An early start and a smooth taxi ride saw us ready to fly to Krabi in plenty of time. From the airport we bussed to the pier where we had lunch whilst waiting for the ferry. It was so hot and sunny on the ferry across to Phi Phi – we were relieved to finally arrive. We stayed at Stone’s Hostel – new, modern and on the beach; a definite party hostel – we could feel our beds vibrating at night from the music downstairs. I was incredibly broke (as I’d left my credit card with James in Bangkok) so was very lucky to have Summer virtually empty her pockets in order to enable me to go diving with Island Divers. For dinner we indulged in scrumptious pizza at Cosmic before enjoying the fire show at Stone’s.
The following morning we climbed the Koh Phi Phi viewpoint. It was hard work, but needless to say the view was incredible. After we went our separate ways – Summer came back down into town and around to Long Beach – I took a more rugged track through a small village and coming out at the far end of Long Beach. We spent the day reading, swimming and dozing in the sun – it was glorious.
The cost of my diving meant that Summer and I were forced to move to a cheaper hostel for our last two nights (thanks Summer!). We did a full day cruise – met at 10.30am and cruised around the island and it surrounds. First stop was Shark Point (just out from Long Beach); no sharks, but plenty of colourful fish which made snorkelling a lot of fun. Next we saw Bamboo Island – white sand, clear blue water and a jungle backdrop – literally, my kind of paradise. We also visited a beautiful lagoon, Monkey Beach, saw Maya Bay (which is where Leonardo DiCaprio filmed The Beach) and then watched the sun set from the boat.
The next morning I had to get up really early (I had a restless sleep panicking that I had forgotten all that I knew about diving) where I grabbed some breakfast before meeting my instructor (Darrius – an over the top, stereo-typical Australian who was rather excitable) and the rest of our group. Everyone in our group was really experienced, and were all really kind to me about my nerves. We kitted up for the first dive – 27m down through a ship-wreck. It was awesome. As we were moving to our next location, rumours rippled through the water to the surrounding boats that there was a whale shark in the vicinity. Just like that, our crew members jumped ship. Everyone had snorkels, fins and a massive rush of adrenaline as they kicked their way to the shark. A few of us girls waited for the boat to get slightly closer before we took the plunge. We swam for as long as we could – it was incredibly hard work; but entirely worth it. I felt like I was swimming for my life as the whale shark just glided effortlessly through the water. The entire experience was magnificent. Our second dive saw us hit 30m, as well as the spotting of a TURTLE. I was over the moon. My lack of funds meant I couldn’t do the afternoon dive, but I was quite happy to sunbathe on the boat’s deck in the sunshine. My buzz carried me through my tiredness and well into the night, where we headed to Stone’s Bar for a few drinks with some of our room-mates. These drinks turned into a few more buckets and I think a fun night was had by all.
We both woke up feeling a little seedy; so we checked out, grabbed some breakfast-to-go from the bakery and hit the beach past the port. I finished my book; Summer dozed in the shade, until eventually it was time to get some lunch before boarding the ferry to Phuket. On arrival we caught a shuttle to the airport, where we then asked the driver to just drop us at some nearby accommodation – and although we struggled a bit (it was overly expensive as we seemed to be in quite a fancy area) we eventually found somewhere right by the beach. We watched the sunset, before spending up a storm at dinner – I felt sick and couldn’t decide what I wanted, so I ordered everything and ate nothing.
The following morning we caught a taxi to the airport where we flew to Don Mueng airport – caught a free shuttle bus to Suvarnabhumi airport and then the airport train in to the hostel to collect the bags we had been storing there. We found a little market, where we accidentally spent the last of our cash – bags, wallets, mortar and pestle – we ended up having to withdraw more money for lunch! We had our last Thai massage before heading back to the airport for our departure. Bangkok to Sydney saw us arrive in Sydney for a day of exploration. We caught the train into town where we wandered around the harbour-side, before I crossed the Sydney Harbour Bridge and ate a fresh, healthy Western lunch. Back onto the plane – this time New Zealand bound – it was home sweet home, baby.