Thailand : Krabi's Jewels of Arabian - Phi Phi Islands
Krabi Province, which lies along the coast of the Andaman sea in Southern Thailand, is a top tourist destination as a result of its plentiful natural attractions including, white sandy beaches, crystal clear water, extensive coral reefs, numerous caves and waterfalls, and over 130 islands, including Koh Lanta and the jewels of the Andaman coast, the six islands of Mu Koh Phi Phi National Park. Out of these islands, Phi Phi has gained special importance owing to its location and development as tourist site. It is because of the unique natural beauty which has earned them the title of “Jewels of Arabian Sea”. The day was going to offer us first-hand experience of these treasured destinations and we were excited for all that was to come on the tour.
As scheduled, there was a short briefing to introduce the tour, the points to be covered, protocols and rules for the boat. We were also given a crash course on snorkeling and the way to use all the equipment. This was also the time when they offered us to buy snorkeling accessories (additional consumables), water proof pouches and fins. We rented fins for snorkeling and water proof pouch for mobile – who would miss opportunity to captures scenes from underwater. A forewarning for those who visit next is that fins are not a necessary item and the do not help prevent the injuries that the tour operator may show to create fear. The entire group was divided into four teams and were assigned to different boats. We boarded boat – a smashing bright speed boat all ready to sway away from the shores. In nick of time we got ourselves the front deck which was open air and provided a surround panoramic views of crystal clear water with islands in backdrop.
We moved ahead in the earmarked section and settled down with our caps and sun screens on to prevent of the blazing sun. The boat was stocked with enough cola and water, chilled over ice, to cater to everlasting thirst. As the boat launched and gathered momentum on rough seas, the adrenaline gushed through the nerves and thrill of the ride rose to its peak. We looked through the curving boundaries of the boat to enjoy the nature in its pure raw form seemingly wooing us towards itself. The speeding vessel left marine flora and land masses behind and finally slowed down after about an hour of swinging ups-and-turns near a famed piece of land – Money Beach. The apes playing around the trees and on sands of the clean beach were a scene to look at. The monkeys live in the mountains and have figured out that where there is people there is likely to be food. The boat kept away from the shores to prevent any injuries that these monkeys have caused to tourists in the past.
|Monkeys on The Beach|
It was time for lunch and the hunger worms were gradually making their voice heard. So rightly timed came the next stop – the lunch on an island. This was the title attraction of the tour – Phi Phi Don Island. The beach is beautiful with soft white sand, clear waters and long view of calm seas. We were guided to one of the eating joints at the island which had a regular buffet – designed to cater to people comfortable with not-so-vegetarian food and had a good number of sea food item on menu. We requested for a vegetarian option and the staff brought some fried rice and fruits to our help. The food was mediocre at best but the location made all the difference. We enjoyed the filling treat and then moved to the boat for our next destination.
We rode through the maze of islands and land masses maneuvering in sometimes-narrow-waterways to reach the heaven on earth. What laid in front of us was nothing short of divine beauty wrapped in calm, clean and serene setting. The white sand on the beach spread across the shore until the view allowed, the crystal clear waters provided direct view of what lay beneath them and careful maintenance of the setting made itself evident that a tourist spot was so immaculate. We played in water, rested on sand and gazed at the wonder God has created so carefully. The long view of the bay with high land structures giving way to the giant sea was mesmerizing in its true sense. After absorbing the scenic beauty in front of us the captain sailed the boat towards the rough seas.
|Clear Waters Till The View Allows|
It was really a day that would be with us for years to come and the memories picked up on this day long tour are nothing short of precious treasures. The wonders of the nature are seldom matched by any human creation and this trip was just another testimony of this fact. True it was exhausting, agree we were tired at the end of the day, but the fact is that this was because of our attempts at grasping and accumulating such vastness of beauty into such a compressed timeframe. Satiation from such a pristine setting would take lifelong of time or may be multiple lives itself. So, we were ending the day at such high note, fully content with the way the day was spent and slowly went into deep slumber reminiscing the cherished moments.