Saturday, February 27, 2010

day 14 - phi phi islands, thailand

before i forget, here's a snapshot of me churning out last night's post from the sports bar for their free internet. i managed to milk a can of chang for 2 hours, much to the chagrin of the bar owner. on my stroll home, i locked up a half-day trip for saturday to a myriad of places including phi phi leh for a scant 450 THB ($15).

day 14 started with a breakfast buffet at our hotel, which included omelettes, bacon & fresh fruit. what am i going to do when i return home to a plain ol' breakfast of a measly bowl of cereal?

and here's a look at our bathroom sink and the view from our balcony. i was out here drying off some laundry i attempted to perform in said sink...

our trip met up at 10:30am at loh dalum bay, where about 10 of us hopped in our longtail boat and pushed off for the island of phi phi leh. first up was maya bay (site of the aforementioned "the beach"), where we parked just outside it for some snorkeling - which i had to partake in, seeing as the clarity underwater was brilliant.

our driver bao pulled us into shore, and maya bay was immediately recognizable from the film.

and yeah, my skin was pretty red from phuket, when the scattered t-storms masked the hidden sun. needless to say, i was slathering aloe vera all night and day in hopes of quick rescue. and here are a few snaps ashore.

our 1/2 hour was up, so i scrambled for some last pics ashore. the girl in the first is posing for her man (unseen), and i managed to scale a tall rock for the other prime photo op:

something about how our longtail was parked seemed very picturesque to me, so here's yet another of the boat. the color scheme of thailand's flag (red/white/blue) really pops against the background.

next up on the itinerary was snorkeling at loh samah bay, and it did not disappoint. keep in mind that this photo was taken above water, w/visibility up to about 30 feet down below. it's like using a waterproof camera without having to go underwater!

we then made our way to pi leh cove, which is a strikingly beautiful inlet (the phi phi islands are loaded w/inlets, and only a longtail or kayak can successfully maneuver into them) on the other side of maya bay. pay particular attention to the change in water color the deeper it gets - turquoise in the shallow section and a pristine aquamarine further in. pic on the right i got as a dude from a neighboring boat dove in:

our last stop at phi phi leh was viking cave, home of the rare bird's nests. edible bird's nests are among the most expensive animal products consumed by humans, and it can be found in the chinese delicacy bird's nest soup.

our last stop on the program was monkey beach, which is exactly what it sounds like. first pic is the side profile of us leaving phi phi leh, bottom left is a mother carrying its child. i kid you not, one of the monkeys we encountered had the sole job of protecting the others, so if any of us drifted too close, he would storm towards us like a bat outta hell. i hadn't run that fast since doing wind sprints at the UCLA track, but he didn't catch me. i still got it... barely...

part 2 of day 14 still to come, but i can't believe this is my last night on holiday! such a sad day, but i've had such an incredible experience, it's like your sports team winning the championship. there's a grace period where you can't complain about anything, no matter how poor your team may do the following years...

1 comment:

caroline said...

Looks amazing! See you soon.