Our Saturday activity was a guided tour of Phi Phi Islands and was the thing we were most looking forward to of the weekend’s adventures.
Pictures and friends’ visits all had us expecting crystal clear blue waters, monkeys hanging out just out of reach, and James Bond-esque living as we zoomed around Phuket on a motorboat.
All of our dreams came true!
We woke bright and early around 3:30am – we were told to expect the van to pick us up between 4 and 5am – a pretty large time gap to sit on a stoop in the dark pre-sunrise morning but we were too excited to care!
The van arrived already packed with another couple and we hurtled off to pick up four more guests before we were deposited at the Royal Phuket Marina. Waiting for us was a group of about 100 guests all at different stations. Some were checking in with their group leaders, some were getting fitted for snorkel equipment, and others were lined up at the modest (but fab!) breakfast buffet and plying themselves with much needed coffee.
After about 40 minutes, we were divided into groups of about 20-30 people and followed our group leaders to our respective boats. Dropped our shoes in a bin at the back of the boat and climbed in!
A brief welcome from our boat leader ensued and before we knew it we were jetting off across the water in search for some (not really) deserted islands. The trip took about an hour and was spent dozing off for a few extra Z’s and taking in the unbelievable sunrise from the water.
Arriving at Maya Bay, we stepped off the boat and into the waist high water, wading in to the shore.
The water was crystal clear and warm as a bath. We had an hour to explore the island on our own before meeting back at the boat to head to the next island.
We island hopped around a bit
And fed some bananas to some monkeys at Monkey Island!
After what seemed like a million years, it was finally time for lunch! Shuttled in to yet another beautiful island, we alighted from the boat and climbed the cliff to the restaurant which was lined buffet style with lunch.
I’m sure the sun and exhaustion had something to do with it but the food was great – amplified by the incredible vistas we could take in during our munching.
There were even some cutiepatootie kittens wandering around and you KNOW I am a sucker for cats.
Post lunch we re-boarded to the last two islands of the day, passing Viking Cave
and going snorkeling!
We ended with suntanning on Koh Mai Pai island – exquisite white sands, clear water, and gorgeous boats!
The whole excursion wrapped up by the early afternoon and we were dropped back off at the dock around 2pm. Despite it being so early we were absolutely exhausted from having too much salty fun in the sea and immediately passed out for a nap when we got back to the hotel.
Some hours later, intent on finding a second wind, we threw on some clothes and walked out to take in the sunset
and then into town to find dinner and pick up some beers on the way home because we had NIGHT PLANS BABY.
Would it really be a babel vacation if we didn’t find some type of electronic music event to attend? This time was Unkonscious Festival – a small trance festival on the beach in Patong.
We took a few minutes to take in Patong which is really something. There are bars lining the streets with people slinging back beers and having a jolly old time. Drunk people abound, Thai women approach you with signs offering SEX SHOWS in giant capital letters with way more components to the sex shows than I could have ever imagined possible, and music blasts from outdoor speaker systems. It was really fun and rowdy but I’m glad we opted to stay in a quieter area. We were still a quick 10-12 minute drive right to Patong so could enjoy it when we wanted and escape when necessary.
After a winding cab ride somehow up into the mountains but then ending up on a beach, we arrived at Paradise Beach – the site of the festival. For such a tiny event – there were maybe 200 people there! – the lineup had some really great names! It was a three day festival but we only went for one night 🙂 We flung off our shoes and danced barefoot in the sand to RAM, Darren Porter, and Reorder, making lots of friends along the way. Fire dancers performed, people hugged in the crowd, and lasers flashed over us as another fantastic night came to a close.