and the
first question was 'Do you have asthma'. I was honest and had said I had mild asthma but it didnt bother me on a daily basis. From that point I basically couldn't dive. (For anyone reading this whos going to dive on Koh Phi Phi... Tick all the boxes to say you have no medical conditions otherwise you'll have to go back over to Phuket for a medical before they will allow you to dive!)
I was distraught... literally crying because I was that upset. Its one of my many dreams to see a turtle while diving and one silly box on a medical screwwed it up for me... or so I thought.
We had a drink together, me and the lads, and decided we'd try a different dive shop later in the evening. We got chatting to another dive shop on the other side of the island and signed up with no problems. They were all really helpful, filled out the medical (and lied) and it was all fine. I was extatic! 😊 I knew I'd be fine and my astma wouldnt be a problem as I dived in Kenya and had no problems.
evening up at Koh Phi Phi View point watching the sunset. Was gorgeous. Had about a 20 minute hike up the hill side and got fantastic views from the top.
We had tea at Ciao Bella, an Italian on the front and had an early night ready for our diving!
Dive day arrived! We met the guys at the dive shop and headed out to the harbour. Got on our boat and went through all the safety stuff...how to clear your mask, signs for underwater etc.
Our first dive was next to a small island. We got into the water, did our safety test about 3 metres under water, then headed down to about 12 metres, equilising on the way down. I'd literally just equalised and there, underneath me was a turtle!!! I couldnt believe it! It was gorgeous. It swam up over the coral and out of sight but got a good view of it. Its really hard to clap underwater! I stupidly was smiling away and managed to fill my mask with water... not the best idea. We got about 45 minutes down there on our first dive, seeing gorgeous colourful fish, starfish, nemos, and
even a leopard shark. It swam at us head on, then drifted off to the right and up over the coral. Fantastic!
Our second dive was out in the middle of the ocean with a cone shaped coral bed below us. We were told this was shark central and we'd see lots of fantastic stuff down there. We headed down again, about 12 metres, descending next to the jagged coral bed. Again saw some lovely fish, some creepy looking fish. Was loving it, floating along. Its like flying!
The lads ran out of oxygen before I did reaching 20 bar when I was still on 80. I stayed down with one of the instructors while they went back up to the surface. After about 5 minutes of being down there, a black tipped reef shark swam by. This one looked a lot creepier than the leopard shark we'd seen earlier and I was a little scared. It soared by without a care in the world, not bothered by myself and my diving instructor. Still, you wouldnt want to get on the wrong side of it. AMAZING!
Headed back up to the surface and back to the island
all on a high after what we'd seen.
In the afternoon we decided to hire a boat out an go exploring some of the other islands, including Koh Phi Phi Lei, the island which The Beach was filmed on. We headed out in this little long wooden boat around Koh Phi Phi Don, saw some monkeys, passed Viking Cave, into a gorgeous lagoon with clear blue/green below us, and over to a great place for snorkling. Did some snorkling, not half as exciting as our dive earlier that day but still pretty nice to be surrounded by all these colourful fish.
We then headed round to Maya Bay, the beach where The Beach was filmed. The access to it is pretty tretchorous if you go through the back enterance. We approached it, a big net hanging from the rocks, some locals stood with snorkle masks on, guiding the tourists through the water avoiding the rocks below. It was crazy. The idea was, you climbed up the ropes and over the other side. Mental!
We did it anyway, just! I managed to scrape my foot and cut it open on the rocks cos a wave came and bashed
me against it. Once round at the beach though it was gorgeous. Pure paradise. You can see why it was chosen as the setting for the film. Only downside was, you were sharing it was about another 60 tourists. Had some pictures, chilled in the sea and soaked up the gorgeous surroundings.
For tea we went to Paddy's GGPP for the biggest, most amazing burgers ever! Decided to explore the night life in the evening so went to one of the beaches for some sheesha and chang and and some serious dance music. Because of my cut foot, I was hobbling around and couldnt dance, so we just chilled. Was good fun.
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