Phi Phi (Thailand Day 10: Monday 2 July 2012)

©2012 Edward C. Lunnon

Written on Tuesday 21 August 2012: 5 years 11 months on … Deuce

Swim and sleep to end our rest day, and to prepare for an early start for our boat trip to Phi-Phi on Monday!

One of the excursions that we all wanted to do was a boat trip to Phi Phi Islands – the location at which the Leonardo de Caprio movie “The Beach” was filmed and often the postcard pictures that get used to advertise Thailand.

There are actually two islands – Phi Phi Ley and Phi Phi Don.

Tickets for these various excursions – besides being able to arrange them from home – are available all over Thailand, from Travel Agents through just about any of the shops to “sidewalk sellers”. The prices vary considerably and depend on number of people travelling, the add-ons and add-ins that one requires (like pick-ups at hotels, meals, type of boat, snorkelling, equipment, etc etc) and of course, how good one’s negotiating skills and endurance and perseverance are.

Alison and Pera had purchased our tickets at a sidewalk seller at Patong Beach on the Sunday. We were to be collected at the hotel at 7h30, transferred to the harbour at Phuket Town, taken to Phi Phi on a speedboat (no more than 50 people!), stop at a few places and eventually returned to our hotel at 17h00 that afternoon – all at the price of BHT900 per person (just less than R300).

And the tour operator through his agent commanded “Let there be Phi Phi Tour”. Evening passed and morning came – it was Monday and there was tour. And we were very pleased with what we saw and it was good!

We were picked up (again punctually!) and went eastwards across Phuket Island, through Phuket Town to the harbour. There we were given an orientation programme by our tour guide, a flamboyant ladybird,  as to the day’s events, safety etc and sea-sick pills for the hour long trip over the Andaman Sea to Phi Phi Ley.

The sea was not calm, as I believe it can be, and it was not rough, as I believe it can get. But we did bump a bit and on the way there and we did experience our first rain shower of the trip. Soon we turned the corner into Maya Bay and expecting a lonely beautiful tropical beach, I was quite shocked when I saw the hundreds of people on The Beach and the numerous boats offloading more and more! As some left, more arrived.

But what exquisite beauty to behold – beach, cliffs, sea, sand, vegetation! The photos tell it all …

We swam for a while (and dodged boats) before we departed to Viking Cave, Monkey Beach and Phi Phi Don Island.

After lunch on Phi Phi Don Island, we snorkelled  and then left for Khai Island. The boys were a bit disappointed that we did not find the 20m cliff that Mr Rory Duncan, their rugby coach, had challenged them to jump off! Maybe next time!

We had about an hour to snorkel on Khai, swim or just to gape at the hundreds of people who were lying on the beach under a myriad of umbrellas.

Then we headed back to Phuket Town and onwards back to the Hotel in Patong City. We were a bit bumpier for the boat ride but it had been so well worth it. What an experience!

A swim in the hotel pool was followed by the obligatory nap, and then we had supper at the hotel. For some or other reason, still not quite known to me, we were given “apology” complimentary tickets for hotel dinner (which are normally much more expensive than meals obtainable at restaurants).

The Bryants went to town for supper (Subai Subai!) and we had dinner “in style” in the diningroom overlooking Patong Bay. There was just one other couple there and we were joined by an Aussie who was travelling by himself and who I had met earlier in the pool. Dinner came complete with an evening of Thai entertainment (spot the “lady boys”!) and a drinks bill for a round of drinks that was far more expensive than had we gone for a meal and two rounds of drinks on the town!!

Ha! Ha! Caught again! But the buffet of Thai food was excellent, and we really did fill up, so I guess it was well worth it (and anyway, so much cheaper than back home.)

We were very “Thai-ED” when, after the usual late night swim, we eventually went to bed and drifted off to sleep. Tuesday, the next morning, would see us having to move to our next hotel at Kata Noi Beach.   

 

 

  

 

 

 

Sunday = Rest Day (Thailand Day 9: Sunday 1 July 2012)

©2012 Edward C. Lunnon

Written on Tuesday 21 August 2012: 5 years 11 months on … Deuce

Snooze, swim, Singha’s, shop, supper, shop, swim, sleep … until Sunday which was Day 9 of out trip.

By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.  Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. (Genesis 2: 2-3)

Today was Sunday and was designated as our rest day from all the hard work of holidaying in Thailand that we had done!

Today was also the hottest of our entire trip – high of 36oC and low of 29oC! It was a windless day with humidity close to 90%! It was an ideal day for staying in the water – be it the hotel pool or the Andaman Sea at Patong Beach. The only problem is that sometimes you actually need cool water to swim in, because even the sea and pool water become too warm!

Thank God for air-conditioning – on what day did He create that?!

So, after breakfast, we headed for the pool and the beach and the sea.

We strolled, swam, Singha’d and snoozed … and shopped!

On Patong Beach there are all kinds of activities (for negotiable rental, of course!): loungers for snoozing, jet ski’s, parasailing, ski-ing, boating, Thai Massages, manicures, pedicures or just ordinary swimming (rent-free!) and, of course, shops – at which Pera bought pearls and the ladies organised tickets which would take us on a boat trip to Phi-Phi Island on Monday!

There is so much boating activity at Patong Beach that one could actually taste the petrol/diesel in the water! Paradise won – Paradise lost!

We slothed our way through the day – until it was supper time once again, and we headed back to Subai Subai for our daily dose of excellent, inexpensive Thai food and great hospitality.

So busy are they that we had to wait for a table – but, never-mind, until then there are … you guessed it …. more shops to peruse!

We walked back to our hotel, and on the way there, we stopped for lovely caramel and cream pancakes sold on the kerb by one of the (many!) street vendors.

Swim and sleep to end our rest day, and to prepare for an early start for our boat trip to Phi-Phi on Monday!

 

 

 

 

ED is in week EnDing Tuesday 21 Aug 2012

 

5 years 11 months on … Deuce

  • Mon 13: Seve’s Mom’s Funeral; Tax; Twice around the golf course
  • Tues 14: Meeting with Terry Bilson re memorial service; Communion with Billy Lindoor; Massage by Julian; Meeting with Derryk Jordan; Haircut; Meeting at School
  • Wed 15: AlgoaFM; Terry Bilson; Kathryn’s memorial service at Grey; Kevin Paul’s farewell at Old Grey
  • Thu 16: Visit from Nadine, Kings admitted into Super 15; not feeling well; Massacre by police at platinum mine in Rustenberg in NorthWest Province
  • Phil at home for weekend with border friends Brad MacKenzie (JHB), Tyrone Pells  (Plett) and Nick Viljoen (Graaff-Reinet)
  • Fri  17: BODA/Daypot Rugby at School (BODAs win for 5th consecutive time); BODA Braai
  • Sat 18: Springboks play and beat Argentina; Drinks @ CTFM
  • Sun 19: Lunch party @ home
  • Mon 20: Gardener; Not feeling well – lay down for most of day (first time since being ill)
  • Tue 21: Visit from Gill (HOSPICE); massage by Julian