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|14th March 2009, 21:25||#61|
Senior - BHPian
With all those dreams I had due to an excellent ride from Bangkok on Bus, morning around 6am we reach the Phuket Bus station. We are surrounded by bunch of drivers asking for destination. I just ignored all and went into the Bus station. I see a information board. So decided to ask for the details.
From here you need to go to the Rassada Pier. Its from here all the ferry service operate to the Phi Phi Island. So, I wanted to know how far is it from the place and whats the rates.
She says it would take 40BHAT per person to the pier and its around 2 kms. But all these guys were asking for 100BHAT per person. Not only that, they were so curious on the boat service I am planning to take. So they all asked for the ticket if its booked. The reason being, they will take you to the pier and make sure you get a ticket in some ferry and get thier commision.
Since I already spoke with the Hotel people and they have recommended to take the Andaman Wave Master, I wanted to take the Andaman Wave master. They had a tie-up with the hotel and said will drop us to the hotel without any extra money.
Other option is to go to the Tonsai bay and take a lang tail boat. Which would cost additional 1000BHAT one way. But this one was 1000BHAT per person for both up and down journey.
We came outside the bus station to the main road. There we see a bunch of collage guys and gals grouped. Later we realise that they drive to pier for extra money. One guy approached us askiing for 50BHAT. I thought it should be ok and got into his Toyota.
We reach at 6:30am in the Pier. As Rufdoc mentioned in his travelogue. it was almost empty. With no shops open, very minimal human traffic, we could see that it would be boring to spend those 2 hours. Slowly things started to change as the time past. By 7:30 we could see some more people arriving there and some of the ferry operators opened their ticket counters.
We were waiting for our operator. She came like 8am and checked the hotel bookings etc, called the hotel to confirm and finally gave us the ticket.
8:30am we board the ferry. It was a AC ferry, with open place in top to have a good view of the sea. We decided to sit in the top to enjoy those scenes. But we forgot in the excitement that it is going to be boiling hot.
I have booked the accomodation in the Phi Phi Natural Resort hotel. Its in the northern tip of the Island. To reach here, you need to cross the Tonsai bay, Maya beach and then reach here. It takes about 2hrs 30min to reach the hotel.
When you reach the northern tip of the Island, you will need to change to the Long tail boat since the water is shallow near the beach and these ferry cant reach the shore.
The ferry stops for around 10min near the Maya beach for sight seeing. Its just from the ferry itself. Actually this is for the people in the one day tour. They have this in their itenery. The coconut trees along the beach, white sand, greenish water all makes it a plesant view from the ferry.
This Maya beach is the place where the holywood movie "The Beach" was shot. Seems the movie team ahs sponsered some good amount of the money to enhance those forest which they have used to shoot for the movie.
Once done, it moves to the Tonsai Bay. This is the main place in Island. You have many options for hotels, food shops etc. This palce also have all water activities like para-sailing, scuba diving, snorkelling etc.
Most tourist people stay here and hence it would always be a crowded beach. This was one of the reason for us to book in the northern tip of the island.
On the way to Tonsai bay, we can also see the Viking Cave towards your left. Unfortunately, its closed for public. I heard that they use to allow before. But for some reason, govt has stopped allowing public inside now. So, you can just peep those caves from the Long tail boat.
The whole trip from the Phuket to Phi Phi Island was such a memorable trip. It cant be expressed in words or cant even do justice with pictures. Those should be experienced and felt for the actual excitement.
I have tried to produce some pics here, but as I said, it cannot do any justice to the actual beauty.
Last edited by ajmat : 15th March 2009 at 22:00.
|15th March 2009, 07:57||#62|
Senior - BHPian
We reached the Phi Phi Natural resort around 11am.
We were welcomed with a hot towel and Juice at the entrance of the hotel itself.
I think these things are very important for customer service or satisfaction. Eventhough it may not cost much for the hotel, this will be a great for the customers. Especially those chilled juice after those ride on the ferry in the hot sun.
Then the usual procedures for check-in and we were alloted the room. It was a little long walk to reach the room from the reception. They had only 10 Standard rooms and those are the farthest one from beach and recpetion.
I was under the impression that since they are far away, may not have a good view of beach. But I was wrong. They have constructed the rooms in such a way that all the rooms will get a good view of the beach.
These rooms are built on raised floors so the rooms in front do not hinder the view. I had a excellent view of the Bamboo Island and Mosquito Island.
