Saturday, 22 November 2008

Island Hopping: Krabi, Thailand

Thailand has hundreds of islands to explore, many of which are isolated with undisturbed coral reefs, white sandy beaches, and are a dash of paradise in the Indian Ocean. It is very popular among tourists to take boat trips tours to several islands in one day to catch some sun, sea, and sand. This past time has been coined as “island hopping” and is something I took to when I visited Krabi in Thailand.

Many island hopping tours operate from Krabi, a beach front town in southern Thailand. In the mornings many people gather on the beach ready to board the numerous boats which are about to set sail for the day. The trip I did made five stops in total and took roughly 30 minutes by motor boat to get to the first one. After quite a rough journey we reached Pi Leh Lagoon and jumped over the side with snorkel gear. The boat drivers threw bread over the side which attracted thousands of colorful fish which would sometimes mistake you for bread and nibble at your skin. This did feel odd at first but as long as you were not too close to the bread you were okay. Interestingly this was one the locations Leonardo Di Capri was filmed while making the movie “The Beach”.

We set off at sailed to Maya Bay (Another film location for “The Beach”) and moored in another cove with a beach for a morning of relaxation. The water in the cove was incredibly warm. It was much like slipping into bath water much unlike the unearthly temperatures you experience on the UK coast.

After making a quick stop off at Monkey Island to give some very hungry monkeys their banana lunch we proceeded onto have our extensive buffet lunch on Phi Phi Island which was thrown in with the price of the tour. It was all you can eat rice, noodle, chicken and vegetables and really hit the spot.

The afternoon and final stop was spent on Bamboo Island which had long stretches of white beach and really made you feel like you were in the middle of nowhere. This was mainly a relaxation and snorkeling spot depending on how energetic you were feeling.

Island hopping does allow you to see some undisturbed Thai islands and get very sun burnt all in one day. Although we did move between several islands the day did not feel rushed and importantly there was plenty of choice and time for lunch. Ask a local or your hotel/hostel reception for the tours they recommend and look into where they take you and what you do to find something that suits.

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