Can you hear the soundtrack of ‘The Beach’?, my buddy quirked as we jumped off our speed boat. Our feet touched the powdery white sand of Maya Bay as we scouted a place for our base camp but found none. The famous bay was literally packed with tourists and boats that no trace of the movie scene can be found. And then the British couple we were with at the boat shouted at us, It is beautiful right here!, in which I replied, Philippines is more beautiful, and then smiled back.
Koh Phi Phi was our fourth stop in Thailand on our two-month Beach Hop Asia 2016 backpacking trip. After exploring Melaka, Langkawi and Penang in Malaysia, me and my buddy headed to Koh Pangan, Krabi and Koh Lanta in the southern part of Thailand before our pit stop on the famed islands of Koh Phi Phi.
My buddy once mentioned that Filipinos are hard to get pleased on beautiful beaches as Philippines’ 7,107 islands are surrounded with great shorelines and underwater scenery. I couldn’t agree more as we’ve seen fairly enough of our Asian neighbors’ counterpart and nothing could seem rival the ones we have, something we can totally brag about.
|Maya Bay tour on board a traditional Thai long-tail boat|
First stop was the Monkey Beach. Our boat was anchored near the shore as guests jumped into the water towards the narrow shore. Monkeys were everywhere but nobody seemed to get alarmed as almost everyone wanted to take snaps of them.
|They're totally not scared with humans|
A THB200 (US$6) entrance fee was collected from each person for the ‘conservation’ of the place. We, of course, paid that amount while some of the tourists decided to stay on the boat (either they didn’t have the money to pay not knowing there’s a fee or maybe they got upset on the huge number of visitors).
We did take a dip for a while until we were herded for our next stop, a snorkeling site in Loh Samah Bay right at the back of the Maya Bay.
|Snorkeling at Koh Phi Phi Leh|
The entrance to the lagoon looked like the ones in El Nido, Philippines minus the clear water that provides a clear view to the coral gardens. The tourists jumped off the boat and did some snorkeling. I plunged into the water but nothing interesting caught my eye.
|Bird's nest (nido) can be found inside those limestone caves|