Date of Visit: 7th January 2012
Like they said, if you didn't visited any islands of Phuket, means you never been to Phuket before. Phuket is renowned for its island studded bay of haunting natural beauty. Whether you travel to Phuket or even Krabi, the ultimate reason to touchdown in either Phuket or Krabi or even both is to visit the surrounding spectacular islands. And among of them, the most popular hopping island tours which mostly offered especially for the first time visit would be Phi Phi Island and Phang-Nga. I really wish to cover both but because of time constraint and also due to some of my friends are limited in their budget, hence we chosen the Phi Phi Island Tour.
Just when we decided for Phi Phi Island Tour, we were so surprised that actually this hopping island tour came with many different kind of packages. And of course, the price would be vary as well. We almost got chocked when we saw the pricelist printed on the brochures given by our guesthouse. Thank goodness, we got a very good deal with just 1,100 baht for a day trip to Phi Phi Island including lunch buffet.
As usual, the package we bought included shuttle transfer and we ready for the pick-up at 7am. Once we arrived the pier, briefing on safety especially were given by a guide which he claimed himself as a "ladyboy". Besides briefing, he suggested to buy breads which are not just for feeding the fishes and the monkeys, but also to feed ourself when hungry. What a funny tour guide!
As for this hopping island tour, there are 7 pit stops:
#1: Our first pit stop - Viking Cave
The name of Viking Cave is given due to the painted on the walls are ancient colour paintings resembling Viking boats. According to the tour guide, Viking Cave is filled with bird's nest. For some unknown reason, we were not allowed to enter this cave and most of the boats were allowed to stop nearby for photo opportunity only.
#2: Absolutely stunning view around Viking Cave
#3: Phileh Lagoon with huge limestone rocks as background
#4: Enjoy Phileh Lagoon view
#5: Clear blue waters with hills and blue sky as backdrop in Maya Beach
Maya Beach is known to be one of the world's most beautiful beaches and best place to relax in with silky soft white sand, underwater colourful coral and exotic fish exceptionally crystal-clear water. In addition to all, this beach got the world-wide attention when one of Hollywood movie, "The Beach" which starred by Leonardo DiCaprio was filmed here back in 1999. Doesn't know who is Leonardo DiCaprio? He is the young boy famous for the movie "Titanic".
#6: Long boats at the port of Maya Beach
#7: This is what happens when it became a famous spot - Overcrowded and too comercialised
We were given a very short period in this beach. Kinda disappointed with that cause didn't get to spend much time here. But among all of the stops, Maya Beach is my favourite as it makes me felt like I was in paradise - especially stepping on the silky soft white sands and surrounded by impressive limestone cliffs and stunning sunlit crystal water, only if this place is not overcrowded with tourists I could wish.
#8: Photo opportunity with the monkeys
No doubt that the name of this beach were so called as you can see clearly that the monkeys were everywhere. These monkeys were not shy and scare of human, hence beware of not getting too close with them as one of my friend's hair being pulled from behind by one of big and fierce monkey.
Phi Phi Don Island
#9: Stop at Phi Phi Don Island
Before move on to the next stop, it's time for lunch buffet at the Phi Phi Don Island. You can request for vegetarian food if you are and for those who is Muslim, don't worry cause all the foods are halal.
#10: The lunch buffet comes with rice, spaghetti, meats, seafoods, vegetables, fresh fruits and even soups.
After the lunch, we were given longer period break to enjoy the beach here. Although it's not as stunning and beauty than Maya Beach, but we saw many of the tourists were doing sunbathing. It's time for eye-washing. There are even souvenir store located here but of course, it's tends to be more expensive.
Loh Samah Bay
#12: Snorkelling time
The boat stopped at Loh Samah Bay for some snorkelling time. It's been a while that I didn't snorkeling in the deep water after my Lang Tengah Island trip with my college friends. Most of the time when I went island hopping in Kota Kinabalu, I just snorkelling somewhere nearby the island. The life jacket and snorkelling gear is free of charge and if wanna attract more fishes, please do bring some breads, like what the "ladyboy" guide said before. We didn't brought nor neither bought the breads, but one of the guides given us the breads for free.
# 14: Quiet and peaceful little island
This island seems to be less comercialised and crowded compared to the others. Or probrably because we arrived quite late. Nothing to shout about this island but we had a great and sweet time to swim around and quenched our thirst with sweet and fresh coconut juice before going back to the pier.
#15: The sunnies, the benches, the sea
Well, if more time were given, I wish to go back to Maya Beach again but what can I ask for more when my friends and I had experienced another kind of amazing and stunning island hopping in our life.