I just got back from a week in Southern Thailand, it’s the rainy season there now so I was taking a chance but got very lucky for the first few days.
Yann and I landed in Phuket late on friday and got a taxi to Phuket Town to sleep before and early ferry to the Phi Phi Islands. It was a great day to take the ferry as this time of year the seas can be choppy but it was very smooth so hopefully this keeps up the whole weekend for my planned Phi Phi Island boat tour. We are staying at the outriggers resort on Ko Phi Phi Don which after the 2 hour ferry to the main port there is still another 30 minute longtail boat ride to the north of the Island, as there are no roads this is the quickest way. So after a 2 hour flight, overnight stay, 2 hour ferry and 30 minute boat ride we arrive at the resort at 11.45am on saturday. At least the journey is a pretty one and we got to enjoy the old Phuket Town briefly otherwise it would not be worth it for just a weekend here.
The resort is beautiful and we go straight out to enjoy the beach and lie in the Hammocks, I of course bring my camera and search out for some interesting shots. I have never seen such clear water.
We had read online for food to head to the village behind the resort which is cheaper but also better, after a long search we finally discovered our way out and wandered the quiet streets, it almost felt we were in an episode of lost. The locals are very friendly and would happily talk for hours if we had the time, we booked a boat tour for sunday and stopped at Pad Thai for dinner.
The boat tour was worth every penny at only 2000 Baht for 6 hours, especially when we would see speedboats packed full of people, we visited the famous Maya Bay from the beach movie was beautiful but crowded, I was lucky to be able to get this shot will no people or the many boats just out of frame to the right.
It was a perfect day, my favourite beach was a small cove just behind Maya Bay and we had it all to ourselves, crazy when it was busy everywhere else. We snorkelled nearby for the first time between the coral and colourful fish everywhere.
For sunset we ventured to Nui Bay that we were told about, it requires a steep climb but is worth the effort to have a whole beach to yourself and go skinny dipping as the sun sets below the horizon. After we had a delicious seafood tasting menu in the village at the P P Red Tuna Hut.
As monday came it was time for Yann to fly back whilst I was staying for another 4 days. We caught the last ferry as a storm started to roll in, we really had just caught the best weather as we were told this has been the first sun for a few weeks. The ferry ride was very choppy as the rain started to fall but I enjoyed watching the boat splash through the waves form the deck.
I rented a car at the airport and headed for Phang-Nga Bay where I had planned to take a boat tour the next day. I stayed at the Phang-Nga resort which was very run down but the perfect location next to the bay. I woke to the sun shining and got ready to make the most of it, however by the time I got to the pier it started to rain and I decided to wait for a day when the weather would be better and hit the road, I didn’t have a plan on where to go as I was going to stay around Phang-Nga the whole 4 days, but I had read that the weather is better on the east coast so ended up driving all the way over to Don Sak to see what the coast is like there, the weather is better and I check into a nice hotel, I was very impressed for only 1500 baht. I eat dinner at a new bar that had opened up and chatted to the Australian for an hour.
It was beautiful the next day however the coast didn’t have any picture opportunities so I headed for Sikiet Waterfall, it’s an amazingly natural area that felt like I was deep in the jungle and spent hours exploring and taking pictures.
There wasn’t much water flowing down the river but that quickly changed when it started to pour with rain, 30 minutes later everywhere I had been walking just before was completely flooded and the river now flowing very quickly.Even the bridge I had to walk across was mostly submerged, it’s an awesome sight to see, but also I could have bee stranded on the other side if my timing had been off!
Next I head to Khao Sok National Park for a boat tour of the lake, it’s still rainy but doesn’t look like it’s going to get batter before I leave on friday. Halfway though the tour I ask the driver to stop so I can take a picture but then the engine won’ start up again, the battery is dead. We then have to wait 2 hours for another boat tome come and bring a new battery, whilst waiting I got to see one of the floating resorts on the lake, it sounds like an ideal place but I am not impressed by this one, the food wasn’t good and the rooms didn’t look comfortable. Eventually the 2nd boat turned up and towed us to the main attraction so I could shoot pictures whilst they sorted the battery.
Back at the pier after my 3 hour tour had become 5 I head back to Phang-Nga Bay hoping the weather would turn for my last day on friday. I wake to the room glowing yellow, but that was the rooms curtains deceiving me, it was still rainy. The was the most frustrating place to get a boat tour as I felt like they were trying to rip me off, the starting price was twice what I paid on Phi Phi but for only half the time. I eventually got hem down to 1800 Baht but should have just walked away as the tour was annoying and the driver would not stop when I wanted to. The sun came out briefly between the spouts of heavy rain atleast.
Part of the tour included a stop on James Bond Island, named so because the location was used in The Man with the Golden Gun movie, it’s a shame it was very touristy on the tiny island with lots of stalls selling junk. It’s certainly pretty though, I only wish the weather was better. Atleast I got some fantastic shots at the beginning of the trip.
I was early heading back to the airport on friday so decided to stop Nai Yang beach nearby, I even found a shot to take last minute as a couple enjoyed dinner on a swing for sunset.