24.03.2012 32 °C
We had about an hour on the ferry. For awhile I was watching a baby a few rows ahead of us, it was the happiest baby I've ever seen and was peek-a-booing itself to another passenger using the seat. There were also Thai people playing cards on the floor and the guy who ended up being our longtail driver had obviously won because he was laughing hysterically. Then when we arrived the Phuket people got off and it was us and two other couples waiting for the tour. We got onto a longtail (we took all our bags and we shouldn't have because we ended up coming back to the ferry and I always worry about having important things on a longtail because they rock so much and almost tip over). I put a poncho over my bag. We went out past Viking Caves where people collect swallows' bird nests - it looked like a bird nest itself with lots of huge sticks in a cave. Then we went to Loh Samah Bay for a snorkel. There were jellyfish that gave little stings. The current was quite strong. We swam to a ladder on the island to walk across the island through the forest and onto Maya Bay. It was far too overcrowded. There were lots and lots of tourists and the shore was covered in speed boats and longtails and more people. It was impossible to get a decent photo. It ruined the view completely. We walked back over and snorkeled back to the boat. We saw the same fish as yesterday. The scenery was stunning everywhere with big differently shaped cliff islands covered in trees or jagged rock edges. The water was either a dark blue or a bright emerald/jade green. The speed boats made lots of waves d\so our longtail rocked a lot - I didn't enjoy. We were then fed lots of pineapple. There were lots of boats pretty much everywhere. We went into Maya Bay just on the boat and then back out. Then we went to a little cove thing next to a cliff face where there were lots of monkeys in the trees. We pulled up the longtail nice and close and I stood at the bow of the boat and reached out to a monkey with a piece of pineapple. First the monkey reached out but when I let go he dropped it. Then the boat went too far away so I threw the pineapple but my throwing was too dodgy for them to catch. Then the boat got closer again, I reached out and the monkey was contemplating but the boat was still far, we got closer and he reached out and I passed him the pineapple and he ate it. Success! There were a few boats in here too and people swimming around. We then had more snorkeling near Ton Sai Bay which I decided against and just stayed on the boat. I was kind of over snorkeling and there were jellyfish. Then we got back to the ferry for lunch. We had fried chicken, green curry, rice, and sweet and sour seafood. I chucked what i stupidly thought was a zucchini into my mouth and then realised it was a green chilli. I ate very cautiously, chewing a bit and then stopping to make sure it wasn't too hot. Then it was far too hot. My mouth was on fire but I couldn't spit it out and I almost threw it up. So hot! I went to have coke but realised that would make it worse so had some water. It eventually subsided but I was in pain for some time. At this point we were told we had two hours to explore Phi Phi and then come back to the ferry and back to Koh Lanta. Since we weren't going back to Lanta and it was only 1:00PM we were very disappointed that that was all the tour was. We paid 20 baht to get into Phi Phi and we walked way too far trying to find our hotel. Then we finally found October House which was right near the pier and we'd passed it very early on. Bundy was disappointed that bikes now had bells (since there are no motorised vehicles and when he was here last time no-one had bells and everyone just said "bring bring" or "beep beep"). Some still just made noises as a bell which was hilarious. It's nice with no vehicles but there are lots of people and everything is compacted into small spaces. It was hot and the place had a lively atmosphere with lots of pubs and shops. We checked into our hotel and we got air-conditioning even though we paid for a fan room. The room was huge and we had a huge double bed (two king singles put together) and a single bed. We had a tiny bathroom though. We had three windows out onto the street (hopefully it isn't too noisy) but only two curtains. We also had a fridge and a clothes horse and a fan and a TV. There aren't many rooms here and we are the first room up the stairs. We had to go back down to get towels. We saw prices for half day Phi Phi island tours which were only 250 baht. So if we'd booked the ferry from Lanta and then the tour at Phi Phi it would have only cost 550. So we got ripped off a bit and I was furious (we'd paid the dearer ferry price and had paid the return fee even though we weren't returning). We are poor enough already without wasting $15. I tried calling the company but I got 'sorry this number is temporarily unavailable' and Bundy said something about seeing a Thai person buy 15 phone cards and someone else saying that sometimes the companies buy phone cards just to use for that day so after that you cannot contact them. We won't be booking with Lanta Princess again. The tour wasn't even that good. We watched Law & Order at our hotel before heading to dinner at 6:30PM at DMC Restaurant. We shared a pizza and garlic bread again and had a large Chang each. The pizza (vegetarian) was delicious with cabbage and broccoli and cauliflower and corn. We then went and looked at the shops and I got a blue floral sarong for 150 baht. I was still unsure of the colour long after I bought it though. Maybe I should have gotten purple. Or red. Or an elephant one. We walked to the beach (Loh Dalam Bay) and there was lots of partying and some fireworks but I had a headache so we went back to the hotel. I re-thought the sarong colour again for about an hour. Our power seems to cut out quite often (as does all power on the island) but it comes back on within a minute.
