Day 14: Phi Phi Islands (The Beach)

Once I had Phuket booked, I instantly started searching for day trips to Phi Phi Islands.  This is where the movie The Beach, with Leonardo DiCaprio, was filmed.  If you have seen the movie, then you know this looks like paradise x 2.  It is the rainy season, so I was told it was better to take the ferry rather than the faster speed boat.

We had to be up super early, but luckily the hotel buffet was open.
The view from the dining room was so nice and peaceful that early in the morning.
This was the view from the hotel lobby before heading out.
Our ride came to take us to the dock.
This is the ferry like the one we went on.
The boat ride was 90 minutes total and not that bad.  I have really bad motion sickness and used a scopolamine patch, plus I sat in the outside area, so I was pretty good.
Here was another boat we passed.  Funny!
This was as we were staring to leave.
There is Big Buddha up there.
Here are plenty of pictures of the ocean and little islands along the way over to Phi Phi Islands.

Here we are approaching Maya Bay, which is where the movie was filmed.  The area was pretty busy and the big boat couldn't get too close.  At least we were able to get a look and see the area.
This is one of the giant rocks that sticks out, which may seem familiar if you have seen the movie, although this is from a very different island.

This is the closest picture I have.  You can see the very green mountain background and very blue green water.
Here is a better view of the lush area surrounding the beach.

Here I am as we are pulling away.  Then we headed over to one of the other islands in the group, which is where we would end up snorkeling.

Crazy cave
Monkey beach, which is just as beautiful as what I remember with Maya Bay in the movie The Beach.
I love the long tailed boats out here.
Time to go in there!  The boat stopped further out in the ocean and we could get off there.  But it was close enough that we could swim to the beach.
Here is Ryan getting ready for his snorkel time.
Go Ryan, go!
Now I'm down there getting ready for my turn.  We went in turns just because there was no place to store our belongings.  Neither of us was comfortable just leaving our belongings out in the open.
That's me snorkeling.  I brought my prescription mask with me so I could see.  It isn't my current prescription but it was much better than no glasses at all.  I also brought my own snorkel, which was kind of nice.

That's me in the distance, getting ready to go up on the beach.
Yay, I made it all the way over to Monkey Beach!
Coming back in to the boat.  Lots of really pretty colored tropical fish and coral.
All done snorkeling and then we moved on to where we would have lunch.
At the port.
The area around the port at the largest of the islands here, Phi Phi Don island.  If you aren't up to speed on your Thai island geography, the ocean here is technically the Andaman Sea, and the islands are part of Krabi.  This area was also hit hard in the tsunami back in 2004.

The lunch was pretty awful, but at least it was something.  The better part was after lunch, when we had a chance to walk along the beach and see the beautiful scenery.  The sad part was seeing what tourism and the tsunami did to this once exceptionally beautiful beach.  The are where the water met the sand was covered in small pieces of trash.  The water right at the coast line was pretty gross.  The good news is that further out there was a beautiful sea and rock structures with lush trees.  In other words, we could still sit on the beach and have a lovely view.

Here I am at the beach, enjoying the sun and sand.
It was quite hot so we found a nice shady spot to sit and enjoy our time on the island.
Here is the area a little more inland.
Here are some pictures of food vendors that lined the streets around the port area.  They had lots of souvenir shops too, plus tours for scuba diving and snorkeling.

A few more last minute shots of the island and the long tailed boats, which they are known for here.

Bye bye Phi Phi Don Island.
The boat ride back was decent too, not too rocky, and before I knew it we were back on dry land. 

We had eaten almost all our meals on Phuket at the hotel so we were looking to get out.  Then hotel made a reservation for us at a restaurant the recommended.  The bonus was that the restaurant provided free transport if we reserved it through the hotel.

The restaurant is called Kan Eang and is in Chalong Bay at the pier.
Instantly I was impressed with the decor.

The table we were seated at was along the water with a beautiful view as the sun finished setting.
The front of the restaurant had their fresh seafood on display.

For dinner, Ryan started with the spicy papaya salad.
Since it is so spicy, it came served with some greens for a cooling effect.
I had some shrimp for my appetizer.
My entree was a crab dish.  Yum!
Ryan went all out and had a fresh prepared fish.  He got to go with the server to the display of fish and he was able to pick the exact fish he wanted and then could decide how he wanted it prepared.  He even had them filet it for him, which makes it much easier to enjoy.  I tried it and it was amazing!
We also had some fried rice.
Oh, and yes, for our last dinner on Phuket, we had dessert.  Chocolate souffle!  
What a great day!  Beautiful island tour and an amazing dinner on the water.

Next night in Bangkok!

QUESTIONS:  Have you seen the movie The Beach?  Have you ever gone snorkeling?

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