Now this is a vacation!

Today was the ‘best day ever!’ It started off with sleeping in til 10 AM and turning on MTV Asia just in time to hear Airplanes (and me singing “I could really use a wish right now…” could probably be heard down the hall!) I brought some clothes down to be laundered and then went to grab brunch (not remembering that I get seasick-more on that later!) It was delish and enjoyed every bite for only 60 Baht (not even $2.00!) After brunch I decided to roam around and find a good deal for a sunset island hopping adventure…I then walked around to find a towel or underwater disposable camera, but decided neither were necessary. I found a fruit stand selling lanzones (aka duku/longkon) for 25 Baht for a big bag…so I bought it! 🙂 I stopped at the hotel and asked for a beach towel to borrow and headed to the beach before my excursion to the other islands. The beach was hot and the water was so warm. I walked out about 100 yards and still could stand up in the clear blue water and it was at the most thigh high.

When it was time, I headed back to the place where I bought my excursion ticket so they could take me to the boat. I followed this guy and waited…then finally realized after he was telling me to go on a longtail boat that I was in the wrong spot! So they made a quick call to the people on the big boat and another man came to get me and take me to the big boat. The big boat had already left the dock and they had to send a small boat to come and get me. Once I was on the boat we were off to see Monkey Beach…you are probably wondering why they call it Monkey Beach, right? LOL…it’s a small beach and it’s completely inhabited by monkeys! So cool…except a girl got bit by one! I forgot to bring my longkon…they love it when you give them fruit! But I got a few good pictures! (See my album when I post it!) I decided to swim back to the boat which wasn’t too far away…and met a girl from California who was now teaching in Taiwan. She had just gotten up the boat but as I was reaching for the ladder…the captain started the engine and just that small wave pushed me back. I had to grab the small boat again and they had to pull me back in! Whoa! What a moment when I thought I would be left behind for the second time! I made it back on and off we were to Ko Phi Phi Ley (you might be thinking that’s the same island, but actually the island I am on is called Ko Phi Phi Don) PP Ley is an island with nothing but a beach and uninhabited land.

The boat ride was lengthy and rocky…so it swayed a lot (too much for my stomach to handle) so the crew gave me a pill and something to smell to calm my tummy…it helped for a bit. When we stopped…it was time to kayak and snorkel! This was my first time to snorkel…and it was pretty awesome! I was still feeling sick, so I decided not to kayak. They feed the fish around the boat so all the fish swim around you to get the food. I was a bit anxious to snorkel (my greatest fear is that I’ll die by suffocation/drowning) so I took it easy at first. I met a new friend before jumping in, she was a diver and also traveling alone, so I felt a bit more at ease when she said I’d be fine. When we went in there were fish everywhere! She told me a sea snake was swimming underneath me…I looked down just in time to see it’s tail go under a rock! So many different types of colorful fish all around me…just swimming in front of my mask! A man nearby picked up a sea urchin with a net…it was really cool, but he got yelled at to put it back in the water. Amy got a picture of me underwater with the fishes…and then above water with my camera…so I’ll post those later. I got back on the boat and we waited for a few folks to come back from kayaking…as we were waiting I met a guy from France (French classes came in handy this time around…a rare moment, but I was able to speak a few phrases with him!) Once everyone was back, we were off to Maya Bay (the place where in the movie ‘the Beach’ Leonardo DiCaprio’s character gets eaten by a shark and the carry him back to the shore where he dies…I never saw the movie but that’s what another guy told me).

That’s when the seasickness really kicked in…and I decided that I was just going to have to lose my brunch in order to survive the rest of this boat ride! After a quick trip to the bathroom I felt better and we arrived in a small bay where we took a small boat to get to this little opening with rocks all over and big waves coming in! That was an adventure getting on the island that way! Then we had a short hike to the other side of the island that took us to Maya Bay (and by short-I really mean short-2 minutes tops to walk to the other side and the walk was worth it! You walk through lush tropical vegetation and then you hit a clearing and it opens up to a beautiful bay. I met a couple of guys from the Netherlands that were on my same boat. There were so many boats in the bay…all people visiting for a short stay. That’s all I’m going to say about that island…pictures and video to make you jealous will come soon! 🙂 After an hour there…it was time to catch the small boat to head back to the big boat for dinner (fried rice and tea with watermelon for dessert) and then catch the sunset on the water in between PP Ley and PP Don.

The sunset wasn’t spectacular, because the clouds in the distance didn’t allow is to see the sun go below the horizon…but it started to rain a little before the sun went down and I was able to see a rainbow and a sunset at the same time! (on 2 different sides of the boat) It was still pretty rocky on the boat and as I type this hours later I can still feel like I’m rocking on the ship! I absolutely loved this excursion…totally worth the 500 Baht (less than $15!) I almost didn’t want it to end but the night sky had settled in. Before I got off the boat I wanted to be sure to give Amy my card (I teach the Professional Communication students never to go anywhere where there might be other people without business cards…so even on this excursion I had my cards! You never know where and when you’ll meet someone…and Amy is from Tazmania! I never thought I would meet someone from there). I asked if she could send me the pictures she took on her camera. We ended up talking as we walked back into town and decided to hang out. She showed me a great massage/mani/pedi place near her hotel then we went to eat mango and sweet sticky rice (yum!) at this place where we ended up making friends with the owner and taking pictures with him. 🙂 His story was so touching…as he rebuilt his business after the tsunami washed away his restaurant in 2004…we were able to read about it through newspaper clippings he had made into a book to tell the story. We stayed there for over an hour just talking and meeting 2 people seating near us. Everyone here is so friendly! I love it…I’m so glad I decided to vacation here in Phi Phi.

Tomorrow is my last day on the island and then I head back to Bangkok via Phuket…more to come on my adventures in Southeast Asia!

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