Woke up at 5:00AM with a very bad blood nose. I stood over the sink for half an hour after running out of toilet paper. There was blood everywhere and it wouldn't all go down the drain. I went back to sleep after watching a bit of Cops. I woke up at 8:30AM before Bundy and watched TV before waking him up. We watched 'Up in the Air' and I had peanut butter and bread in bed for breakfast. At about 12:00PM we went and had lunch. We ate at Cosmic Restaurant which had good prices. I had the English breakfast which had sausage, beans, toast, egg, ham, fries, salad, pineapple, juice, and coffee (or iced coffee without juice) for 120. I wore my sarong. I don't know how to wrap it properly yet but Bundy is intrigued by it and trying to work it out and dresses me. We found a shop with 50 baht frisbees but they were terrible. They had better ones out the front but without a price so we asked. She said they were 50 baht. They didn't have a barcode so we bought it quickly before she realised they were better quality ones and should actually be dearer. Bargain! We went down to the beach. It was very hot. There were lots of topless girls. Very weird. The water had lots of algae in it which was a bit gross and after getting out the hairs on my legs would be coloured green. The beach was okay, we could hear music near a poolside bar which was good. A guy came up while we were laying on the sand and asked Bundy to play frisbee. I found 10 baht. I tried to tan away my bikini top lines and white butt but didn't tan much at all and it was so hot. We played frisbee for a bit. There was a sandy bit in the middle of the water (water was very shallow) and people had made sand castles there. There were a few boats in the water. We walked back to the hotel a different way past some stores which were cheap and had great stuff. We'll go back later after a shower. We asked in at a dive shop and it is a bit expensive but apparently better and cheaper than the Similan plus you cannot stay on the Similan Island. We showered and watched TV for a bit. We went to go out for dinner and drinking but when we went to book another night in our room they were full. So we went to Cosmic for dinner (I ordered a tahini felafel) and then I went looking for hotels while my food was cooking. I couldn't drink unless we found a hotel (I wasn't going to be looking around hungover). Most places were over 1000 baht or full or we couldn't book until tomorrow. I went past Dojo bar where a guy (Thomas) who was handing out flyers for the bar chatted to me trying to convince me to drink at Dojo later (saying he wants me to come drinking and dance topless isn't a great selling point). I mentioned about looking for a hotel and he got a map and circled where he was staying and said it was cheap and good. Later discovered the place didn't exist (he said it was called Guesthouse and we couldn't find any place called just 'Guesthouse'). I went back for dinner. It was good but I thought I'd get 6 pitas with felafels, not 6 felafels and 1 pita. The tahini and salad were separate as well and after eating half of it I figured out the real way I was supposed to eat it. Oops. After dinner we spent the next hour looking for a hotel but had the same problem as earlier and all the cheap rooms were fan only with no TV and sometimes no bathroom. I got very frustrated and then I no longer wanted to go out drinking and it was getting late. We decided to try in the morning. We asked at Viking Divers about diving - Bundy wants to go on a night dive. I can't decide. I want to do advanced or an advenure dive and I want to see turtles and sharks (which are near guaranteed) but it's so much money and then I remembered I didn't much like diving when we last went and I didn't know Phi Phi was a good dive spot before this. I was very confused and undecided. Then I stressed all night about my dwindling money. We had lots of bugs in the room and tried luring them into the bathroom with the light.
