‘Don’t go with him, his captain is on Ketamine. He will take you and leave you on the island and make you pay more’, this is what we were told when we got to Phi Phi about the owner of our accommodation. He literally checked us in then attempted to sell us a long-tail boat tour around some of the islands, including the famous Maya Bay, for B500. I thought it was quite cheap but luckily we didn’t agree to go with him.
We booked our tour from the Tourist Center, we had an Arisa Group speedboat which only had around 12 people on. Included in the price was complimentary water and coca cola, pineapple and watermelon, the fee’s and snorkelling equipment – all for B1000 each. You’re probably wondering what fees? The guy explained that when you get to Maya Bay you have to pay a fee to get off and enjoy the beach. Most long-tail boat tours don’t tell you this then just demand the money off you once your there. Don’t fall victim to this, many people don’t take spare money to go on a boat tour as they think everything is paid for, then BAM you have to pay more.
This was our first stop, a place where the monkeys live. We were warned not to feed or touch the monkeys as they can be vicious and bite. To my surprise other long-tail boat tours were provided with nuts to feed the monkeys. Bit of a predicament there. The monkeys were very interactive, running around, climbing on you, scavenging for food or drink. What was a real shame was the beach they live on, inside the cave was filled with rubbish, plastic bottles galore. As you can see in my photo a monkey munching away on a plastic bottle. I left the beach with mixed feelings – yes how amazing to get so close to these wild animals and their babies. But how it’s a shame they are so exposed to humans, not left to live a natural life of being in the jungle. I would say cruelty but they were obviously happy when crowds of people turn up with food. Plus, the fact their home has become so polluted from human’s rubbish falling into the sea.
Our second stop was in Shark Bay, this was our first snorkelling spot. Shark bay is home to reef sharks that swim around the rocks and coral. I didn’t go snorkelling here but Snape did. Unfortunately he didn’t spot a reef shark.
We noticed this spot when we were coming to PhiPhi on the ferry. A cave which had ladders and scaffolding around it, it did intrigue us. There are a species of bird and their nest inside the cave, these are protected by the National Park so no-one is allowed to enter it. This did make me wonder why the monkeys werent protected by the National Park too. Snape did raise the question but we had no answer.
MAYA BAY (KOH PHI PHI LEE)
I’ve always seen these picture perfect Instagram shots of the skinny girl stood in the turquoise sea with the rock entrance behind them and maybe the odd part of a long tail boat. It also has the hastag #MayaBay or they’ve tagged the location. I always used to look at them and think wow I cannot wait to visit there. But the pictures I have seen did not match up to the real location.
Maya Bay famous for the fact that ‘the beach’ starring Leonardo DiCaprio was filmed here. Giving you that image of a slice of paradise, a secluded beach on an island surrounded by turquoise sea, jungle and white sand. In the film it looks incredible. Everyone wants to visit this beach, and to be honest it wasn’t the film that made me want to visit, it was more of the amazing shots I kept seeing all over my social media that made it stand out to me.
This is going to sound extremely negative but Maya Bay didn’t live up to the expectations of what I had seen. I think to appreciate the sheer beauty of it you would need to get there at 6am when it isn’t rammed with tourists. I was more distracted by an Aussie girl who insisted on shouting ‘BABY! BABY! KANE! BABY!‘ whilst she slowly made her way through the sea to chase her boyfriend who clearly didn’t want to be around her. He later fell over a rock in the water as he attempted to take a selfie. His bag went under but he managed to raise his hand high enough to keep his phone out the water. Skills. Yes, it was hilarious. Even though his girlfriend wasn’t near him, she got the blame as he was clearly upset that his bag of weed got wet. I think they made up as he dragged her through the sea back to the boat with his legs. True love. Just want to thank that couple for providing the entertainment that day.
Maya Bay summed up – Beautiful, slightly over rated, not spectacular. The sand is very white and soft, the sea had spells of warm and cold. But with that many people there it could be that we were just walking through people’s piss. Although, it was extremely clear and you could spot the odd reef shark swimming around.
This is a sunset tour so at the end of the trip your meant to go watch the sun going down behind these beautiful islands. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to experience this. The heavens decided to open and chuck it down, we had to go into a bay until the storm passed and it was safe to sail back to Phi Phi. The atmosphere didn’t stop as we had a little boat party in the rain, jumping in the water, dancing on the deck and of course the music blasting. It was cold and wet but fun.
The crew are ace, they were so involved with the day making sure they provided information and having a laugh. I don’t think they need ketamine, they’re a little nutty on nothing.
Read about our time on Koh Phi Phi Don here.
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