By Victoria Prince
Savat D kah! Good morning from Thailand. If you are looking for the best boat tour to take to Phi Phi Islands, or you want to read about the epic adventure, you have come to the right place. Ill tell you everything!
It was an absolutely breathtaking day island hopping with Simba Sea Trips on their tour of Phi Phi Islands yesterday!
First, the booking was so easy from their website. Second, the shuttle was a nice private vehicle with an awesome driver who arrived outside our villa on time on the dot.
After a sketchy boat trip in Bali last summer we really didn’t know what to expect. By sketchy, I mean there wasn’t even a boat dock, I was unexpectedly in water up to my chest at 6am walking to the boat lol. The boat was slow and dirty and we were breathing exhaust the entire trip. We were so happy to be there we shrugged our shoulders and laughed about it but other honeymooning couples were not so flexible, they were straight up angry and fighting haha!
Back to Thailand, we pulled up to their office at the pier and to our surprise it was beautiful! We were greeted with hot coffee and tea, water and breakfast biscuit snacks. Our tour guide Jane was funny, informative, and polite. The service was fantastic.
We hopped on the boat and began our tour which by the way only had 12 people, their max capacity for tours - unlike the other boats we saw 30-50 people crammed inside.
Cruising across the Andaman Sea at sunrise was refreshingly stunning. The water reflecting the pastel sky with glassy rolling ripples softer than butter nearly brought tears to my eyes. One of those ‘I’m so grateful to be alive’ type of moments.
Our first stop was a secluded beach on Bamboo Island. Later we discovered it’s not a secluded beach at all, 10,000+ tourists visit this beach DAILY. We couldn’t tell because we were the first to arrive, ahead of the crowds!
There we were on an empty beach, being served fresh cut fruit, banana bread, and veggie rolls for breakfast on straw mats laid out for us like kings and queens. 5 star service to say the least.
While we were there our sweet tour guide Jane came up to me and asked “are you going to sing on dis island?” I just laughed not thinking anything of it until she said “really, are you going to sing? I saw your music video on YouTube” I was shocked! Apparently their office watched my video because I booked the trip via email and my website is in my signature! I was so happy to hear they all enjoyed it. You can see it here.
We hung out here for about an hour just as heaps of other tour boats began to anchor. For the record we took all of these photos on our iphones and my gopro. The other boats were scary looking, loud, and the people were packed inside like sardines. Our boat was clean, fast, and spacious. Thanks Simba!
Next, we sped across the Indian Ocean passing countless islands and cliff faces straight out of the movies, literally, to Maya Bay. This bay is temporarily closed to allow the Coral Reef to repair and regenerate as its one of the most famous places in Thailand!
Leonardo DiCaprio’s movie THE BEACH was filmed here in the 90s. Even tho we didn’t park here, the view as we slowly drifted by for photos was worth it. This bay was actually the inspiration for our trip. We chose Thailand because Graham’s daughter is named Maya, you may have met her in my previous blog post on our tour of Beijing. On this trip we learned that Maya means Magic!
Floating right along, our next stop was
Phile Lagoon. Now this. Was. Unreal. Sputtering through this canyon of crystal clear turquoise waters and towering canyons wrapping around us to create a 3 dimensional paradise was indescribable.
We swam in the natural pond, jumped off the boat, and basked in the beauty of it all. This was also a spot where Leo starred in THE BEACH. We couldn’t have dreamed of a more incredible view.
Next we pulled up to Monkey Island just as another boat was ambushed by a huge monkey trying to get more food! He jumped right into the bow of their boat because they were throwing bananas. The monkeys were catching them and peeling them like professionals but this guy wanted more. We heard screaming and a splash as we watched them back away the monkey just dove in the water and swam back to the cliff face of the island to climb up a rope! We didn’t feed them, now we know why, but we saw many moneyed including a little baby clinging to it’s mothers tummy as she climbed!
Not far from there our tour guide Jane pointed out Viking Cave. This place looked like it was straight out of a movie starring Magellan. Viking Cave owes its name to the paintings found on the walls of the cave: they represent various types of boats, including what resembles a Scandinavian drakkar. These paintings are pretty recent, and were possibly discovers by sailors taking shelter in the cave during a storm.
Jane also explained that one of the most profitable local industries is the hunting/harvesting of swiftlet birds’ nests.
Particularly prized in Chinese culture, these edible nests are believed to promote good health and to be specifically good for the skin. A local legend says that long time ago, sailors lost their boat during a storm and got stuck without food. They took shelter here and found a colony of swiftlet, the men could survive by eating their nests which gave them enough strength to wait for rescue. The harvest of bird’s nests is a risky job, hunters climb handmade bamboo ladders in the dark to collect these precious items. Bird’s nests are sold, on average, for about 83,000 Thai Baht per kilo ($2,500 for two pounds!) Ten people own the island that Viking Cave is connected to, and they legally have the right to shoot you if you are caught inside the cave after 6pm.
Anyway we docked our boat in this area and snorkeled looking for white tip reef sharks. Jane says they are there only 50% of the time, this time the weren't! Bummer, but it was still so beautiful. The coral reef was absolutely amazing! Being an avid snorkeler back home (lol) I’ve never seen anything like it in the US.
After this we pulled up to a beach off of Phi Phi Don island and ate a delicious thai lunch at Phi Phi Cliff Beach Resort!
They served the 4 of us a freshly cooked vegan meal as everyone else ate from their impressive buffet. We ate vegetable stir fry, veggie fried rice and vegetable tempura, so good! After we ate we walked the beach and snapped some photos for Fusedhawaii.com .
We boarded the boat for our last stop at Rang Yai Island. Jane explained this stop was just for relaxing. They had a restaurant and bar right on the beach and a pearl gallery where they were selling pearls harvested right off the coast of the island. We laid on beach chairs in the shade as Jane served us fresh young coconuts and banana smoothies.
What a day! Sunrise on the Andaman sea, breakfast on bamboo beach, Island hopping between 5 different islands, swimming in two lagoons, lunch at a private secluded resort, and cold drinks on a shaded beach. We loved this tour so much we are taking another to the jungle in a couple of days!
If you’re ever in Phuket, book with Simba Sea Trips. No doubt, the best boat tour company here!
Chai Yo - Cheers in Thai.