Woke up pretty damn early at 8:00AM with the sun shining in. I watched TV then showered and packed my bag and then I had a clothing hissy fit. I need more clothes. We checked out and then checked in to Phi Phi October Guesthouse (a different hotel). The room is very small with only cold water, lots of noise from other rooms, and a fan. We also had to book 2 nights because that was the minimum so our decision of whether to stay on Phi Phi another night was made for us. We went for breakfast at Cosmic number 2 (a different location, with take away pizza advertised). I had muesli with fruit and yoghurt (surprised and so happy they had strawberry and kiwi!) and we shared some spring rolls. Our waiter was a grumpy bum and also tried to charge us extra for the spring rolls (80 instead of 60). I said no! We will continue going to the other better Cosmic I think. We went and talked to one of the guys at Viking Divers and Peter at Scuba Frog. Everyone at the dive shops are so nice and helpful, it's hard to choose one. I liked Peter but we ended up choosing Viking because they claimed to be the first boat out in the morning (so they avoided a crowd of other divers and got there before all the skittish animals were scared away by heaps of boats). I spent all day deciding (1) whether I wanted to dive, (2) where and what kind of dive and (3) whether to count towards my advanced. Once I'd decided to do two dives at the local marine park I had another decision which was (1) whether to rent a camera and add it to an advanced dive (4100 baht) or (2) just get someone to video us (4300 baht). I finally decided that one dive would be an adventure advanced dive and that I would do photography with the camera. We booked and we had a 7:00AM start for the next day. Bundy chose just two fun dives (so I will be more qualified than him!) We got fitted for our gear and chose what lunch we wanted (we got a menu). We got told we'd see sting rays and sea snakes and I got a bit worried! Then we went back down to the beach and played frisbee for awhile. I thought the beach looked awesome today, really bright and green water until I realised my sunglasses made everything look that way and the beach looked the same as the other day. It was very hot. We laid down in the shade most of the day. There were more half naked girls laying around annoying me and outside Slinky's there is a big dildo. Weird. Later on we went back and showered and then went out for dinner - Cosmic again. I tried the spinach pie which came with fries, salad, gravy and a slice of pineapple (160). It was really really good. Then we went to book Khao Lak transfer and hotel. We found a super cheap hotel for $9 a night. The trip was 600 baht (cheapest we found, the rest said 700-750). The internet cost us 80 baht for 40 minutes. Ouch! Checked facebook very quickly and lucky we did because Fabian had sent me a message saying he was in Phi Phi! We ended up meeting him at the pier and took him to Cosmic for his dinner and we got drinks. I had a kiwi daquiri (99) which was super tasty and alcoholic. They undercharged us 100 baht and then apologised to us when we told her we owed her so much more money than that. We had a good catch up and chat with Fabian (although Bundy cuts him off and I'm getting bored of hearing his stories a million times and his rants about boring things like how an imperial gallon isn't the same as a U.S gallon...exciting). We went down to the beach after dinner for more drinks. It was so very very loud with each bar competing to be the loudest and you could hear 4 different songs at once blaring. We found the quietest place we could between two louder bars and Bundy and Fabian got some expensive beers. Fabian drinks nicer more expensive beer than us (Singha). There were a lot of mosquitos and I got covered in itchy bites. We called it a night around 11:00PM since we have to get up stupidly early. We arranged to meet again for dinner tomorrow.
Woke up stupid early at 6:00AM. Got ready and went next door to the dive shop at 7:00AM. I got some quick information and instruction on how to use the camera and clean and set up the housing and I was given the PADI manual and some homework. All we had to do was carry our weight belts and ourselves down to the pier. We stopped by a bakery to pick up some breakfast (croissant and apple scroll). We got on the red boat and sat upstairs and relaxed. We had a briefing with our guide and set off to the dive sites (Koh Bida Nai and Koh Bida Nok). It was so good not having to set up any equipment. We got there, got our gear on and jumped right in. This time I'd had a travel sickness tablet and was feeling good.
-internet is expensive, everywhere is 2 baht per minute