Friday 17th August 2018 // Previous day
After not much sleep we woke at 6:30am in preparation to leave the hotel at 7:30 for our boat tour to the Phi Phi Islands. The day started off grey and rainy which we were pretty concerned about, but fortunately it cleared up as the day went on. The sun came out to shine on us.
We took a tour certified by our hotel, organised by Tours by U. Our tour leader told us the water was a bit choppy, and we had been warned by some lovely fellow elephant tour goers, that we’d met yesterday that it would be a bit of a rough ride on the way there, but much better on the way back. On their tour, some people actual didn’t stay for the whole day; upon arrival to the first island chartered a boat and went straight back! As they encouraged us to hang in there, I kept that in mind. It was nice to be prepared because boy they weren’t kidding!
The ride was 1 hour and 20 minutes long. The first 30 minutes were fine but then the bouncing began! I took a little video clip to try and show the shakiness, but quickly decided that was a bad idea and put my phone away. From that point on I just closed my eyes and thought happy thoughts. My travel buddy Lauren didn’t fair so well on board though, similarly to quite a few others on the boat. Sick bags were used. We’ll leave it at that.
When we arrived at the first island – Maya Bay – my legs were absolute jelly. But I stepped out to the open part of the boat to take a look, and it was spectacular.
The tour guide told us we could jump in here and swim, and I distinctly recall thinking, ‘I ain’t jumping anywhere’. But after some time on the deck, watching everyone else jumping in, I figured I should take a little dip as we’d come all this way. Of course, with my life jacket on for safety. I pretty confident I can swim well enough to stay afloat, but typically when I swim, the shore is always well within reach in case of emergency. I thought best not to test my swimming prowess, and drown in these international waters! Kitted with jacket, I didn’t jump off the boat, but climbed down the ladder at the rear calmly. Wild child, I know.
After some paddling, our next stop was just around the corner for snorkelling. This was really cool! There were fishes everywhere! Again, I originally thought I wouldn’t partake but it was really nice. I had the life jacket on again, so I couldn’t dive very deep, but I happily hung out on the surface. Footage of floating me can be seen in the Vlog below. This is actually an excerpt from the whole Thailand Vlog, which to this day of publication, still isn’t finished: Goodness gracious.
Next up, was lunch on another nearby island. There was a plentiful buffet laid out for us, that I was sorry I couldn’t take full advantage of. Due to the bumpiness on the way to the islands, we thought it best not too eat too much in case we lost it all on the way back. What a waste of food it would have been. So we ate, but not too much and enjoyed the views.
Our last island stop was – loh mang? close to home in Phuket, so we did the lion share of that initial 1hr20 journey straight after lunch, and guys and girls this is where things got a tad scary.
The tour guide told us before we boarded to put our life jackets on straight away because the water would be a bit more choppy on the way back than it was on the way there. I thought – how? How could it possible be.
Well it was so choppy that I couldn’t even film to capture this, for fear myself and belongings would go flying!! Goodness gracious, but the captain sailed us to the last island safely and we were all elated to reach solid ground after the tumultuous ride!
We stayed there for an hour, enjoying the sea and facilities before our final voyage back to the marina in Phuket!
So in conclusion, really enjoyed the activities of the day, but I will never be boarding a speedboat again.
Please note: this has been a dramatic retelling of events. Tours by U was an incredible host and valued tour of the phi phi islands! We just unknowingly chose a very windy day to take the trip. Our captain did a fantastic job of navigating what I imagine were quite difficult waters. I thoroughly enjoyed the tour. The company also has staff videoing and photographing the day, so you can get some really wonderful memories of the experience. I chose to purchase the video and photos taken which were dropped off to me at the hotel promptly the next morning. A great tour company!
Once back at the hotel we laid low for the evening. Indulging in room service and movies before catching up on some well needed z’s.