The ferry to Ko Phi Phi (pronounced "Pee Pee") was on time, and we settled in for the hour ride. We pulled out right around 8:30, when lots of other boats were headed out as well.
|Takin' it all in|
The scenery was breathtaking: sea eagles soared overhead, limestone cliffs jutted directly out of the sea, massive bubble-gum pink jellyfish bobbed up and down in the limpid water. It was all stunning. We enjoyed the quiet ride, snapped pictures of the scenery, and munched on yummy homemade banana muffins that the crew were handing out with "orange juice" (actually Fanta).
Before we knew it, we'd reached Ko Phi Phi.The ferry terminal was crowded with lots of people arriving and loads of touters trying to give people boat rides, or direct them to one of the local hotels.
|Playing with the fishies by the ferry terminal|
|Mantis chowing down on a brightly colored fly|
|Displaying flying dragon|
|Grasshopper looks like a warrior|
It was a lovely day so we didn't hang around the room for long. The first order of business was food, so we walked to a nearby place and got some mediocre fried rice for me and some mystery dish for Bryan (he ordered basil beef but there appeared to be a language mix-up). Anyway, even though the food wasn't great it was nice to eat right there at the beach. It was even better when the guided tours departed for the day, taking most of the tourist bulk out of the place. After lunch we put on swimsuits and struck out for Long Beach, where we hoped to snorkel. Bryan tried out his snorkel before we left.
|Haha snorkel face|
Long Beach was further away than we thought, but the walk was pretty and we saw lots of scenery and cute stray cats along the way, so we were content. We found one little kitten who looked like she'd conked out right in the middle of nursing from her mom. So cute!
|Can't beat the views|
On the walk, we passed by a little beach bar where there were a lot of hand-carved things like tables, chairs, and my favorite- this teeter-totter.
Our efforts were finally rewarded when we got to the beach. It was gorgeous! The water was so clear that it was hard to tell where the sand ended and the water began.
Not only was there an awesome beach, but there was a bonus! SOMETHING ABANDONED!!!!!!! Naturally I was overjoyed even though I had no idea what it was. At first I thought it looked like a cable car, but couldn't fathom how a cable car had come to be perched on a little cliff on a remote tropical island. Bryan pointed out that it looked more like a cabin from the deck of a ship, like where the captain would sit and look out. That made a lot more sense. I went up to the thing to take some pictures, disturbing a few lizards while I was at it.
|Clearly not a cable car|
|It looks like they stole the driver's seat from a soccer mom's minivan.|
We liked the ghost crabs too. They were a translucent white and pretty much impossible to see against the white sand. Usually they could only be spotted when they were scuttling along sideways, which they did if we got too close to them. They disappeared into tiny holes in the sand quick as a blink. Bryan had to work pretty hard to catch a photo of one.
After our crab explorations we spent some more time hanging around in the water, relaxing, enjoying a day at the beach, and generally putting off the walk back.
|All done snorkeling|
|Floating in the Andaman Sea|
Eventually we headed back, via a different route than the one we'd used to get out there. It turned out our path to Long Beach had been wildly inefficient, and the path we took back was much more direct. We stopped by our bungalow to clean up a bit, then headed out to explore a little more, aiming to eventually end up at a place we thought sounded promising - Monkey Beach. On the way to Monkey Beach, I resurrected my idea for a new blog documenting the creepy mannequins of the world. I was inspired by this freakish specimen.
|Like something out of a hallucinogen-fueled nightmare|
Monkey Beach proved to be monkey-less but pretty impressive nonetheless. The tide was out and local families were digging in the exposed sand for crabs. Bryan and I walked toward the water, admiring the sea life trapped in the tide pools: flat, pale crabs, sea snails, tiny fish, and some long, primitive, snot-like organisms that were scattered about.
|Snot-like sea creature|
After poking around on the beach awhile, we headed up to the Monkey Beach Bar for dinner. Since leaving Singapore I'd been having a slightly unsettled stomach so I tried to order something innocuous (egg baguette with fries). I ended up just kind of picking at it, and Bryan found his pad thai similarly unimpressive. But it was nice that the bar had tables right in the sand, and we got to eat there on the beach. However, we couldn't really reconcile the obnoxious music the bar was playing with the otherwise serene surroundings. The music was what you might call experimental- loud, thumping, and incorporating non-musical sounds like static, buzzing, speech, etc., all with volume levels that varied widely and seemingly at random. It was kind of annoying, especially for dinner music, and I think it's safe to say we were both glad to get away from there when dinner was over.
Back in our hotel that night we settled into bed, happy to be sleeping on clean sheets. Or so we thought. As I adjusted my pillow to go to sleep, something caught my eye. I looked closer then jumped up on the bed, shouting. There was a millipede under my pillow! I mean, it was nothing like the gargantuan one I saw at Bukit Timah, but it was big enough that I didn't want to sleep with it tucked under my head. Bryan came to the rescue, scooping the little guy up with a snorkel flipper and flinging him out the front door. After that I thought I might sleep restlessly, with a case of the heebie-jeebies keeping me alert (kind of like after seeing the rat in Sumatra), but I guess I was too tired for millipedes to matter, because I slept like a baby well into the morning.