KOH PHI PHI
Sleep on the overnight ferry was surprisingly comfortable and we arrived to Surat Thani just in time for sunrise. There wasn't much time to take in the view. From here we were catching a bus and then another ferry to Koh Phi Phi.
This little cluster of islands is mainly known since that DiCaprio movie, 'The Beach'. Ever since the island has changed forever. I was hesitating whether is a good idea to go for such a tourist hot spot, but after all I've decided for it. The islands can't be so popular for no apparent reason. Right on our arrival white sand beaches greeted on one side and tall cliffs on the other side, with hills covered in lush, green vegetation. The smaller islands looked a bit surreal and in my opinion resembled fossilised tree trunks of gigantic trees. We have gambled a bit and did not book any accommodation, which worked out to be a bit more expensive than I hoped, but our garden bungalow had a nice feel and turned out to be very relaxed. Unlike the rest of the island, which did get quite noisy at times, specially around main paths. There are no cars here and not many motorbikes, so all traffic is on foot, or boats, and delivery is being done on push carts. I have decided to spend some more money on diving here, with a prospect of seeing some turtles and black-tip reef sharks. Also the visibility should be better here compared to Koh Tao, where the rainy season is just starting while on Phi Phi the dry season has started. Luckily we had almost undisrupted sunny weather on both of these islands. We have spent a couple of days exploring the beaches, while one day morning I've attended my dive. This took place near Maya Bay, that is the beach from 'The Beach'. My instructors told me that we will snorkel in the bay in between two dives so I will see what is wrong with the beach and why I should stay away. I didn't take the word of warning and made the obligatory visit with Majka that afternoon. It is indeed quite crowded and the number of boats parked on the beach makes it almost impossible to swim or enjoy the sea. The scenery however is quite beautiful and I understand why so many can't stay away. After all we were piling on to those numbers of visitors, so can't blame the tourist. On the contrary there are many more similarly amazing beaches on nearby islands where you can enjoy solitude if you wish. Not here. Not on 'The Beach'.
I have upped my dive count to 6 and now it is time to move a bit further. Our next stop is Railay Beach just a 15 minutes boat ride from Krabi on the mainland. Supposed to be beautiful, so I look forward whether Phi Phi can be topped...