Thailand. Koh Phi Phi snorkeling and Monkey Beach

We awoke to get our complimentary breakfast and head out to meet our snorkel group, and were greeted by a very dark and omnious looking sky.  We, seeming none the worries, lazily strolled across the grass by the pool to the breakfast area, and no sooner than we had stepped under the awning did the sky unleash buckets of water.  The downpour happened so fast, complete with wind that blew the rain sideways, that most guests had been caught outside eating and were now running for cover while the waiters desperately grabbed their food and brought it in too.  Rather amused at this situation and feeling awake now we sat down and enjoyed our first meal of the day.

We did not want to walk the half mile to the meeting spot in the rain, and low and behold, just as we finished eating and it was time to go, the rain let up.  We hastily walked to the snorkel shop, through ankle deep puddles, only to find no one there.  We figured it was the rain, but not wanting a repeat of Koh Tao, we decided not to wait and head to the pier and figure it out ourselves.  After wandering around for a few minutes someone finally directed us to the dive shop, where we were fitted for gear and waited with the others to be taken to the boat.

I’m on a boat (and don’t you eva forget!)

We got on our undersold snorkel boat and were on our way to Phi Phi Le for sight seeing and walking around in the rain that was still falling on and off.

Our boat stopped in a bay where we were told if we saw across it, climbed up and over the rock saddle via the ladder, and walked a very short way, we would be on what has been deemed the most beautiful beach in the world.  In fact, “The Beach”, a movie with Leonardo Dicaprio, was filmed in that very location.  So we jumped in, swam over, climbed up (Griffin went through the cave instead), and hiked over.  Upon our arrival at “The Beach” we were disgusted to see about 1000 people and at least 50 speedboats lining the shore of what would have otherwise been, yes, a truly spectacular scene.  The beach was enclosed 330-degrees by vegetated vertical walls, with only a small opening to the sea beyond.  But there were so many people it looked like a zoo.  As it was also still raining we decided against risking getting the camera wet and did not take any photos here.

After this stop our boat returned to Koh Phi Phi and took us to 3 snorkel stops – and this time, we will have photos as we purchased an underwater camera, but this one uses film that will have to be developed.  The fish and sea life were very similar to that on Koh Tao (although our lunch was not as yummy), and we enjoyed a day of snorkeling.

At one point during our snorkel I saw one of the crew members jump off into the water from the high deck.  This of course meant I was going to do it too.  And it was awesome.

Griffin went next, but without the “Oh crap! I’m no longer on a boat…” look on his face.

Soon just about everyone on our boat was jumping too, some guys doing silly twists and twirls in the air.  All but one girl who, I think, and I could be wrong, had a stick up her bum, were jumping, laughing, and having a great time.  It was all too soon the engines were started and we were off to monkey beach.

Monkey beach was exactly how its sounds, a bunch of monkeys running amok on the sand.  And yes, these monkeys were fat, as tourists were constantly shoving bananas and other food at them.  Every so often the monkeys would get really riled up and mad at each other and start fighting, and chase after the tourists and nipping them (not hard, but still a bit disturbing).  Several times we all had to run into the water when the going got rough.

That night on the way to dinner I stopped in a got a $6 manicure while we worked up an appetite.  The food in this country is so amazing.  Griffin of course loved the food in Nepal as well, but do to my spice/tumeric allergy I was not able to eat many of the flavorful Nepali dishes, leaving me with soups, fried noodles, and other more bland tasting meals.  But here in Thailand I can eat all the food, of which Panang curry is my favorite.  I find I want to eat even when not hungry its so good. Griffin has been loving the squid, which is caught locally off the islands.  When in Rome I suppose! Hehe.

We had a nice dinner, again on the water.  I would like to point out that a $20 dinner with drinks for two, on the ocean, with a sea breeze and kittens or puppies abounding, is setting the bar pretty high for a good meal.  I am not sure anything in the US is going to come close – especially not for the price.  We worry that this country is spoiling us to no end.  And I already grew up in New Canaan, this is not what we needed!!

After our meal we walked around town for a bit and found a nice, albeit warm, bottle of champagne, which we split while sitting on the sea wall watching a fire show to our right and a cat vs. crab in the rocks directly in front of us, and two silly girls trying to open a Smirnoff spritzer bottle with a lighter.  A couple more candle-lanterns went up over the water from somewhere else in town.  As to be expected by now, it was a lovely evening.  I even got a crepe with mango and nutella in it, and fed the scraps to a kitten that looked much like Shovel (our orange female cat at home in San Diego).  Just like Shovel, this male kitten was purring so loudly I could feel the vibrations through his tiny ribcage.


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