Tag Archive: Phi Phi



Whenever I thought of Phuket back then, I thought it was just a single destination area where one chooses which beach corner to claim for a getaway. I didn’t realize that Phuket is Thailand’s largest island and that there is a variety of beach resorts to choose from. Neither did I know that it is the jump-off point for smaller islands like Phi Phi Don, Phi Phi Lei, James Bond Island, Maya Beach, Koh Lanta, Monkey Island, etc.

 

 

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Marriott Vacation Club in Mai Khao, Phuket.

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JW Marriott Hotel and Spa

 

 

We stayed in Marriott Vacation Club in Mai Khao Beach which is near the airport. It is nearly an hour away from where the action is (Patong Beach, Karon Beach, Kata Beach, NaiYang Beach, etc) but we don’t mind as you have everything you need in this more quiet corner of the island. Perhaps not so for the party crowd and the shoppers, but we’re neither so the “remoteness” is perfect for us. Besides, there’s a free shuttle to the sister-hotel (JW Marriott Phuket Club) where one can enjoy charming sunset views. For retail therapy and other dining outlets, just a stroll away is the Turtle Village. We highly recommend the Coffee Club here not just for the coffee and desserts, but also for their Pad Thai, Thai Prawn Rice and Curry Dishes. We went there for 2 consecutive dinners. And guess what, we ordered nearly the same dishes.

 

Check out these links:

 

Holy Cow, We’re in Mai Khao

 

 

Oh, So ChiChi in Ko Phi Phi

 

 

Sunsets In Phuket

 

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Prawn Rice. Ohhhhh such goodness!

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Lunch was in this place with this view in Phi Phi Don.

 

 

We devoted an entire day visiting some islands on a speedboat. Booked the tour online via AsiaWeb. No hassles. They picked us up from our hotel, brought us to the Royal Phuket Marina, enjoyed unlimited drinks and fruits on the boat, had an authentic Thai lunch in Phi Phi Don, snorkeled and enjoyed the islands. Some may still have the energy to shop and party later that night, but not us. After a good dinner at Turtle Village, we just wanted to crawl into our beds.

 

 

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Snorkelers Haven

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Just another beach.

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AsiaWeb bundled up the speedboat tour with a choice of airport transfers, or a city tour or a night with the ladyboys. We chose the city tour where we had the van & driver all to ourselves visiting temples, the old part of town and about 4 beach areas. The beach resorts especially Patong Beach underwhelmed us. Overhyped, if you ask me. But maybe I’m saying this because I’m extremely biased in favor of our Boracay (yes, despite the rowdy crowd and the trash), the islands of El Nido and other parts of Visayas. But I love how the Thais do this tourism business nearly seamlessly.

 

 

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In the end, we simply breezed through the beaches. Declaring ourselves beach-fatigued, we skipped the stroll on the sandy shores and only managed one temple visit and a drive around the old town. No need to get sand between our toes. We had enough of that when we did the islands. As for shopping, we were just interested in food items! Can you blame us?

 

 

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Thinking James Bond 007 this morning as we boarded our speedboat to the islands off Phuket. Phi Phi today. The Beach. Monkey Beach. Vikings Cave. But no time to do James Bond Island. Funny how some of these islands’ claim to fame is by way of the movies shot in their lovely shores. I’ve seen the movies. Enough to get me all excited. And thinking James Bond….. No ferries for old ladies. Let’s have the speedboat, no less!

 

 

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Royal Phuket Marina where the speedboats are parked.

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There’s our speedboat (bottom left) with 675 hp engines. We flew!

 

 

Oh, the kids would have loved this. Maybe next time. How I wish we have speedboats hopping from island to island in El Nido or Coron. Quite an adventure. Outside of that, I can’t say I’m really overwhelmed. The beauty of our own islands compare very well with the likes of Phi Phi. And it is just as hot and humid too. If it were cooler, I’d choose these tropical islands anytime of day, or year, over the Greek islands off the Aegean Sea. Just make it a tad cooler. Enough to make it bearable, but warm enough to still swim in its warm waters. Or maybe I complain too much. I must be SPOILED 😉

 

 

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The monkeys in Monkey Island must have been waiting for boats to stop and throw ’em those bananas! Quite a show.

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We had lunch here in Phi Phi Don. Calmer waters. Colorful boats. Relaxing.

 

 

We booked the tours via Asia Web. For 3,100 baht, you have the speedboat to island hop the whole day and a half-day tour of Phuket Island another day. The speedboat cruise includes lunch, unlimited drinks and fruits on the speedboat. You may choose to ride the ferry to see the same islands for far less (900 baht) but I’m telling you, the speedboat ride is an adventure by itself! Powered with 3 engines @225 hp for a combined power of 675 hp, we flew! In some of the islands, we were allowed to swim, snorkel, feed the fish ( I love this part best! ). In one spot, the current was so strong it was a struggle to swim back to the boat!

 

 

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Snorkelers galore!

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Hungry fish!

 

 

We saw the boat crew catch fish with their bare hands! It looked so easy as they grabbed the fish by the heads and threw them in a basket. We were kinda hoping that was lunch, but the tour operator had other ideas. Thai lunch was not bad, but it wasn’t spectacular. I wouldn’t trade our grilled seafood lunch in one of the El Nido islands. Neither was I overwhelmed with the sights. I prefer the beach, coves and seascapes of Palawan. But I’ve got to say the speedboats and the colorful traditional boats give the place tons of charm.

 

 

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Off the boat for some siesta time in Rang Yai Island, nearer to Phuket.

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Vikings Cave. Nothing spectacular but those birds’ nests fetch a hefty price!

 

 

And it sure helped a great deal that Hollywood movies were filmed here. The Beach starring Leonardo di Carpio was quite a hit — which explains the thick crowd when we visited Maya Cove. Personally, I prefer the more quiet beach of Rang Yai Island. The sands pale in comparison with Boracay and El Nido, but it attracted a more sober crowd.

 

 

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The Beach. Thick crowd. Rowdy youngsters who got busy “throwing” their lady friends into the water. Boys will be boys!

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This is more like it. Quiet. More serene. Huts around. Showers off one side with a pair of peacocks watching! This is Rang Yai Island, just a few minutes to Royal Phuket Marina.

 

 

But you’ve got to hand it to them Thais. They sure know their tourism industry. The tour was conducted systematically, the guides were very well-trained, you never grow hungry throughout the cruise, and there’s the element of “surprise” and personalized service the way the tour was handled. In particular, we were all pleasantly surprised to find exotic fruits on the boat — sliced pineapples, rose apples (macopa), local oranges, bananas — and to be offered local Popsicles at the last leg while viewing photos taken by the tour photographer. Nice touch. Everything was well thought-out!

 

 

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Macopas is what we call them. Rose Apples to others.

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BOND. JAMES BOND. Very chichi.

 

 

The marina looked very classy that one easily justifies the hefty price paid for this tour. Very charming. Very cleverly done. Indeed, it was so chichi in Koh Phi Phi! 😉