Snorkeling the Phi-Phi Islands

It was an early morning at sea for our day of cruising the islands of Southern Thailand!

After breakfast, we were driven to our pickup location down the beach to board the high-speed boat for our full day on the Andaman Sea. As the engines revved up, our anticipation for what was yet to come continued to grow with every jumping wave skipped by the boat. It wasn’t long before we reached our initial snorkelling destination at Ko Phi-Phi Le.

With our life jackets snapped on and our goggles suctioned to the tips of our noses, we all jumped into the waters and swam around the array of aquatic life below us. When we dipped our goggles into the water, streams of colourful fish could be seen making their way around the underwater world of sea urchins and various coral. Groups of orange life jackets could be seen bobbing away in the waters as they swam around the reefs as students recorded their GoPro moments of goofy underwater faces.

After close to an hour of swimming along the rocky shores, we sped around the island close to Maya Bay where we all jumped back in the waters to cool off. Some of us stayed at the forefront of the boat and basked in the sun while the rest of us continued to snorkel around before heading over to Bamboo Island for lunch in the park. After another hour in the bay, we boarded up once more and zipped over to Ko Mai Phai in under 20 minutes.

It was a rocky experience as the many ships roared and whizzed around the island when we tried to dock prior to jumping onto the incredibly picturesque white sands. Our guides prepared and served us lunch in the jungle forest where we enjoyed curry, soup, chicken wings, and – you guessed it – more rice! We were then given close to two more hours on the bleach-white beaches and in the Kool-Aid blue waters before making our way over to Ko Phi-Phi Don for viewpoints and shopping.

The main island is among the most-visited destination among the Phi-Phi Islands with a series of hotels and various tropical shops that line the streets. Our boat docked next to the other tourist boats where students were given the choice to explore the island or “walk” up to the viewpoint. While some stayed behind, many joined the staff on our surprise trek. Hit by the bolstering sun, we made it to the top viewpoint in 45-minutes with glamorous glimpses that featured both sides of the island.

By the time 3 PM rolled around, we were all beat from the sun and ready for yet another dip in the crystal-clear waters. Before heading back to the resort for dinner, we made a quick stop over to the Pileh Lagoon where students bolted for the front of the boat and off into the waters. With a series of air-borne photos, we set back to the shores where we began our day at sea just in time for dinner.

Ella had this to share about her day:

“I really enjoyed my morning spent snorkelling around the beautiful islands. The water was both warm with moments of refreshing coolness which made drying off totally worth it. It was quite sad to see the impact that tourism and mass fishing had on the reefs, making this an eye-opening experience. I am definitely more aware of my environmental footprint and I know that many others are too. I also found the fish to be really friendly – even though they wouldn’t let us touch them!”

On Saturday we will be heading out to our final destination this term in Ayutthaya, the former capital city of the Siamese Empire. Students will have the weekend to work on their final projects and finish up all outstanding coursework before heading home next week.

Yours among the islands,
Nic