Photo By: Elin Chow
Included in the Aonang Cliff Beach Resort's Krabi Romance package which we had booked for our Krabi trip, my husband and I were given the option to visit either the Phi Phi islands or the Hong islands by speed boat. After much discussion, we decided to go for a full day island hopping tour to Phi Phi islands due to its reputation of being one of the most naturally beautiful islands group in the world.
Phi Phi Islands
Phi Phi islands are a group of six islands located in Krabi province, off the south-west coast of Thailand. The six islands are namely, Koh Phi Phi Don, Koh Phi Phi Leh, Bida Nok, Bida Noi, Bamboo island (Koh Mai Phai) and Mosquito island (Ko Yung).
We were surprised to learnt that Aonang Cliff Beach Resort actually booked us an all-inclusive tour trip from Ao Nang to Phi Phi islands, which included tour guide, 6 different stops around Phi Phi islands, unlimited flow of iced refreshments, lunch at Phi Phi Don, snorkel usage, insurance and round trip transfers between the pier and hotel.
Maya Bay > Pi Leh Bay > Viking Cave > Snorkeling at Loh Samah Bay > Lunch at Phi Phi Don > Snorkeling at Hin Klang > Bamboo Island
For easy reading, I will be breaking my visit to the Phi Phi islands into two different blog posts. My first blog post will cover my trip to Maya Bay, Pi Leh Bay, Viking Cave and Loh Samah Bay. I shall cover the rest of my visit to Phi Phi Don, Hin Klang and Bamboo island in my second blog post.
Things to bring along
- Water proof bag
- Sunscreen lotion
- Flip fops / Sandals
- Extra clothes
After confirming our booking, a four-wheeled truck picked us up from Ao Nang Cliff Beach Resort at 8 am sharp in the morning and transferred us to the pier to board a speed boat.
After a brief introduction by the tour operator, we proceeded to board the boat that carried about 30 + tourists from all over the world. Once everyone is seated in the boat, the tour guide greeted us warmly while the boat set sail for our first stop of the day - Maya Bay.
However, I was even more concerned about sea sickness on choppy waters. For people who are susceptible to sea sickness, I would strongly recommend you to take some motion sickness pills several hours before your trip.
How to minimize sea motion sickness
To minimize sea sickness, I would advise:
1. Sleep well
Having insufficient sleep or feeling exhausted actually makes you more susceptible to motion sickness. So be sure to rest well on the night before your trip. Try to relax and look far at the horizon while you are travelling on the speed boat.
2. Stay hydrated
Remember to take frequent sips of water to avoid dehydration while you out in the middle of the sea. However, avoid any excessive alcohol or caffeine consumption before your trip.
3. Have a light breakfast
Having a greasy and heavy breakfast is definitely not advisable. It is always best to eat something light and bland before you depart for your trip.
Enclosed by 100-metre high cliffs on three sides, Maya Bay is an beautiful uninhabited bay consisting of several small beaches. The main beach boasts a 200-metres long coastline with fine white sands.
Famed for its stunning landscapes, Maya Bay has become one of the main tourist attraction of Phi Phi island, especially after 'The Beach', starring Leonardo Dicaprio was filmed here in 1999.
How to get there
As there is no accommodation on the island, Maya Bay is only accessible in the day by boat. From Ao Nang, you could either hire a long-tailed boat (90 minutes ride) or speed boat (45 minutes ride) to the Bay. Alternatively, you can also book a half-day or full day island hopping trip with your hotel or one of the many tour operator located on the Ao Nang Walking Street which will visit the Bay along with other few attractions in Phi Phi islands.
The best time to visit the Maya Bay is between November to April, when the sea tends to be calmer, thus allowing easier access to the Bay.
Just in case you have to use them, go through the short-cut entrance located beside the Maya Bay signboard and continue on a brief jungle trail. You should be able to spot the toilets located at the end of the trails.
Unfortunately, this place is not peaceful or secluded at all. In fact, we were feeling really disappointed to find the entire place crowded with tourists from all over the world.
During the peak seasons, do not be surprised to see as much as 50 boats carrying thousands of tourists arrive at the small beach everyday!
Of course, it was really hard to get a nice photograph of the place without having someone else in it. So I figured it out that it will be nice to snap a photograph of my feet buried in the sands too.
Although crowded, Maya Bay is still worth a visit. But still, I found the island a little over-rated. Without the intense crowds, I believe I would have enjoy and love this place so much more.
Almost every tourist who visited were busily taking tons of quick selfies with the stunning landscapes. I wish we could feel the same excitement as the other tourists. But we could not. We hate the crowds, the hoards of boats docking at the shore and all the trash which the people have brought to the island. So we were actually glad that we left the place after an hour, just before the beach got extremely crowded.
Phi Leh Bay
Located on the western side of Maya Bay is Phi Leh Bay, a small lagoon that is only accessible to speed boats and long-tailed boats. Just like Maya Bay, Phi Leh Bay is also surrounded by 100-meters high limestone cliffs on 3 sides.
It was a pity that we did not managed to snap any photograph as we did not stop here for long. Or at least long enough for me to retrieve my camera from the dry storage underneath the passenger's seat.
Tham Phaya Nak, most commonly known as the Viking Cave, is a cave located on the northern side of Phi Ley Bay. Its name was derived from the ancient cave paintings of long boats, resembling that of the Viking, which can be found on the eastern and southern walls of the cave.
The cave is also home to thousands of Swifts, where they built their nests with their glue-like saliva. Matured Swifts' nests are then harvested in large number to make Bird's Nest soup, a famous Chinese delicacy that command a ridiculously high price in the market.
Unfortunately, to protect the paintings and swifts' nests, the Viking Cave is not open to tourists to visit. Most of the tour boats operators would stop close to the entrance of the cave for tourists to see inside and snap some photos.
In order to harvest the Bird's Nests, bamboo scaffolding has been erected within the cave to enable the locals to climb and reach the 100-meters high ceiling.
Sanitized snorkeling equipment was provided as part of the tour, but if you prefer to use your own ones, please feel free to bring it along with you.
Avoid any contacts with the delicate corals while you snorkel. Even a soft touch from you can cause irreversible damages to the corals.
We were given about 30 minutes to snorkel at Loh Samah Bay before we headed off to Phi Phi Don for lunch. So, stay tuned for my next blog post for more of my island-hopping adventures at Phi Phi islands!
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