After check-in we thought of taking some rest. But its impossible. After seeing those beautiful beaches just few yards away, we cannot keep resting in the room. So, we refreshed immd and left for the beach.
On the way we saw some interesting vehicle. Since it was all covered with sand and no way to connect to the other parts of the land, there are no cars or normal vehicles. But that did not stop these people from thinking little innovative. Look at these vehicles.
As soon as we reached the reception, we saw those lunch buffet and decided to first finish the lunch. It cost 300BHAT per person. Even though expensive, it was worth it. Just watch the menus.
Starting from salad and ended with the deserts & coffe, we were all full both by heart & stomach. Then we headed to the beach and took some pictures while we were enjoying those beauty.
Then my son wanted to play in the water. So we thought of first hitting the pool in the resort and went there. A clean and well placed pool. The view from the pool was simply amazing. The pool is just next to the beach. Wonderful thinking and execution.
Once he is bored in playing in the pool, we went to the beach next to the pool. It was fun and the water was not deep at all. You can walk in about 50-100mts and still its not so deep.
There was a european family who went into the beach and came after like an hour. They mentioned that they were lucky to see a shark. Man that was scary for me. He also bought some beautiful coreal and complete shell.
We decided to take a stroll along the beach. We walked through the shore and found the other 3 hotels. There is no shops or store to buy anything in here. Except for the one or two shops of the Gypsies. There is a Gypsy village near there and several gypsies stay there. They said there are also people living on those hills.
I took a cookie from the shop. It was marked 5BHAT. But he charged 25BHAT. Curiously I asked him why so and they respond that the 5BAHT is for Phuket and not in this island.
While the sun was setting, I can see some good change in the ambience of each of the hotel. Slowly the beach started to get crowded with many people on the reastaurnts. I see more crowds on these gypsy vilage restaurants rather than the resorts one. I dont think it would be just money perspective. It should also be related to the taste and curiosity to try different foods.
I see some restaurants being more creative in decorating the entrance. One hotel had a flower decoration in front like a heart. There was one more which had oil lamp. The cocunut shell was used to hold the oil with think cloth for the flame. This is little burriedin the sand. From a distance it looks so nice with mild light in and around that place.
Even the candles placed in your table for those dinner was creative. They do not have any expensive stand. Just the pet bottle filled with the sand. They put the candle and again invert one more pet on top. When the candle is done till the sand, they just press the top pet bottle, pull it up and you are ready with the extra candle.
We had our dinner in those gypsy village and headed back to the hotel and called it a day.
Some more beach pics
|15th March 2009, 20:12||#63|
Senior - BHPian
Next day we get up around 6am and the view for the hotel was so plesant. It was misty. The beach, Bamboo island and the Mosquito island was seen with less visibility.
We planned to spend our day in the Tonsai bay for the day. So we got ourselves ready by 8am and went for the breakfast. When I locked the door I found that it was not working. Even after locking with the key it was opening. So decided to call the house keeping. But since we were to go for the breakfast, thought we will complain in the reception after the breakfast.
The breakfast was also a buffet with chicken, beef, pork etc etc. It was quite odd for my wife to see those heavy duty breakfast.
After having those breakfast, we complained to the reception about the door. They sent a carpenter to look at the issue. He comes and dismantles the whole lock. We were unable to move anywhere since he was working in the room. After an hour it was fixed with a new lock.
While we were passing through, we noticed a compund wall of a school. The reason it was exciting is, we saw some innovative idea on building those wall. It was not built with bricks, but with bottles.
How many bottles of beer contributed its life for this???
Not only that wall, there was also garbage bins which was constructed using different color bottles. At night with the light, it did look awesome.
Then we rented a long tail boat for Tonsai bay. Information about the long tail boat has already been shared by our friend in begining of this travelogue. So, just moving ahead now to the trip.
It costs 1500Bhat for 4 hours. We took the boat and was started towards the Tonsai bay. But I noticed that he was going in the opposite direction of Tonsai bay. I remember coming from down to the northern tip in the ferry in counter clock wise. But this guy was also going further in the same CCW direction. Then I realized that the distance to Tonsai bay is much shorter when travelled through this side.
The Pier in Tonsai bay will be on the other side of the short strip of land from the place where this long tail boat reaches. This strip was completely within the ocean during the Tsunami.
Once we were in the long tail boat, my camera was doing heavy duty clicks without any rests. You will realize those in the coming pics. Lol...
