On our second day in Phuket, we woke up early the next morning and had a fulfilling buffet breakfast at the hotel lobby after showering. (Read part 1 here.)
|Buffet breakfast at the hotel|
Then we waited in the lobby for our tour guides to pick us up. We were sharing a van with several other tourists from other hotels, and we had to swing by everyone’s hotels to pick them up.
Then it was a long drive to the jetty, or whatever you call the place where they keep the speed boats for the cruise. Before we boarded the boats, though, we were led into a room where we were given some instructions for the trip as well as a light breakfast and some anti-seasick pills. I pocketed a few and popped one, as I don’t trust myself. I have a tendency to get nausea sometimes, and I wasn’t about to take a chance.
We all piled into our speedboat, some 20 to 30 of us. We decided to take the middle seats. The rocking motion of the speedboat coupled with the cool sea breeze lulled us to sleep and maybe thanks to the meds, I didn’t feel seasick at all.
|On a speedboat tour of Phi Phi islands|
Our first stop was the Mosquito Islands. Not sure if it’s called that because it has plenty of mosquitoes? Resembles mosquitoes? You forget the queer name, though, after you first set your eyes upon it.
Jagged peaks of rock jut out into the clear blue sky, but the most beautiful thing about the view is the ocean that surrounds it – pellucid green waters as clear as crystal. Imagine if someone had eyes as green and as clear as this. I could stare into their depths for hours.
|Mosquito Islands, surrounded by pellucid green waters as clear as crystal|
We anchored for a while to allow some of the folks to go snorkeling. Drew and Kes were not yet up to it, so I decided to go by myself. I put on some snorkeling gear and a life vest and jumped into the water.
At first I was disappointed with the view underneath, so I swam back to the boat and was about to go up, but the boy who was supposed to assist me up misunderstood me or something and instead of helping me up, he led me to the other side of the boat. I didn’t bother to correct him and swam as instructed, and I’m glad I did, because the ocean life was so much better on the other side! See, sometimes you think life sucks and you give up so easily, not realizing that you’re just on the wrong part of the ocean and if you just knew where to go, everything would be perfect.
It wasn’t just the view underneath that was stunning, though. Whenever I surfaced and looked up at the islands and the sky and the water and everything, I had to take a breath and thank God for this beautiful view, this exquisite moment.
We eventually had to climb back into the boat and travel to our next stop – Bamboo island. Unlike Mosquito island, this was an actual beach where we could get off and wallow in. We were not allowed to take our slippers, though, because, “Do you know how many passengers we have lost their slippers on that beach?”
We didn’t need our slippers, as it turns out, because the sand was fine enough to step on with our bare feet. It was so hot out that we reapplied our sunblock beneath the canopy of the trees before dabbling on the open beach. And what a breathtakingly beautiful strip of beach it was. Take a look.
|A breathtaking strip of beach – Bamboo island|
|Pictorials on Bamboo island|
We stayed for a bit on that beach before we were eventually called back to board the boat and head to the next island where we were supposed to have our buffet lunch – Phi Phi Don, the biggest of the Phi Phi islands.
We loaded our plates with spaghetti and meat and tom yum soup (the red kind, this time) and fruits – a strange combination that would cater to most of the passengers, I suppose. We ate our meals on wooden tables in an open space that allowed us a view of the beach.
|Buffet lunch @ Phi Phi Don|
After eating our fill, we decided to explore the island. There was more beautiful beach scenery to be had, like the previous island, so we had to take pictures, happily camwhoring our matchy-matchy newly bought aviator sunglasses.
|Camwhoring our matchy-matchy aviator sunglasses at Phi Phi Don|
That wasn’t our last stop, however, there was one more island to visit, and it was the one made famous in the movie The Beach, called Maya Bay.
Upon seeing it we understood why it had been chosen for the film – it was so mesmerizingly enchanting. Kes said it’s even better than the Philippines’s Boracay and Palawan. The waters are a sparkling turquoise that provided a stunning contrast for the surrounding islands’ rocky ledges all covered in green turf, and the white sand is as fine as powdered milk.
|Maya Bay – better than Boracay or Palawan|
|The sand is as fine as powdered milk|
Once again we had a few moments to revel on that beach before we had to eventually leave. On the way back to Phuket island, we passed by a couple of islands that we could see but not touch.
The first one was the island of the monkeys, named so because the place was heavily populated with them. The trees were thick with them, and we were surprised to see them drinking orange soda. How – ?
The second one was the Vikings island, named after the viking carvings on its walls. This island had caves whose walls were rich with the famous birds’ nests.
Once upon a time, people were allowed into these caves so they could collect these expensive nests and sell them, but then as what usually happens when money is involved, this led to wars and bloodshed, forcing the government to step in and regulate entry to prevent deaths.
And that was why we could no longer go in even if we wanted to.
|Viking island; Maya beach; snorkeling|
The guides also pointed out the high point of the island where Leonardo made his famous jump shot in The Beach and gave us one last chance to snorkel in the waters before heading home to Phuket. This time, Kes joined me.
Then we went back to our hotel, but the day was not yet done.
Continued in… Phuket Part 2