Me at the famed Maya Bay in Ko Phi Phi Leh.
It was island-hopping day for me and My Bibe. We shared a small speedboat with another couple from Australia. We thought it was more comfortable and safer than a long tail given the huge waves we've experienced the day before.
Our first stop was Monkey Beach. Too bad it was high tide so we just stayed in our boat. Besides, there was nary a beach in there.
I know it's quite unsettling to find monkeys begging for food from humans, especially when you think that you're messing up with their natural way of life, particularly with finding food. But it's been this way for some time now and I don't think it'll be easy to break such a habit.
Though I'm not a fan of monkeys, I was amused with them. But these primates can be really ravenous that they can brave the waters just to pick a fallen banana.
When it became too crowded already for us because of more boats arriving, we left. The monkeys, however, are still guaranteed more food and attention.
Our guide led us snorkeling but I was rather disappointed because I've seen better in Palawan, Bohol, and even in Boracay (on the other side of the island) -- all in the Philippines. The couple with us, however, were obviously awed.
Our next stop was Bamboo Beach, where we had lunch. It's a small island with a gorgeous beach and with a lot of shade -- but not one from a bamboo tree. Kids shouldn't be left alone in the water, though, because the beach has a drastic slope.
The Phi Phi Islands were ravaged by the 2004 Asian Tsunami. As we were told, people weren't used to any sort of calamity because Thailand isn't normally hit by any typhoon. So the tsunami came as a huge surprise, and signs like the ones below have become commonplace (even in Phuket) ever since.
Later in the day we headed for Phi Phi Leh, something I was most eager about. After surviving the really huge waves between the two main Phi Phi islands (of which My Bibe wasn't happy about), we were momentarily treated to some calm.
We soon entered a cove framed by towering limestone cliffs, very much like what I've seen in Coron, Palawan. It was a relaxing sight.
It was time for Maya Bay, made famous by the Danny Boyle film The Beach (starring Leonardo DiCaprio). Because of the impossibly huge waves, we couldn't enter through the normal route, so we had to go through the other side. This entailed swimming (frantically) from our boat to a platform, climbing then descending some wooden stairs, then a short trek before finally seeing the bay in full view.
I must admit that it was a little anticlimactic for me, Maya Bay. Not that it was the least beautiful but all the discomfort we had to go through just to get there was a bit too much. The water was also uninviting because of the huge waves and My Bibe was just too tired from kicking her way through the water earlier. The strong wind didn't help either, which was blowing fine sand everywhere that it hurt. I was a bit anxious because I was wearing contact lenses. We didn't stay long.
I really don't understand how these two girls couldn't be bothered by all the sand being blown around.
Back at Phi Phi Don, we tried to relax and simply enjoy the sunset after having our fill. If I remember it right, I ordered banana fritters and this was what came out. I guess I'm just more accustomed to the fan-shaped ones back at home and with a different kind of banana used. The presentation was good, nonetheless.
We only spent two nights in Ko Phi Phi although I wished we could have stayed longer. I'd definitely come back again some time although it's got to be around a much more pleasant season. I couldn't stand the monsoon waves anymore!
A snapshot of Ko Phi Phi Leh while I was on the ferry back to Phuket, right before we entered the wild wave zone.