Thai Islands: Phuket & Koh Phi Phi
So I've got ridiculous travelling blues right now. I've been at Uni for just over a week now, and all I can think about is how much I want to be back on the beaches of Thailand, which sucks. It's probably a bit cruel to make myself write about it while I'm feeling so low, but I was looking at the pictures anyway so lets do it.
From Siem Reap we flew to Phuket, the largest of the Thai islands. My excitement to finally be reaching the Thai islands was off the scale, I was hyped and I had good reason to be, look at that birds eye view!
We managed to find a huge room in a strange English/Russian pub thing, it was a bit weird but it was £8 a night and I was not complaining. We were a 10 minute walk from the beach and in the centre of town, so we did good. Phuket was very strange for me, mainly due to the large amount of Russian tourists. You hear Russian being spoken in the streets more than Thai or English, there are Russian signs everywhere, and Thai restaurant staff even stand outside calling out "Privet" to try get customers. I used to live in Moscow, so for me this was just incredibly weird.
On our first night in Phuket, we walked to the beach and were greeted by the most gorgeous pink sunset I have ever seen. Sadly, I didn't have my phone at the time, so I don't have any pictures. Just like the stars in Cambodia, this view is going to have to live in our memories.
From Phuket, we got a ferry to our next stop, Koh Phi Phi (expensive island). We wish we could have afforded to spend more time on Koh Phi Phi because it was an absolute paradise. It's probably the most beautiful place I've ever visited, especially Maya Bay. Oh man, I would do absolutely anything to be back on Maya Bay right now.
On our first day there, we got a long boat over to Long Beach, which is crazy overpriced, but there really is no other choice. Annoying, but the beach is worth it. Long Beach was a small stretch with hardly any people on it, but the best snorkelling ever. We hired snorkelling gear from a small shop there and it was so awesome. As soon as you go in the water you are surrounded by sergeant fish, they aren't scared of you at all and follow you around as you swim. The water quickly got deeper and we were snorkelling over rocks covered with so many different kinds of multicoloured fish. It was truly amazing and one of my favourite memories from our trip. We stayed on the beach until sunset and watched little hermit crabs walk along the shore before we got the boat back.
Our second day was filled up with a boat trip to Maya Bay. Honestly, Maya Bay may be my favourite place we visited on the whole trip. It is a gorgeous bay, which is now a national park and protected by Koh Phi Phi, because of this there is a fee to enter but it is completely worth it. It is the filming location of Danny Boyle's 'The Beach' starring Leonardo Dicaprio, which I'm sure a lot of you are familiar with. We snorkelled around the bay, which we have loads of videos of. We were even attacked by a little fish, which was scary but also hilarious as it threw itself in front of our goggles. You can see so many different species of fish in this part of the world, snorkelling there is so amazing.When we first got onto the bay itself, it was very busy. Which, is understandable, it is an extremely well known tourist spot and we didn't expect anything different. However, all the other tourist groups slowly started leaving until it was just our group left, at sunset, on this gorgeous beach with crystal blue sea. We couldn't believe it was just us, it was the most wonderful experience ever and now I'm writing about it, I'm dying to go back.
So yes, I've think I've made it quite clear why Maya Bay was my favourite place. While I was stood on the beach, I promised myself I would go back again one day, it was so magical and I really hope I will.
That night we were back on the boat and ready to swim with plankton. If you've seen 'The Beach', you might remember when the plankton start to glow when they are disturbed. Yeah, it doesn't quite look like that I'll be honest, but it was still really cool. They turned off all the lights on the boat, the only land near was a deserted island so the only light was from the moon above us. It is very scary to be told you have to jump into pitch black water in the middle of the sea, very scary. I was so nervous, especially since all the crew decided to mess around with me and tell me there were sharks -.- not cool. But I did it, I jumped in and now it's probably one of the coolest stories I have. We all looked into the water and violently shook our hands and feet, disturbing the plankton and watching them make little glowing bubbles all around us. I'm not going to lie, I was certain I was going to see a shark or salt water crocodile emerge from the glow and come straight at my head, but luckily that didn't happen so it was fine. I would still be very nervous to do it again, but how many people can say they have? Plus, that's the whole point of travelling, stepping out of your comfort zone, which I can definitely say I did multiple times.
I am now well and truly depressed about being in boring old England now so let's call that the end of this one ;)