“Roller-coaster ride in the ocean.”
That’s the best way to describe our recent island hopping trip. It’s Monsoon season and it did felt like that when we explored the beautiful islands in Thailand. But we were so blessed that we didn’t experience any rain or else the waves would’ve been unforgiving than it already is.
If I had it my way, I wouldn’t mind living in an island tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the city. I’m sure my husband wouldn’t mind it either because he’s just as beach bum as I am. Only… I work online and islands don’t necessarily have the best internet connection. *sobs*
Island hopping was definitely in our bucket list to do in Krabi not only because you are expected to do that activity while visiting here but because we are beach lovers at heart. Having lived most of our lives in a tropical country like The Philippines, we are used to stunning beaches (do yourself a favor and search about Bantayan Island, Panglao Island, Coron and Siargao) and I don’t think we will ever get tired of swimming and getting toasted under the sun.
Inspired By The Beach
I haven’t written a blogpost in here for a while so the ocean has done me good. The stresses in life and work, the routine of daily living, can suck your creativity and zest and I wasn’t immune it. My creativity was drifting away and it makes it so hard to work since most of what I do involves creativity. Writing is my passion and if you don’t fuel your passion, it’s gonna die slowly. Think of it as a car. If you run out of fuel, it won’t start.
A few years ago, when I got so burned out from working nonstop, I traveled to Panglao, Bohol and stayed for a week near the beach. It was amazing. I would be writing and go for a swim when I take a break. Sipping mango lassi was becoming a habit. And that sparked my creativity.
We faced a lot of obstacles this year and those experiences kind of squeezed the life out of me. I was on autopilot at times. I wasn’t inspired to do anything. Life felt so monotonous.
As Jennifer Chung sings.. “Don’t want to get out of the bed. Much rather lay there instead. You’re living but don’t feel alive. No motivation or drive. As you search for answers to why. Don’t put aside what you’re feeling. So overwhelming. Everyone’s counting on you. Unaware you need help too. But you don’t say a word. Too much work to be done. No fun. Go through the motions eyes closed. There is a process of healing. You will be more than alright. Take it one day at a time.”
They say that sunshine is the best medicine.
And the best place to soak in some sun, for me, is the beach. Happiness will come in waves. Pun intended.
Spending the day in different islands, waking up to the sound of the waves, that for me is priceless.
And I got to bond with my husband who had inspired me to be fearless and get out of my comfort zone. It was exhilarating to swim in the lagoon and it made me realize that I could do something if I just set aside my fears and just do it.
I believe that nature is God’s gift to us so when we feel out of sync, going back to nature will reconnect us and refresh our soul.
Best Phi Phi Islands Day Tour
There are so many tour companies in Krabi but we went with Sea Eagle. When you arrive in the airport, you will be welcomed with lots of sales talks. And we gave in to one because it was such a good deal. The regular tour price was 2,800 baht and the lady in the kiosk gave it to us for only 900 baht.
The day tour included hotel pick up and drop off, speedboat, buffet lunch, snorkel supplies, fruits and unlimited bottled water.
The price depends on how many islands you want to visit and the type of boat you’re going to ride. We chose speedboat because the long tail boat takes more travel time.
Here are the prices for your reference:
Tour Prices: Adult – 2,800 b
Child – 2,000 b
Online Prices: 1,270 b (Promo Price)
We end up snagging it at 900 Baht. Don’t be afraid to name your price. ‘Cause you just might get the price you want.
Pick up Time:
8:00 am Pick up from Krabi town & Klung Muang.
8:30 am Pick up from Ao Nang
They picked us up at 8am. Yep, they were on time. We wish they weren’t because we woke up late.
When we arrive at the assembly point, we had to fill out forms, one was for insurance, and we had to pay the National Park fee of 400 Baht for adults and 200 Baht for children.
After listening to some guidelines given to us by our tour guide, Hassan, off we go!
Our first stop was Railay Beach but we didn’t get to enjoy it because we only picked up more people there.
Our Island Hopping Destinations included Pileh Bay, Bamboo Island, Viking Cave, Phi Phi Don, Hin Pae, Monkey Bay
Bamboo island was a dream come true. This was what I expected the island to be. I wish we stayed longer but we only get to spend 30-45 minutes in each destination.
It’s worth mentioning that these rubber bracelets would cost you 100 Baht if you lose it. Hassan jokingly said that it was better to lose our bodies than the bracelets. *haha*
We had to rush taking pictures as it was already a bit crowded in the island. If I’d known there was an early bird option in the tour, I would’ve gone for that.
It was sunny when we arrived in Bamboo Island. The opposite when we were in Railay as it was very cloudy. My husband was worried it would rain. Being optimistic, I told him it wouldn’t rain that day. And it didn’t. 🙂
Maya Bay was closed and I’m not entirely sure why, so we didn’t get to visit it during the tour. I’ve been to Maya Bay two years ago and all I can say is, we didn’t miss much.
Pileh Bay was easily one of the highlights of this trip. It’s a stunning lagoon and it piqued my curiosity about the place. How deep was it? Are there any sea creatures living underneath us? I remember one of the girls asked if there were sharks ^_^
We really want to come back here. The view is breathtaking. Just look at the picture below. And it didn’t even give it justice. That’s how amazing this place is.