Imagine sitting in those boat with all sides surrounded by pleasant view of water, full silence except for those tut-tut-tut sound from the boat, Wow that was something to die for. Such a memorable trip.
We reached the Tonsai bay in 30min. We had sround 3hrs to kill so we are back to hotel in 4hrs. This beach was so crowded with people on the shore. We could see many water activities here like para-sailing, water scooter, row boats etc.
When you enter the street of Tonsai bay, you will be greeted with shops on either side. Its mostly shops selling clothes for all gender. We walked through the street and found a place where it looked like a food court. So we decided to have some stuff for the stomach. In the shop it was very interesting to meet a character.
He was affected in Tsunami and his shop was all washed away. Some organisation has helped him to bring it back to shape. He had a files of pictures of those disaster happened in there during the Tsunami. My god, it should never happen again. Such a loss.
We also head that there was only one hotel that withstood the tsunami in that area and that was used as the medical center. Forgot the name. It was just opposite to this food court.
A little further you walk and you will reach the other side of the bay, which is the Tonsai Bay. You can see tons of foriegners getting here on every ferry arrival. Most just vist with backpacks, enter these street and pick a hotel. You have agents sitting in the bay with pictures and rates of the hotel you wanted. Just negotiate with him and decide on the hotel.
There was also lot of shops for the soviners. In one shop I found a guy who spoke very good hindi. When I was trying to buy some stuff he mentioned that we get good items in good rates in Bangkok. So, if you have a plan to visit Bangkok no need to buy here.
The next sentence he highlighted was strange. Well, not so strange, you can make it out easily. He said that these are mostly for European and US tourists who buys these stuff for even higher price. But I felt that they are more cleaver than us and dont buy all these words.
After roaming all through the bay we returned to the shore. We saw some people taking the para-sailing.
We were in dilema whether to try or not. Unfortunately we decided not to try, for which we still regret missing such a wonderful chance. Anyway, there is always a next time. Hope to make it in next visit
Last edited by ajmat : 15th March 2009 at 22:01.
|15th March 2009, 20:39||#64|
Senior - BHPian
Then we left the Tonsai bay. When we returned to the hotel, we decided to play around in the private beach.
We see some people renting the J-mark and doing the snorkelling. So we also rented the mask and decided to do some. Since we are not that good in swimming, managed to do some in the shores without going much deeper into the ocean.
My son was loving a lot to play in those white sand. He never listened anything we said. Then we thought that it was his vacation and let me do what he want.
I was just lying on the beach and resting. I close my eyes and hear those
Chirping of birds...
Sound of water splasing on the shore...
Occasional boat sounds...
and it was so nice to be like that for hours. No phone calls, no deadlines, no urgency, no issues, and no no and no...
The no's is not just for us. For my son too. He was so happy to have a no homework, no study vacation. lol...
In the end we had the dinner in the restaurant near the Gypsy village. After a good walk along the beach, we hit the bed.
|16th March 2009, 07:50||#65|
Senior - BHPian
Today is the day for the checkout. Checkout time was 11am. So, we thought of relaxing in room for the day. But who will do that when you have such a wonderful places all around?
So, we decided to go for a quick ride to the Bamboo Island. So we rented the Long tail boat again after the breakfast.
The sunrise was a beautiful view from the hotel.
The ride from hotel to this place is less than 30min. While on the way, the boat person stopped the boat in the middle and asked us to jump to the water and start snorkelling. Oh my god, we said no we dont want to do that and he was surprised. May be he would have thought "Why the hell these stupid guys goes all the way to the beach and do nothing?"
With such a question mark over his head he started to drive towards the beach agian.
The beach was empty since it was little early. You have a entrance fees of 200BHAT per person to be paid for this beach. Then we went in the water and started to play. This place was a heaven of fish and corals. Even without going much deeper into the beach, we could see colorful fishes surrounding our legs in those shallow water.
I took my camera and started clicking some. Eventhough I had a initial fear of spoiling my cam, i could not resist doing because of those colorful fishes. This place is for sure a heaven for guys who love snorekling.
Then we returned back and checked out the hotel. The ferry was suppose to come around 12:30pm. We were waiting in the lobby for the ferry. The hotel people was so friendly and one lady was so fond of my kid. She was always playing with him and want to take a pic for her with him.
