Friday, March 28, 2014

MARCH 24, 2014: PHI PHI ISLANDS SIGHTSEEING AND SNORKELING TOUR WITH PHUKET SAIL TOURS



March 24, 2014

     We are in the lobby by 6:15 am.  The breakfast area doesn't open until 6:30 am but we are able to get some toast and juice before our pick up.  Today we are doing a day trip-PHI PHI ISLANDS SIGHTSEEING AND SNORKELING WITH PHUKET SAIL TOURS/CAPT. MARK.  We are picked up promptly and head off to Phuket Boat Lagoon.  I should note that Capt. Mark was not available on this tour or the one we did on March 28th.  I was told he was in Australia.  It is too bad as I had read such great reviews about him and I was looking forward to meeting him.  When we arrived at the pier area around 7:00 am we could get cold drinks, coffee.  If you didn't have your own snorkel gear you had plenty to choose from-masks and flippers.  Our guide introduces himself as Jack Dundee and his helper is And??  Andaman Inc.  There is another family on this trip.  They're originally from Indiana but based in Singapore.  They-Cassie and Matt- have 2 boys-Frank is in kindergarten like Ronan and  Jack is in 3rd grade.  The boys had fun playing together on the different beaches where we stopped.  As we prepare to get on the boat each group-in our case it's the 4 of us-stops and has a picture taken.  We leave the pier at 7:30 am.



Ronan has his first ever can of pop!

Boarding our speedboat-Ronan is in the green outfit

     On the boat we were given donuts and chicken on sticks to eat.  A large cooler had drinks.  Plenty of fruit also.  You can get a dry bag for your camera, etc. if you want.  The sea is rough with lots of big waves.  Good thing no one got seasick as lots of tossing.  The first stop-Bamboo Island I think- we couldn't due to low tide so we continued on to Phi Phi Leh/MAYA BAY where the movie "The Beach" was partially filmed.   We get here at 9:00 am.  This is a popular stop.  Lots of boats and tourists but it is a very pretty beach.  You can swim here or walk to a look out with a view of Lo Sama Bay.  We spend 1 hr. here.















Limestone mountains















A very busy beach


Leaving





Goodbye!



     We are back on the boat and our next is a drive by for a few minutes-no stop-to the VIKING CAVE, still on Phi Phi Leh.  This was once inhabited by sea travelers, fishermen, and maybe pirates.  We don't go inside the cave (they used to) as it is privately owned for the bird's nest collection industry.  The birds-swiftlets-make their nests high in these caves.  The nests which are made from the saliva of the swiftlets are believed by many, especially the Chinese, to increase virility/long life.  Bamboo scaffolding is used to gather the nests.
On our way to the Viking Cave







Viking Cave/Birds Nest Cave-Phi Phi Leh













     Continuing on we stop the boat for about 6/7 minutes but don't get off at MONKEY BEACH/AO LING.  This place is not far from the Viking Cave.  Here are lots of macaque monkeys but they can get out of hand which is why we don't go ashore.  Ronan wants to go ashore but he and others are given bananas to toss to the monkeys for them to eat.  One monkey appears to be drinking a bottle of something!  I notice a sign requesting not to feed the monkeys!











Some boats not only stop but their passengers get off but you take your chances with these monkeys who could become aggressive



Leaving
     Now we stop at a nice beach but I have no idea of its name as guide has not given out this info and I didn't think to ask as I have nothing to write the info on.  Is this Phi Phi Don??  Beats me.  We do some snorkeling and then we have a delicious lunch.  Everyone is hungry or maybe it's all that sea air?  Ronan even eats a piece of the fried chicken which is astonishing.   Lunch consists of  whole fried fish, massaman curry, green chicken curry, prawns and cashew nuts, stir fried mixed vegetables, fried rice.   We have some beach time here.  Ronan, Frank, and Jack play in the sand.  We arrive here around 10:30 am and leave around 12:30 pm.





While snorkeling Richard uses his underwater camera to take pictures of the fish and coral.  Golden trevally fish



Ronan swimming with his mom







Ronan feeding the fish

Coral



Divers here also


Lunch time-whole fried fish


This is either chicken & cashew nuts or seafood/prawns & cashew nuts


Fried white meat chicken and fries and plain rice for the kids

Massaman curry

Fish, stir fried mixed vegetables, green curry, chicken cashew nut

Fish, vegetables, green curry, chicken cashew nut, some other dish??



Where we had lunch



Ronan's beach toys

Frank, Jack and Ronan
Leaving




     I think we stop at Pileh lagoon but I'm not sure about this either.  Maybe someone will recognize these places and let me know where I've been-LOL!  This is our 3rd and final stop on a beach for swimming, snorkeling, playing in the sand, or just laying on a mat provided by the tour.  We are here for 1 hr.



























Our last stop for swimming/snorkeling/beach time

Don't kn ow which place this is but it's beautiful



Frank and Ronan

Ronan and Jack





I'm having a great time!

Leaving
Before we know it, the day has sped by and we are heading back to the pier.  We reach the pier by 3:45 pm.  It has been a great time. I leave a generous tip for the crew.  The pictures that were taken as each group prepared to board the boat are displayed in nice frames and are for sale for 200 baht.  I buy one of the 4 of us to remember this special day we've had.  We are given souvenir cup holders.  A cold towel, some lime juice. A nice ending.






Matt, Cassie, Jack and Frank-a great family!

This is the picture and frame I bought as a memento of our day-200 baht


Souvenir cup holders 





Back where we started
     We are in the van heading back to our hotel-just the 4 of us-when Ronan has to pee so the driver pulls over and Ronan and Dorie get out and get back in!  We are back to our hotel by 5:00 pm.  We shower, change and meet in the lobby.

     Dinner  We are trying to find KATA ROCKS RESTAURANT but have no luck so we end up at OK KATA SEAFOOD where Richard and I had dinner before Dorie arrived.  We are happy with our choices-green curry with chicken and a mixed salad and a coke, fried rice with prawns and beer, some kind of chicken dish with rice and beer, plain rice and a strawberry smoothie.  Dorie treats-740 baht.   Unfortunately Ronan is not listening and gets out of his chair to go down to the beach.  This kid has been at the beach today on our tour so what the ...........I can't say anything because he's not my child.  Grandpa tells him that he needs to sit in his chair until his mom is done and then she will go down to the beach with him.  I love Ronan to death but sometimes he can be a handful!

Ronan and his strawberry smoothie

Nice looking mixed salad which I share with Ronan

Chicken green curry-me 

Fried rice with prawns-Richard


A nice looking chicken dish-Dorie

Ronan's rice

Ronan can't stay away from the water

Mom wasn't smart enough to remove her expensive sandals

Watching the Lanna lanterns go up into the sky

Dorie got a bit of sun today


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