We headed to Phi Phi Don to enjoy a free buffet lunch. And most of us devoured the food because we were so hungry from all the swimming we just did 😀
This was the scene during lunch. Most of the tours chose this restaurant for lunch that’s why it’s a bit crowded. But in all fairness, the line moved quickly.
After having a sumptuous lunch, you can still enjoy a quick dip in the beach before heading to the next destination.
We took some really good pictures during the trip and this was one of them. 🙂
We only got this close to the Viking Cave. And stayed there for less than 5 minutes. It was so hard to understand what our guide was saying because the engine was too loud. And there were other boats all around ours. I asked one of the assistant guides if there were people in there and she said yes. Interesting.
Don’t let this beautiful, calm photo of people snorkelling in Hin Pae fool you. There were big waves coming that one of the people we went on tour with needed to be rescued. Even my husband who’s a good swimmer was out of breath and was holding on to the rope that separated the snorkelling area and the open water.
I took this shot as soon as we arrived so there were a lot of them in this photo. In a few minutes, more than half of them went back to the boat. Most of them, panting. *whew*
But the water was very clear that I could see a lot of different types of fish even if I’m just on the boat.
Last stop was Monkey Island. I really don’t have to explain why. Just look at the next photo of my husband with his friends 😀
Can you spot the monkeys? There were lots of monkeys when we arrived. Some were swimming with us. It was so tempting to touch them but Hassan kept on reminding us not to get too close to them. All the more touch them.
This tour was expected to end at 4 pm but we arrived in Ao Nang Beach past 4pm.
So would I recommend this tour? Y-E-S!
Best Time To Visit Krabi
“The best time to visit Krabi is between November and March, which is also the peak tourist season. June to October Krabi experiences heavy rainfall and is therefore not frequented by too many tourists.
November to mid-March: This is the coolest season in Krabi after the rains are over. With the best weather, naturally, this is also the busiest time with most tourists planning their trips around this period. This is the perfect time to spend the day relaxing on one of the gorgeous beaches in Krabi and enjoying water sports in the calm sea.
Mid-March to May: These are considered as the hottest months in Krabi just before monsoon hits Thailand. The temperatures vary in the mid-thirties, with humidity levels steadily on the rise. One of the reasons why you should plan a trip in April is to witness the Songkran Festival, the Thai New Year, when people sprinkle water on each other!
June to October: Monsoon season in Phuket lasts from May to October. While the weather is humid, the prices are at an all-time low, making this one of the cheapest seasons to plan a trip. Apart from being cost effective, it’s also a peaceful time to visit because it’s not as crowded as the high season. The wettest months are May, September and October, but continuous days of heavy rainfall are rare”.
What To Bring During Island Hopping
We brought the essentials and we even brought water but we realized there were unlimited water bottles in the boat.
Another thing, if you’re going to bring a bag, you need to have something to put it in if it’s not waterproof. Water splashes had us, and our bags, wet all throughout the ride.
And please wear slippers, flip flops, beach shoes or open sandals. Some people wore rubber shoes and ofcourse it got wet. I know it’s a personal preference what to wear but wearing wet shoes is not comfy and might got smelly.
For us, these are the essentials that you need to pack:
- Sunscreen. Sunscreen. Sunscreen!
- Beach Towels
- Something to put your wet clothes in
- Umbrella – there were people who brought umbrella and even though it seems bulky, it was very handy to have, given that the sun was very high during our tour.
- Snorkelling Gear – you can bring one if you don’t want to use the free snorkelling gear provided in the tour
- Powerbank – if you take a lot of pictures
- First Aid Kit – there was a little accident in Hin Pae and one of the guys we went on tour with had a small cut. Good thing they have a first aid kit available.
Where To Eat Traditional Thai Food in Ao Nang Beach
There are many Thai restaurants in Ao Nang beach area but the best one we found was Thai Food-Seafood & Halal Food @ Aonang.
They have live lobsters, shrimps, fish and crabs. These were a big hit since most of the people dining there ordered seafood.
We ate there twice and we really enjoyed their food. I was just having a hard time explaining that I can’t have seafood in my pad thai as I’m allergic to prawn and squid.
Their fish cakes and Tom Ka Kai (Coconut Chicken Soup) is a must try. Yum!
The only downside here was, there were lots of mosquitoes. But nothing a good repellant can’t fix.
Lessons I Learned in this Trip
#1: I learned that my husband is a negotiator because he’s been haggling with prices. Wasn’t very successful but still, a negotiator. LOL
#2: Kidding aside, I learned that I can swim in deep waters. And I can conquer my fears.
#3: I’m willing to sacrifice taking great shots so I could enjoy a moment. There were lots of opportunities to take great photos in every island we visited but we chose to soak in the moment and be more present.
#4: Language may be a barrier but everyone understands a smile. It was nice to meet new people from different countries.
#5: Traveling with your spouse is a great way to bond. It’s been a new experience traveling with my husband as I am very used to traveling alone. Now we can’t wait to go on our next adventure after exploring Thailand!
Have you been to Phi Phi Islands? Would love to hear about your experience!