She also came till Tonsai bay with Kiran before saying a bye-bye.
|16th March 2009, 13:43||#66|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Dilwalon ki Dilli
Thanked: 334 Times
Also mention rates for stuff/food/conveyance/hotel where ever you can, so that it would help to other planning the same.
Also, since you are a guy, it would be Sawadee Kaab (not Ka) ..
Hope you had a great time.
|16th March 2009, 14:08||#67|
Senior - BHPian
And thanks again, for the correction
|16th March 2009, 20:24||#68|
Senior - BHPian
The ferry came just before 1pm. We were not so enthu to get inthe ferry to leave. After all the vacation is getting over and I can clearly see the face of my son and kid changing.
We did not even click much pics during the return in the ferry.
We reached the Rasada Pier and took a taxi. Paid 50BHAT per person. In the bus stand I see many ticket counters for Bangkok buses. Later I figured out that it was all different operators. But most of the bus are looking same color etc. Except for a one small board somehwere you cant see mentioning the operator name.
I thought of taking the ticket in the government operated bus, but ended up in a private one. But it turned out to be a better choice.
Some pics on the way from first floor !!!
Shy optra hiding herself behind the tree, followed by the Aveo (Wherever I go, my network follow me!!!) and a Gypsy!!!
Then it suddenly started to rain terribly. But did not last long.
After that no clue what happened, I was deep slept. The bus stopped for dinner around 1am in a big food court. But we were not in a mood to eat at that time. So, just continued our sleep.
|16th March 2009, 21:13||#69|
Senior - BHPian
Next day morning around 6am we were in Bangkok. I was so surprised to see so much of colorful taxi in the bus-stand. I think if we make a line of taxi available in Bangkok, it would be more than the total street length of the Bangkok. Lol...
We did not have any plan for this day. So we thought of doing the shopping for the day and found the bus stand itself to be a good place. We settled in the waiting area for sometime. All shops was closed since it was early morning. I was so desparate to have coffee. I see a Mr.Donnut near there but was closed. Eagerly waiting for them to open. The moment they open I rush to have a coffee.
My son was eager to try different donuts.
After a while we started to look around for shops. The first shopping I did was a Free Adventure 4 Men Dome tent
It costed around 1000Bhat. Not sure if that was cheap or expensive, but still I bought since I have been planning to buy one for long time and never materialized.
My wife was like, already I dont see you in the weekend in home, now what?
Umm, Time to buy something to cool my better half
Then the shopping started and I dont know how the time flew. It was 1pm and time for lunch. We tried the lunch in the food court over there.
Then we checked if there is a direct bus to Airport from the Southern Bus stand. Later we came to know that there is a direct bus numbered 556 to airport. We took the bus around 3pm.
The bus ride was very interesting. We met a German couple in the bus. They seem to be frequent visitor to Thai. They said every year during the winter in their place, they will come here. Both are above 60yrs and spending their life after retirement.
They claim that they do not book any hotel or anything. Just take the lonely planet book and head to Bangkok. Then go straight to the Khao san road and search for a cheaper lodge.
They also mentioned that this time they stayed in a lodge for 5euro. Yes. Initially every tuk-tuk driver was telling that they cant get a lodge for less than 10 euro and showed only around 120Euro. But these cleaver guys were just waiting and waiting and finally found one for 5 euro. Well, they said the lodge was clean place to sleep. What else do you need? Thats there argument. Anyway, I dont think we people can take such risk especially when traveling with family.
Friends travelling without family, this is a giood info. Utilize it and save. Lol.
You actually reach a Public transport station near the airport in this Bus. Then you need to take a free shuttle white bus for the terminal from there. It was a neat arangement.
As usual the regular photo session in front of those beautiful statue for while, then coffee and wait for the flight.
The flight was not taxied to the gate. But we need to take a bus and go to the flight parked in the airport. It was nice experiance since my son loved to see those huge bird near.
We took one last photo before taking our legs off those Thailand. Climb the stair, get to the seat and one, two, three... Shut the eyes and sleeeeeeep....
Bye bye land of smiles.
Had a wonderful vacation. Hope to see you again soon!!!
|7th June 2009, 15:01||#72|
Distinguished - BHPian
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New Delhi
Thanked: 10,779 Times
@ mjothi: Thanks a million for pointing me to this thread of yours, with all the necessary info that I was looking for - I don't know how I had missed this when it was being published. This was like a virtual tour for me before I actually go, because the places you went to are the places we also plan to visit. Wonderful photography and detailed travelogue!
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