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Krabi, Day 6, Thursday

Written on: Thursday July 12th, 2007

A journal entry from: Elective

Another early start today for the islands trip, which left at 8:30am. Before we set off, a trip to the supermarket was in order for an essential purchase of high factor sunscreen! We had been forewarned that everyone gets burnt on this trip, so good protection was necessary. We headed down to the docks on the old faithful songthaews, where we carefully boarded a rather large speedboat. Always up for some fun, we decided to sit up front to get a better view, and experience the full extent of the wind whipping in our faces as the boat accelerated. There were eight of us altogether, wedged around the cushioned area. We were soon glad to be squashed together, as the faster the boat went, the bumpier it got. At some points, we were literally coming away from the seats and slammed back down with increasing force! However, despite the pain, there was lots to see and it was good fun. Once we passed chicken island (so named for a strangely shaped outcrop of rock that looks like a chicken's head), the waves became rougher, and our backs began to feel the strain of the constant jarring. Anna, the Irish lady, fondly named the big ones 'brain crushers', which summed it up perfectly! We suffered this for around thirty minutes before we reached our first destination - Bamboo Island.

Bamboo Island was a fairly small island, with a pristine white beach, and glorious turquoise water. We were advised that the sea here was excellent for getting used to snorkelling, so we obediently donned the masks and snorkels, and waded into the warm sea. I found it quite difficult to begin with, as it was hard to settle into the rhythmic, deep breathing that is required. Once I trained myself to do it properly, it was much better. Close to the beach, the view was obscured by sand, but ten minutes out into the sea and the fish were everywhere! Bright green fish, blue fish, yellow fish, orange fish...multicoloured shoals were milling around wherever you looked. I saw some amazing black and yellow angel fish that made swimming look effortless and graceful, and plenty of tiny fish that I couldn't name if I tried. It was amazing to see them in their natural environment, as an aquarium honestly does not come close.Once we had had our fill of snorkelling at that place, we had time for half an hour sunbathing before boarding the boat once again to head to our next exciting destination! The place in question was Phi Phi Lay, the island where 'The Beach' was filmed! We drove into a small cove with beautiful clear turquoise water, framed by looming cliffs and gorgeous scenery. This was where the scene where the village is first discovered was filmed, and the place where they jump into the water to swim to the beach. It was pretty amazing to be there, and even better to get a break from the heat by having a leisurely swim in the lagoon! I managed to kick a rock while treading water, and gashed my foot open, but luckily, unlike in the film, there were no sharks in those waters! The original plan had been to then head around the island to the main beach where filming took place, but the sea was too choppy, and we were told that a boat had been turned over by the persistent waves yesterday so we gave it a miss, which was a shame but I valued our safety over good pictures. The speedboat then took us over to Phi Phi Don, where we had lunch - a buffet consisting mainly of fried chicken, and a Thai attempt at spaghetti bolognese which is best left undescribed! We had 45 minutes to wander the island, which was mainly spent ambling around countless market stalls to reach the boat, which had moved to the other end of the island. The Phi Phi islands were affected by the tsunami, which demolished the infrastructure of the island. It was incredible to see how much effort had gone into getting the businesses back up and running, and you could almost believe that nothing had ever happened. However, there was still some building going on, and this really hammered home the fact that a terrible tragedy had happened here, which was certainly a sombering thought. Our penultimate destination was Monkey Bay, where we stopped off for more snorkelling, which was much of the same, although we were warned about a grouchy Moray eel that might be lurking in the darkness. Nobody saw it though, which was a relief, but the fish were in their hundreds at this spot, which made for great viewing underwater. Finally, we headed to one more bay, which the name escapes me, and we sunbathed for a while before leaving. I am convinced it was at this point that I sustained my lobster red back and shoulders, despite layers of factor 30 that I laboriously applied throughout the day. We arrived back at the hotel at around 4, so we quickly went to pick up some gifts that I had spotted on an earlier scout around but had had no money at the time to buy them. Feeling pretty pleased with myself, I was looking forward to a nice meal later that night.We had seen a posh-looking restaurant earlier in the day, called Blue Mango, so we made a beeline for that at about 8 o clock. The food was lovely, and I had the most refreshing watermelon shake I had ever tasted, but we were both exhausted, and radiating heat from our burnt shoulders, so we headed back to the hotel for yet another early night.

 

From Si on Jul 16th, 2007

Ello thar Kimberleh :) Now you've sampled gourmet Thai bolognose how did it compare to gourmet Shai (haha see what I did there) bolognose? Oh dear it has been a long morning already... x

From Kim on Jul 16th, 2007

Simon, Simon, Simon... Of course nothing compares to your Shai cuisine. Haha!