Perfect Phi Phi . . .

Trip Start Dec 30, 2006
Trip End Mar 15, 2007

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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Hi once more,

We are on Phi Phi, the beautiful tropical island on the Ardaman Sea, south of Phuket. Made famous in the western world by The Beach and backpackers galore coming home with stories of paradise. Its pretty good. We arrived here after the night in Poo-Ket, and an hour ferry trip. Phi Phi is split into two amazing limestone islands, Phi Phi Ley and Phi Phi Don. The latter is the one everyone stays on and the former is a pristine national park made famous by the filum, The Beach.

We arrived along with a throng of other tourists, day-trippers from Krabi and Poo-Ket and backpackers galore. I dropped T off to rest and headed for the guesthouses and hotels of Ton Sai Bay. After almost two hours of walking around and asking everywhere (and I do mean everywhere) in the stinking heat (yep, you were spot-on Kat, it's boiling here during the day) I found a great little spot on the road between the lagoon and Hippies bar called Oasis. When we had finally pealed the sweat drenched clothes from ourselves, showered and changed, we headed out to see this place that was raved about by so many. My first impressions were that it was hot, expensive and packed with tourists. What kind of a paradise was this? Those feelings were soon to be laid to rest by a place that was brimming with atmosphere, magic surroundings that were too spectacular to miss and great people.

The first day we spent on the beach in the morning, then T wanted to do her scuba open water diving. So we trouped around to ask the million (give or take) dive shops what they had to offer. She settled on Island Divers and school started (for some) at 9am the next morning. That night we watched some films shown at the million (give or take) bars/restrurants around the village. During the night I managed to pick up a cold of sorts and found it pretty much impossible not to sleep in. But, as I am perfect, I walked T to school, made sure she went through the gates ok and promised to meet her at lunch-time. The afternoon followed the same route, although I have to admit, Ton Sai Bay is not that big and a 26 y/o adult male should be able to cover the streets in about 20 minutes at a normal pace - I had 4 hours! Yes, thats12 times I walked around the village. You can't go further (believe me I would have) as there aren't any other roads and I was sick. I think the dive shop was slightly worried as I was spending too much time trying to find new places to inconspicously wait.

She was in the open water for the next two days (the last one I went out). After the 4th dive of 18m which she said was amazing (they saw turtles, sea snakes, seahorses,  heaps of fish (including nemo) and sting rays) and a test, Teresa Lynn was qualified open water scuba diver! Thankfully sharks didn't make an appearance on any of the dives, much to her relief.

So, we now had a few days of relaxation (and no more early mornings) to do nothing. Dermot's mate, Neil and his girlfriend Cathy were on their way back from Australia to Ireland and hung out with us for a few days. It was so much better with the bigger crowd on such a small island!

One of the best days we had included a day trip to Maya bay (The Beach), Monkey Beach and Bamboo Island. Despite the crowds that visit Maya Bay every day the beach has the most pristine water and soft white sand we had ever seen. Monkey Beach was unreal. We were both fascinated and disgusted by the amount of fat monkeys who cheekily approached tourists for food and drink cans! One wrestled T for her bag but she was having none of it. Unfortunately another woman lost out to a determined monkey who wouldn't let her within 2 feet of her bag while it had a good root through to find food! Bamboo Island had the best snorkelling we had come across on this trip. It was just amazing. T managed to find a group of nemos and after we returned to the shore we challenged each other to go finding nemo again. I won because I know the anemones that they like to feed off!! Mwhahahahaha

Phi Phi was awesome. Had such a relaxing time here and it was a perfect stop off before heading home. Next stop Bangkok!
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