'The Beach'

Trip Start Apr 04, 2011
Trip End Apr 08, 2011

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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Day 4 : Hotel –> Nopparat Thara Beach –> Bamboo Island –> Viking Cave –> Phi Leh Bay –> Maya Bay  –> Phi Phi Don –> Monkey Beach –> Nopparat Thara Beach –> Ao Nang –> Hotel

Note: The operator skipped Hin Klarng (open sea snorkeling) because it was under restoration and Loh Samah Bay (don't know for what reason).

It's snorkeling again!
It was our second last day of our stay in Krabi. The operator picked us up at our hotel and drove us to Nopparat Thara Beach, located north from Ao Nang beach, which took about 10mins. Here we waited for our speedboat. The scenery around this beach is better than Ao Nang. We planned to explore the beach when we return later. Our first destination was Bamboo Island. Not sure why it's named bamboo, because I couldn't see any at the island. Anyway, the beach had long white sands and turquoise waters were so clear that you can photograph the coral from above the surface. We snorkeled and surprised that we could see fish even at the shore where the water were shallow.

Another version of us!
In this trip we met a couple from Singapore who had the same name as us! Yes, us! We got to know when the operator asked for Joel, and we both put up our hands. Then when both of us having the same name, his girlfriend offered to use her name - Jasmine instead! Their names were also Joel and Jasmine! What are the odds of that? We became friends instantly, and because they have ran out of battery we helped them to snap some of the pictures!

Viking Cave
After Bamboo Island, we proceeded to Koh Phi Phi Leh the smaller of 2 Phi Phi islands, the other one being Phi Phi Don. The former was undeveloped, where you can see its natural beauty whilst latter has been developed, populated with resorts and restaurants. Our original itinerary was to go Hin Klarng for open sea snorkeling but was told by the operator it was closed for coral restoration. Not sure how true was that, got a feeling he was not telling the truth. We skipped that and went to our next destination - Viking Cave. The boat just stop for 5mins explaining about the history of the cave and it's now used by swifts to make their nests and later harvested by locals as bird nests.

Note: There were some paintings on the walls of boats resembling Viking ships but the boat did not stop and show us the paintings. When I research from Internet, we  can actually see the paintings on the wall. If you are going there, try asking the operator if we you can see wall paintings.

Paradise on Earth
Our next stop, Phi Ley Bay. It has one of the most beautiful view as you enter, tall limestones flanking on either side, to form a big lagoon. The water was emerald green in color. It was spectacular and disappointed that our operator did not allow us to snorkel here. They reasoned that it was not allowed. WTF??? I saw other boats are stopping here and allowing the people to snorkel around.

The "Beach"
Continuing our next stop in the itinerary was Loh Samah Bay. It was suppose to be snorkeling session, again they skipped it and went to Maya Bay next, which was located at the other side of Loh Samah Bay.

Note: When I came back and researched online, some boats actually drop the passengers at Loh Samah Bay, and after that you can walked across to Maya Bay (both are connected) through a ready made pathway. Very disappointed again we didn't get to do the little adventure where you will walk pass a cave and a flight stairs before reaching the other side.

Instead of going straight to the Maya Bay the operator drop us on the outskirt and secluded area of Maya Bay where he claimed was much beautiful and away from the crowd. We spent about 10-15mins there snorkeling before we eventually docked at the picturesque Maya Bay. It was really beautiful and we took plenty of pictures of this paradise.

From Maya Bay we stopped at Koh Phi Phi Don for lunch at one of the restaurants. The food were all ready, buffet style, and you can eat all you can. It was rice and dishes. Other operators also engage the same restaurant because other tourists also had their lunch here. Here we met another couple from Malaysia. After finishing our food, it was time to explore the island but we didn't have enough time to explore all because we were only given 90mins. I know we missed out on the View Point where you can see the hourglass shape of the island and also the Tsunami monument. We only managed to walked down to one of side of the island and back. Real frustration.

Monkey Beach (outskirt)
Again the operator said that it was dangerous to stop at the Monkey beach because the monkeys were dangerous and violent. He had an experience where he had to bring one tourist to clinic after one of the monkeys bit the tourist for feeding the monkey. So, this time around, he just wanted to avoid all trouble and stopped us on the outskirt near a limestone cliff to do our snorkel. It was fun here because we got to snorkel round the big limestone rock and see a huge coral underwater where we got to see plenty of fish.

Note: Very frustrated with the tour operator J Mansion, they were very rushing and spoil the entire trip. Avoid them at all cost. I would suggest to hire private boat yourself and explore Koh Phi Phi at your own leisure. You can travel to Phi-Phil islands even if you are from Phuket.

Nopparat Thara Beach
We headed home to Nopparat Thara beach after that. It was an unsatisfied ride home cause there were so many things that we missed out on during the Phi-Phi trip. We will definitely return in future. After reaching the beach, we told the operators that we wanted to explore the area and we will go back on our own. After whole day of being chased about, finally we got sometime on our own. Our Singaporean friends decided to go back earlier, whilst the Malaysian friends joined us. It was a decision that we did not regret because the beach was splendid, a long stretch of white sand beach, littered with casuarina trees all over the place with majestic limestones in the background. This beach is a must visit in Krabi. No words can describe peaceful and beautiful this place is. After strolling about, the skies got dark quickly. I suggested to the gang that we should take the tut-tut. It has been always my objective to experience the local rides. It was an eye-opening experience and which one should try at least once. It immediately poured when we got on the modified bike. The driver then came down to pull a transparent plastic that was attached at the top. Creative! The ride back took only about 5-10mins and cost us 50THB each.

Around Ao Nang again
After freshen up we meet up with our new friends at McD nearby our hotel and brought them the massage parlor we went yesterday because they were tired and wanted to have a good massage. It cost us only 250THB for a 1 hour massage. It was Thai massage where their specialty was to crack your bones to release the stress. The masseur were good (at least mine was) and I can recommend highly enough. After our relaxation, it was time for food. The gang decided to have seafood at the famous seafood street where all the restaurants are. We went along to check out the place, and according to our friends the last restaurant at the end of the street was the cheapest. (They have surveyed the price the day before). Because we had seafood for the past 4 days, we decided not to join them. We decided Italian food because there were so many restaurants here and we have yet to taste them yet. We tried Zanotti, where they had this promotion where the pasta or pizza cost only 99THB!

Ancient Handicraft
Outside the restaurant, we stumbled upon this handicraft master where he was busy using a chisel to carve an elephant from a leather. We were so impressed with his details and intricacies of his art that he did not even need to use any template to assist him. He just work on the blank leather, like there was a direction somewhere. Respect! We love the artwork so much that we bought one piece from him. The art depicted a dragon and phoenix and has been since framed and hung in our living room. Check out the pictures in the album below to see this ancient art.

We met the gang again when they decided to have a drink at the pub area. The pub was full of lady-boys, and were fighting for business. The pub that we frequented was much more 'happening' full of customers but the one opposite was totally the opposite, not a single soul. Some of them even desperately to do pole dancing in order to spice up the attraction, but to no avail. My wife had pina colado and the cocktail was in the glass shape like a woman's body. On that day, it was also Joel's (of Singapore) birthday, and his girlfriend and the Malaysian couple threw a surprise for him that they managed to buy a cake for him. We celebrated his birthday together before we said our good-byes.
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